SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – In an effort to help Goodwill employees and community members to quit smoking successfully, the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program at Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center and Goodwill Manasota are expanding the availability of smoking cessation programs. AHEC previously presented a pilot program for the “Tobacco Free Florida’s Quit Your Way” program presented at three Goodwill Manasota locations from April through June; due to its success, AHEC and Goodwill Manasota are now expanding the offering to five Goodwill Manasota locations.
The tobacco cessation services are available for all Goodwill Manasota employees and members of the public who wish to quit using any form of tobacco. Programs are free to all participants.
Goodwill will offer monthly GSAHEC tobacco cessation groups at the following locations: Corporate Campus (2705 51st Ave. E., Bradenton) – the last Tuesday of each month, 1-3 p.m.; Selby Newtown (1781 Dr. Martin Luther King Way, Sarasota) – the second Tuesday of each month, 10 a.m.-noon; Honore (1704 N. Honore Ave, Sarasota, Sarasota) – the last Tuesday of each month, 10 a.m.-noon; Arcadia (1701 E. Oak St.) – day/time TBD; and North Port (14879 Tamiami Tr.).
The benefits of quitting smoking are many, with health improvements seen almost immediately. In one to two days, chances of heart attack decrease and sense of taste returns. Circulation improves over the next few months. After one year, the risk of coronary heart disease decreases to half of that of a current smoker. After 10 years, the risk of dying from lung cancer is halved, and the risk of kidney and pancreatic cancer decreases.
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.
“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. This program supports Goodwill’s wellness program, which focuses on physical, financial, mental and holistic wellness,” said Margie Genter, vice president of mission services. “We look forward to working with the Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center again to create a healthier community – together.”
To learn more about the tobacco cessation program or register for a class, text “Quitting” to 941-254-5977. 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.