NH DHHS - Division of Public Health Services Launches Statewide Mobile Campaign to Gear Up for Kick Butts Day 2011

Concord, NH — The New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services Division of Public Health Services (DPHS), Tobacco Prevention & Control Program (TPCP) is launching a media campaign to connect New Hampshire tobacco users with text message support that provides counseling and encouragement for quitting tobacco use.

DPHS currently offers free counseling and nicotine replacement patches (NRT) to residents who call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or self-refer via the web to the New Hampshire Tobacco Helpline (www.TryToStopNH.org). New Hampshire residents will now have additional support right at their fingertips with the first-ever statewide mobile campaign aimed at helping tobacco users quit for good. Beginning this March, participants who text “QUITNOW” to 22122, will receive a call back from a certified tobacco treatment specialist at the NH Tobacco Helpline, free cessation advice and counseling, and can request to qualify for free NRT.

March 23rd is National Kick Butts Day, organized by the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids – a day when thousands of youth in every state and around the world will stand out, speak up, and seize control against big tobacco. DPHS wants to be ready to help those residents who may be motivated to make a quit attempt on this day. Additionally, in June, participants will be able to sign up for a NH Quit Tips via text or online. Tips will be sent to the registrants’ mobile phone at the times when they have identified they have the strongest cravings for nicotine. The text messages will provide some of the “quit tips” that one would get from a counselor at the Helpline or at 1-800-GET-A-TIP (the Helpline’s daily recorded quit tips line).

“The NH Tobacco Helpline has proven to be an effective tool in helping New Hampshire residents quit tobacco use,” said Dr. José Montero, Director of Public Health at DPHS. “New technologies allow us to give people a chance to see the kind of sound advice the Helpline offers through a simple process – texting.”

Thousands of New Hampshire residents who have called the Helpline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) have been given support in navigating the rough waters of smoking cessation. Now the helpful tips of a Helpline counselor can remind texters that quitting smoking is possible and offer advice that is tailored according to the texter’s responses to a few questions.

Bus advertisements, mailers, and radio spots to promote New Hampshire Tobacco Helpline’s text campaign will begin appearing statewide. For more information about the New Hampshire Tobacco Helpline, please visit www.TryToStopNH.org or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-866). For more information about the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids or Kick Butts Day, visit www.kickbuttsday.org.

For more information about the New Hampshire Tobacco Prevention and Control Program visit www.dhhs.nh.gov/dphs/tobacco/index.htm