Lowell Gets Ready to Quit Smoking With Free Patches

03/21/2008
By For more information, contact media@uml.edu or 978-934-3224

MEDIA ADVISORY

WHO:  The Massachusetts Department of Public Health, with the City of Lowell, UMass Lowell and the Lowell Community Health Center, local businesses, institutions and community groups.

WHAT: The launch of an exciting new health initiative called READY, SET, QUIT LOWELL.  READY, SET, QUIT LOWELL is a pilot program that will run from March 24 to May 23, 2008.  It will encourage Lowell residents, employees and students to quit smoking by offering them telephone support through 1-800-Try-To-STOP and a free two-week supply nicotine patches. READY, SET, QUIT is designed to motivate people who smoke to make a meaningful quit attempt and will be widely promoted through the City of Lowell, workplaces, hospitals, health centers, community groups, and voluntary agencies.

Speakers Include:

John Auerbach  - Commissioner, Massachusetts Department of Public Health

Bernard Lynch  - Lowell City Manager

Marty Meehan  - Chancellor, UMass Lowell

Tom Golden ߝ State Representative

Kevin Murphy ߝ State Representative

Dorcas Grigg-Saito ߝ CEO, Lowell Community Health Center

WHERE:      Lowell City Hall, Mayor’s Reception Room,  375 Merrimack St., Lowell,  

WHEN:  Monday, March 24, 2008, 10 a.m.

CONTACT:    Donna Rheaume, 617-624-5006 or Dave Newman, 617-263-3322

Cigarette smoking is still the leading cause of preventable disease and death in Massachusetts.  Lowell was chosen for this pilot program because of the high smoking rate among the residents of the city.  The smoking rate among residents of Lowell is much higher than the statewide rate, contributing to avoidable illnesses, including lung cancer, asthma and cardiovascular disease. 

READY, SET, QUIT aims to educate people who smoke about the use and effectiveness of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or the “Patch”.   Multiple strategies will be used to share the facts about NRT and dispel myths.  Included with each delivery will be simplified instructions for using the patch in both English and Spanish.  Tens of thousands of Palm Cards, Posters and Stickers have also been distributed throughout the area to local area partners.

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