Quitlines and Other Cessation Support Resources

At a glance

There are cessation support resources for patients who want to quit using tobacco.

Cessation support resources

A broad range of cessation support resources are available for patients who want to quit using tobacco. Combined with ongoing clinical monitoring, support, and treatment, referring patients to a quitline or other cessation resource can improve their chances of quitting.


Quitlines are telephone-based resources available in every U.S. state, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam. Quitline services are confidential and free to callers. The following quitlines are available nationwide:

Text messaging support

Text messaging support through the National Texting Portal can help patients who need on-demand support. (Message and data rates may apply.) Patients can get support by:

  • Texting QUITNOW to 333888
  • Texting DÉJELOYA al 333888 (Español)

Web-based support

Web-based support can provide patients with quitting tips, information, and support resources. Examples include:

Smartphone apps

Smartphone apps may support patients in quitting smoking. The National Cancer Institute's quitSTART app offers tips, information, and games to keep app users engaged on their journey to quit.

Cessation support programs

Cessation support programs, including support groups or intensive counseling, may be available in your health system or local community. Locate a program in your community for more information.

Quitline FAQs

What is a quitline?

Quitlines are effective, evidence-based tobacco cessation interventions that help people quit through a variety of services. Quitlines offer counseling, practical information on how to quit, referral to other cessation resources, and self-help materials that can be mailed to callers.1

Quitline services are:

  • Free to callers.
  • Easy to access by calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW.
  • Confidential and provided by highly trained professional counselors.
  • Tailored to meet each caller's needs.
  • Available in several languages.

Quitlines may help with the following:

  • Overcoming some of the barriers to seeking treatment (such as transportation, childcare, or financial or geographical barriers).
  • Offering other services, such as web- and text-based interventions.
  • Increasing a person’s chances of successfully quitting.2

Quitlines also offer information and support for family, friends, and health care professionals who want to help people quit using tobacco.

Some state quitlines offer free cessation medications or provide callers with vouchers or discounts to get cessation medications at reduced cost. Most quitlines also offer counseling and materials designed for specific populations, such as pregnant women. For information on your state's quitline services, visit the NAQC Quitline Map. Click on your state to view its quitline profile page.

Are quitlines effective in helping people quit?

Yes. Quitlines are effective and evidence based. The 2008 Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline: Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence recommends quitlines as effective in helping people quit.2 The 2020 Surgeon General's Report on Smoking Cessation concluded proactive quitline counseling, either alone or in combination with cessation medications, increases smoking cessation.1 Quitlines are also cost effective.3

Numerous clinical trials and meta-analyses have helped establish the evidence base for tobacco cessation quitlines. A meta-analysis in the 2008 Public Health Service's Clinical Practice Guideline found quitlines increase six-month smoking cessation quit rates compared with no intervention. In this analysis, the six-month quit rate for quitline counseling alone was 12.7% and in combination with medication was 28.1%.

Are quitline services available in every state?

Yes. All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and Guam operate quitlines. Calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW or 1-855-DÉJELO-YA will automatically transfer a caller to their state quitline. Nationwide quitline services are also available in Korean (1-800-556-5564), Vietnamese (1-800-778-8440), and Mandarin or Cantonese (1-800-838-8917).

What if I have a patient who does not speak English?

For quitline services in Spanish, call 1-855-DÉJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569). This number routes callers to their state quitline where they can receive services in Spanish.

Nationwide quitline services are also available from the Asian Smokers' Quitline:

  • Korean (1-800-556-5564)
  • Vietnamese (1-800-778-8440)
  • Mandarin and Cantonese (1-800-838-8917)

To learn more about languages your state quitline supports, including services provided to those who are deaf and hard-of-hearing, visit the NAQC Quitline Map.

What happens when my patient calls 1-800-QUIT-NOW?

When a person calls the quitline, they will start with a brief, confidential interview that usually takes about 10 minutes. All caller information is strictly confidential and treated as protected health information. In the interview, they will be asked questions about the following:

  • Current tobacco use.
  • Previous quit attempts.
  • How they heard about the quitline.
  • Basic demographics (such as gender, age, race and ethnicity, education level).

The quitline does not ask for citizenship documentation.

