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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