Pennsylvania Announces Additional Support To Treat Tobacco Addiction

Today, the Department of Health announced additional resources to encourage recovering Pennsylvanians to seek treatment for tobacco use as part of their drug and alcohol recovery program.

The Pennsylvania Statewide Tobacco-Free Recovery Initiative (STFRI) is a five-year CDC-funded project to advance evidence-based tobacco interventions in the behavioral health setting. The Initiative offers statewide consultation, training, and technical assistance to treatment providers and community partners to develop tobacco-free policies and integrate a tobacco-free recovery system of care into existing behavioral health services. The education through STFRI includes a hope-inducing message that, through evidence-based treatment interventions, tobacco recovery is safe and achievable. Research suggests that, in addition to the physical health benefits of reducing or eliminating tobacco use, treatment for tobacco use may also increase long-term abstinence from substances, including opioids.  

“People with mental and substance use disorders can experience additional benefits by successfully recovering from their tobacco use at the same time,” said Acting Secretary of Health and Physician General Dr. Denise Johnson. “Learning tobacco-free coping skills not only improves physical health but also improves behavioral health outcomes.”

Each day twelve Pennsylvanians lose their lives to substance use. To help cope with this, the department of health has launched a new media campaign promoting tobacco-free recovery, encouraging people living with mental illness and substance use disorders to seek treatment for tobacco use.  

The PA Free Quitline is a statewide program that helps nearly 32 percent of its participants to quit tobacco use each year. Services are available to Pennsylvanians 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Recently, services have been added to assist callers with behavioral health needs, one of the largest demographics of smokers, to be even more likely to succeed in their quest to quit. Some of the services offered by the PA Free Quitline include up to five coaching sessions by phone, unlimited calls to the PA Free Quitline as needed, educational materials on quitting tobacco use, free Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) for qualified callers (up to eight weeks of patches), and more.

“We’re excited about the latest enhancements to the PA Free Quitline and the Pennsylvania Statewide Tobacco-Free Recovery Initiative overall because we know that they provide support for longer, healthier lives for Pennsylvanians,” said Dr. Johnson. “These programs aim to provide the best possible care and resources for those who need help quitting tobacco, especially those who also are struggling with mental or substance use disorders at the same time.”  

Pennsylvanians seeking assistance with tobacco use can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or visit