New 'Learn2QuitNY' six-week texting program can supplement Quitline's phone and web-based services
Guest Editorial by the New York State Smokers' Quitline
The New York State Smokers' Quitline (Quitline) recently unveiled a resource to help tobacco and electronic nicotine product users take control of their health. “Learn2QuitNY,” a free comprehensive six-week text program, provides step-by-step guidance for New York state residents to learn and practice skills that promote freedom from nicotine dependence. Residents can enroll by visiting nysmokefree.com/text.
A team of clinicians, researchers and computer programmers with Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center developed “Learn2QuitNY” to include daily texts that support weekly goals. The Quitline first offered text alerts in the early 2010s and now provides “Learn2QuitNY” as an enhanced interactive experience for clients who prefer guidance and support at their fingertips. Clients can use the program by itself or in combination with the Quitline's many other services, including telephone support, online coach chat and self-help materials at nysmokefree.com.
" ‘Learn2QuitNY’ is based on an effective tobacco cessation treatment manual, and guides clients step-by-step through the quitting process," said Dr. Christine Sheffer, professor of oncology and health behavior at Roswell Park, who leads the program's development team. "Many texts include links to detailed information on topics of concern such as weight gain while quitting, how to be around others who use tobacco, nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and more."
Quit Coaches are available seven days a week at 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) and nysmokefree.com to empower clients with developing quit-plans, navigating triggers and using medications to help them achieve freedom from nicotine. Most New York state residents also are eligible to receive a free starter supply of NRT via mail, typically in the form of nicotine patches, nicotine gum or nicotine lozenges. When used as instructed and in combination, NRT products can double or triple the odds for success.
The New York State Smokers' Quitline is a service of the New York State Department of Health and based at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center. It has responded to nearly 3 million calls since it began operating in 2000. The Quitline encourages nicotine users to talk with their health care professionals and access available Medicaid or health insurance benefits for medication support. All New York residents can call 1-866-NY-QUITS (1-866-697-8487) for coaching and resources, free of charge, seven days a week beginning at 9 a.m. Visit www.nysmokefree.com for more information.
Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center is a community united by the drive to eliminate cancer's grip on humanity by unlocking its secrets through personalized approaches and unleashing the healing power of hope. Founded by Dr. Roswell Park in 1898, it is the only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center in upstate New York. Learn more at www.roswellpark.org, or call 1-800-ROSWELL (1-800-767-9355) or [email protected].