Michigan residents, young residents, in particular, have higher smoking rates than many other states in the nation. According to the Truth Initiative, in 2016, 20.4% of Michigan adults smoked cigarettes, compared to the national rate of 17.1%. In 2017, 10.5% of high school students said they smoked cigarettes at least one day in the past 30 days, while the national rate was only 8.8%.

In 2017, 14.8% of surveyed high school students said they’d used e-cigarettes, and 9.2% said they’d smoked cigarettes at least one day in the previous 30 days.

Michigan is taking the problem seriously and recently announced a new smoking cessation program.

The Michigan Tobacco Quitline

The program, available through September 30, includes eight weeks of free nicotine gum, patches or lozenges. To access the cessation aids, residents can call the Michigan Tobacco Quitline, available at 800-QUIT-NOW.

The helpline is available 24/7 in English, Spanish and Arabic. As well as receiving aids to help people in Michigan quit smoking, there is also online coaching, or you can opt to receive text message advice.

Dr. Joneigh Khaldun, who is the chief medical executive and chief deputy director for health, is leading the Department of Health and Human Services program in Michigan. Dr. Khaldun recently spoke to the media, saying that as a health professional, he knows very well the effects of smoking. He feels that it’s important to link education programs such as the CDC’s Tips campaign with resources like the Michigan Tobacco Quitline for the best outcomes.

Tips from Former Smokers Campaign

The Michigan initiative is part of a larger program, called the Tips from Former Smokers Campaign, from the CDC. The Tips campaign works to help people stop smoking by showing stories from people who have diseases and health effects related to the use of cigarettes. Participants in the campaign are former smokers as well as individuals exposed to second-hand smoke.

Do These Types of Programs Work?

With Michigan being one of the most recent states to work to help people stop smoking, it’s important to consider whether these types of campaigns and programs work. Currently, there are more than 34.3 million adults nationwide who smoke cigarettes. More than 16 million people in the United States have illnesses related to smoking.

While these numbers sound high, they’ve gone down significantly and much of these declines are attributed to anti-smoking campaigns and education programs at federal and state levels. For example, in 2005, almost 21% of American adults were smokers. By 2017, that number reduced to 14%.

Smoking cigarettes is the top cause of preventable disease and death in the United States, according to the CDC. Smoking is believed to be responsible for more than 480,000 deaths every year in the United States — or approximately 1 in 5 of the total deaths.

Smoking rates in the United States are highest among non-Hispanic American Indians/Alaska natives and also people of multiple races.

Regionally, the rates of people who smoke cigarettes are highest in the midwest and then the south, and lowest in the western part of the country.

According to a local Fox affiliate in Michigan, more than 140,000 people in the state used the Michigan Tobacco Quitline or the online coaching program.

There are other state programs in states like Texas that are working to help with smoking cessation and prevention. One example is SmokefreeTXT, which is a six-week cessation program that’s available for free. Also in Texas is the Texas Quitline, very similar to the Michigan quitline model.

If you are struggling with a substance use disorder or addiction, please contact The Recovery Village to learn more about treatment.


Truth Initiative. “Tobacco use in Michigan 2018.” June 1, 2018. Accessed July 5, 2019.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “Current Cigarette Smoking Among Adults in the United States.” Accessed July 5, 2019.

Fox 2 Detroit. “Michigan Giving Away Free Nicotine Patch[…]elp Smokers Quit.” June 20, 2019. Accessed July 5, 2019.

Medical Disclaimer

The Recovery Village aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.