Michigan Association of Health Plans

Michigan offers free nicotine patches, gum for smokers

Smokers can get free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges this summer from a state department urging Michiganders to ditch the harmful habit.

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is offering the free products as part of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention campaign aimed at educating people about smoking-related diseases.

Anyone can call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline at 800-QUIT-NOW, or 800-784-8669, to receive up to eight weeks of the free nicotine products through Sept. 30. The Quitline, available 24/7, is staffed with English, Arabic and Spanish-speaking counselors and offers online coaching or text messaging.

“As a physician and public health professional, I know all too well the terrible toll of smoking,” said Joneigh Khaldun, the department’s chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health. “MDHHS is committed to helping Michiganders quit tobacco products and reduce their risk of tobacco-related illnesses like cancer and heart disease.”

Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the nation. It kills about 480,000 people every year.

About 68 percent of smokers say they want to quit.

More information is available at Michigan.gov/tobacco.

This article originally appeared in the Detroit Free Press.