Free online service helps tobacco users quit

Alabamians tired of being addicted to tobacco have a new free service to help them quit.

The service – www.alabamaquitnow
– is a web-based program designed to work with the user to make a personalized plan for quitting tobacco. This service includes free master’s level counseling and four weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy patches if the user is actively engaged in counseling and is medically eligible.

The website is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Tobacco users can log in and begin the counseling process. Anyone can visit the site for information or to register to become a member.

While anyone can visit the site, free counseling services and patches are available to Alabama residents only.
is funded through the Alabama Department of Public Health with a grant from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

The free online service is in addition to the Alabama Tobacco Quitline, a phonebased service that provides the same free programs to users who prefer to talk to a counselor. Callers may dial 1-800-784- 8669 and sign up for phone services. Alabama’s Quitline has been in operation since 2005 and is funded by the state health department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Alabama has one of the highest smoking rates in the nation. More than one in five Alabamians use tobacco.

Because free Internet and telephone services are provided, smokers don’t have to leave home or pay for medication to help them quit. Patches are mailed directly to the user if there are no concerns about medications the user is taking.

Counselors are available at both services from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday and on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Messages can be left after those hours and will be returned the next business day. A Spanish-speaking counselor is available, and other languages are available as needed through a translator program for the phone service.