Seattle — Feb. 15
Last year marked the tipping point in the fight against tobacco addiction, according to Free & Clear, a national leader in coaching-based tobacco dependence treatment.
The United States now has more former smokers than current smokers.
Further, more than half of Americans now live in a city or state that is smoke-free.
In 2006, seven states and 116 cities, including Washington, D.C., enacted local smoke-free laws, bringing the total up to 22 states and 577 municipalities.
Still, the struggle to quit remains a formidable challenge.
Recent studies demonstrated nicotine levels in cigarettes actually increased over the past 10 years. Further, recently published surveys indicate the decline in smoking prevalence in the United States leveled out in 2004 at 21 percent.
While the vast majority of smokers want to quit, more than 45 million adults still use tobacco in the United States despite significant adverse consequences to themselves and their family members, friends and employers.
Employers and health plans have begun joining state agencies in assisting tobacco users to quit.
As a national leader in evidence-based tobacco treatment, Free & Clear has responded to this demand.
In 2006, Free & Clear signed contracts with more than 40 large employers, health plans and government organizations, and it is now the official tobacco-cessation program for 16 states and more than 100 employers and health plans.
“More than 10 percent of the Fortune 100 has partnered with Free & Clear to lower health care costs and increase employee productivity by helping their people quit using tobacco,” said Tim Kilgallon, chief executive officer and president. “In 2006, we registered over 115,000 people into Free & Clear tobacco-cessation programs and completed nearly 700,000 intervention calls.”
Free & Clear continues to aggressively invest in its scalability and product lines.
Last year, the company released several best-in-class products to support participant needs, including Web Coach, a personalized Web application that is fully integrated into Free & Clear’s Quit For Life Program, and Vital Signs, a new Web-based reporting suite for clients.
Free & Clear also continued to hire and specially train uniquely qualified and multilingual “Quit Coaches” to support client growth.