The Vermont Quit Network grew by 83 percent last year.
One of the major reasons for this growth is that Vermonters increasingly are using online tools to help them quit smoking cigarettes.
Online registrations for the Vermont Quit Network's online support service more than tripled, creating a large demand for other free services that include quit tips, distraction tools and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) delivered directly to Vermonters' homes. Traffic to the Vermont Quit Network's other access points also increased:
Call volume for the Quit by Phone services rose by 28 percent.
Clients counseled through the Quit in Person services increased 32 percent.
"For many Vermonters, more and more time is spent online, so it makes a lot of sense that the biggest growth in the Vermont Quit Network comes from the online support services," said Ackerman Coordinator of STOP. "Our goal is to provide the quit services when and where people need them."
STOP encourages smokers to sign up to have free nicotine gum, patches or lozenges delivered directly to their homes (while supplies last) by visiting VTQuitNetwork.org and clicking on "Your Quit. Your Way" where they can also check out quit tips and strategies and order free quit tools.
Those interested in a little extra help can register for phone coaching, in person group coaching or online coaching services by visiting VTQuitNetwork.org, by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669). Or, find out more by calling 885-8706.
Most Vermont smokers think of themselves as "independent quitters," interested in quitting cigarettes in their own way, on their own terms. To help them take back the control lost to this addiction, the Vermont Quit Network's "Your Quit. Your Way." suite of tools to help these self-directed Vermonters quit:
Pedometers to track steps taken (instead of a cigarette break) as part of a successful health and fitness program.
Distraction putty and worry stones that keep hands busy until a typical five minute nicotine craving passes.
Quit Coaching Podcasts with proven strategies for successfully quitting smoking from Vermont Quit Network quit coaches.
Quit Cards that include tips and strategies for getting through cravings and ideas on creating a quit plan.
Vermont Quit Network tools are available through community coalitions like STOP, Health Department District Offices, Quit in Person coaching groups around the state, and via direct mail. Materials can also be ordered online at VTQuitNetwork.org.
"The coming holidays are a time when Vermonters traditionally think seriously about quitting smoking," said Tobacco Control Chief Sheri Lynn. "We want all Vermonters to know that if they need expert support - whether it's online or offline - we're here with a range of services."
Vermont smokers, and their friends and family, who are interested in learning more about the support available when considering quitting should contact the Vermont Quit Network by checking out VTQuitNetwork.org, dialing 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or calling a Vermont Quit Network in person coach at a local Vermont hospital.
The Vermont Tobacco Control Program is funded by payments from the Master Settlement Agreement and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For more information, visit www.healthvermont.gov.