Phone Helpline to Quick Smoking Will Launch in Lithuania in 2024
Starting in 2024, a new helpline to assist in quitting smoking will be established in Lithuania. The initiative aims to receive at least 2,000 calls within its first year of operation.
During regular working hours, smokers will have the option to call a designated short number to receive consultation and ongoing support based on a predefined algorithm. The helpline will be staffed by no fewer than two consultants at any given time.
According to the Ministry of Health, the specific phone number for these calls has not been disclosed yet, as the procurement of telecommunication services is still underway.
Julijanas Gališanskis, a representative of the ministry, stated, “It is expected that smoking cessation consultations offered via this phone line will help increase the number of successful quitters and contribute to reducing the prevalence of this harmful habit in society.”
The new helpline has been allocated 245,000 euros in next year’s budget, and its annual maintenance is estimated to cost similarly, reaching 1.4 million euros by 2029.
By 2025, the initiative anticipates receiving no less than 2,720 calls, and by 2029, it aims to handle 5,600 calls annually.
According to J. Gališanskis, approximately 30% of the country’s population, including users of new smokeless tobacco products, smoke on a daily basis. Research shows that 73% of smokers have attempted to quit, with 35% of them having failed in their attempts.
Data from a study conducted by Vilnius University on “Economic Impact Measures in Smoking Prevention” revealed significant interest in phone-based services. Seventy percent of smokers expressed their support for a free consultation helpline to aid in quitting smoking.