LB Health Dept. Helps Residents Kick The Habit With Free Nicotine Replacement Therapy

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Photo by Justin Shearer

The City of Long Beach Department of Health and Human Services (Health Department) is informing residents who want to stop smoking that they now have another resource to help them quit. All Los Angeles County residents are now eligible to receive a free 1-month supply of nicotine patches by calling 1-800-NO-BUTTS.

The free nicotine patches are being distributed through the California Smoker’s Helpline (1-800-NO-BUTTS), which offers multi-lingual services including Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, and Korean. The Helpline is a free telephone counseling resource to help smokers develop a quit plan and assist them through the quit process. Applicants for the free nicotine patches must be over the age of 18 and have a Los Angeles County mailing address.

This effort is part of a comprehensive tobacco control approach, lead by local health departments such as the Long Beach Health Department, which has resulted in a dramatic decrease in the number of adult smokers in California. Currently, 11.9% of adults in California smoke; this makes California one of only two states nationwide to reach the federal Healthy People 2020 target of reducing the adult smoking prevalence rate to 12 percent.

“The nicotine patch program is a great opportunity for Long Beach residents who want to kick the smoking habit and enjoy the benefits of a healthier lifestyle,” said Ronald R. Arias, Health Department Director.

In Long Beach, additional quit-smoking referrals can be obtained through the Health Department’s Tobacco Education Program. To obtain a free copy of the Long Beach “Stop Smoking Self-Help Referral Guide” and Cessation Packet, contact the Tobacco Education Program at 562.570.7950.

Benefits of Quitting Smoking (from the American Cancer Society)

  • 20 minutes after quitting: Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.
  • 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.
  • 1 to 9 months after quitting: Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.
  • 1 year after quitting: The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.

For more information regarding the Health Department Tobacco Education Program, please contact Eipryl Tello, Interim Tobacco Education Program Coordinator, at 562.570.7950 or visit, click on “Health Promotion and then click on “Tobacco Education Program.”

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