A stop smoking program that origiated in the Upper Peninsula has made a lasting mark in the entire state.
The Michigan Tobacco Quitline, a program of the Michigan Department of Community Health (MDCH), is marking 10 years of helping Michigan residents achieve a tobacco-free life. In addition, the Quitline surpassed 50,000 enrollees since its inception.
Since 2003, the Michigan Tobacco Quitline has grown from a regional pilot project offering telephone coaching to Upper Peninsula residents to a comprehensive tobacco coaching program offering a wide menu of services to all Michigan residents. Currently, the Quitline offers telephone coaching, web coaching, text messaging, email messaging, referral to local quit smoking programs, and online registration. Coaching is offered live in English and Spanish, and translation services are offered for other languages.
"The history of the Quitline is one of collaboration between the federal government, state government, and countless health professional organizations, local health departments, Medicaid managed care plans, hospitals, pharmacies, and physicians' offices," said James K. Haveman, Director of the MDCH. "Knowing that so many lives have been impacted by the Quitline is a point of pride for the Michigan Department of Community Health, and we look forward to continuing to meet the needs of those who are trying to quit tobacco use in Michigan."
While Michigan has made great strides in reducing tobacco use, there is still work to be done. In 2012, an estimated 23.3 percent of Michigan adults reported that they currently smoke cigarettes on a regular basis, a figure that is higher than the U.S. median prevalence of 19.6 percent. Cigarette smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for more than 440,000 deaths, or one of every five deaths, in the U.S. each year.
There are many benefits to quitting smoking, including:
- Lower risk for lung and other types of cancer.
- Reduces the risk for coronary heart disease, stroke, and peripheral vascular disease. Coronary heart disease risk is substantially reduced within 1 to 2 years of quitting.
- Reduces symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and shortness of breath. The decline in lung function is slower among people who quit than among those who continue to smoke.
- Reduces the risk of developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), one of the leading causes of death in the U.S.
- Smoking cessation by women during their reproductive years or during pregnancy reduces the risk for infertility, and the risk of having a low birth weight baby.
The Michigan Tobacco Quitline is available seven days a week and can be reached at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or michigan.quitlogix.org/. For more information about tobacco use in Michigan, visit www.michigan.gov/tobacco.