The quitline will also provide information about available services, such as:

  • Self-help materials (sent directly to the caller).
  • Referral to local cessation services.
  • Web- or text-based cessation help.
  • Telephone-based cessation help.

If a caller is interested in receiving cessation counseling from the quitline, they will typically be transferred to a tobacco cessation counselor. Cessation counselors are highly trained professionals who are skilled in motivational interviewing and client-centered interventions. Counseling may include:

  • Creating a tailored quit plan.
  • Providing medication decision support or education on how to use cessation medications.
  • Discussing tips and tools for coping with withdrawal, triggers, and cravings.

If the quitline is experiencing heavy call volume, a cessation counselor may not be immediately available. In these cases, the quitline will schedule a call-back time with the caller.

Who is eligible for quitline services?

In most states, any state resident is eligible to receive quitline services. Many states do require that callers be interested in quitting tobacco in the next 30 days. Most states will provide services to adolescents, but the lower age limit varies by state.

Some states may have different or more detailed eligibility criteria. Some states may also prioritize certain services for callers meeting specific criteria (such as uninsured, Medicaid insured).

For specific details on your state's quitline eligibility criteria, visit the NAQC Quitline Map. Click on your state to view its quitline profile page.

What if my patient uses other kinds of tobacco products?

Quitlines can provide cessation assistance for a variety of tobacco products, including cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, hookah, e-cigarettes, and other tobacco products.

How do I refer a patient to the quitline?

There are two primary ways to refer patients to your state quitline:

  • Use your state's quitline referral system. Doing so prompts the quitline to call your patient directly. In most states, health care providers can send a referral by fax, e-mail, web-based form, or electronic health record. Many quitlines offer feedback to referring providers to track patient progress. To learn more about the referral program in your state, visit the NAQC Quitline Map.
  • Provide your patient with the 1-800-QUIT-NOW number and encourage them to call. Your patient will have to make the initial call to the quitline.

Regardless of the referral method, consider providing your patient a brief explanation of what will happen when they are connected to the quitline. For example, you might say the following: "I want you to know that help is available to help you quit smoking. Our state has a free phone-based quitline that offers help to people who want to quit. When you talk to the quitline, they will ask you a few questions about yourself and your tobacco use. Then you will have the chance to talk to someone who has been trained to help you develop a quit plan. Everything you say to the quitline is confidential."

You can also encourage your patient to visit cdc.gov/quitline to learn more.

How are state quitlines funded?

The majority of funding for state quitlines comes from your state's Master Settlement Agreement funds, general funds, and tobacco taxes. Some quitlines also have partnerships with health insurance plans or employers to offer qualifying callers expanded services. To learn more about how your state quitline is funded, visit Quitline Administration and Financing.

Video resources

Quitlines 101 for health care providers

In addition to receiving treatment and support, referring your patient to a quitline, like 1-800-QUIT-NOW, can improve their chances of quitting. Quitlines provide free and confidential coaching to help your patients become—and stay—smoke free. Calling a quitline might be just what they need to quit for good. Many thanks to the California Smokers' Helpline for their participation in creating this video.

Quitlines can help your patients quit smoking

Combined with health care provider support, calling a toll-free quitline can help patients quit smoking for good. Refer your patients who smoke to your state quitline through 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

Quitlines support patients who want to quit smoking

When your patients who smoke call a quitline, trained counselors will help them build a quit plan, discuss medications, and connect them to other free resources to help them quit. Refer your patients who smoke to your state quitline through 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

  1. U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services. Smoking Cessation. A Report of the Surgeon General. U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Office on Smoking and Health; 2020. https://www.hhs.gov/sites/default/files/2020-cessation-sgr-full-report.pdf
  2. Fiore MC, Jaen CR, Baker TB, et al. Treating Tobacco Use and Dependence: 2008 Update. Clinical Practice Guideline. U.S. Dept of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service; 2008. https://www.ahrq.gov/prevention/guidelines/tobacco/clinicians/update/index.html
  3. Community Preventive Services Task Force. Reducing Tobacco Use and Secondhand Smoke Exposure: Quitline Interventions. 2015. https://www.thecommunityguide.org/media/pdf/Tobacco-Quitlines.pdf