Today marks the last day of QUITPLAN® Services, a free counseling service that has helped over 195,000 Minnesotans in their efforts to quit tobacco. Starting April 1, an exciting new chapter begins with the launch of Quit Partner, which will continue to ensure free help is available to Minnesotans who want to quit smoking, vaping, chewing or using other commercial tobacco products.
Since 2001, ClearWay Minnesota has provided QUITPLAN Services with funding from the 1998 tobacco settlement. As a life-limited organization, ClearWay Minnesota will sunset in 2021, which is why QUITPLAN Services will stop accepting new enrollees after March 31, 2020. Participants currently enrolled in QUITPLAN Services will be able to continue and finish their program.
In 2019, the Minnesota Legislature provided funding for the Minnesota Department of Health to create Quit Partner, a new statewide commercial tobacco cessation program. ClearWay and the Minnesota Department of Health have worked to ensure a smooth transition from QUITPLAN Services to Quit Partner, with no interruption of services.
Moving forward, Quit Partner will provide an array of services to help Minnesotans quit tobacco, including personalized coaching, email and text support, educational materials and quit medication (nicotine patches, gum or lozenges) delivered by mail. In addition, Quit Partner offers specialized programs to serve people with mental illnesses or substance use disorders, American Indian communities (aiquit.com), pregnant and post-partum women and youth under the age of 18 (mylifemyquit.com). All Quit Partner programs are supported by National Jewish Health.
Tobacco use is still the leading preventable cause of death, disease and disability in Minnesota, killing over 6,300 Minnesotans every year and costing the state $3.2 billion annually in medical costs. Most people who smoke want to quit – and using coaching and medication together can more than double a person’s chance of successfully quitting. For information or to enroll in Quit Partner, contact 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit quitpartnermn.com.
Responding to COVID-19:
There is no question we are in the midst of a pandemic of unknown proportions. Responding to COVID-19 is of utmost urgency. Evidence suggests that, since smoking is harmful to the lungs, smokers who are exposed to the virus are likely to have more severe problems than nonsmokers. It is more important than ever for tobacco users to have access to resources to help them quit, so they may possibly reduce their risk of serious complications if exposed to the virus. Free help is available through QuitPartnerMN.com or 1-800-QUIT-NOW (beginning April 1).