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January 03. 2014 12:31AM

Nicotine patches available for NH smokers

CONCORD — Free nicotine-replacement patches are available, while supplies last, to New Hampshire adults who want to quit smoking or using chewing tobacco.

There’s no better time than the New Year to give up the butts, and the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), wants to help in that effort.

The state agencies are offering free nicotine patches to residents who want to quit smoking in connection with the hard-hitting media campaign, Dear Me New Hampshire, currently on the air and featuring real Granite State residents who are trying to quit.

According to the state agencies, there are more former smokers in New Hampshire — almost 32 percent of adults — than current smokers.To succeed, health officials say planning ahead is key. Two good resources are www.TryToStopNH.org and 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), where any resident can get free advice, counseling, support, and while supplies last, the free patches.

“Now is the time to quit smoking,” said Dr. José Montero, director of public health at DHHS. “Quitting with both counseling and nicotine-replacement therapy will increase the odds of a successful quit.”

Encouraging people to think about the reasons they have for quitting tobacco is a positive motivational force to get them to attempt to quit.

The department currently offers free tobacco treatment counseling and nicotine-replacement patches to residents who call 1-800-QUIT-NOW and qualify.

To qualify for the free patches, residents must be at least 18 years old, be willing to participate in free telephone counseling, and be screened for safe use of the patch.

For inspiration in quitting, residents are encouraged join the Facebook page, Dear Me New Hampshire, at the NH Tobacco Helpline’s website, www.TryToStopNH.org.


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