State program offering free medication to help Hoosiers stop smoking

One in five adults in Indiana smoke cigarettes. The Hoosier State remains in the top 10 for highest smoking rates in the country. Now, the state’s department of health is offering free help to quit smoking.

Surveys have found that nearly 70% of people who smoke cigarettes want to quit. And it doesn't matter how many times you've tried, the state says it's never too late and they want to help you get started.

"I've been smoking since I was 16 years old and I'm 53," Kimberly Hill said.

Hill is a lifelong smoker. She's tried quitting but she says the addiction is just too strong.

"I love cigarettes. Everything I do involves a cigarette – after I eat, at work, in the middle of the night, when I wake up – I smoke cigarettes," Hill said.

The Indiana State Department of Health wants to help smokers like Hill. That’s why the Indiana Tobacco Quitline is offering Hoosiers free medication to help them quit smoking.

"Nicotine replacement therapy so two weeks supply of patch or gum can be mailed directly to the participant who enrolls in quit line coaching," said Miranda Spitznagle, director of the Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Commission.

Through the confidential line, you'll get a trained quit coach.

“They'll ask you some questions about what you've tried before, how long you've been using tobacco, and really try to tailor that intervention to you. Highly trained individuals on the other end of that phone to really help you be successful," Spitznagle said.

Smoking is already impacting Hill's health. She suffers from the lung disease CLPD. She says she wants to be around for years to come to watch her grandsons grow, so she'll take any help she can get.

"I just wanna quit smoking. I don't wanna die."

The program kicked off Tuesday, May 1. To connect with a counselor, the first step is to call the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW. That’s where you’ll start the conversation about your desire to quit and see if you’re eligible for the free program.

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