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Free phone-based tobacco ‘quitline’ service tailored for teenagers


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The Indiana Tobacco Quitline, a free phone-based cessation counseling service, has expanded to reach youth with new options for all participants.

The quitline has tailored its program to include tobacco users ages 13 to 17. The teens will receive five intervention calls, which include a call from an experienced tobacco cessation specialist.

“The Tobacco Awareness Action Team is very pleased Indiana is making this program available to youth tobacco users,” said Stephanie Truly, tobacco prevention coordinator of Bartholomew County.

“We have recognized the gap in our cessation services and are happy to be able to share this information with teens who feel they don’t have any options to help them quit tobacco.”

Smoking resources

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline is starting a telephone-based service to help teens from ages 13 to 17 stop smoking. They can enroll at www.equit.com.

Additional information: 800-784-8669 or 379-4927.

Youths who participate will receive age-appropriate educational materials and access to the toll-free support line.

“This program has the potential to be monumental in our tobacco-control efforts,” Truly said. “Over 9,800 kids in Indiana become regular tobacco users each year. If we can put programs in place to curb those numbers, that is a success.”

The Indiana Tobacco Quitline also has worked to include more technology-based options to their services.

Program participants now have the option to enroll in a Web application designed to guide smokers and smokeless tobacco users through an evidence-based process of quitting.

Tobacco users will have access to tools that will allow them to track the amount of money saved and free time gained since quitting.

“We use tracking sheets in our local cessation classes to help participants identify and understand their behaviors,” said Debra Richard, certified tobacco cessation counselor. “Having an additional reminder beyond the class of how those behaviors affect other areas, such as money or time saved, should motivate ex-users to stay quit.”

Participants also can enroll in an additional support option that provides a series of text messages personalized to a participant’s quitting plan.

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