Battling the Tobacco Epidemic in North Dakota: Quit Week Encourages Residents to Kick the Habit

Grand Forks Public Health urges residents to take advantage of local and state resources to quit nicotine addiction – Grand Forks Herald

North Dakota is once again gearing up for its fifth annual Quit Week, an initiative aimed at helping people quit commercial tobacco and nicotine use. The program, organized by Tobacco Free North Dakota, North Dakota Health and Human Services, and local public health units across the state, encourages residents to set a quit date for their tobacco or nicotine use and create a quit plan with their health care providers and pharmacists.

One of the primary resources promoted during Quit Week is NDQuits, a free program available by phone and online with Mayo Clinic-trained counselors in North Dakota. The program serves over 3,000 people annually, offering personal coaching and FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy medications such as patches, gum, or lozenges. Participants may also qualify for free nicotine patches or gum.

Kailee Dvorak, a Grand Forks Public Health nurse in the Tobacco Prevention Program, emphasizes the importance of quitting commercial tobacco for improving health. She believes that connecting people to resources to kick the nicotine habit is beneficial for the state. According to the most recent North Dakota Health and Human Services data from 2021, 15% of the state’s adult population were cigarette smokers, 6.1% used smokeless tobacco, and 3.9% used electronic nicotine devices. Additionally, 5.9% of high school students smoked cigarettes in 2021.

Sav Kelly joined the Grand Forks Herald in August 2022 covering public safety topics such as regional crime and the court system. Kelly can be reached at (701) 780-1102 or skelly@gfherald.com.

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