DHEC offers to help uninsured smokers quit

COLUMBIA, S.C. - State health officials are offering an option to help uninsured South Carolina smokers quit.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says that it is making free nicotine replacement therapy available to smokers who don't have health insurance through the agency's tobacco quit line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

All South Carolinians who call the quit line are guaranteed at least one free session with a trained quit coach and a referral to local resources. Free nicotine replacement therapy like gum, lozenges or patches is available for callers without health insurance.

DHEC estimates that 759,000 South Carolinians smoke cigarettes. For every dollar spent on DHEC's smoking cessation programs, officials say the state saves an estimated $5.44 in medical expenses, lost productivity and other costs.