Quitline begins outreach LGBT community
CVS Health today announced a $25,000 grant to the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline, operated by the Mississippi Department of Health’s Office of Tobacco Control. The grant will expand smoking cessation services to reach high-risk populations, including Hispanic, LGBT and Native American communities, such as the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians.
“We are committed to supporting innovative services like the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline that help people lead tobacco-free lives,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy, CVS Health. “Our support will enable the Mississippi Department of Health to provide at-risk populations with greater access to smoking cessation programs, helping them on their path to better health.”
The grant was funded in part because Quitline research identified a specific need for more cessation outreach among the high-risk populations this program will target. Mississippi Tobacco Quitline staff will use grant dollars to travel to community events, including local health fairs, and conduct outreach to health care providers in these communities.
The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline is a telephone support service available to any Mississippian ready to quit tobacco and can be reached at 1-800-QUITNOW or 1-800-784-8669. Mississippians across the state have contacted the Tobacco Quitline to take advantage of professional help and learn to be tobacco-free. Information, referrals and support are confidential and support sessions are designed on a schedule that is convenient to the caller.
“Mississippi has the third highest smoking rate in the country which is why funding for the Quitline is critical to improving health outcomes in communities across the state, especially among higher-risk populations,” said Pamela Luckett, Director of the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline. “The support we are receiving from CVS Health will allow us to better reach high-risk populations to raise awareness about the free programs and resources available to help people quit tobacco.”
The Mississippi Tobacco Quitline averages 800 calls per month and has already enrolled over 3,600 individuals in treatment. A large portion of callers lack health insurance or the means to pay for proper services, but are never turned away. Additional information on the cessation programs offered by the Mississippi Tobacco Quitline can be found on their website and on Facebook and Twitter(@QuitlineMS).
The grant announced today is part of a multi-million dollar commitment from CVS Health to support smoking cessation and prevention programs in coordination with the company’s 2014 decision to stop selling cigarettes and other tobacco products at its more than 7,800 CVS/pharmacy locations. This made CVS/pharmacy the first national pharmacy chain to take this very important step in support of the health and well-being of its patients and customers. Through its smoking cessation program, which launched in September 2014, CVS/pharmacy pharmacists have counseled more than 67,000 patients filling a first prescription for a smoking cessation drug or nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) and consulted with thousands of smokers seeking advice about over-the-counter NRT products.