Health Department offers free classes to help smokers kick the habit

Published 9:46 am Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Metro Services  Carter County Health Department is offering ways to help smokers break the habit.

Metro Services
Carter County Health Department is offering ways to help smokers break the habit.

Quitting smoking? You’re not alone.
The Carter County Health Department is offering free smoking cessation classes throughout January and February.
The classes are designed to combat the obstacles of addiction from all fronts — from mental preparation to strength against temptation and the importance of peer support.
“Freedom From Smoking is set up like a support group, so on days that you’re struggling, you have the support of peers,” said Jilian Reece, Health Educator for the Tobacco Settlement with the Health Department. “You’re given the tools to cope with challenges, so you’re not just guessing at what’s going to happen.”
In these sessions, participants will discuss different approaches to quitting and will set quit dates. They will learn about various facets and fears of quitting as well as discussing nicotine replacement therapies. Eight sessions are designed to help smokers quit by attending one class per week.
The first three classes will focus on preparation, what to expect and how to react.
“From Day one, we talk about how it is a hard process and will give people the tools to be prepared and supported,” said Reece.
As part of the class, participants will be given a support partner that they can contact at any time.
Session four is the scheduled quit date, followed by a quit date check up two days later. Additionally, participants will learn about the roles of physical activity and nutrition as well as what are some unhealthy substitutes for smoking.
“We cover all different aspects of the addiction,” said Reece.
Though people are welcome to join at any time before the fourth session, Reece said it is best to attend from start to finish.
Participants will have lunch catered as well as incentives at each visit. The Carter County University of Tennessee Agricultural Extension will provide activities and crafts for children accompanying parents.
Reece said classes are valued at $75-$125 per person per visit, but through funding from the Tobacco Settlement Grant, they are provided free. The settlement began in 1998 to reimburse states for the burden tobacco has on health.
These classes are the first of their kind offered by the Health Department and the American Lung Association, Reece said, adding neighboring counties have similar programs.
Classes will take place at the Elizabethton/Carter County Public Library at 201 N. Sycamore St. They will begin at 11 a.m. on January 14, 21 and 28 and on February 4, 6, 11, 18 and 25.
If businesses would like the Health Department to provide classes to their employees during a lunch break or after work, Reece encouraged them to contact her at 423-543-2521 extension 312 or by email at

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