The West Virginia Tobacco Quitline is helping people quit smoking cigarettes for good.

The West Virginia Tobacco Quitline 2009 Annual Report (January 2009 -- June 2010) shows an average program quit rate of 33.4 percent. The national average of success for people quitting on their own is about 6 percent. Individuals addicted to nicotine usually attempt to quit multiple times before they stay quit.

"For every $1 invested in the program, the state saved an average of just over $10," said Dr. Michael J. Lewis, cabinet secretary, Department of Health and Human Resources. "Simply put, by helping people quit, we are saving West Virginia millions of dollars in future health care costs."

The West Virginia Tobacco Quitline began operation in 2000. It offers phone coaching and nicotine replacement therapy, such as patches, at little or no cost to both smokers and other cigarettes product users. There are also specialized programs for several at-risk populations like the uninsured, pregnant smokers and their families, spit tobacco users, active and reserve military personnel and all youth 18 to 24 years of age.

Kathy Danberry, program manager for the West Virginia DHHR's tobacco cessation program said, "The current utilization of services offered by the tobacco quitline has significantly increased in the past year."

Health care providers are the top referrers of quitline enrollees, followed by family members influencing loved ones to quit.

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