A new statewide study is testing a novel idea – teaching non-smokers new ways to approach and support a friend or family member about their smoking.

The study is funded by ClearWay Minnesota, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing the harm of tobacco in Minnesota.

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“Friends and family really want to help their smoker quit smoking,” said Raymond Boyle, ClearWay Minnesota Director of Research.

“Nonsmokers have tried nagging their smokers, or hiding their cigarettes. This study is offering a new approach by educating friends and family about strategies to become support people for the smoker in their life.”

Study participation is conveniently done by mail and telephone. The project goal is to encourage smokers to get help to reach their smoking cessation goal. In addition, participants receive a gift for taking part in the study.

In a previous study by ClearWay Minnesota, researchers found that support people were learning about nicotine addiction and finding new ways to have a conversation about quitting smoking with the smoker in their life.

In this current study, non-smokers in Minnesota will learn how to motivate their smoker and learn ways to help them quit.

The smoker can receive free QUITPLAN Helpline services, which include coaching over the phone, personalized program to help them quit and free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, lozenges or gum.

“We want smokers to feel motivated by the support around them, and this will encourage them to keep trying to quit smoking,” Boyle said. “Family and friends can start the support and the helpline can continue that support.”

This study is open to all non-smoking Minnesota residents, ages 18 and older.

For more information on the study and how to help a smoker quit, visit www.supportasmoker.com, or call the study information and registration line at 1-800-957-2950.

ClearWay Minnesota is an independent, nonprofit organization that improves the health of Minnesotans by reducing the harm caused by tobacco.

ClearWay Minnesota serves Minnesota through its grant-making program, QUITPLAN stop-smoking services and statewide outreach activities. It is funded with 3 percent of the state’s 1998 tobacco settlement.

For more information on ClearWay Minnesota or QUITPLAN Services, call 952-767-1400 or visit www.clearwaymn.org.