Free Cessation Resources

Tupelo

NMMC Community Health

Filling slots for early January class

Call Beth Davis 377-5787

Oxford

Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi

Filling slots for January class

Call Marilyn Charlton at 513-1506

By phone

Mississippi Department of Public Health/Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi tobacco quit line provides counseling, information and tips by phone.

- (800) 244-9100

Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Online

American Lung Association

Tips to quit:

- Decide why do you want to quit. Write down your motivations and keep them posted.

- Think about what makes you want to smoke - such as eating, drinking, driving, socializing, etc.

- Identify strategies that work for you. Chewing gum or a straw. Playing relaxing music. Exercising.

- Replace bad habits with positives ones.

- Taper down before quitting to reduce the addiction level.

- Investigate medications, patches, gums and inhalers to help control cravings.

- Find a support network to cheer you on.

- Give yourself time. It took time to learn how to smoke; it takes time to quit.

Hed: With public smoking under fire, stopping may be on your mind

Deck: Unfortunately, long waits are likely for free cessation class slots.

By Michaela Gibson Morris

Daily Journal

Smokers will have twice the motivation to put away the cigarettes Thursday, but they will have to wait until January for a slot in free cessation classes.

Oxford will join Tupelo, Mantachie and Starkville with smoking prohibited in public spaces, and the Great American Smoke Out will invite puffers across the country to clear the air for a day.

However, free classes in Tupelo and Oxford are full.

"It fills up fast and space is limited," said Beth Davis, the part-time smoking cessation teacher with North Mississippi Medical Center Community Health in Tupelo. And there's no money for extra classes.

Many Northeast Mississippi programs were funded all or in part by the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi with money from the landmark tobacco settlement, which is the subject of another court battle.

"There's no money any more from the Partnership," which helped provide free nicotine patches and materials, said Marilyn Charlton, who teaches the cessation program at Baptist Memorial Hospital-North Mississippi in Oxford.

Baptist and NMMC will have free classes in January, but the shape of future classes is somewhat hazy.

"We're going to find a way to make it work," Davis said.

If the classes are no longer free, some insurance companies are looking at reimbursement for class fees and over-the-counter patches, Charlton said.

People ready to quit now still can access resources. Toll-free quit lines can offer great support; and generic brand patches only cost $25 for a month's supply, Charlton said.

It's "what would you spend on cigarettes a month," Charlton said.

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