Doctors are urging e-cigarette users to quit after several illnesses and deaths related to vaping. E-cigarettes contain nicotine, an addictive chemical. Kansas has a free program to help users quit.
The Kansas Department of Health and Environment does not recommend using e-cigarettes to quit smoking. "The companies have made those claims, but the FDA has not approved an e-cigarette product as an alternative," says Lisa Frey Blume, training and outreach coordinator with the KDHE.
The state's KanQuit program is for anyone who wants to quit smoking or vaping. "You're using the same techniques to really decrease your dependence on it," Frey Blume says.
The KanQuit Hotline is free. Within seven months, nearly 30% of participants were tobacco free for at least a month. The KDHE calls that a success, since nicotine addiction is so hard to overcome. "People are up against a lot and it takes a lot to quit tobacco and you want to support people to quit tobacco as much as we can. Ultimately, it's great for them and it's great for our healthcare system overall," Frey Blume says.
By calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW, people can receive one-on-one phone counseling to cope with cravings. It also provides tips to change habits and connects users to other local support.
The KDHE provides "Tobacco Free Zone" signs at no cost to businesses with rules prohibiting cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. If you are a business owner, contact the KDHE on how to obtain signs at no cost.