Dial In To Quit: 275 Million Indian Tobacco Users Now Have Access To A National Quit Line

On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, Nicorette®, the global leader in tobacco cessation products, announced the launch of a National Tobacco Cessation Quit Line-1800 227787.

New Delhi, Delhi, May 30, 2012 /India PRwire/ -- On the occasion of World No Tobacco Day, Nicorette®, the global leader in tobacco cessation products, announced the launch of a National Tobacco Cessation Quit Line-1800 227787. The national quit line is a dedicated toll-free number that can be reached daily from 9am-9pm from May 31 onwards. The quit line will provide free support and guidance to tobacco users to overcome their addiction and increase their chances of quitting successfully. This quit line is designed to help tobacco users by answering their queries, formulating a personalized quit plan depending on their tobacco consumption pattern (cigarettes, beedis and other forms of chewing tobacco) and supporting them through the entire 12 week journey of quitting tobacco through a combination of phone calls, SMSs, emails and hand deliveries.

Callers will receive tobacco cessation counseling in English, Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and Bengali. This free of charge service can be used by all tobacco users, friends and families of tobacco users and even healthcare practitioners seeking to provide tobacco cessation therapy for their patients. To support the telephone counseling, callers wanting on-ground support will be referred to a local Tobacco Intervention Initiative (TII) center of the Indian Dental Association (IDA). At each center, dentists trained in tobacco cessation will help tobacco users give up their addiction and improve their health. Currently there are 500 TII centers across India.

Studies show that proactive telephone counseling is an effective intervention for tobacco cessation and achieves 56% increase in quit rates as compared to self-help, since a large number of tobacco users want to quit but do not know how to do it effectively. WHO recommends quit lines as an essential part of any tobacco-control-effort since they are easily accessible, cost-effective and proven tools to increase the quit success rate.

Tushar Mudeshwar, Vice President Marketing, Consumer Division, Johnson & Johnson Ltd, India states, "We want to partner with quitters through their entire journey by providing them the entire infrastructure and support that is needed to quit. The quit line is the latest addition to Nicorette's tobacco cessation infrastructure that consists of an active Facebook page and a text-to-quit service. We are confident our tobacco cessation infrastructure will help tobacco users struggling to quit by guiding them on effective tobacco cessation techniques and providing encouragement through various touch points."

A team of qualified counselors, trained in tobacco cessation therapy will be available to provide information and guidance through the quit journey. These counselors will help identify barriers that prevent users from successfully overcoming the habit. As trained professionals, the counselors will also give additional advice on the need for tobacco cessation medication to help the quitters deal with their withdrawal symptoms better.

According to Gautam Suri, General Marketing Manager, Consumer Division, Johnson & Johnson Ltd, "The national quit line will help improve access for all patients to evidence based tobacco treatment. This quit line, being the first of its kind in the country, is especially significant because of the high incidence of smoking and tobacco related deaths in India. This facility will be easily accessible to the 275 million tobacco users in the country and will provide support to everyone in need of a tobacco cessation expert."

The Global Adult Tobacco Survey (2009-2010) shows that one third of all adults in India use tobacco in some form or the other and over 35% of them want to quit this habit. However, inaccessibility to treatment, lack of support and low levels of awareness has been the major hindrances in determining low success rates.

Notes to Editor

About Nicorette®:

Nicorette® is a stop-tobacco quit aid in the form of a sugar-free nicotine gum. It helps to reduce nicotine cravings that make quitting tobacco so hard. It allows tobacco users to take control of their nicotine craving and doubles their chances of quitting. Nicorette®, based on the principal of Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT), is nicotine bound to a sugarless chewing gum base. It provides therapeutic (clean) nicotine slowly and in lesser quantities than what a cigarette or chewing tobacco provides but also just enough to satisfy the cravings. Unlike chewing tobacco and cigarette smoke, it delivers nicotine which is devoid of any harmful chemicals like tar, irritants, carbon monoxide and nitrosamines, and hence is safer. It is the number one tobacco cessation brand worldwide and is available in over 80 countries globally.

About Nicorette®'s Tobacco Cessation Infrastructure:

Nicorette® launched India's first tobacco cessation Facebook application in August, 2011. Their Facebook page has close to 250,000 active members and can be accessed on http://www.facebook.com/NicoretteIndia. Their text-to-quit service is also India's first such offering. It can be used to receive a quit plan or answer any tobacco cessation related query by sending an SMS to 56677.

The national quit line is a dedicated toll-free telephone line that can be reached at 1800 227787. It will be operational daily from 9am-9pm. Counselors trained in tobacco cessation will answer queries in English, Hindi, Marathi, Bengali and several other regional languages.

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