Nebraska Tobacco Quitline Turns 20

News Release
For Immediate Release: 11/14/2023

Allan Urlis, Office of Communications, (402) 432-1532,

Gov. Pillen Proclaims This Week Tobacco Cessation Awareness Week
to Recognize the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline's 20th Anniversary and Positive Results

Lincoln, NE –People who smoke or chew in Nebraska are six to 10 times more likely to stay tobacco-free if they reach out for help using the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline.

The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline started as a free and confidential phone service two decades ago. Today, it includes web, texting-based coaching and free quit medication starter kits. Since its inception, the Quitline has received more than 100,000 calls seeking help to quit tobacco.

Gov. Pillen signed a proclamation recognizing Nov. 12-18 as Tobacco Cessation Awareness Week to focus attention and resources across the state to support tobacco users on their journey to becoming tobacco-free.

“This proclamation recognizes the 20th anniversary of the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline, a free and confidential resource that helps Nebraskans of all ages quit any type of tobacco, including cigarettes, e-cigarettes and smokeless tobacco products like chew," Gov. Pillen stated in the proclamation. “Over the past 20 years, the Quitline has answered nearly 110,000 phone calls from participants, loved ones, healthcare providers and people asking questions about tobacco and the Quitline."

“Two statistics about Quitline results really caught my attention," said Nebraska Chief Medical Officer Dr. Timothy Tesmer in his remarks at the signing ceremony. “Every $1 spent on the Quitline can produce anywhere from $6 to $10 of healthcare and productivity savings, and tobacco users who call the Quitline are six to 10 times more likely to stay free from tobacco seven months after quitting."

In 2003, 18.4% of Nebraska adults and nearly 22% of Nebraska youth smoked cigarettes. By 2022, the adult rate dropped to 13% and youth rate dropped to 2.7%. Today, nearly 7 out of 10 adults who smoke cigarettes report they want to quit.

“As an ear, nose and throat doctor for 40 years, I've seen first-hand the preventable harm smoking does to a person," said Dr. Tesmer. “Seeing the difference the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline has made and how it's helping tobacco users quit warms my heart."

The Nebraska Tobacco Quitline is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and offers free, confidential coaching sessions with a qualified quit coach and quit medication such as nicotine patches, gum, or lozenges at no cost to the participant. To get connected with the Quitline, participants can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (784-8669) or visit for additional resources and to learn more about free quit medication. Spanish-speaking participants can call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (3535-3569). Translation services are available in over 200 languages.

To see more evidence of the positive results of the Tobacco Free Nebraska program and Nebraska Tobacco Quitline, view the Nebraska Tobacco Quitline 20th Anniversary Fact Sheet.​

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