Jackson County to launch free program to help residents quit smoking

Seymour, Ind. – The Jackson County Health Department will launch a new smoking cessation program on November 17 to coincide with the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout.

The program, funded by the Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere (I-HOPE) initiative, in partnership with the Indiana University School of Public Health and Center for Rural Engagement, provides a novel approach to motivate behavior change through carbon monoxide monitoring and is part of a larger effort that seeks to reduce smoking and smoke exposure in rural southern Indiana.

People who smoke have have a higher risk of severe symptoms caused by respiratory-related illness such as COVID-19. Secondhand smoke exposure also increases the risk of respiratory problems in nonsmokers, including children. Since the prevalence of smoking is higher in rural areas and quit rates are lower, this smoking cessation program is designed to address these disparities.

The Jackson County Health Department will offer the free intervention in combination with Freshstart, the American Cancer Society’s quit smoking program. Freshstart consists of four one-on-one sessions with a trained specialist, held during a four-week period. Freshstart also provides nicotine replacement therapy options. Together, these approaches will offer comprehensive support for individuals who wish to quit smoking.

People interested in enrolling in the program can call the Jackson County Health Department at 812-522-6474 during business hours and ask for the Public Health Educator.

The two-year Indiana Healthy Opportunities for People Everywhere initiative, or I-HOPE, is deploying teams across the state to facilitate community-level conversations and develop strategies to address the factors that prevent people from living their healthiest lives. The work examines longstanding risk factors, as well as the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Hoosiers' health. The effort is being funded by a $34.8 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This program is supported by funds made available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Center for State, Tribal, Local and Territorial Support, under NH75OT000073.

Media contact:
Kyla Cox Deckard, IU Center for Rural Engagement
(812) 855-4992 office (812) 219-9993 cell

The IU Center for Rural Engagement improves the lives of Hoosiers through collaborative initiatives that discover and deploy scalable and flexible solutions to common challenges facing rural communities. Working in full-spectrum community innovation through research, community-engaged teaching and student service, the center builds vision, harnesses assets and cultivates sustainable leadership structures within the communities with which it engages to ensure long-term success.