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Tennessee residents surviving 2021, tobacco-free

Members of the Johnson County Senior Center are joined by Mountain City Mayor Jerry Jordan and Public Health Educator Angie Stout, during the Sixth Annual Tennessee Quit Week, drive-through event last month. Photo submitted

Staff Report

Johnson County, Tenn.: The Johnson County Senior Center, the Tennessee Department of Health, and partners across the state celebrated the sixth annual Tennessee Quit Week February 21 – 26, 2021. This year’s theme, “Surviving….2021 Tobacco-Free,” was to inspire Tennesseans to live healthier lives by taking advantage of the state’s free Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine resource to stop using tobacco products.

“In Tennessee, 31 lives are lost each day as a direct result of smoking,” said Angie Stout with the Johnson County Health Department. “In addition to these tragic early deaths, tobacco use costs our state upward of six billion dollars each year in lost productivity and health care costs, preventable losses that hurt the prosperity of our state and those who live and work here.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, being a current or former cigarette smoker increases your risk of severe illness from COVID-19.
Tobacco use is a risk factor for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, and other chronic diseases.Tennessee Quit Week aimed to increase partnerships across the public and private sectors to educate people on tobacco use harms and how Tennesseans can work together to help people improve their health and their lives by beating nicotine addiction. During Tennessee Quit Week, The Johnson County Senior Center hosted a festive quit week drive-thru event.

Quitting is hard, but help is available for Tennesseans who use tobacco and are ready to quit by calling the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW or access web-based services at www.tnquitline.com for free coaching and nicotine replacement patches (if eligible). All services are free to Tennesseans and can double a tobacco user’s chance of quitting successfully. Pregnant women who smoke are encouraged to contact their local health department to learn about the Baby and Me – Tobacco Free Program. This program provides education and support to help pregnant women quit smoking, and participants can earn free diapers each month for up to one year.

Learn more by visiting www.tn.gov/health/health-program areas/fhw/baby-me-tobacco-free.html.Find resources and learn how you can be part of Tennessee Quit Week 2021 at www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/tennessee-tobacco-program/ttp/tennessee-quit-week.html.