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#FirstRespondersFirst Offers the Pivot Digital Tobacco Cessation Program to Frontline Healthcare Workers During the COVID-19 Crisis

Thrive Global, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, the CAA Foundation and Carrot Inc. partner to help our hero first responder healthcare workers quit smoking during the pandemic

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First responders who use tobacco are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection and complications.  About 75% want to quit tobacco, but often don't have access to proven quit programs.  Thrive Global and #FRF are making the Pivot digital tobacco cessation program available to first responders during the pandemic.
First responders who use tobacco are at higher risk for COVID-19 infection and complications. About 75% want to quit tobacco, but often don't have access to proven quit programs. Thrive Global and #FRF are making the Pivot digital tobacco cessation program available to first responders during the pandemic.

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., July 13, 2020 – Digital health company Carrot Inc. today announced their partnership with #FirstRespondersFirst to offer their Pivot digital tobacco cessation program to frontline healthcare workers at no cost during the COVID-19 crisis. Pivot will be launched initially in Boston with 1199SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the largest Healthcare Union in the U.S., with the option for national expansion.

#FirstRespondersFirst, an initiative of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Thrive Global, and the CAA Foundation, takes a whole human approach to supporting first responder healthcare workers as they serve on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic through the provision of essential protective equipment, accommodations, child care, food, and mental health support. “The heroes of this pandemic are the healthcare workers who are risking their own health and enduring burnout and exhaustion among many other challenges on our behalf,” said Arianna Huffington, Founder and CEO of Thrive Global. “We know too well that tobacco significantly increases the risk for COVID-19 and we wanted to support healthcare workers by providing them with Pivot’s digital cessation program. We must show up for this community as they are showing up for us.”

Tobacco use contributes to many of the health conditions known to elevate the risk for COVID-19 complications, such as lung disease, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes. Furthermore, cigarette smoke causes inflammation in the respiratory tract, as well as impairment of the immune system, making it harder for a tobacco user to avoid infection should they be exposed to the novel coronavirus and other viruses, like influenza. 

Pivot is an evidence-based, mobile, tobacco cessation program that includes the first FDA-cleared personal carbon monoxide breath sensor (enables user to visualize their smoking behavior), a mobile app for motivation and skill building, personal coaching, free nicotine replacement medications, community support, lessons and challenges, and a clear path to helping users quit (cigarettes, e-cigarettes, smokeless tobacco). To learn more, visit pivot.co

“Partnering with #FirstRespondersFirst to offer evidence-based modern tobacco cessation services to healthcare workers is a great opportunity to help these heroes be safer and healthier during COVID-19,” said David S. Utley, MD, Carrot founder and former Stanford head and neck cancer surgeon.  “Most people who smoke want to quit, but don’t know how.  Pivot offers them the support they need and the services that are proven to help them quit.”

“We know that helping a person quit tobacco has a remarkably positive impact on public health as a whole, as well as a life-changing impact on the individual and their family,” said Michelle A. Williams, Dean of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “We initiated #FirstRespondersFirst to provide resources and solutions to our first responders that they otherwise may not have access to during COVID-19. We are delighted to offer Pivot to our first responders during the COVID-19 crisis.”

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