Michigan Offering Free Nicotine Patches And Gum Through September

By Lindsey Weedston 06/20/19

Michigan residents can receive eight weeks’ worth of free nicotine gum, patches or lozenges by making a call to a tobacco quitline.

nicotine gum and cigarettes

Michigan’s Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) is handing out free quitting aids to individuals who are looking to quit smoking tobacco products through September 30 of this year.

Any Michigan resident can get eight weeks’ worth of free nicotine gum, patches or lozenges simply by calling the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW, reports MLive.

The offer is part of an effort to reduce smoking-related illness throughout the state alongside the Tips From Former Smokers campaign by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Tips campaign shares stories from those living with illnesses caused by cigarette smoke—either primary or second-hand—to help inspire current smokers to quit.

“CDC’s Tips campaign reminds people of the harmful effects of smoking and connects them with important resources like the Michigan Tobacco Quitline,” said MDHHS chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health Dr. Joneigh Khaldun. “MDHHS is committed to helping Michiganders quit tobacco products and reduce their risk of tobacco-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.”

The Tobacco Quitline, meanwhile, is open 24/7 and is available in English, Arabic and Spanish. In addition to free quitting aids, callers can get online coaching or advice via text messages.

According to the MDHHS website, tobacco “kills more people in our state than AIDS, alcohol, auto accidents, drug overdoses, murders, and suicides combined.” The CDC estimates that, although the number of people who smoke tobacco has decreased in recent years, it’s still responsible for one in five deaths in the entire United States. This makes it “the leading cause of preventable disease and death” in the country.

Currently, 34.3 million U.S. adults smoke tobacco cigarettes, and over 16 million live with smoking-related illnesses. The number of smokers has declined from nearly 21% of the adult population in 2005 to 14% in 2017. Much of this decline can likely be attributed to aggressive anti-smoking and tobacco education campaigns across the U.S. as the federal and state governments fight to reduce this stubborn health crisis.

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services has a list of major national campaigns, including Tips from Former Smokers by the CDC as well as FDA campaigns such as Every Try Counts for those who have attempted to quit multiple times and This Free Life, which is geared toward LGBTQ+ smokers.

“Think about all the progress we’ve made. We’ve simply come too far to set ourselves back by using tobacco,” reads the This Free Life website. “This Free Life helps LGBT young adults achieve their best by encouraging them to live tobacco-free.”

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Lindsey Weedston is a Seattle area writer focused on mental health and addiction, politics, human rights, and various social issues. Her work has appeared in The Establishment, Ravishly, ThinkProgress, Little Things, Yes! Magazine, and others. You can find her daily writings at NotSorryFeminism.com. Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindseyWeedston