The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Program seeks to end smoking

By Jamil Oakford/editor-in-chief

Smoking is a habit that’s often hard to kick, but Tarrant County Public Health has a free program to assist with quitting and sustaining it.

Freedom from Smoking was implemented November 2013 after seeing a drastic need for it.

“The biggest reason we started this was because there was nothing like this available to anyone,” program supervisor Keisha Leatherman said. “If 19 percent of Tarrant County are reported smokers, there’s a need.”

This program offers free classes to residents in the county. They work with people and their schedules to come up with a plan for how to stop smoking.

NE health services coordinator Pat Marling said this program is a great way to help people who have thought about quitting.

“The health effects are more long-term than alcohol,” she said.

Leatherman said younger smokers have a better chance of quitting if they start now than waiting 10 or 30 years later.

“For a smoker of two years, the addiction isn’t as intense as a 30-year smoker,” she said.

Even though students often think they won’t become long-term smoking statistics, this program isn’t made to force participants to stop right then and there.

“You don’t have to be ready that day,” Leatherman said. “We’re just giving you the tools so that when you’re ready to quit, you have something to help you get started.”

This program focuses on managing stress, nicotine withdrawal, weight control and long-term strategies to maintain cessation.

For information on schedules and class locations, contact the program at 817-321-4976 or smokefree@tarrantcounty.com.

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