North Dakota Increases Amount Of Free Nicotine Replacement Products

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Beginning in March and continuing through June, the North Dakota Tobacco Quitline will be offering an increased supply of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to qualified Quitline enrollees, according to Michelle Walker, Quitline coordinator for the North Dakota Department of Health.

Every person who enrolls in the free counseling services and is uninsured or does not have cessation coverage through his or her health plan will be able to receive a two-month supply of the free cessation aids. The Quitline previously offered a one-month supply of the products.

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“A new federal tobacco tax is going into effect at the end of March,” Walker said. “Because of the increased cost of cigarettes, we expect to see a greater number of people calling the Quitline for help. We want to make sure we are doing as much as we can to help them make a successful quit attempt. People who use the free telephone counseling in combination with the nicotine replacement products are 70 percent more likely to be successful at quitting than people who try to quit on their own.”

The new federal tax of 62 cents per pack goes into effect March 31 and will be used to fund the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The price of a pack of name-brand cigarettes in North Dakota will go from approximately $3.35 per pack to $3.97 per pack.

“People have always been aware that smoking was a costly endeavor when it came to their health,” Walker said. “More people also will now find it too costly for their wallets. Quitting will save them money and, best of all, will save them from the devastating health risks associated with tobacco use.

“The cost of help from the Quitline is free,” Walker said. “The Quitline offers free advice from people who care, free support and now two-months of free patches, gum or lozenges to help you quit.”

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