February’s American Heart Month reminds us of the importance of taking care of the body’s most vital muscular organ. Quitting tobacco is one of the most important actions people who smoke can take to reduce their risk for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smoking is a major cause of CVD and is responsible for about 1 in every 4 U.S. deaths from CVD. And it’s not just physical health that improves, but financial health as well. A person who smokes a pack a day spends on average $3,276 per year on cigarettes (based on $9 per pack), which is money that can put towards rent/mortgage, home repairs, or a fun getaway.

Quitting is not always easy, but you don’t have to do it alone. The Livingston County Health Department (LCHD), in partnership with IHR Counseling Services, is offering free Courage to Quit smoking cessation classes. This Respiratory Health Association certified course is three sessions and a great way to learn new skills to help kick your smoking habit and find support with others who are working to do the same.

The next class will be held at Fairbury’s Dominy Memorial Library on March 7, 14, and 28 at 5pm. Registration is required. Please call Erin Fogarty, LCHD Health Education & Marketing Director, at 815-842-5908 for questions and to sign-up. More information, including additional classes, can be found on the LCHD’s website: www.lchd.us.