Free & Clear® Increases Number of Washington State Tobacco Users Helped

SEATTLE--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Free & Clear, Inc., the national leader in evidence-based tobacco cessation programs delivered via the phone and internet, enrolled four percent of Washington smokers in their Quit For Life Program® during the states fiscal year July 1, 2007, through June 30, 2008, up from 2 percent in fiscal year 2007. In addition to the Washington State Tobacco Quit Line, Free & Clear provides tobacco cessation services to 33 health plans and employers based in Washington State including Boeing, Microsoft, Weyerhaeuser, PACCAR, Inc., REI, Regence Association of Washington Cities, City of Seattle, WaMu and Group Health Cooperative. Overall, Free & Clear has provided services to 23,534 tobacco users in the state during fiscal year 2008, up from 20,405 in fiscal year 2007.

“The Washington State Tobacco Quit Line is an important part of our comprehensive tobacco prevention program”

The majority of these tobacco users (12,137) were covered by their employers benefits program, and an additional 11,397 were helped through the Washington State Tobacco Quit Line. Washington State exemplifies a well supported public-private partnership model where every tobacco user in the state can get free coaching and medication support for quitting tobacco just by calling 1-800-QUITNOW (1-800-784-8669).

We are excited that we were able to help so many more tobacco users in Washington State during the 2008 fiscal year, said Dr. Tim McAfee, Free & Clears Chief Medical Officer. We are especially pleased that employers see the benefit of offering tobacco cessation services to their employees, and in most cases the family members of employees, which increases the health and productivity of their workforce and reduces overall health care costs in the state. These employer-sponsored programs lessen the burden on Washington State healthcare resources and allow the state Quit Line to dedicate more of its resources to the uninsured and unemployed population.

The Washington State Tobacco Quit Line is an important part of our comprehensive tobacco prevention program, said Washington State Secretary of Health Mary Selecky. We want to make sure Washington residents have a place to get free, effective help when theyre ready to quit smoking. Tools like this have helped us significantly reduce adult tobacco use in our state.

The majority of participants heard about the program through a health professional (21.53 percent), while an additional 16 percent heard through a family member or friend. Seven percent of callers were referred to the program by a current or past enrolled participant. Over the past six months, slightly more of the callers were female (55.58 percent versus 44.42 percent).

Free & Clears Quit Coaches help people overcome their addiction to tobacco using a combination of phone-based cognitive behavioral counseling, medication support and web-based learning and social support. The company has helped more than 200,000 Americans successfully quit smoking since 2004, translating to over two million years of life added and $1 billion in cost savings. Free & Clears Quit For Life Program is currently offered by more than 200 employer, health plan and government clients.

About Free & Clear, Inc.

Free & Clear, Inc. is the nations leading provider of tobacco treatment services for health plans, employers, and government organizations. Free & Clear helps its clients improve the health of their populations and control related costs by reducing the prevalence of tobacco use. More than 50 million people have access to the Free & Clear Quit For Life Program, which has had its proof of effectiveness published in multiple peer-reviewed, scientific journals over the course of more than 20 years. Free & Clear is based in Seattle, Washington. More information about Free & Clear can be found at www.freeclear.com.

Contacts

Free & Clear, Inc.
Sharen Ross, 206-876-2276
Sharen.Ross@freeclear.com
or
Edelman
Emily Killoren, 206-268-2267
Emily.Killoren@edelman.com

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