The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) has launched Quit Partner, which is 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, e-mail and text support, educational materials and quit medication (nicotine patches, gum or lozenges) delivered by mail.

People can use as many of the support resources as they would like and can access them from anywhere. Research has found that 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 Jan Malcolm, MDH commissioner.

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, pregnant and post-partum women and youth under the age of 18. (See more at mylifemyquit.com.)

Electronic cigarettes and vaping are introducing more and more Minnesota children to nicotine use and addiction.

According to the 2019 Minnesota Student Survey, one in four Minnesota 11th graders reported using an e-cigarette in the past 30 days, which is a 54 percent increase from 2016.

Now for the first time, through Quit Partner, Minnesota has a program specifically developed for youth under the age of 18.

Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in Minnesota. Tobacco use kills more than 6,300 Minnesotans every year and costs Minnesota $3.2 billion annually in medical costs.

Quitting smoking reduces the risk of health issues, protects family and friends from the dangers of secondhand smoke and saves money. People can help protect their health and their lungs by quitting smoking and vaping. Health improvements can start within 20 minutes after a person quits smoking.

QUITPLAN® Services, established in 2001 for a maximum of 20 years as a part of Big Tobacco’s legal settlement in Minnesota, stopped accepting new enrollees after March 31, 2020.

In 2019, the state legislature funded the Minnesota Department of Health to establish new statewide commercial tobacco cessation programs to begin April 1, 2020.

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.

Quit Partner is for Minnesota residents who use any form of commercial tobacco. Support includes personalized coaching, e-mail and text support, educational materials and quit medication (nicotine patches, gum or lozenges) delivered by mail.

Learn more at www.QuitPartnerMN.com.

- Photo courtesy of the Internet Public Domain