For Immediate Release: June 13, 2007
BURLINGTON – This week a Vermont resident had the special honor of becoming the 10,000th person to enroll in a free local quit smoking program, called Ready, Set…STOP, which is funded by the Vermont Department of Health. This milestone helps illustrate the great progress that is being made every day among smokers to combat this addiction.
Since 2001, when the Ready, Set…STOP hospital-based group coaching and the Vermont Quit Line phone coaching began, the smoking rate has dropped significantly. These personal services, along with internet support from www.VermontQuitNet.com, are just some of the tools available for free to smokers who would like help to quit.
The Ready, Set…STOP sites, which are based out of each hospital in the state, offer group coaching at the hospital and in community locations, like worksites. The Ready, Set…STOP coaches provide smokers with the tools, tips and personal support they need to quit smoking. In addition, they will arrange for free nicotine replacement – patches, gum or lozenges – to be shipped directly to those people who use their services.
“The Ready, Set…STOP program is an important part of the menu of quit smoking options available to help Vermonters become smoke-free,” said Health Commissioner Sharon Moffatt, RN, MSN. “The fact that 10,000 residents have used this resource is one of the reasons the smoking prevalence has declined over the last six years.”
Nearly half of all smokers made a quit attempt in the past year, nearly one-fifth of adults still smoke. In order to decrease rates further, the Vermont Department of Health encourages smokers to use one of the helpful and free services – local, phone or online – to increase their success.
“Our clients find that using coaching is easier than quitting on their own,” said Evelyn Sikorksi, Ready, Set…STOP quit coach at Fletcher Allen Health Care. “And coaching works better than going it alone – only about five percent of those people who quit on their own will be smoke-free in six months, compared to about 20 percent for those using local or phone coaching.”
Vermonters who would like more information on the free quit coaching services can call their local hospital’s Ready, Set…STOP program or the Vermont Quit Line 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). Additional information on Vermont’s quit smoking services can also be found at www.TobaccoStories.org.
Vermont’s comprehensive tobacco control efforts are funded entirely from yearly Master Settlement Agreement payments and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) grants. In addition, Vermont’s Health Insurers provide funding towards free and reduced cost nicotine replacement for their subscribers.