Frequently Asked Questions

Many people have questions as they start their journey to a tobacco-free lifestyle. We created this frequently asked questions page to help answer some of your questions. If you have a question that isn’t answered here, please contact our Maine QuitLink coaches at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or through our online contact form.

Getting Started
How do I get started with the Maine QuitLink?

Call us at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or click here to sign up online.

How can the Maine QuitLink help me?
  • The Maine QuitLink will help you think about all aspects of nicotine addiction, including psychological, behavioral, and physical factors. Your Quit Coach will guide and support you through your journey to becoming tobacco-free.
  • We offer free phone coaching, free digital services (supportive emails & texts, resources, videos, etc.) and free nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). You can choose which way(s) you’d like to be supported.
    – Phone coaching: A Quit Coach will support you and help to identify barriers to quitting, overcome urges, and create a quit plan.
    – NRT: We offer up to 8 weeks of nicotine replacement therapy (NRT). We will help you choose from patches, gum, and lozenges.
    – Digital services: You can access articles, videos, trackers, and supportive emails and texts.
Who can use the Maine QuitLink services? Is it just for people who smoke cigarettes?
  • We help anyone who wants to stop using any type of tobacco product. This includes cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco, chewing tobacco, vapes, e-cigarettes, and hookah.
  • This support includes qualified interpreters for people whose primary language is not English, and services to assist individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • We offer free and confidential support to all people. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, gender identity or sexual orientation.
How much does it cost to use the Maine QuitLink?

All of our services are completely free.

What information do I have to share when I sign up?
  • We will ask for your name, phone number, and a bit about your current tobacco use. We will also ask your age and where you live. We will ask if you have health insurance, but you do not need to have health insurance to use our free services.
  • All of the information you share with us will be kept private. It is strictly confidential and treated as Personal Health Information. The information that you share with us will help to improve the Maine QuitLink services and reach throughout the state.
  • We will never ask for proof of citizenship or for your Social Security Number.
Can the Maine QuitLink help me quit vaping?

Yes! Most electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) or “vapes” have nicotine, the same addictive chemical that is in cigarettes and other commercial tobacco products. If you vape, our Quit Coaches know how to help you quit. People who vape get the same program benefits as other participants.

Individualized Support
I face challenges that others don’t. Can the Maine QuitLink really help me?
  • Everyone is unique and will experience different challenges when it comes to quitting smoking, tobacco use, or vaping. We have helped many people from a variety of backgrounds and with diverse circumstances.
  • We help pregnant people, people with mental health concerns, people who don’t speak English, veterans, teens, and people from many diverse communities (including LGBTQ+, African American, American Indian, Asian American, and Hispanic/Latino communities).
  • We also understand that some people have limited cell phone minutes to talk with us. We can offer digital support services.
  • Our goal is to lower your barriers to quitting and help you be successful in your journey to a tobacco-free lifestyle.
My teenager uses tobacco products, can the Maine QuitLink help them?
  • Yes! The Maine QuitLink offers a tailored treatment program for teens: My Life, My Quit. This is for teens age 13 to 17 who want to quit vaping, smoking, or chewing tobacco.
  • Teens can get free help through text messages, web chats, or phone calls.
Maine QuitLink Coaches
I am a currently enrolled participant. How do I reach a Maine QuitLink Coach?
  • Our Maine QuitLink coaches are available Monday – Friday, 8:00 am –  5:00 pm. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or send us a message online and receive a call back.
  • Outside of business hours, please send us an online message and a team member will get back to you within 1 business day.
The Quitting Journey
I need some extra help between my calls with a Quit Coach. What is available?
  • In addition to working with your Maine QuitLink Coach, text message programs or quit apps can help you during your quit journey.
  • has free resources, including daily text message support and quit apps.
I slipped up. What should I do now?

Don’t panic! A slip might be “just a puff or two” or even a couple of cigarettes. Slips are common as people adjust to living life without tobacco. We think of a slip as a temporary setback and an opportunity to learn. We will help you get back on track and avoid another slip by thinking about how you will handle triggers and cravings in the future.

I'm having strong cravings. Is this normal? What can I do?
  • If you have been a regular tobacco user, it is normal to have cravings or withdrawal symptoms. This is because your body suddenly has less nicotine than it is used to. Nicotine withdrawal is normal, but can feel different for everybody. Learn more.
  • Try to distract yourself when you are having a craving. It can be helpful to slowly drink a glass of water, practice slow deep-breathing, call a friend, or go for a walk. It can be helpful to identify your own personal triggers.
I quit! How can I help others?

Congratulations! That is a huge accomplishment and we are so proud of you. Please share your story with others.

I have used the program before. Can I re-enroll if I still need help?

