Breaking the Habit
The new addition will be a place where people will be able to get support when trying to quit smoking cigarettes.
$700,000 has been earmarked for the Health Department addition by the state, which includes money won in the 1997 Tobacco Settlement. At Friday's Alachua County Commission meeting, the Health Department will ask the county for an additional $600,000.
"It's very difficult for people to quit," said Health Department Administrator Jean Munden.
It's easy to put that last cigarette into the ashtray. The tough part is not picking another one up.
"I think its very difficult for people to stop smoking," said Munden. "They have to be really committed so the first time they try they may not succeed so it may take several times."
Some of the money will go to building a designated room to hold classes where people could learn how to succesfully quit smoking.
"The concept of the class is to help people get ready to quit, have a plan, and then to offer them some assistance in quitting," said Program Development Director Diane Dimperio.
And smoking isn't the only health issue you can take a class about at the Health Department.
"We like to not just offer tobacco cessation but other educational classes. We would work to improve the health of the citizens of Alachua County," said Dimperio.
Health Department officials say that they usually have somewhere between three and ten people per class, but they're hoping the number will go up if they build the new classroom.
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