Tomasz G. Sienicki [email protected]

People in the Milwaukee and Madison areas who want to quit smoking can get free medication and coaching starting Jan. 2, thanks to a $7 million four-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI).

All participants get:

  • 3 months of Chantix pills.
  • Coaching.

Some participants also get:

  • Nicotine patches.
  • Extended meds.

Participants will receive up to $260 for completing the study.

The study, known as QUITS (the Quitting Using Intensive Treatments Study), is free of charge. It’s designed to answer two key questions:

  1. Whether combining these medications can boost quit rates.
  2. Whether extending these medications for six months can boost quit rates.

“We expect both treatment enhancements — combining varenicline and nicotine patch and extending medication duration — will yield higher cessation rates among people trying to quit,” said UW-CTRI Director of Research Dr. Tim Baker. “Smokers and their clinicians are calling for cessation treatment options that can substantially increase current modest quit rates. We believe the proposed enhancements will do just that.”

UW-CTRI is partnering with the UW Department of Medicine Cardiology Division on the study, with UW Health Preventive Cardiology Director Dr. James Stein and Dr. Baker serving as principal investigators.

Cigarette smoking remains the chief preventable cause of disease and death in the United States, killing approximately 500,000 Americans per year. UW-CTRI has helped more than 250,000 smokers in its 25 years of operation.

To volunteer for the study, visit or call 877-363-2447.


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