Free support offered to quit tobacco

05/12/2016  

By Sue Cody

 

Care MessageIf you are ready to quit using tobacco or nicotine products, there is a new text message program that provides support.

 

Through The Way to Wellville and its partner organizations, CareMessage is offered free to residents of Clatsop, Tillamook and Columbia counties. The Way to Wellville’s Health Care Access Team supports the use of the text messaging to assist those ready to quit tobacco and vaping products.

 

“Smoking and tobacco use in the three counties served by our Coordinated Care Organization is among the highest in the state,” says Safina Koreishi, MD, medical director for Columbia Pacific CCO.

 

“Quitting tobacco is the No. 1 thing you can do to improve your health,” says Steven Blakesley, Clatsop County Health Promotion Specialist.

 

The 26-week program is based on best practices from the American Lung Association.

 

“Quitting tobacco is very difficult,” says Blakesley. “I highly recommend trying the texting program in conjunction with other cessation aids from the CCO, your health care provider or the Oregon Quit Line.”

 

The program is free and participants can sign up or stop it at any time.

 

Participants receive three to five texts a week that will walk them through the quit process. The only registration required is age, sex and zip code.

 

The texts help identify triggers and the best way to get through cravings.

 

The service is free, but standard text messaging rates apply. People can enroll in the program by texting QUIT to 503-831-9124 and following the prompts.

 

Oregon Health Plan members of Columbia Pacific CCO also qualify for a variety of other free services to help them stop using tobacco, including counseling, supports and prescription medications. Members may qualify for a free cell phone with text messaging capability through the federal SafeLink program. Details on how to apply for a SafeLink phone can be found on the Columbia Pacific CCO website at www.colpachealth.org.