Did you know smoking increases risk of severe illness due to COVID-19? With lung health and immune systems top of mind, many people entered 2021 with a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking. But mid-February is when about four out of five resolutions fail, according to the Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign.

That’s why Tobacco Free Florida is reaching out now to let people who might experience a slip or relapse know they’re not alone. Floridians have access to free, proven-effective resources from the state, regardless of insurance. These include traditional elements like nicotine gum, patches and lozenges, as well as new tools such as free “Virtual Group Quit” sessions and more.

Nearly 70% of adults who smoke say they want to quit, according to Tobacco Free Florida. Many benefit from support. 

“Smokers can and do quit smoking. In fact, there are more former smokers in Florida than there are current smokers,” said Laura Corbin, bureau chief of Tobacco Free Florida, which is funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. “The past year has shown us how important it is to protect our overall health, and quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for yourself and for your loved ones. We encourage those who have had a slip-up to try again with free help from Tobacco Free Florida.”

Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way program offers free Phone Quit, Group Quit and Web Quit services, in addition to individual tools like text support, a Quit Guide and helpful emails. In February 2020, Tobacco Free Florida began offering its Group Quit tobacco cessation sessions online. These virtual sessions are led by a trained specialist that provides support and guidance to help you quit smoking. Group participants may receive free nicotine replacement therapy – nicotine patches, gum or lozenges – if tobacco users are 18 or older and medically appropriate.

Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of its free tools and services. 

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