Livingston County smokers are being encouraged to put quitting on their to-do list this summer.

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline provides free telephone and online coaching and text messaging for those looking to quit smoking that might need some help. This summer, people wanting to quit smoking or tobacco can receive up to eight weeks of free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges by calling the Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669). Enrollment is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Michigan Department of Health and Human Services Spokesman Bob Wheaton tells WHMI if someone is out there thinking about quitting but wondering how, the Quitline can help them through the process, which is important for the health of people in Michigan.

Wheaton says they want to provide that additional support and things that could be helpful to people as they go through their journey of quitting tobacco - in addition to the support they receive from the online or telephone coaching. He says smoking continues to be a problem and is still the leading cause of preventable death and disease in the United States. Wheaton says they want to do whatever they can to help people who want to quit but are still struggling and help them through the process. Wheaton says more than 140,000 Michigan residents have successfully used the Quitline or the online coaching program to help them in their journey towards a tobacco-free life.

The free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges are available through September 30th. The offer is part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Tips From Former Smokers® campaign featuring real people who are living with the effects of smoking-related diseases and secondhand smoke exposure. (JM)