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Home News Free Services to Help New Mexicans Quit Tobacco
David Morgan
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Free Services to Help New Mexicans Quit Tobacco

December 30, 2013 - Nicotine Cessation - Healthy Living

As New Mexicans gear up to tackle New Year’s resolutions, the Department of Heath offers a variety of new and free resources to quit tobacco in 2014.

“Tobacco use is the leading preventable cause of disease and premature death nationwide,” said Department of Health Cabinet Secretary Retta Ward, MPH. “Tobacco use results in an estimated 2,100 deaths in New Mexico each year. Our cessation services make it easier to make the commitment to quit smoking.”

Tobacco users can access free cessation services in a variety of languages through the statewide toll free number 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or online at New this year is the dedicated Spanish-language quit line 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) and online services at

“Quitting can be challenging because nicotine is a very addictive drug,” explained Benjamin Jacquez, Program Manager for the Department’s Nicotine Use Prevention and Control Program (TUPAC). “Fortunately, there are effective and proven quit methods available and free services are offered throughout New Mexico.”

The Department offers free counseling services and an 8-week supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (patches, lozenges and gum) for participants who register with the quit line. Participants can access services 24 hours a day, with TTY available for the hearing impaired. Quit line participants are also able to request text message support for their quit efforts.

There is also the new QUITNOW Smartphone App now available on iTunes and Google Play. The free app provides smartphone users with a downloadable tool that supports them throughout the quit process, helping them set a quit date, identify reasons for quitting and conquer cravings once they’ve quit.

An estimated 303,000 New Mexican adults and 23,000 high school youth currently smoke. An estimated 42,000 New Mexicans are afflicted with tobacco-related diseases. Cigarette smoking has a harmful impact on nearly every organ in the human body and is linked to conditions such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), heart disease, stroke, pneumonia, and cancers of the lung, stomach, pancreas, cervix, and kidney.

People who stop smoking can greatly reduce their risk for disease and premature death as well as help protect children, family, friends and pets from exposure to secondhand smoke that can cause immediate harm to those who breathe it.

The New Mexico Department of Health offers the following tips to help quit smoking:

  1. Talk to your doctor or healthcare provider (e.g., doctor, dentist, nurse, pharmacist, psychologist, or smoking cessation coach or counselor), especially if you want to consider using medications that can help you stop smoking and lessen the urge to smoke.
  2. Prepare for the day you plan to quit. Tobacco proof your environment--get rid of all tobacco products (and other items such as ashtrays) in your home, car and at work.
  3. Talk to your family, friends and co-workers and let them know you are planning to quit. Ask them not to use tobacco around you or leave cigarettes and other tobacco products where you can see them.
  4. Change your routine. Use a different route to work. Do something to reduce your stress. Distract yourself when you feel an urge to smoke or use tobacco.
  5. Get support from other people. Studies have shown that you have a better chance of being successful if you have help.
  6. Consider signing up for counseling. Telephone counseling is available free of charge at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) and 1-855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569).

Regardless of how you decide to quit—whether you use medicines, counseling, or simply by stopping smoking on your own—it’s most important to commit to quit, make a plan, and stick with it. The Department of Health will continue to support individuals who want to quit by providing free resources and working to increase access to those services for all New Mexicans.

You can find more information at or

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