Issue 37| January 2021
Save the Date!
COVID-19, COPD & Tobacco Use
Presented in Partnership with Gulfcoast North AHEC
Speaker: Kirk G. Voelker, MD
Pulmonologist and Director of Clinical Research, Sarasota Memorial Hospital
Tuesday, January 26, 2021 • 1:00 - 2:00pm
This presentation will explore the characteristics of COVID-19, its selective effects on the lungs, and how smokers are at a higher risk for a poor or fatal health outcome.
Upon completion of this webinar, participants will be able to:
  • Understand COVID-19's health effects on smokers/vapers and their increased risk for complications with the disease.
  • Understand the importance of complying with COVID-19 precautions for effective contagion prevention.
  • Improve communication with healthcare providers and non-healthcare providers about COVID-19 precautions, treatment and research.
Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center, Inc. is a Florida Board of Nursing Approved provider, CE Broker Provider # 50-840. This program is approved by the Board of Nursing for up to 1.0 contact hours.

Gulfcoast North Area Health Education Center, Inc., is a Florida Board of Social Work, Marriage and Family Therapy, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, Florida Board of Pharmacy, and Florida Board of Occupational Therapy provider. CE Broker Provider # 50-839. This program is approved for up to 1.0 contact hours. 
Registration Information will be available after the New Year
Gulfcoast South AHEC offers free group quit classes

Virtual Tools to Quit Class Dates and Times:

January 4th | 2:00 - 4:00 pm
January 6th | 6:00 - 8:00 pm
January 7th | 11:00 - 1:00 pm
January 14th | 4:00 - 6:00 pm
January 20th | 6:00 - 8:00 pm
January 25th | 2:00 - 4:00 pm
January 26th | 3:00 - 5:00 pm (SPANISH)
January 27th | 6:00 - 8:00 pm

Pre-registration is required.
Call 866-534-7909 to register.

You will be emailed a link to join by Zoom®
conference via video.

Tools to Quit classes will provide you with information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your own quit plan.
Audio Tools to Quit Class!

January 7th | 11:00 - 1:00 pm
January 14th| 11:00 - 1:00 pm
January 21st | 11:00 - 1:00 pm
January 28th | 11:00 -1:00 pm

Pre-registration is required.
Call 866-534-7909 to register.

This is the audio alternative to the virtual Tools to Quit class.

Tools to Quit classes will provide you with information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your own quit plan.

Virtual Quit Smoking Now Class

January 7th | 3:00 - 4:00 pm
January 14th | 3:00 - 4:00 pm
January 21st | 3:00 - 4:00 pm
January 28th | 3:00 - 4:00 pm

Pre-registration is required.
Call 866-534-7909 to register.

Quit Smoking Now support groups meet once a week for
four weeks and cover a variety of topics including coping with withdrawal symptoms, managing addiction and preventing relapse. Participants must attend first session. 

Benefits of all classes include:

  • FREE - Nicotine replacement patches, gum or lozenges*
  • FREE - Participant workbook and materials
  • Covers all forms of tobacco
*if medically appropriate and 18 years of age or older

You select your quit date.
YEAR-TO-DATE IMPACT (7/1/20—6/30/21)
How to Make—and Keep—a New Year’s Resolution to Quit Tobacco
It is no secret that most New Year’s resolutions tend to fail before they even have a chance to “get off the ground”. However, something about the “clean slate” that a new year brings inspires every one of us to try anyway. We think about all the positive changes we want to make in our lives, get off to a great start, but get sidetracked by the busy-ness and pressures of life and lose focus. Despite our failures, we vow to ourselves that we will “do better next year”. The failure that many of us experience is often the result of failing to make a sustainable plan. Benjamin Franklin said it best when he said: “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!”

If you’re planning to start off this new year tobacco-free, set yourself up for success by creating a plan, learning what it takes to quit and knowing what to expect from the process

When it comes to quitting and staying quit, you must have a plan.¹ Having a personalized plan will not only keep you on track, but it will also help get you through the challenging moments that will inevitably come your way.  Here are six simple steps to create your quit plan that will set you up for success³:

Step One: Mark your calendar.

With New Year’s coming up, now is a perfect time to quit tobacco for good. Start 2021 off on the right foot by cutting out the #1 preventable cause of death and disease in the United States: tobacco use.¹ Set your quit date, but also tell your friends and family your plans to quit and explain how they can help you. Quitting tobacco is easier when people in your life support you.

Step Two: Calculate your savings.

Did you know a pack-a-day smoker can save over $2,200 a year from quitting?³ Cutting out tobacco use is an excellent way to build your savings back up now that the holidays are behind you.

Step Three: Think about your reasons for quitting.

Whether your main reason for quitting is related to health, money, family, job, or social stigma, you are making the right decision for your health and the health of those around you by quitting tobacco use. Knowing your reasons for why you want to quit can keep you motivated and on track, especially in the difficult moments.³

Step Four: Know your triggers. 

Think about what things make you more likely to use tobacco, then develop strategies to keep you in control of those triggers.

Step Five: Fight your cravings.

When you get an urge to use tobacco, changing what you are doing or your physical location can make it easier to get your mind off of tobacco until the craving passes.

Step Six: Set yourself up for success.

Choose strategies and tools to help you quit. Gulfcoast South Area Health Education Center (GSAHEC), as part of the Tobacco Free Florida AHEC Cessation Program — offers free tobacco cessation classes that are available to help someone quit all forms of tobacco. These group cessation classes, now held virtually, provide information about the effects of tobacco use, the benefits of quitting, and will assist you with developing your own customized quit plan. Free nicotine replacement therapy in the form of patches, gum or lozenges (if medically appropriate and while supplies last) are provided with the class. Attendees will also receive a participant workbook, quit kit materials, and follow up support from a trained tobacco treatment specialist. Contact us today at 866-534-7909 or visit to schedule a class or learn more about the program!

¹Tools to Quit: Area Health Education Center (AHEC) Cessation Program Participant Toolkit. Area Health Education Centers. 2018.
Be Sure to Support Gulfcoast South AHEC on All Your Amazon Purchases!
2201 Cantu Court, Suite 220
Sarasota, FL 34232
(941) 361-6602
If you would like to learn more about GSAHEC's youth or language access programs, please contact us today by visiting our website or reaching us at (941) 361-6602.