SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – According to the Florida AHEC (Area Health Education Centers) Network, most adult cigarette smokers want to quit, and more than half of adult cigarette smokers report having made an attempt to quit in the past year. In an effort to help Goodwill team members and community members quit successfully, the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program at Gulfcoast South AHEC has made a grant to Goodwill Manasota, to support tobacco cessation services, and tobacco treatment training of Goodwill staff and volunteers.
As part of the agreement, starting in April, Goodwill will offer monthly GSAHEC tobacco cessation groups at the following locations: Ranch Lake (8750 E. State Road 70, Bradenton), Honore (1704 N. Honore Ave., Sarasota) and North Port (14879 Tamiami Tr.); community members can also participate virtually. The dates are: Honore – April 12, May 10 and June 14, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.; Ranch Lake – April 13, May 11 and June 15, 1-3 p.m.; and North Port – April 14, May 12 and June 16, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Groups will include clients or former clients, vendors, volunteers, staff and/or board members, and retail store shoppers. As part of the program, participants would receive a free month’s supply of Nicotine Replacement Therapy.
“The Gulfcoast South AHEC and Goodwill Manasota already enjoy a strong partnership and Goodwill’s territory overlaps our service area as well,” said Ansley Mora, Gulfcoast South AHEC executive director. “With Goodwill’s access to the community through its workforce, clients and shoppers, we look forward to spreading the tobacco cessation message and helping smokers to find their way to healthier futures.”
The benefits of quitting smoking are many, with health improvements seen almost immediately. There are tremendous financial benefits for tobacco cessation as well: smoking-related illness in the U.S. costs more than $300 billion each year, including direct medical care and lost productivity. And, at today’s prices, smoking one pack per day for 10 years will cost an individual over $130,000.
“Goodwill’s most important resource is the people within the communities we serve – if we’re not investing in their well-being, then we are not achieving our mission,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services. “We believe it is our responsibility to offer opportunities, guidance and resources to enable our team members, their families and the wider community to make healthy choices. We look forward to working with the Gulfcoast South AHEC to create a healthier community together.”
To learn more about the tobacco cessation program or register for a class, call the Gulfcoast South AHEC at 941-361-6602 or visit gsahec.org. For more about Goodwill Manasota, visit experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.