KNOXVILLE (Feb. 6, 2017) — The Knox County Health Department (KCHD) together with Smoke-Free Knoxville and the Community Health Council are once again joining a statewide effort to help tobacco users quit. Tennessee Quit Week, proclaimed by Governor Bill Haslam as Feb. 13 – 17, 2017, is a time to celebrate all Tennesseans who have quit using tobacco products and to encourage others to join them. The theme of the week-long campaign is “It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee.”
“The Community Health Council is dedicated to making this a healthier community, and to do that we know we must reduce tobacco use, as outlined in our Community Health Improvement Plan,” said Community Health Council Chair Ellen Zavisca. “This statewide effort is an excellent opportunity to partner with Smoke-Free Knoxville and the health department to help raise awareness about the many free resources available to help people quit.”
“Reducing tobacco use is crucial to the quality of life and health of our community,” said Smoke-Free Knoxville Chair Aly Taylor. “We know we can help more people quit by working together with partners here in Knox County and across the state, and that’s just what this effort is all about.”
More information and available resources:
- Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine: 1-800-QUIT-NOW
- KCHD and local resources for those trying to quit: 865-215-5445
- Training for health care providers in the five As approach for tobacco interventions: 865-215-5170
- The Smoke-Free Knoxville Coalition: www.smokefreeknoxville.com
- The Community Health Council: www.healthyknox.org
“If current smoking rates continue, 125,000 Tennessee children that are alive today who are under the age of 18 will die prematurely from smoking,” said Kerri Thompson, public health educator in KCHD’s Tobacco Use Prevention and Control Program. “We know how hard it can be to kick the habit. Whether it’s calling us, the QuitLine or talking with your health care provider, we encourage everyone to learn about all the options that can help you succeed.”
Reducing tobacco use is one of the priority health issues outlined in KCHD’s 2014-2015 Community Health Assessment. Tobacco use, particularly in youth and pregnant women, as well as the increased use of e-cigarettes and vaping products are two areas of concern outlined in the assessment. In fact, e-cigarette use among middle and high school students tripled from 2013 to 2014, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Community Health Council used data from KCHD’s health assessment to identify the goals in its health improvement plan, and then consulted with local subject matter experts to formulate measurable objectives.
Tennessee Quit Week is part of a statewide effort led by the Tennessee Department of Health to raise awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco QuitLine and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using other tobacco products. These proven, effective services can double a tobacco user’s chances of quitting.