Photo via Wikimedia Commons

Now that the tax on a pack of cigarettes has gone up by 50 cents, it’s the perfect time for Kentuckians to quit smoking.

That’s according to health advocates like the Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness.

The department and some of its community partners are offering a series of free classes to help smokers quit.

“It’s always good to stop smoking, and now with the increased cigarette tax, people have even more reason,” said Dave Langdon, a spokesman for Public Health and Wellness.

The tax hike — from 60 cents to $1.10 per 20 cigarettes and a proportionate rate for packs of 25s — went into effect July 1. It was passed by the General Assembly this year at the urging of the Coalition for a Smoke-Free Tomorrow, which brought together 160 organizations to push for an increase to reduce smoking and related health problems.

“As soon as you quit, your body will start to recover from some of the damage tobacco use has caused,” Coalition chair Ben Chandler said in a news release. “You’ll feel better within a relatively short time, and you’ll be healthier and likely live longer as a result. It’s never too late to quit.”

The health department’s classes are based on the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking program.

Over the course of eight sessions, participants attend weekly support group meetings, which are combined with the use of nicotine replacement products, such as patches and gum. The smoking-cessation products are supplied at no charge.

“We’ve tried to have classes at a range of times and places to make it as convenient as possible,” Langdon said.

Advanced registration is required. If interested, call 574-STOP (574-7867), email [email protected] or use the online form.

The Series

  • July 18-Aug. 29 (Wednesdays, 12-1:30 p.m.): Family Health Centers — Portland, 2215 Portland Ave.
  • July 19-Sept. 6 (Thursdays, 5:30-7 p.m.): Main Library, 301 York St.
  • July 24-Sept. 4 (Tuesdays, 5:30-7 p.m.): Family Health Centers, East Broadway, 834 E. Broadway.
  • Aug. 1-Sept. 19 (Wednesdays, 2-3:30 p.m.): Fairdale Library, 10630 W. Manslick Road.
  • Aug. 15-Oct. 3 (Wednesdays, 3:30-5 p.m.): Housing Authority of Louisville, 1406 Frederick Ave.

 

Darla Carter is a hometown girl who recently joined the staff of Insider Louisville to mostly cover health. She previously served as a longtime health and fitness writer for The Courier-Journal, where she also worked for the Metro, Neighborhoods and Features departments. Prior to that, the award-winning journalist wrote for newspapers elsewhere in Kentucky and Tennessee, covering a range of topics, from education to courts. She's a graduate of Western Kentucky University, where she studied journalism and philosophy, and is the proud mom of two young children.


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