Q:What is a tobacco quit line?
A:The quit line is a free, statewide, telephone-based tobacco cessation resource. The quit line provides information to tobacco users and non-tobacco users on tobacco dependence and its treatment, the dangers of secondhand smoke, and other tobacco-related information. Information may include advice for family and friends on helping a tobacco user quit, and support for a quit attempt. The quit line offers a one-on-one proactive counseling program for tobacco users who are ready to quit.
Q:Is it evidence or science-based? Is it effective?
A:Yes. Multiple scientific reviews have established that proactive telephone counseling through quit lines is an effective cessation method. The U.S. Public Health Service Clinical Practice Guidelines and the Guide to Community Preventive Services both recommend quit lines as an effective method to help people stop smoking. Also, the state-managed quit lines form a national tobacco quit line network, which is a federal initiative recommended in the National Action Plan for Tobacco Cessation.
Q:Who can call?
A:Anyone can call the quit line. The quit line provides support for people who want to stop smoking or using other tobacco products; offers information on tobacco dependence for health professionals, and familiesor friends of tobacco users; and provides information on community, regional, or national cessation resources. Counselors also have specific training and call protocols for pregnant women and spit tobacco users. Callers under the age of 18 are required to have parental consent prior to counseling. Counselors will request brief demographic information from callers such as age, smoking history, zip code; however, all calls are confidential. For individuals who are hearing impaired, the TDY/TDD number is (800) 969-1393.
Q:What are the hours?
A:Initially, the hours to speak with a live counselor will be 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, Eastern time zone. Callers to the quit line after regular hours will have the option to leave a voice message, and the call will be returned the next business day by a quit line counselor.
Q:Who answers the phone?
A:Kentucky has contracted with Information and Quality Healthcare (IQH), a non-profit quit line vendor that has experience in providing tobacco use quit lines. Staff at IQH are highly trained and qualified to provide tobacco cessation services. Tobacco cessation counselors are required to be tobacco-free, undergo extensive classroom and practical experience training, and have a master’s degree. IQH continuously monitors staff and calls for quality improvement.
Q:Is 1-800-QUIT NOW (784-8669) just for Kentucky?
A:Although other states may be using the 1-800-QUIT NOW number, all calls placed in Kentucky (based on area code of call) are automatically directed to the Kentucky quit line.
Q:Should we recommend a quit line instead of other options?
A:The quit line is one part of a comprehensive tobacco cessation network of services. The quit line is provided in addition to on-going services because different programs work for different types of people.
We hope to increase the number of people who attempt to stop using tobacco as well as increase the number of people who are tobacco-free! Along with tobacco cessation and prevention efforts, policy changes, restriction of access to tobacco, and preventing youth initiation of smoking are critical to decreasing tobacco-related diseases and deaths.