Minnesotans are smoking less and thinking about quitting more as a result of the Freedom to Breathe Act

In addition to protecting Minnesota workers and patrons from the dangers of secondhand smoke, the Freedom to Breathe Act is also encouraging smokers to cut down or consider quitting.

Since the smoke-free law went into effect on October 1, 2007, ClearWay Minnesota'sSM quit-smoking programs, QUITPLAN® Services, have seen a dramatic increase in demand for stop-smoking help. During the first week of October 2007, the online cessation program quitplan.com saw a 93% increase in registrants compared to the same week in 2006, and several QUITPLAN Centers saw increases in participants throughout the month of October.

Also in the first month of the law's implementation, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota reported that more of its members sought help to quit smoking. Quitline enrollments grew from 368 in September 2007 to 525 in October 2007 - nearly a 43% increase. Blue Cross also saw claims for over-the-counter quit-smoking medications nearly triple compared to the same period from the previous year - 10,024 claims in October 2007 compared to 3,354 claims in October 2006.

Furthermore, a statewide survey conducted in January 2008 also found that 19% of Minnesota smokers report smoking fewer cigarettes and 22% report they are seriously considering quitting as a direct result of the law.

More information on the survey is available here.

Help Quitting - QUITPLAN® Services

Sponsored by ClearWay Minnesota, QUITPLAN Services is one of the most comprehensive quit-smoking programs in the country. The programs provide options for tobacco users who prefer to get counseling and support over the phone, in person at a health center, or online. They help Minnesotans in the workplace and offer culturally specific options for members of diverse communities. QUITPLAN Services are available for free to Minnesotans who do not have insurance or whose health coverage does not include tobacco cessation treatment.

Studies have shown that using a professional program greatly increases a smoker's chance of successfully quitting, and independent evaluations have found the comprehensive QUITPLAN programs to be especially effective. The average success rate for cold turkey quit attempts is 5 percent8; Minnesota smokers who have received phone or in-person counseling through QUITPLAN Services have successfully quit at rates of 33 percent or better9, 10, 11.

For more on all the available QUITPLAN Services, visit quitplan.com or call
1-888-354-PLAN.

Citations

If you have one of the following health plans, call the number listed:

Help Quitting - Health plan programs

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota* and Blue Plus* 1-888-662-BLUE

CCStpa
1-888-662-QUIT

First Plan of Minnesota*
1-888-662-BLUE

Health Partners
1-800-311-1052

Medica
1-800-934-4824

MCHA members
1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE
(Minnesota Comprehensive Health Association)

Metropolitan Health Plan
1-800-292-2336

PreferredOne Community Health Plan
1-800-292-2336

UCare Minnesota
1-888-642-5566

For everyone else: QUITPLAN® Services
1-888-354-PLAN, www.quitplan.com