August 17, 2011

Smokers to Get Free Nicotine Patches From the California Smokers’ Helpline

Callers to 1-800-NO-BUTTS Can Receive a Free 2-Week Starter Kit

SAN DIEGO, Aug. 17, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- For a limited time, the California Smokers' Helpline is sending free nicotine patches to callers from 34 counties in California. Eligible tobacco users who call 1-800-NO-BUTTS and enroll in the free telephone-based quitting program will receive a free two-week starter kit of patches, while supplies last.

Smokers from the following counties are eligible: Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, Del Norte, El Dorado, Glenn, Humboldt, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Kings, Lake, Lassen, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Modoc, Mono, Napa, Nevada, Plumas, Sacramento, Sierra, Siskiyou, Solano, Sonoma, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tulare, and Tuolumne.

"The Helpline has already served over half a million smokers," said Christopher Anderson, the Helpline's Program Director. "We hope this new opportunity will motivate even more people to give quitting a try."

The patches are an FDA-approved treatment proven to help smokers kick the habit. They release nicotine into the bloodstream through the skin, reducing withdrawal symptoms and slowly weaning smokers off nicotine.

All 34 counties have an adult smoking prevalence rate of 14 percent or higher, according to the 2008 California Tobacco Survey. In comparison, the 2010 statewide adult smoking rate is 11.9 percent.

This new program is part of a nationwide effort called Communities Putting Prevention to Work, which aims to improve health and lower medical costs by preventing disease, such as those caused by tobacco use.

"Helpline counseling doubles smokers' chance of success in quitting," said Anderson. "People who use both counseling and a quitting aid, such as the patch, have the best chance of quitting for good. So now is a perfect time to make that call and get started."

The free patches will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis to those who call 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

About the Smokers' Helpline
Callers to the Smokers' Helpline may receive free one-on-one support from a trained cessation counselor, a self-help booklet, and referral to local quit-smoking programs. The Helpline is open Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. It has specialized services for pregnant smokers, tobacco chewers and teens. All services are available in multiple languages:

1-800-NO-BUTTS English
1-800-45-NO-FUME Spanish
1-800-838-8917 Mandarin and Cantonese
1-800-556-5564 Korean
1-800-778-8440 Vietnamese

For more information, visit

Adult Smoking Prevalence Rates for Counties Participating in the Patch Giveaway Program

                     Adult Smoking
    Participating    Prevalence
     County          Rate
    Alpine                     16.0%
    Amador                     16.0%
    Butte                      21.0%
    Calaveras                  18.1%
    Colusa                     16.0%
    Del Norte                  16.0%
    El Dorado                  16.8%
    Glenn                      16.0%
    Humboldt                   17.7%
    Imperial                   16.1%
    Inyo                       16.0%
    Kern                       17.1%
    Kings                      15.1%
    Lake                       16.0%
    Lassen                     16.0%
    Mariposa                   14.3%
    Mendocino                  14.7%
    Merced                     17.7%
    Modoc                      16.0%
    Mono                       16.0%
    Napa                       16.0%
    Nevada                     16.0%
    Plumas                     16.0%
    Sacramento                 14.0%
    Sierra                     16.0%
    Siskiyou                   16.0%
    Solano                     14.6%
    Sonoma                     16.4%
    Stanislaus                 14.9%
    Sutter                     16.0%
    Tehama                     22.8%
    Trinity                    16.0%
    Tulare                     16.0%
    Tuolumne                   21.9%

Chris Anderson
(858) 300-1032
[email protected]

SOURCE California Smokers' Helpline