Tools for Quitting

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Created By JustUs Health

When you’re ready to quit or cut back on nicotine, there are a variety of tools to help. Read below for more information on the MN Quitline, Medications, Text Apps + Online Support, and HIV+ and LGBTQ Specific Resources.

MN Quitline

Quit Partner offers free resources for all Minnesotans looking to quit any form of commercial tobacco. Their family of programs includes phone and online coaching; text, email, and web programs; and quit medication (nicotine patches, gum or lozenges) delivered by mail. Resources are available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day. There are also special behavioral health and post partum/pregnancy quit programs. Enroll by visiting www.QuitPartnerMN.com or calling 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669).

The American Indian Quitline was developed with guidance from the community and offers completely free and specially designed support to help Native people quit commercial tobacco. All coaches identify as American Indian. Enroll by calling 1-833-924-7848 (1-833-9AI-QUIT) or visiting aiquit.com.

My Life My Quit – free quit help for teens including up to 5 coaching calls, text to chat with a coach, and youth-specific materials. Enroll via website or by calling 1-855-891-9989.

Medications

Quitting nicotine is hard work. Research shows that taking advantage of medication, coaching, or a combination of the two leads to the most successful outcomes when attempting to quit.1 Medications can help you to manage nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as tension, anxiety and irritability.

Currently the FDA has approved seven medications to aid people in quitting smoking. A brief overview of each medication is provided below.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) provides safe doses of nicotine without the toxins and chemicals in cigarettes. When choosing NRT, talk to a doctor, pharmacist, or Quit Partner coach to decide which type of NRT and what dose is right for you.

• Patches, gum, and lozenges available without a prescription
• Nasal spray (prescription-only)
• Inhaler (prescription-only)

Non-nicotine medications are prescription only. Talk with a doctor to determine if these medications are right for you.

Bupropion seems to help with withdrawal and lessen the urge to smoke. It is unknown exactly how it works. Some people have side effects including dry mouth and not being able to sleep.

Varenicline (brand name Chantix) makes smoking less pleasurable and blocks the effects of nicotine in the brain. Side effects may include stomach complaints such as nausea and vivid dreams 

In Minnesota, all residents can access free NRT patches, gum, or lozenges through the state’s Quit Partner services or by calling 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669), 1-855-DEJELO-YA (Español) or 1-877-777-6534 (TTY accessible).

Medical Assistance and Minnesota Care cover counseling and all seven FDA approved medications. Additionally, Minnesota residents on MA or Minnesota Care can get FREE patches, gum, and/or lozenges by asking their doctor or pharmacist for a prescription.

Text Apps and Online Support

Successful quitting often begins with a plan and a little friendly help. Below is a list of text apps and online resources that can help you to build a quit plan, send daily tips, and connect you with other people working on quitting.

Text apps:

QuitSTART: Provides tips to prepare you for becoming smoke-free, including games and challenges to distract you from your cravings. Available on Google Play and the Apple Store

SMOKEFREETEXT: Ready to quit smoking: Text START or QUIT to 47848. Thinking about quitting or want practice? Text GO to 47848

This Is Quitting (Truth Initiative): Text QUITNOW to 202-759-6436 to quit cigarettes. Text QUIT to 202-804-9884 to leave JUUL or your e-cig

Internet-based resources:

Smokefree.gov (FDA) – get support, tips, tools, and expert advice to help you or someone you love quit smoking; includes website, live chats, and free quitSTART and QuitGuide apps with personalized support and motivation to help you quit for good; also smokefreeteen, smokefreevet, smokefreewomen, smokefreeespanol, and smokefree60+

Quit and Stay Quit Mondays – a smoking cessation program to help smokers quit smoking, re-quit smoking, or recommit to quitting smoking. Includes a toolbox, blog, and optional newsletter

Quitters Circle (American Lung Association) – news, resources, and tips for those looking to quit tobacco

Become an Ex (Mayo Clinic and the Truth Initiative) – features posts from other people working on quitting, free text messages to keep your quit on track no matter what you are quitting, structured exercises when you want them and freestyle quits when you don’t

My Life My Quit (National Jewish Health Services) – free quit help for teens

HIV+ and LGBTQ Specific Resources

Years of corporate tobacco targeting including sponsorships of LGBTQ events, giveaways at LGBTQ bars and clubs, and heavy advertising in LGBTQ publications – has contributed to the normalization of smoking and vaping in LGBTQ communities. This, combined with discrimination and lack of access to health insurance and health care resources, have led to much higher smoking rates within LGBTQ communities and among people living with HIV.

Our identities can deeply affect our experiences in this world. If you are looking for quitting support that also addresses strengths and challenges of being LGBTQ and/or HIV positive, see the links below. To hear how some members of the LGBTQ community found a way to quick commercial tobacco, check out the videos below.

Positively Smoke Free – quit smoking website and online community designed specifically for people living with HIV

This Free Life (FDA) – Focused on LGBTQ young adults, celebrates what we’ve overcome and living tobacco-free

Shift MN – a Twin Cities-based program advocating for sustainable wellness practices in LGBTQ communities. Their website includes zines, tips, and a calendar of LGBTQ-inclusive community events.

1. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Smoking Cessation. A Report of the Surgeon General. Atlanta, GA: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health, 2020.