Health

Phone counseling program helps smokers beat their addiction

One in five not smoking after one year

ST. PAUL (JUNE 3, 2003) — Nearly one in five participants in the Blueprint for Health® telephone-based stop smoking program quit smoking and was not smoking a full year later,… One in five not smoking after one year

ST. PAUL (JUNE 3, 2003) — Nearly one in five participants in the Blueprint for Health® telephone-based stop smoking program quit smoking and was not smoking a full year later, according to survey results Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota (Blue Cross) released today. The program's overall 18 percent quit rate was far greater than the national success rate of 2.5 percent. The results were based on actual survey responses from 1496 participants one year after their first counseling session with the program.

The Blueprint for Health stop-smoking program works with smokers at many different stages of readiness to quit. The survey found that the greater the readiness to quit when starting the program, the more likely participants were to have been successful.

· In the process of quitting 42.9%

· Intending to quit within a month from enrollment 22.8%

· Intending to quit one to six months from enrollment 13.6%

· Not intending to quit within the next six months 5.9%

Forty percent of the successful participants indicated that they were not ready to quit when they started the program.

"These results are very, very encouraging. They show that, with help, people can successfully break their addiction and live a smoke-free life, even if they aren't ready to quit smoking the day the enter the program," said Marc Manley, M.D., executive director of the Center for Tobacco Reduction and Health Improvement at Blue Cross. "In real terms, thousands of Minnesotans will now live longer, healthier lives — that's our goal."

The survey also found that additional help increased the likelihood of a successful quit.

·The more counseling sessions participants completed, the greater their success. Nearly one third (30.8%) of participants who finished the entire six-month program reported not smoking one year later.

·Adding quit support medications, such as the nicotine patch, made success twice (1.8 times) as likely.

The Blueprint for Health stop-smoking program is open to Blue Cross members across Minnesota. To date, approximately 17,000 members have enrolled in and/or completed the program.

For more information please contact: Monika Strom: (651) 662-6889 or Karl Oestreich: (651) 662-1502

June 16, 2003
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