COVID-19: New services for Idahoans who want to quit tobacco

All Idahoans who want to quit tobacco products, including cigarettes, chew, and vapes, have access to free programs to help them on their quit journey. In addition to the current programs for adults, youth, pregnant women, and tribal members who have decided it’s time to quit, the Department of Health and Welfare and Project Filter are pleased to provide a free and enhanced tobacco cessation program for adults 18 and older who are living with conditions such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, ADHD, and substance use disorders.

Communities are facing increased mental health challenges during the pandemic, including stress, depression, suicidal ideation, and higher substance use. Quitting tobacco improves mental health and can provide people with the tools to quit other substance addictions as well.

People who report mental health and substance use disorders also have higher rates of tobacco use and lower rates of quitting. In fact, more than one-third of all tobacco used in the United States is consumed by people who also have a behavioral health condition.

More than half of QuitLine callers report at least one condition and nearly 1 in 3 callers report multiple behavioral health conditions that impact their ability to quit tobacco. People with behavioral health conditions may want to quit, but they often need more intensive support to help with stress.

As part of the new program, participants receive:

  • Seven scheduled telephone coaching sessions over three months, focused on coping techniques to manage stress, and development of a personalized quit plan.
  • Specially trained tobacco treatment coaches who understand behavioral health conditions.
  • Nicotine replacement therapies (NRT) for 8 weeks with combinations of patch, gum, or lozenges.
  • A personalized welcome package including educational materials and the My Quit Journey© workbook.
  • A suite of eHealth services to supplement telephone coaching, including customized email and text messages, online chat, and interactive online resources.

The first step to becoming tobacco free is to choose when you want to quit. Set a concrete quit date and ask your family and friends for their support. Quitting smoking, vaping, or chewing isn’t easy. It takes time – and it takes a plan.

If you or someone you know is ready to quit using tobacco products, free help is available by visiting: 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) and

Providers can refer individuals to the program by fax or online, both available on the Quitline website, or by helping individuals call the QuitLine in-person.

If you or someone you know uses e-cigarette products and experiences symptoms such as cough, shortness of breath, or chest pain, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea, fatigue, fever, or weight loss, seek medical care immediately.

Elizabeth Hoyt manages Project Filter in the Division of Public Health in the Department of Health and Welfare, She is passionate about helping Idahoans quit tobacco when they decide it’s time.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is dedicated to strengthening the health, safety, and independence of Idahoans. Learn more at

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