Letter: Great American Smokeout lays out plan for quitters

To the editor:

The Great American Smokeout is Thursday. Developed by the American Cancer Society, this is a great day to remind clients, friends and family about the physical, mental and financial benefits of quitting smoking or any tobacco use. If you use tobacco, maybe even plan to quit. Remember, quitting can take many attempts, but help is always available.

For those wishing to quit and those wishing to help others quit, here are some suggestions:

Consider talking to a free quit coach. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). The Massachusetts Smokers Helpline is open 24 hours each day, seven days a week (except Thanksgiving and Christmas), and experienced coaches are ready to help. Now you can also enroll online through KeepTryingMA.org. Online supports include quit planning tools, peer support and motivational text messages.

Consider medications to increase your chances of quitting. MassHealth and many other insurance companies cover quit smoking medicines with little or no copay.

Try medicines like the nicotine patch, gum or lozenge to further your chances of being successful and quitting for good. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit KeepTryingMA.org and receive one month of free nicotine replacement help (with medical eligibility).

People who use coaching and medicines together are three times more likely to quit for good as those who use neither, so keep trying to quit. For many people, it's the hardest thing they've ever done. Yet with the help of the Smokers Helpline and the support of others during the Great American Smokeout, every user can become tobacco-free and begin a journey to better health.

To see a video about the Smokers Helpline, visit KeepTryingMA.org. There, you can also access online or phone support. To learn more about the impact tobacco has on your community, contact me at the Berkshire Tobacco-Free Community Partnership at the Berkshire Area Health Education Center, c/o Berkshire Community College, 1350 West St., Pittsfield, MA 01201, or email me at jbrewer@berkshireahec.org.

Joyce Brewer,


The writer is program manager of the Berkshire Tobacco-Free Community Partnership.


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