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Letting Go of Tobacco

By Diane Lee, Public Information Officer, Garrett County Health Department

The Garrett County Health Department will be offering two free Quit Now classes to help individuals who would like to kick the nicotine habit. Both classes will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 1, 2021.

Class will be held at the Grantsville Town Hall and at the Bloomington Fire Department.  COVID-19 safety protocol will be followed for these in-person classes, which means that masks must be worn. Throughout the six weeks of classes, participants will receive many resources to help them change their habits including a notebook with many tools, group support from others who are also trying to quit smoking, and free cessation aids in the form of nicotine patches, nicotine gum or the prescription drugs, Chantix or Zyban.

Participants also have access to the Maryland Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW.  This Quitline gives tobacco users access to a “Quitting Coach” for help seven days a week.  Anyone from the general public can use the hotline as well.

Just twenty minutes after you quit smoking, your body begins a series of healthy changes that continue for years. Your heart rate and blood pressure drop in the first twenty minutes. Within a month of quitting, your circulation improves and your lungs begin to clean out built-up tar and mucus.  One year after quitting, your risk of heart disease becomes half that of a smoker’s.

Even with all the positive reasons to quit smoking, it can still be overwhelming. Tobacco becomes a part of the smoker’s life, and change is hard. But change can happen with the right support and tools to guide you.

For more information about the upcoming classes or to register, contact the Garrett County Health Department at 301-334 7730 or 301-895-3111. The classes, cessation aids, and Maryland Tobacco Quitline are funded by the Maryland Cigarette Restitution Fund Program.