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Can the PA Free Quitline Help Me Quit Smoking?
By Tiffany A. Babinsack, MPA, CTTS


What is a Quitline?
The Pennsylvania Free Quitline is a service to help you quit tobacco. The Quitline offers up to five proactive coaching sessions, unlimited inbound calls, and customized quit plans to each participant. Coaches are available 7 days a week and coaching sessions can be scheduled for when it is most convenient for you.

Why call a Quitline?
Nicotine is a powerful and addictive drug. Some people can quit cold turkey, but most people benefit from some type of support in their quit efforts. Studies show that only 3-5 percent of smokers are able to quit without any assistance.1 Quitline counseling combined with medication (such as nicotine replacement therapy) can more than triple the chances of quitting.2

What should I expect when calling a Quitline?
When you call 1-800-QUIT-NOW, you will be paired with a Quit Coach. They understand what you are going through because many are former smokers themselves. They are trained to be good listeners and to give callers encouragement, support, and helpful tips.3 You Quit Coach may also be able to provide you with free quit-smoking medications, such as the nicotine patch or gum.

Your Quit Coach is specially trained to help you plan how, and when, it will be best for you to quit smoking. They will help you to:

  • Set a quit date
  • Discuss strategies for handling cravings and triggers
  • Prepare for difficult or stressful situations
  • Limit weight gain while quitting
  • Learn about quit smoking medications and how to properly use them

Your Quit Coach is there to provide you with support and encouragement and to help guide you back on track in the event of a slip or relapse.

What if I have tried to quit before?
Most people try to quit several times before staying smoke-free. Your Quit Coach will ask you questions about previous quit attempts and work with you to create a plan based on what worked, and what didn’t work, in the past.

Do I need insurance?
Your Quit Coach will ask about your insurance coverage so that they may pair you with the best resources; however, Quitline services are free for callers. You do not need insurance to take advantage of this service.

Who can call the Quitline?
The Quitline is available for anyone aged 14 and older. Women who are pregnant can receive up to eight calls; with five calls before delivery and three calls post-partum. The Quitline can also help people who are using chewing tobacco, cigars, e-cigarettes, and other forms of tobacco.

How do I call?
The Quitline is available 7 days a week, from 7 am -1 am at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669).

Tobacco Free Allegheny’s mission is to change the community norms surrounding tobacco, making it uncommon to see, use, or be negatively affected by tobacco or tobacco smoke pollution (secondhand and thirdhand smoke). Learn more at www.TobaccoFreeAllegheny.org.

1 Hughes, J, et al. “Shape of the relapse curve and long-term abstinence rates among untreated smokers,” Addiction, 99, 29-38, 2004.
2 Fiore, MC, et al., Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update—Clinical Practice Guideline, U.S. Public Health Service, May 2008.
3 https://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/campaign/tips/quit-smoking/quitline/index.html



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