MTSU’s Center for Health and Human Services recently participated in the third annual Tennessee Quit Week by helping raise awareness about the Tennessee Department of Health-anti-smoking led campaign.
The CHHS has participated all three years in the “It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” campaign and wants to help tobacco users successfully quit.
“It is great that MTSU is a tobacco-free campus,” said CHHS Interim Director Cynthia Chafin. “Our mission at the CHHS is to improve the health and well-being of Tennesseans and becoming tobacco-free is one great way to promote better health.”
Quit Week is part of a statewide effort to raise awareness of the Tennessee Tobacco Quitline, a toll-free hotline, and other free resources available to help Tennesseans quit smoking and/or using tobacco products.
Even though this year’s Feb. 5-9 Quit Week has passed, the Quitline is available year-round and CHHS encourages those who need help quitting tobacco to use this service. Tennesseans can call the Quitline, use a web-based program or attend in-person counseling services, and may receive free FDA-approved nicotine replacement therapy. These services are provided at no charge to participants.
Residents can call the QuitLine at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) to talk with a counselor who will help create a quit plan. For more information and resources or to enroll online visit www.tnquitline.org.
Campaign organizers designated Feb. 7 as Higher Education Day, leading MTSU CHHS spring 2018 interns from the Department of Health and Human Performance to promote the Quitline and educate the campus community about tobacco and cessation resources through displays in Keathley University Center and the Student Union throughout the day.
HHP faculty were encouraged to share key messages about the Quitline and tobacco education in their classes during Quit Week, and social media messages were shared throughout the week as well.
According to the most recent data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the current rate of tobacco use among Tennessee adults is 22.1 percent, noticeably higher than the U.S. rate of 15.1 percent, ranking Tennessee 43rd highest in prevalence of smoking adults.
While the adult smoking rate has become stagnant in recent years, the percentage of youth who report current use of any tobacco product has decreased to 16.7 percent, down from 21.7 percent just two years ago.
While progress is being made in Tennessee, the U.S. surgeon general has stated smoking continues to remain the single most preventable cause of premature death in our society, with cigarette smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke accounting for 480,000 deaths each year in the U.S., including the deaths of 11,400 Tennesseans.
If current tobacco use rates continue, 5.6 million people under age 18 alive today will ultimately die from smoking, with 125,000 of those deaths occurring among Tennesseans.
“We want to promote the Quitline and other resources to those who may be struggling with quitting tobacco or who have friends, family, or others who they might share this information with who need help,” Chafin said.
The Center for Health and Human Services, in partnership with the Adams Chair of Excellence in Health Care Services, initiates and strengthens academic programs in health and human services to support workforce development and promote healthy communities.
For more information about the center or to learn how the center can help meet your organization’s research, training, or education needs, contact Cynthia Chafin at 615-898-5493 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the center’s website at http://www.mtsu.edu/chhs/.
Learn more about Tennessee Department of Health services and programs at www.tn.gov/health.