Due in part to budget issues and other factors, people looking to stop using tobacco will find dramatically-reduced state resources at the end of this month.

The Washington State Department of Health announced Thursday a number of previously free services and assistance programs will stop Aug. 1. They include:

  • Full, free quit support via the toll-free hotline
  • Free supplies of nicotine gum and or patches
  • Expanded counseling and referral services.
  • Closing of the toll-free Quitline

Some limited resources will still remain, but they will only be available online.  Additional limited funding from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) will allow the Quit Hotline to remain in operation through July 31, but it will then cease operations.

The WSDOH says some health care plans offer cessation services for tobacco. It is ironic to note that while the highly successful Washington State Quitline is going away, starting in 2014, Obamacare requires all new insurance plans offered in our state have to include programs to help quit tobacco.

Since 2000, the Washington state line has helped over 147,000 people stop smoking.

Until Aug. 1 the quitline will remain in operation at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.