It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee program launched

Posted 2/2/18

“It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” was launched Thursday evening at The Church of God, Jerusalem Acres by the Bradley County Interagency Council and Bradley County Faith-based Recovery Initiative.

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It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee program launched

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“It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee” was launched Thursday evening at The Church of God, Jerusalem Acres by the Bradley County Interagency Council and Bradley County Faith-based Recovery Initiative.

" It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee" is a weeklong campaign to promote the importance of and resources for quitting smoking.

Local faith-based recovery programs used the event as a rally for members of all faiths to come together, coordinate, talk about and take action to help people overcome the tobacco addiction.

Bradley County Mayor D. Gary Davis has declared the coming week Tennessee Quit Week.

David Kramer, pastor of The Church of God, Jerusalem Acres, said the week was designed to encourage tobacco users to make a plan to quit. He encouraged tobacco users to call the QuitLine (1-800-Quit-Now or 1-800-784-8669).

Eloise Waters, Bradley County Health Department director, stressed importance of handling tobacco addiction. She said quitting could help “increase your quality of life by extending your life and (can be a benefit) simply through cost savings. Anyone can change a behavior. It just takes time, patience and commitment.”

Also representing the Cleveland-based recovery and prevention awareness program were Health Department Health educator Amy Davenport and Tobacco Prevention counselor Linda Avila.  

Avila has been working with the American Lung Association to provide a seven-week class for those wishing to stop smoking.  

Avila said her first member is scheduled to graduate next Thursday during Tennessee Quit Week.  

Several members of the faith-based coalition from the surrounding counties were present, including Dave Hodges from Tennessee Lifeline Peer Project. The Lifeline Project is established to reduce stigma related to the disease of addiction and increase community support for policies that provide recovery.  

“Our goal is to simply go out and share our story and give people hope and not only do that but grow and increase and maintain recovery support services,” Hodges said, who is a recovering addict of more than 22 years. 

He said the key is communicating between churches and organizations and knowing what each location is providing.  Many churches may only offer one area of recovery service, whether it be transportation services, housing, outreach, employment services or peer to peer.  Knowing what each ministry is specializing in and communication between all ministries is the key to providing help to someone in need of recovery based services. 

Paul Hook, of Pirate Springs in Polk County, said his mission is to help people “find the buried treasure within yourself.”  
Pirate Springs is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) corporation working to make the community safer and more productive by helping addicts, alcoholics, and victims of abuse recover and reintegrate with society as productive citizens rather than remaining chronically needy or career criminals.  

Hook said helping someone in recovery doesn’t stop after someone graduates from classes. You have to walk with them in rejoining society as a whole person.

This week, Lee University nursing students are visiting public housing and the health department this week to set up displays and provide educational materials for the It’s Quittin’ Time in Tennessee 2018 initiative.  

Also this week, members of the Tennessee Teens Talk Tobacco group, or T4, are planning to present tobacco facts to Ocoee Middle, Cleveland High School, Walker Valley High School and Bradley Central High School.

 Bradley County Sheriff Eric Watson also was present to show support for the Quittin’ Time initiative.

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