Health Department encourages people to quit smoking

Though smoking is on the decline in the U.S., the number of deaths due to tobacco-addiction still ranks in the hundreds of thousands. With a cost so high, health organizations across the country are continuing their fight against such preventable deaths.

Carter County’s Health Department will begin their Freedom from Smoking workshops starting today, March 5. This time, however, a new leader has stepped up to take charge of the program.

Emily Brooks, a health educator at the health department and organizer of Freedom from Smoking, said the program is based on a “behavior change process” as opposed to quitting outright.

“The program says 60 percent of those who participate end up quitting,” Brooks said.

The program is not new to Carter County, and many different speakers and organizers have risen to the occasion, but Brooks is new both to the program and the Health Department.

“I was recently trained in December,” she said. “I have been working here since August.”

Though she is new to the program, she said her partner Jilian Reece, director of the Carter County Drug Prevention, is a big help.

“I feel more confident with her helping,” Brooks said.

Brooks said she has never smoked, which she said could make relating to the attendees of the sessions harder, but she said her solution is to work on bringing more speakers to share their life experiences and success stories.

She said getting these experiences out to the public is important for the overall health of the county.

“The CDC says smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths in the U.S.,” she said. “They said tobacco kills roughly 443,000 people in the U.S. annually.”

These statistics, she said, facilitates the need for a strong method of getting people to quit.

The program’s method encourages a methodical approach by altering a person’s lifestyle so the urge to smoke decreases, rather than going “cold turkey” by immediately dropping smoking all at once.

“It is a step-by-step process,” Brooks said. “After one month of quitting, the health benefits improve dramatically.”

The sessions will take place over the course of a month and a half, starting on Tuesday, March 5 and ending on Tuesday, April 16. All sessions will start a 4:30 p.m. at the Carter County Library at 201 N Sycamore St, and will run between one hour and an hour and a half.

“We don’t have our ‘Quit Day’ until the fourth session,” she said. “The program understands the difficulty, and they offer resources for those who relapse later.”

The sessions do not require registration beforehand. She said anyone who wants to improve their health is welcome to come.

“People who use vaping or e-cigarettes are also welcome to join,” Brooks said.

Local news

Memorial Day ceremony honors Carter Countians killed in military conflicts

Arrests

Johnson City man arrested for second-degree murder in stabbing incident

Local news

Memorial Day weekend sees slight drop in Tennessee gas prices despite high travel volume

Local news

Northeast Community Credit Union selects 2024 William L. Armstrong Scholarship recipients

Local news

Elizabethton student receives prestigious Distinguished Tennessean Scholarship

Local news

RM resident graduates from Maryville College

Calendar

Community Calendar

Local news

Farmers Market opens June 4 with new items, old favorites

Local news

A Life Lived: Wayne Peters was  a humble man and kind person

Local news

AAA warns of increased risks for teen drivers during ‘100 Deadliest Days’

Local news

Boys & Girls Club announces winners of Annual Popcorn Fundraiser

Local news

Spring knap-in scheduled Saturday at Sycamore Shoals Park

Local news

ETSU meeting students where they are

Local news

UETHDA announces commodity distributions for June

Arrests

Johnson City Police arrest man on drug and DUI charges

BREAKING NEWS

Second arrest made in murder investigation after man’s remains found in buried freezer

Community

Fish and Chicken Feast June 1 at Boozy Creek

Local news

Hampton man still sought on murder, other charges in connection with body unearthed in freezer

Local news

Elizabethton dedicates first mural despite heavy downpour

Local news

Elizabethton Water Resources lifts boil water notice after line break 

Community

Senior Center Schedule

Community

Buster Barnett celebrates 89th birthday on June 3

Local news

Two former HVHS graduates complete prestigious state-wide leadership program

Community

Isaac Whitehead Family plans reunion June 1