FILE - This Friday, April 7, 2017, file photo, shows cigarette butts discarded in an ashtray outside a New York office building. Decades after they were banned from the airwaves, Big Tobacco companies are returning to prime-time television, but not by choice. Under court order, the tobacco industry for the first time will be forced to advertise the deadly, addictive effects of smoking, more than 11 years after a judge ruled that the companies had misled the public about the dangers of cigarettes. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

AHS program helps Red Deer residents quit tobacco

Red Deerians wishing to kick their tobacco habits can access tools and support through a free Alberta Health Services program.

The QuitCore program teaches people who use tobacco how to develop a plan to quit while providing strategies to address recovery symptoms, manage stress and prevent relapse, AHS said in a release.

QuitCore will be offered in-person from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesdays from Sept. 20 to Oct. 25, at Johnstone Crossing Community Health Centre in Red Deer.

To register, interested participants can call toll-free 1-866-710-7848. Participants will be required to wear a mask, complete symptom screening, and avoid bringing food and drink to the session in adherence to all COVID-19 safety protocols.

Tobacco is the leading preventable cause of disease, disability and premature death in Alberta, causing more than 3,000 deaths each year across the province. Many more Albertans suffer from tobacco-related illnesses.

AHS offers various programs and services to help Albertans quit tobacco, including telephone and online support services, one-on-one counselling, and group cessation programs, such as QuitCore, which launched in 2008. The program is now available in more than 25 communities across the province.

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