The Department of Public Health and Social Services, Tobacco Prevention and Control Program, announces the launch of the Tobacco Free Guam Quitline Website and WebCoach services, beginning June 27, 2012. The website can be found at https://www.quitnow.net/guam/ and is an extension of the Tobacco Free Guam Quitline telephone cessation service, 1-800-QUIT-NOW. Both the telephone and website quitline services are open to all Guam youth (11 -17 years old) and adults who would like help to quit using tobacco.
Tobacco remains a major cause of premature death and disability on Guam, and the island’s smoking rate for both high school youth and adults continue to be higher than the national average of 17.3% (2010 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System [BRFSS] Survey). According to the Guam Department of Education, 2011 Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), approximately 22% of high school youth on island were smokers and about 26% of our adults continue to smoke (2010 BRFSS). The rate of smoking for our middle school students has increased from 11% in 2007 to just under 14% in 2011 (2011 YRBS).
The addictive effect of nicotine makes quitting difficult. Medical experts strongly urge all smokers to quit using tobacco, to protect their health and the health of their families. The 2010 BRFSS shows that 69.3% of adults were trying to quit, and surprisingly almost an equal amount, 68.7% of youth tried as well. Because of this, the Department of Public Health and Social Services with funding from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, have committed resources to enhance the Guam telephone quitline and offer an alternative for those who would prefer using the internet or having both methods available 24 hours a day/ 7 days a week. Registration for services can be done by phone or directly on the website.
Trained counselors from Alere Wellbeing, Inc. will be available to assist Guam’s tobacco users through the quit experience. The Tobacco Free Guam Quitline is available for questions and registration, 24 hours a day / 7 days a week.
For additional information on the Tobacco Free Guam Quitline, contact Elizabeth Guerrero at 735-7303 or like us on Facebook at Live Healthy Guam!