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Free Help Available For Floridians Trying To Quit Smoking

cigarette butt on sidewalk
Sudipto Sarkar via Flickr

For people thinking of giving up smoking for New Year’s, free help is available.

Tobacco Free Jacksonville provides coaching and nicotine-replacement therapy at no cost.

“I think that is the first thing I want people to know, to not be discouraged,” says Tobacco Free Jacksonville Program Manager April Seliga. She says for many people, it doesn’t stick until the tenth time they try to quit.

She invites hopeful non-smokers to use a web tool, call the quit line or visit a smoking-cessation coach in person, all of which can help create a personalized quit plan. And to get started, nicotine patches or gum are available for free.

“Really, their goal is to be there for you to help you quit, so if you find you need two or three weeks’ of nicotine-replacement therapy to help you quit, they’re going to support that,” she says.

And she says Tobacco Free Florida does not support switching to electronic cigarettes as a quit tool. They are unregulated and not proven to be safe, she says.

Photo used under Creative Commons license

Jessica Palombo supervises local news gathering and production, podcasts and web editorial content for WJCT News, ADAPT and Jacksonville Today. She is an award-winning writer and journalist with bylines including NPR, Experience Magazine, and The Gainesville Sun. She has a master’s degree in broadcast and digital journalism from Syracuse University and is an alumna of the University of Florida. A nearly lifelong resident of Jacksonville, she considers herself lucky to be raising her own children in her hometown. Follow Jessica Palombo on Twitter: @JaxJessicaP