Free prescription medicine option available for Wyoming smokers

By adding a free prescription medicine option, the Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is boosting the help available through the Wyoming Quit Tobacco Program (WQTP) for Wyoming smokers who are ready to quit.

A free three-month prescription to Chantix, a medication used to help people quit smoking, is now among the choices offered to Wyoming residents who enroll in the WQTP. Other options include free nicotine replacement gum, patches or lozenges.

The program has helped people cover Chantix costs for several years, but is now offering a free three-month prescription to people who enroll in the program by June 30. “The overall costs for this medication have increased and we don’t want that to be a barrier for those who choose this option,” said Joe D’Eufemia, Tobacco Prevention Program manager with WDH.

“It’s been shown time and again that people who want to quit smoking have a much higher chance for success if they have a plan that includes tools such as medication or nicotine replacement gum or patches, combined with coaching or similar support,” D’Eufemia said.

Interested residents may call 1-800-QUIT NOW or visit www.quitwyo.org online for more information or to enroll. In addition to free nicotine replacement therapy and Chantix, phone or online support is available at no cost to Wyoming residents.

D’Eufemia said nearly all smokers know they should quit and most want to do so. “In Wyoming, we want them to know we will help them with some great tools and support when they are ready,” he added.

“We’re reminding Wyoming smokers about the benefits of our program with our new ‘Quit Your Way’ multimedia campaign,” D’Eufemia said. The campaign was produced for WDH by Warehouse Twenty One, a Cheyenne-based advertising agency.

At the same time, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is continuing its hard-hitting “Tips from Former Smokers” campaign with a new round of advertisements. “The CDC ads share critical messages about smoking’s dangers, while our Wyoming-specific campaign is meant to promote our program’s generous benefits in a non-judgmental manner,” D’Eufemia said.

While the free Chantix prescriptions are currently available through June 30, if funding allows the program expects to continue offering the medication at no cost beyond that date.

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