News and Events

Quitting Tobacco is the Best New Year’s Resolution You Can Make!
By Whitney Browning, DeSoto County Tobacco Prevention Specialist
December 4, 2014

As the holiday season approaches, we often reflect on ways that we can improve ourselves as we prepare to turn the page on another year.  For tobacco users, this often provides the extra motivation necessary to make a successful quit attempt.

It is no secret that there are many health risks associated with smoking; cancer, heart disease, and lung disease just to to name a few. However, another health risk is constantly used as a reason to smoke: stress.

For a smoker, nicotine depletion enhances feelings of irritability and tension. When this happens, the body is creating signals of stress because it is experiencing withdrawal symptoms. When you smoke to relieve stress, you are not only creating more stress in your body, but also a habit that will associate smoking with stressful situations. This increases your addiction to nicotine both mentally and physically.

“Realizing that nicotine doesn’t relieve stress but actually causes stress can be a hard thing for smokers to get their heads around,” said Dr. Barry Hummel, Co-Founder of the Quit Doc Research and Education Foundation, which manages the Tobacco Free Florida Program in DeSoto County. “Once smokers realize nicotine makes it harder to deal with their day-to-day stress… that they have always had the inner strength to handle stress on their own… they have a much easier time overcoming their addiction.”

Trust the Quitter in You

There is no doubt that the healthiest choice you can make is to quit smoking.  When you are ready to take that step, Tobacco Free Florida offers three free and easy ways to help you quit. This includes the Florida Quitline, Web Coach, and in-person classes through the Florida Area Health Education Centers (AHEC) Network.

It is also important that you learn how to cope with the inevitable stresses that are a part of life. Taking a break, breathing deeply, focusing on the “here and now”, and exercising are just a few of the strategies available to relieve stress.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “Tips From Formers Smokers” campaign has an extensive list of tips on to reduce stress in your life. The full list of tips on dealing with stress can be found at:

So, trust the quitter in you! To learn more about Tobacco Free Florida’s free resources today and get additional tips and tools to help you quit, visit

If you are a quitter or just someone who wants to help make DeSoto a healthier place to live than check out the Tobacco Free Partnership of DeSoto. Visit their website at or contact Whitney Browning, DeSoto County Tobacco Prevention Specialist, at 863-318-7848 for more information.