Helping Smokers Break The Habit

By Pedro Haro, communications specialist, Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund Project Team

“When my 7-year-old daughter told me, ‘Mom, you’re gonna get cancer and you’re gonna die,’ the next day I called Hawaii Tobacco Quitline … I spoke to one of the coaches (who) talked me through how the program works. Within a week, I got my patches. I’m able to look at my daughter and say, ‘I’m healthy and I’m gonna stay this way,'” says Robyn Chung-Hoon of Kailua-Kona, a smoker since high school who used the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline to stop smoking. “If they can help me, they can help anybody who’s willing and committed to want to quit.”


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Pedro Haro

Robyn is one of the former smokers who used the Quitline, and will be featured in a new ad campaign beginning in January.

Her story is similar to many other smokers the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline has helped.

They want to quit for their loved ones, because it costs too much or because they just don’t see smoking in their future. Also included in the campaign are Gary Alpis (Makiki), Larry Hinkle (Waikiki), Randy Horne (Kamuela), Mark Kunkle (Kahului), Alicia Higa (Waianae) and Terese Masters (Makawao).

Larry enrolled with the Quitline last January. “I smoked for 28 years, tried everything to quit … I became an expert at quitting, except I never quit.” Larry describes his experience as, “the best resource that I’ve ever come across.”

The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline offers 100 percent FREE phone or web-based personalized quit programs available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The service is funded by the Hawaii Tobacco Prevention and Control Trust Fund and provides FREE coaching and nicotine replacement products (patches or gum), interactive exercises and tracking tools, online discussion forums, plus encouraging emails and texts. Of course, some people may use patches and gum with no success, instead, they might urge you to look into what is called vaping, or vaporizing nicotine liquids. Initially, it requires some items so you can get started, these are items such as tanks for the liquid or juice to be contained, the liquid or juice you’re wanting to vaporize, as well as the likes of this 1850 battery or something similar to ensure your device has adequate power to last you throughout the day. Vaporizing nicotine could be seen as one healthier alternative to decrease one’s nicotine consumption slowly over time, allowing the smoker to permanently quit nicotine altogether.

“I love the texts because you get them on a daily basis. They’re not intrusive but they’re always there for you … They do have kind of a personal touch, and I like that,” says Larry. “With the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline, they provide you with the resources and the tools to take the edge off.”

The Hawaii Tobacco Quitline has helped more than 63,000 Hawaii residents like Robyn and Larry with tobacco issues since 2005. To learn more about how the Hawaii Tobacco Quitline can help you or a loved one, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or log onto