The St. Mary’s County Health Department is offering a series of free smoking cessation classes to St. Mary’s County residents who are 18 years and older.  Classes are offered one hour per week for eight weeks, along with free medication to assist participants with quitting.  These classes provide group support and understanding which are important in the quitting process.  Class participants will gain knowledge about their smoking habits, along with behavioral modifications, stress management and quit smoking techniques.

The next smoking cessation class is scheduled to begin Aug. 13 at the Health Department, with other sessions scheduled throughout the fall and winter in the Leonardtown and Lexington Park areas.  To register for classes, please call 301-475-4316, or visit www.smchd.org to learn more about upcoming classes and locations.

Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DHMH) also offers the Maryland Tobacco Quitline, a free, confidential and anonymous resource to help smokers achieve their goal of quitting.  The Quitline provides a “Quit Coach”, a professional trained to assist with quitting tobacco use by creating a personalized plan for each individual.  Quit Coaches are available seven days a week, from 8:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m., to provide encouragement and offer advice during moments of tobacco cravings. 

 “Using tobacco and exposure to secondhand smoke can lead to heart problems, different types of cancer, lung disease and death,” states Jane Dodds, Tobacco Use Prevention Program Coordinator at the Health Department.  “Although quitting may be hard and take multiple tries, the smoking cessation classes and the DHMH Quitline do work and quitting is worth it for you and your family!”

To learn more about the DHMH Quitline, please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or visit http://www.smokingstopshere.com