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Start the year off right by quitting tobacco

MEDFORD, Ore. —  On January 1, the state of Oregon made it harder to start using tobacco by raising the minimum age to legally buy tobacco or vape products to 21.

Couple that with New Year’s resolutions to live healthier, and the price—more than $2,000 a year for pack-a-day smokers—and there are a lot of incentives to quit tobacco right now.

Of course, the top of that list is improved long-term health.

“We endorse smoking cessation due to the long-term health and financial benefits. More Americans die from using nicotine products than all other drugs of abuse combined,” says Phillip Bettin of Addictions Recovery Center in Medford, part of the Jackson Care Connect provider network.

It can be a difficult habit to break. Health care providers encourage people to keep trying to quit, even if past attempts have been unsuccessful, and to reach out to those who can help with encouragement, medications and proven methods to get off and stay off for good.

There are a lot of resources for help. Many health plans, including Jackson Care Connect, make it a priority to help people quit tobacco.

In addition, all Oregonians can get the services of the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line. It’s free and can be reached from anywhere in the state by phone or online.

If you decide to make a break from tobacco, here are some first steps:

  1. Make an appointment with your primary care provider (PCP).
  2. Contact the Oregon Tobacco Quit Line, and someone will answer 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You can reach them by calling 800-QUIT-NOW (800-784-8669) or visiting For Spanish language, call 855-DEJELO-YA (1-855-335-3569) or visit
  3. Check your health plan for additional tobacco cessation support you may be able to get.

Jackson Care Connect contracts with Quit For Life®, a proven stop-smoking program of the American Cancer Society. Members can call toll-free 866-QUIT-4-LIFE (866-784-8454), or visit

“We want you to live,” says Bettin. “Quit today.”

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