Yes! We understand it can take practice to quit. You are welcome to enroll again for phone coaching and medication support. Please wait 6 months from your most recent registration date. We will utilize your helpful past experience to help you build a strong plan to try again.

NRT (Nicotine Replacement Therapy)
What is NRT?
  • NRT stands for nicotine replacement therapy. There are currently 5 types of NRT that are approved by the FDA: nicotine patch, gum, lozenge, inhaler, and nasal spray.
  • NRT helps the manage withdrawal symptoms that happen when you quit using tobacco. NRT gives a small, measured dose of nicotine, but none of the other dangerous chemicals found in tobacco products.
  • NRT is considered safe and effective. It can double your chances of quitting successfully, particularly when combined with behavioral support like coaching.
Is it cheating to use NRT while I try to quit? Why would I want to put nicotine in my body if I am trying to be less dependent and quit?
  • People sometimes think that using a quit aid, like NRT, is “cheating” because the product has nicotine. It is true that the ultimate goal is to remove all nicotine from your body, but it is not necessary to do it quickly or all at once.
  • Using NRT in a structured way helps your body get used to less nicotine. It can help to take the edge off withdrawal symptoms like anxiety, irritability, and insomnia. Think of NRT as a helpful tool in your quitting toolbox.
What types of NRT does the Maine QuitLink offer?

We offer free over-the-counter NRT. We will help you decide if you should use the patch, gum, or lozenge. Some people may benefit from using a combination of the patch+gum, or patch+lozenge.

How much NRT can I get from the Maine QuitLink?
  • People who use our phone coaching program can get up to 8 weeks of free NRT.
  • People who use our digital program can get a free 2 week NRT starter kit.
  • If you have used the Maine QuitLink before, you are eligible to re-enroll for phone coaching after 6 months from your last registration. You will get free NRT benefits again.
How do I use the NRT that I received?
  • Your Maine QuitLink Coach will tell you how to use the NRT in the right way to get the most benefit from it.
  • View our medications page for more resources, including links to videos and informational cards.
Does nicotine cause cancer?
  • Cigarettes contain toxic ingredients, like ammonia, arsenic, tar, and lead. They are known to contain close to 70 cancer causing ingredients.
  • Nicotine is in cigarettes, vapes, and other tobacco products, but on its own does not cause cancer.
Is NRT safe?
  • NRT is FDA approved and considered to be a safe and effective treatment option.
  • The Maine QuitLink takes safety very seriously and we do ask a short series of questions to make sure the product will be a safe choice for you.
    – Occasionally someone might report an adverse skin reaction to the patch or an upset stomach from the gum or lozenge.
    – If this happens to you, seek medical attention right away. Then call us and we can talk about whether it makes sense to switch you to an alternate form of NRT or lower dose product. The Maine QuitLink may request your provider’s permission to continue use of these products.
The pharmacy told me they don’t have my NRT order. What should I do?

We can help! Occasionally an NRT order may need to be resubmitted to your pharmacy or an alternate pharmacy. Please call us at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or send us a message to let us know there is an issue. We are generally able to resolve these issues quickly on the same or next business day.

The pharmacy didn’t give me my full supply of NRT. What should I do?
  • Some pharmacies have a policy in place where they will only distribute smaller quantities of NRT and expect you to come back when you run low and need more. For example: We may order 4 weeks of patches, but the pharmacy only prepares a 2 week supply for you to pick up.
  • If this is an issue for you, please call us at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or send us a message so we can help you troubleshoot.
I don’t have health insurance. Can I get NRT from the Maine QuitLink?

Yes. NRT is free (up to 8 weeks), regardless of insurance status.

I have MaineCare for insurance. Can I get NRT from the Maine QuitLink?

Yes. NRT is free (up to 8 weeks), regardless of insurance status. MaineCare also covers most forms of NRT with a prescription from your provider. Visit our MaineCare Benefits page or talk with your provider for more information.

I am enrolled in the phone coaching program. When can I pick up my NRT at the pharmacy?

NRT is generally available 3 business days after your call with a coach. Sometimes it is available the same day. If you plan to pick it up before 3 days, you may want to call the pharmacy first to see if they have it ready.

I am enrolled in a digital services program. When will I receive my NRT Starter Kit?
  • Your NRT Starter Kit for web coach or individual services is generally shipped several days after being ordered and can take 4 to 14 days to arrive at your residence/shipping address.
  • If you have not received your NRT Starter Kit within 21 days, please send us a message.
About the Maine QuitLink
Who operates the Maine QuitLink?

The MaineHealth Center for Tobacco Independence administers the Maine QuitLink on behalf of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (Maine CDC), Maine Department of Health and Human Services. Learn more.