GLOUCESTER — Mayor Sefatia Romeo Theken and Public Health Director Karin Carroll would like to provide Gloucester residents resources to help cut back on or quit smoking and vaping and to help families avoid health problems and secondhand smoke during extended periods of time spent at home.
“Taking steps to reduce or quit smoking and vaping are especially important at this time, as the COVID-19 virus affects the respiratory system,” said Mayor Romeo Theken. “Quitting can be challenging, but hopefully with the right support and tools, residents can take steps to make long-term improvement to their overall health.”
The following resources are available for those looking to quit smoking or vaping:
- Massachusetts Smokers’ Helpline at 1-800-QUIT NOW (1-800-784-8669) for free coaching and support 24 hours each day, seven days a week. Up to eight weeks of free nicotine replacement help from patches, gum or lozenges are available through the Helpline (with medical eligibility). These tools can be accessed online as well at KeepTryingMA.org.
- This is Quitting is a free and confidential texting program for young people who vape. Text “VapeFreeMass” to 88709.
- My Life, My Quit has youth coach specialists trained to help young people by phone or text. Young people can call or text “Start My Quit” to 855-891-9989 for free and confidential help, or sign up online at mylifemyquit.com.
- Youth can also visit teen.smokefree.gov and mass.gov/vaping for tips about quitting vaping and smoking.
- Information for parents and caregivers of a youth who smokes or vapes is available at GetOutraged.org.
- More information for all residents looking to quit using tobacco can be found by contacting Ashley Hall at the Northeast Tobacco-Free Community Partnership at (978) 722-2864 or [email protected].
Residents who may continue to smoke or vape outside, or exercise outdoors to help combat cravings, are encouraged to be mindful of others in order to prevent exposure to secondhand smoke and practice social distancing — remaining at least six feet away from others. Social distancing will help to minimize exposure among people, especially given that COVID-19 is highly contagious and people may be contagious prior to exhibiting symptoms.
Mass 2-1-1 is available to provide general COVID-19 information to residents 24/7. For information, click here or dial 2-1-1.