Helping break the habit

Northwest Colorado VNA offers tobacco-free quit kits, supports Colorado QuitLine

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Moffat County's smoking and tobacco use is higher than the national average, which is 23 percent of adults, according to Teresa Wright.

For the tobacco prevention and education coordinator for the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, that's a bad sign.

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Now, she has another tool to combat tobacco use.

The VNA offices in Craig and Steamboat Springs are offering free tobacco-free quit kits for smokers and chewers.

The kits, which offer recommendations on quitting, promote the Colorado QuitLine and the line's free support from trained counselors. Colorado QuitLine offers eight weeks of free nicotine patches, roughly a $200 value.

"They say if you couple counseling with the patch, it increases (your likelihood of success) seven-fold," Wright said. "It's 3 percent for those who try to quit on their own."

Those interested can stop by either VNA location to pick up a kit containing information about the Colorado QuitLine. The VNA is located at 745 Rus-sell Street in Craig and at 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101, in Steamboat Springs.

"For people who are trying to quit, it's a good first step," she said.

Also, in conjunction with The Memorial Hospital going smoke-free as of July 1, there will be a class held from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. each Wednesday leading up to July 1 at the Craig VNA.

The class is modeled after the American Cancer Society "You Can Quit" program and will be open to the public.

Wright prefers people who plan to attend class call her in advance at 871-7639.

In addition to helping people quit, Wright is urging youth not to start.

"It's better to have never even started," she said. "Smoking and chewing are very dangerous. I've seen people have life-long relationships with these products and it's really tragic."

The Colorado QuitLine can be reached at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669).

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