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Stop smoking is one New Year’s resolution that makes it into the top 10 list each year. With all the news of lung illness and deaths from vaping, maybe stop vaping will make it to the list this year, too.

New Year’s resolutions are hard to keep, but the Garrett County Health Department hopes to help make your resolution to stop using any form of tobacco or nicotine easier to reach. Cessation classes at two different locations are scheduled in January to help start the new year off right.

“I’m excited to be a part of one the most important decisions you will make in your lifetime,” said Sharon Custer, tobacco treatment specialist at the Health Department. “I take my responsibilities very seriously and want to help you in every way possible.  Why not give one of our upcoming classes a try?  It doesn’t matter how long you have used tobacco there are health benefits to quitting.”

Classes begin on Thursday, January 2nd, at the Oakland office of the Health Department, and Wednesday, January 8th, at the Northern Garrett Rescue Squad in Friendsville. Classes meet from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on the designated days.

Cessation classes are open to users of all types of tobacco, including cigarettes, smokeless, and electronic smoking devices like e-cigs, vapes and Juuls. Research has shown that involvement in a group increases the chances of success in quitting tobacco.

Throughout the course of the six-week class, participants will receive a number of resources to help them change their habits, including a notebook with many tools, group support from others who are also trying to quit, and free cessation aids in the form of nicotine patches, nicotine gum or lozenges, or one of the prescription drugs, Zyban or Chantix.

“Let us help you quit for good!” Custer said. “Let us help you plan how you will do it!”

Any Garrett County resident may participate in these classes. Other classes will be scheduled throughout the year.

“Group sessions are very beneficial, but for those who just aren’t able to attend a group class, we are able to arrange individual sessions when necessary,” Custer said.

Call the Garrett County Health Department at 301-334-7730, 301-895-3111, or email Sharon.Custer@maryland.gov for additional information or to register for a class. Pre-registration is encouraged. Or, visit the Health Department’s KickingTobacco.com website. You can also call the Maryland Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for ongoing help.