IDPH Rolls Out Online Quit-Smoking Tool
Web Coach offers interactive personalized tools
The Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) will launch a web-based tool November 1 designed to help Iowans who have chosen to quit smoking. “Web Coach” is an interactive online program that provides each participant with a personalized experience. The Web Coach focuses on four essential practices to enable smokers to quit for life:
• Quit at your own pace
• Conquer your urges to smoke
• Use medications so they really work
• Don’t just quit; become a non-smoker
Each of these practice areas will include articles, videos, e-lessons and interactive worksheets to help participants successfully quit tobacco. Progress toward that goal includes a spending calculator, to help a participant compare the cost of tobacco vs. the cost of medication; a tobacco usage tracker, which allows a participant to track when and where they smoke to identify patterns and triggers; and discussion forums and online groups for more personalized social support. After quitting, participants can track how long they’ve been tobacco-free and see how much money they’ve saved and time that has been added back to their daily life since quitting tobacco.
“We’re excited to be able to offer this new tool to Iowans who’ve made the decision to quit using tobacco,” said IDPH Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Division Director Meghan O’Brien. “The data tells us the majority of smokers know they should quit and want to. Our objective is to offer tobacco users every possible tool they need to achieve their goals.” In 2011, approximately 2,800 Iowa deaths were directly attributable to tobacco use. Another 1,600 deaths were identified as likely being due to tobacco use. Estimated annual health care costs in Iowa directly related to tobacco use now total $1 billion.
For more information about Web Coach, visit www.quitlineiowa.org.