Montana Tobacco Quit Line Remains Available

In spite of recent significant funding cuts, the Montana Tobacco Use Prevention Program (MTUPP) remains in place and working toward its goals of increasing public health by reducing the risks caused from tobacco use. Among the programs provided by MTUPP, the highly successful Montana Quit Line remains up and running.
The Quit Line is a program to help people stop tobacco use. According to the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services, this free service as has provided assistance to more than 35,000 Montanans, and has helped more than 10,000 people quit since 2004. Montana Quit Line success rate is among the highest in the nation — nearly 30% of callers who enroll in the program report successfully staying quit after one year.
It is fortunate that Montanans will continue to have the services of the Quit Line available to them. Charles D. Connor, President of the American Lung Association, states that each year in the United States, 443,000 people die from illnesses directly related to tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. In Montana, the number is 1,500 deaths per year. This makes tobacco the number one cause of preventable deaths.
Moreover, Connor added that tobacco-related illness saps the country of more than $193 billion in health-care costs and lost productivity each year.
How does the Quit Line work?
It starts with a toll–free call to 800–QUIT–NOW (800-784-7669). You will be guided into a program that will best fit your individual needs. The Quit Line offers specialized counseling for a broad spectrum of tobacco users, including pregnant smokers, teen tobacco users, and spit tobacco users. In addition to personalized counseling and self–help materials, you may qualify for free nicotine replacement products (patches, gum or lozenges) or medications such as Chantix.
What are the benefits of quitting?
Knowing the immediate benefits of stopping smoking can be a big influence on a person′s decision to quit. Consider these good reasons:
  • Your Health. Tobacco use causes cancer, heart disease, chronic bronchitis, asthma and emphysema.
  • Your Family. Live a healthier, longer life. Did you know quitting could add 10 to 15 years to your life?
  • The Cost. According to the Campaign for Tobacco–Free Kids, the average price for a pack of cigarettes is now $5.58, while that average smoker burns up at least $1,500 per year.
Also consider what happens to your health as soon as you stop:
  • 1 Day: Your chance of a heart attack decreases.
  • 2 Days: Your sense of smell and taste improves.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months: Your circulation and increase lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months: Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue and shortness of breath decreases.
  • 5 years: Your risk of a stroke is reduced to same level as a non-tobacco user.
  • 15 years: Your risk of developing coronary heart disease decreases to roughly the same as someone who has never used tobacco.
The benefits of quitting are worth the effort, and the help remains available in Montana. For assistance to quit smoking, contact your physician, or call the Quit Line at 866-485-7848. The Call is FREE, the services are FREE. It may be that start of a potentially healthier life for you. What better gift could you give to your to yourself, to your loved ones, and to your children?
Havre Public Schools and the HELP Committee and Boys & Girls Club of the Hi-Line are committed to promoting safe and healthy lifestyles to become long-lived, responsible citizens. For more information on this or related topics, call 265-6206.