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Grand Forks Public Health encourages residents to utilize local, state resources for quitting nicotine

Grand Forks Herald - 6/9/2024

Jun. 9—GRAND FORKS — Quit Week, an annual initiative encouraging people to seek help with ending their tobacco and nicotine use, has returned to North Dakota for its fifth year.

"One of the most important actions people can take to improve their health is quitting commercial tobacco," said Kailee Dvorak, a Grand Forks Public Health nurse in the Tobacco Prevention Program. "I think the more people we can get connected to those resources and kick the nicotine habit, the better off we are as a state."

In 2021, 15% of the state's adult population were recorded as cigarette smokers and 6.1% as smokeless tobacco users, according to the most recent North Dakota Health and Human Services data. In 2020, 3.9% of the adult population was recorded as using electronic nicotine devices. In 2019, 4.3% were reportedly using cigars.

Also in 2021, 5.9% of the state's high school students reportedly smoked cigarettes, 21.2% used electronic nicotine devices, 4.3% used smokeless tobacco and 2.8% smoked cigars.

This year's Quit Week is June 9-15. The initiative is organized by Tobacco Free North Dakota, North Dakota Health and Human Services and local public health units across the state, according to a GFPH press release.

Residents are encouraged to set a quit date for their use of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco or electronic nicotine devices, the release said. They can design a quit plan with their health care providers and pharmacists.

Another option is

NDQuits,

a free program available by phone and online, with Mayo Clinic-trained counselors based in North Dakota, Dvorak said.

NDQuits serves more than 3,000 people per year, offering both personal coaching and nicotine replacement therapy medication. Participants may be eligible for free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges.

"That's the primary resource that we are promoting over Quit Week," she said. "We do that because we know that combining counseling with FDA-approved tobacco treatment medications can more than double the chances of a successful quit for some nicotine addictions."

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