State Offers Free Nicotine Patches To State Workers, Teachers

The hundreds of thousands of state workers and teachers can now get more help quitting smoking.

The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services says it will give state health plan members eight weeks of free nicotine replacement therapy patches. “This combination of telephone coaching and medication can more than triple a tobacco user’s chance of quitting successfully, compared to trying to quit on his or her own," said State Health Director Dr. Jeff Engel in a press release.

The State Health Plan provides health care coverage for more than 661,000 state employees, teachers, state university and community college personnel, retirees and their dependents.

The free patches and quitline are rolling out just months before the incentives in the state employee health plan begin for non-smokers, people trying to quit and people who are in shape. Rates will change in July.

People can get the patches and coaching by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW
(1-800-784-8669). Officials say any North Carolina resident can get help from coaches on the Quitline. More details are available at

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  • by Feed Up w Winners Location: Greenvile on Mar 5, 2010 at 09:47 PM
    I am a somker by choice, just like you choose to drink coffe, have a beer or what ever your addiction is everybodies has one. I work my 8 hour day and take 2 cig breaks a day. I do my job and do it well I am not lazy. I also feel that this money should be spent in areas that are in need, if the money is really there. Stop focusing so much on the smokers in the world because our addiction is just that ours.
  • by Bartender Location: Greenville on Mar 3, 2010 at 10:01 AM
    Because the county/state doesn't have the resources to effectively and universally enforce the new smoking ban, most bars are refusing to comply and continue to allow smoking. I work at one of the few bars at which the health department has actually enforced the smoking ban. Our business (and my tips) have been drastically reduced because all the smokers are going to the bars that still allow smoking. So, I'd like to invite all non-smoking, patch-wearing state employees to come out to PLAYER'S CHOICE BAR and enjoy a game of pool, karaoke, and a cold beverage (leaded or unleaded). For those who don't choose to sport the patch, you can come too... but bring your patches (maybe we can distribute them around the bar to the smokers that don't wanna stand in the cold to smoke)!
  • by state employed smoker Location: Pitt Co. on Mar 3, 2010 at 06:06 AM
    Gripe all ya want... I'm gettin' my FREE patches!
  • by sd Location: wv on Mar 3, 2010 at 06:01 AM
    Funny how none of you non-smokers complained when state employees had to give back .5% of their salaries...AND the county and city employees, who receive a good portion of their salaries from the state, gave back NADA.
  • by donttreadonme on Mar 3, 2010 at 04:22 AM
    the leftist will always cling to the belief that the more the state spends things will be better. the more money the state spends the more it will save. the more the state spends how our lives will be improved. the more the state spends it can protect us from ourselves. i tell you what: that lunacy has never worked in the past; it is not working now; and it is not going to work in the future! why not let me people make their own decisions on how to spend THEIR OWN MONEY! if you want to spend YOUR MONEY on cigarettes have it baby!
  • by freecountry Location: usa on Mar 3, 2010 at 03:37 AM
    I am a smoker and I am sick to death of people complaining about smoking. There are plenty of obese people, drug addicts, prisoners, alcoholics and the list goes on, that have and will continue sucking the life out our taxes, insurance and free heathcare. Quit your crying and have a smoke!
  • by Diane Location: nc on Mar 2, 2010 at 11:10 PM
    I am a state employee and I have always resented the people who took a 10-20 minute smoke break every hour and then still got their full hour lunch. That means I get 60 minutes a day (which required that I work a 9 hour day to get), and smokers got 140-200 minutes a day while I picked up their workload because they weren't in the office. I think smokers who take smoke breaks should have to trade that for their lunch time and have to limit their smoke breaks to a total of 60 minutes a day. I also disagree with my tax dollars going to pay for them to quit smoking at my expense. They can afford to buy patches themselves in exchange for the money they will save on cigarettes and if they don't choose to quit then they should have to pay more for their health insurance. I had to pay much more for health insurance for my kids so let them pay more for additional medical expenses. I have always felt that smokers and drinkers should not be eligible for health insurance at regular rates.
  • by To Kat Location: gboro on Mar 2, 2010 at 05:15 PM
    I work with Bill- your advice is "walk out and take a break when they ( smokers) do, get up and chat when they do" Well we are the only 2 nonsmokers of 8 staff on our hospital ward. If we leave to go smoke or chat when the others do then noone will be caring for the 22 patients currently in hospital beds and in need of care here. That is our point, smokers go goof off while others work. Our coworkers have to go down an elevator across a parking lot and off of campus to smoke, the round trip is about 20 minutes so in a typical 12- 14 hour ( sometimes 16-18) shift they are getting paid by tax payers for a couple of hours that they are ignoring patients and smoking, while Bill and I cover their patients. You must be a lazy stinky smoker who gets paid to smoke also to say that.
  • by Mike Location: Hubert on Mar 2, 2010 at 04:47 PM
    Any money our state gives to someone it has to take from someone else. STOP WASTEFUL SPENDING !! I guess the politicians still don't get it! Let's vote them all out and start again!
  • by smokers stink on Mar 2, 2010 at 02:58 PM
    The State can afford to give "junkies" gifts, but they can't afford to give the clean workers raises.

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