COLUMBUS (WJW) — Several options for people who are ready to extinguish their cigarettes for good were announced Thursday afternoon by Ohio Governor Mike DeWine, the Ohio Department of Health, and health care organization OhioHealth.
The programs are all free and designed to help you kick the habit.
The Ohio Department of Health is offering two programs, one for adults and one for teens.
“We actually have 8-weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy for anyone, regardless of your ability to pay, everyone that is available,” said Director of the Ohio Health Department Dr. Amy Acton.
Adults can access the program by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW to get telephone coaching and counseling; teenagers are encouraged to us the departments My Life, My Quit program which is designed specifically for them. They can access the program by calling or texting 1-855-891-9989.
The teen program is separate because of a need to monitor them closer when getting them off nicotine.
Governor DeWine also announced Medicaid would pay for screenings and treatments for those who need medications to reduce the craving for nicotine and withdrawal symptoms.
OhioHealth is also trying to helping Ohioans get off to a fresh start in 2020.
“We have committed to providing the expertise that’s needed to the communities that we serve to insure that Ohioans in this region can quit, and quit for good,” said Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff, the Vice President and Chief Medical Officer of OhioHealth.
The health care provider is offering their OhioHealth Tobacco Cessation Program for free.
The program can be accessed at 12 locations around Columbus and offers comprehensive plans to stop tobacco use; several free tobacco cessation classes; as well as support and counseling.
“It’s a free program; that’s important because we don’t want that to be a barrier to people getting this important help,” said Vanderhoff.
After sharing these resources, DeWine and Acton talked about the need to continue to address predatory marketing of e-cigarettes, like those produced by JUUL, aimed at teens.
DeWine renewed his plea to the state legislature to ban flavored vaping products.
When it was pointed out that there has been a lack of legislation being pursued to ban menthol flavoring in combustibles despite two FDA-derived reports calling for such bans; he also said he would call on lawmakers to ban menthol flavors in cigarettes.