Do you want to quit tobacco but you’re concerned about weight gain? The Florida Department of Health’s Tobacco Free Florida program’s new expanded resources can help.
As of Sept. 25, participants who enroll in the Florida Quitline phone counseling may access the Weight Management Program, a pilot program designed to help tobacco users quit while limiting possible weight gain associated with quitting.
Those enrolled will receive up to three tobacco cessation calls in addition to up to three weight management coaching calls. Participants with type 2 diabetes will receive up to three calls with registered dietitians trained in the weight loss needs of individuals with type 2 diabetes.
The Weight Management Program is available to Florida Quitline participants, age 18 and older, who speak English, currently use tobacco, and have a body mass index (BMI) of 23 or higher. Participants cannot be pregnant, diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, or have had weight loss surgery in the past 12 months.
Tobacco Free Florida has also expanded its free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) offering. Any participant who smokes more than nine cigarettes per day or chews more than two tins per week is eligible for combination NRT, including a supply of both nicotine patches and gum, free of charge.
This offering comes after a change in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence guidelines. For individuals who use tobacco at these levels, the guidelines indicate this combination of medications “may result in greater suppression of tobacco withdrawal symptoms than does the use of a single medication.”
Florida residents who want to quit tobacco and qualify for the Weight Management Program and/or combination NRT can take advantage by calling 1-877-U-CAN-NOW. Both programs are free and give participants access to a trained Quit Coach who will provide support by:
Preparing participants for their quit date
Helping develop an individualized Quit Plan, including a plan for weight management if applicable
Offering advice and information on medications that may help with withdrawal symptoms