The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program announced today its “Virtual Group Quit” classes – initially launched as a temporary solution to provide cessation support via Zoom video calls – will become a permanent addition to the department’s expanding suite of free quit support services.
Tobacco Free Florida provides quit services that are available – for free – to all Floridians, including Group Quit sessions. Each session is led by a trained cessation counselor, and groups are available in all 67 counties across the state. Beginning in February, as in-person events were heavily restricted, Tobacco Free Florida and its Area Health Education Centers (AHECs) pivoted quickly to offer the supporting sessions via Zoom. With more than 1,200 virtual Group Quit courses successfully held and nearly 5,000 Floridians taking advantage of the service, even as in-person events return, Tobacco Free Florida is choosing to continue to offer the online option as a convenient alternative.
Upon completion of the Tobacco Free Florida Group Quit session, participants are eligible to receive free nicotine replacement therapies such as gum, patches or lozenges with an equivalent value of approximately $400.
“Every year, people tell us across the state that the support of a Group Quit session is just what it takes for them to quit tobacco,” said Laura Corbin, Bureau Chief of Tobacco Free Florida. “We are committed to continuing to offer this benefit, while adapting to all the changes this year demands. In today’s world of all things virtual, we are thrilled to offer the same proven-effective service online and provide more opportunities for Floridians to quit for good.”
Tobacco cessation services are provided to all Floridians completely free and regardless of insurance status. In addition to online and in-person Group Quit, Tobacco Free Florida offers Quit Your Way tools and services including Phone Quit, Web Quit, Text2Quit and Email Tips. The services are audited for effectiveness and can be used individually or in combination.
Floridians can learn more about Group Quit by visiting www.tobaccofreeflorida.com/quityourway or by calling 1-877-848-6696. They can also sign up for classes directly through the Tobacco Free Florida website. The other services are also available by calling 1-877-U-CAN-NOW (877- 822-6669) at any time.
About Tobacco Free Florida
The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida campaign is a statewide cessation and prevention campaign funded by Florida’s tobacco settlement fund. Since the program began in 2007, more than 254,000 Floridians have successfully quit using one of Tobacco Free Florida’s free tools and services. There are now approximately 451,000 fewer adult smokers in Florida than there was 10 years ago, and the state has saved $17.7 billion in health care costs. To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way services, visit www.tobaccofreeflorida.com or follow the campaign on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TobaccoFreeFlorida or on Twitter at www.twitter.com/tobaccofreefla.