News Release
   
   PO 360
   Trenton, NJ 08625-0360

   For Release:
   March 26, 2001

Christine Grant
Commissioner

For Further Information Contact:
Laura Otterbourg or Marilyn Riley
609-984-7160

 

New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services Offers
Free Cessation Programs for Smokers Who Want To Quit


TRENTON -- New Jersey smokers who are targeting National Kick Butts Day (April 4, 2001) as the day to quit smoking are encouraged to use three innovative smoking cessation programs sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services.

New Jersey offers three different types of free smoking treatment programs: NJ Quitnet, a internet resource; NJ Quitline, a toll-free telephone counseling service; and NJ QuitCenters, nine sites that offer one-on-one counseling. All three programs are part of New Jersey's Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program, funded by $30 million from the Master Settlement Agreement.

"We all know that smoking is an addiction and must be treated as such," said New Jersey Health and Senior Services Commissioner Christine Grant. "Innovative and effective treatment programs are vital to effectively reduce the number of people in New Jersey who smoke. These three programs take advantage of technology such as the internet as well as traditional face-to-face counseling. Each offers resources and services that are tailored to the individual looking to quit."

National Kick Butts Day is celebrated annually to encourage activism and leadership among elementary, middle and high school students to fight youth tobacco use in their communities.

New Jersey Quitnet (www.nj.quitnet.com) is an innovative online resource that provides a comprehensive, individually tailored smoking cessation plan. New Jersey Quitnet's online community provides peer support groups and access to trained counselors.

Registered New Jersey Quitnet users can access resources such as Quitting Guides to help plan a quitting strategy, referrals to local programs and information about medications that can help end the addiction. Other New Jersey Quitnet services include: e-mailed messages of encouragement, an array of guides, calendars and quitting tips, and peer support forums to maintain one's resolve to stay tobacco free 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For those who prefer to speak directly with a counselor, New Jersey Quitline is a hotline offering personal counseling to New Jersey residents at 1-866 NJ-STOPS (1-866-657-8677) six days a week. The services are open to all age groups.

Services can be accessed Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Trained counselors are available in 26 languages to work with callers to develop comprehensive treatment plans that meet the individual's needs.

During the initial call, a caller gains access to a counselor and treatment can begin immediately. After assessing the caller's needs, tobacco history and stage in the quitting process, counselors develop an individualized treatment and follow-up plan. The initial call takes approximately 30 minutes. Psychological and physical issues are addressed, as well as behavior changes to initiate cessation and prevent smoking relapse. Most counselor services are delivered in the first three months, but may extend up to six months.

NJ QuitCenters offer traditional face-to-face counseling at nine sites throughout New Jersey. New Jersey QuitCenter sites are located at: Kennedy Memorial Hospital, Cherry Hill; Medical Center of Ocean County, Brick; New Hope Foundation, Freehold; Mercer Trenton Addiction Science Center, Trenton; Newark Beth Israel Medical Center, Newark; UMDNJ-School of Public Health, New Brunswick; Plainfield Health Center, Plainfield; Catholic Community Services/Mt. Carmel Guild, Newark; and Rowan University, Glassboro. Six more NJ QuitCenters are planned to open by June.

New Jersey is one of only 15 states which are directing a substantial portion of Master Settlement Agreement funds -- $30 million in the first three years of the program -- toward smoking prevention and cessation. New Jersey's Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program is designed to reduce the sickness, disability and death among New Jersey residents associated with the use of tobacco and exposure to environmental tobacco smoke.

The smoking cessation programs are one of the many initiatives sponsored by New Jersey's Department of Health and Senior Services. For more information on New Jersey's Comprehensive Tobacco Control Program, visit the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services web site www. state.nj.us/health.

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