April 1, 2020
Quit Partner: new free quit-tobacco programs available online, by phone, and by mail
The Minnesota Department of Health today is launching Quit Partner (1-800-QUIT-NOW), Minnesota’s new family of programs to help people who want to quit smoking, vaping, chewing or using other commercial tobacco products.
Quit Partner offers many free support options and resources so people can quit in a way that works best for them. Free support for Minnesota residents includes personalized coaching, email and text support, educational materials, and quit medication (nicotine patches, gum or lozenges) delivered by mail.
With Quit Partner being available online, by phone and by mail, Minnesotans looking to quit nicotine and improve their health during the COVID-19 outbreak don’t have to go it alone. According to the CDC, smoking can compromise the immune system, which makes people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19. People can use as many of the support resources as they would like and can access them from home. Using coaching and medication together can more than double a person’s chance of successfully quitting.
“Our goal is to provide free quitting help to Minnesota residents when they want it and in the way that best meets their quitting needs. Most people who smoke want to quit, and we’re here to help,” said Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.
While fewer adults are using tobacco overall, some populations have higher than average rates of tobacco use. To help address these differences and to help people most at risk of nicotine use, Quit Partner offers specialized programs for people living with mental illnesses or substance use disorders, American Indian communities (American Indian Quitline), pregnant and post-partum women, and youth ages 13-17 (My Life, My Quit).
Electronic cigarettes and vaping are introducing more and more Minnesota children to nicotine use and addiction. According to the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, 1 in 4 Minnesota 11th graders reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, which is a 54% increase from 2016. Now for the first time, through Quit Partner, Minnesota has a program specifically developed for youth.
“The new youth program is especially important, as commercial tobacco use among our high school students has increased for the first time in nearly 20 years,” Malcolm said.
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in Minnesota. People can help protect their health and their lungs by quitting smoking and vaping.
QUITPLAN® Services, which was established by ClearWay Minnesota, stopped accepting new enrollees after March 31, 2020. ClearWay Minnesota was created with a portion of the Minnesota Tobacco Settlement as a life-limited organization that will end in 2021. In 2019, the state legislature funded the Minnesota Department of Health to establish new statewide commercial tobacco cessation programs to begin on April 1, 2020.
“Thanks to the Minnesota legislature’s action in 2019, residents of Minnesota will continue to have free help to quit smoking, chewing or vaping through the new Quit Partner programs,” Malcolm said.
Quit Partner is administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, with quitline programs provided by National Jewish Health, the nation’s leading respiratory hospital and largest, non-profit provider of quitline programs.