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New QUITPLAN® Services Help More Than 5,400 Minnesotans in Three Months

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SOURCE ClearWay Minnesota

Use of free quit-smoking service jumps after launch of new tools and easier access

MINNEAPOLIS, June 4, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- On March 3, 2014, ClearWay MinnesotaSM launched a new suite of QUITPLAN Services, the free cessation program available to any Minnesotan who wants to quit tobacco. In the three months following the launch (March through May) more than 5,400 Minnesotans have received tools and support to help them quit smoking. This number nearly matches the total number of tobacco users who enrolled in QUITPLAN Services during all of 2013.

"QUITPLAN Services was easy to access and gave me everything I needed to quit smoking," said Noel Alvarez of Minneapolis, who quit smoking in early May with the help of QUITPLAN Services. "Speaking with a Quit Coach over the phone was very helpful and gave me the support I wanted. Plus, they provided me with free nicotine patches and explained the proper way to use them."

The new QUITPLAN Services now include free access to text messages, email support, a downloadable quit guide and free "starter kits," which provide a two-week supply of nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to help tobacco users quit. Tobacco users can now also speak to a quit coach through the QUITPLAN Helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for support and help quitting.

"QUITPLAN Services provides one of the most comprehensive programs for tobacco users to quit, and we're very happy to see so many taking advantage of the new tools we now provide," said Andrea Mowery, Vice President of ClearWay Minnesota, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing tobacco's harm in Minnesota. "ClearWay Minnesota conducted extensive research with tobacco users throughout the state to find out exactly the type of support they want. The new services provide help to Minnesotans in any stage of quitting, whether they are just thinking about quitting, in the process of quitting, or already quit and seeking support."

In Minnesota, approximately 625,000 adults and 77,000 kids are current smokers. Smoking is the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the state and costs Minnesota nearly $3 billion in excess medical costs every year. According to research by ClearWay Minnesota and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cessation treatment programs are an integral part of a comprehensive effort to reduce smoking rates that also includes smoke-free laws, tobacco price increases, mass media campaigns and strong youth access laws.

QUITPLAN Services was originally launched by ClearWay Minnesota in 2001 and has provided help to more than 100,000 Minnesotans trying to quit tobacco. Today, QUITPLAN Services provides access to tools in both English and Spanish online at quitplan.com or by calling QUITPLAN Services at 1-888-354-PLAN. Interpretive services are available for other languages by calling QUITPLAN Services.

About ClearWay MinnesotaSM
ClearWay Minnesota is an independent nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco. ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN® stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state's 1998 tobacco settlement. For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit clearwaymn.org.

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