Flagler County Department of Health’s Quit4Me program
By Gretchen Smith
Public Information Officer
Florida Department of Health in Flagler
Cody Strickland is bringing up her 1-year-old son, Tristan, in a healthy smoke-free environment, thanks in part to the Flagler County Department of Health’s Quit4Me program. Strickland enrolled in the smoking cessation program when she was four months pregnant. More than a year later, she has kept her promise to stay tobacco-free and is the recipient of a prize that helped motivate her — free diapers.
Launched in 2018, Quit4Me is a logical extension of the services the health department and its WIC (Women Infants and Children) staff offers pregnant women.
“We want to help pregnant moms stop smoking as soon as possible and give them an added incentive for staying tobacco-free after the baby is born — a year’s worth of free diapers," said Robert Snyder, Health Department administrator.
Quit4Me mirrors other successful smoking cessation outreach efforts throughout the state. The program supports pregnant women, regardless of their income level, by offering an opportunity to quit smoking in an empowering and encouraging environment. Enrollment and participation is free.
Strickland, who had smoked cigarettes for 12 years, signed up for the class after meeting the Quit4Me program coordinator, Rochelle Stone.
“I knew I needed to quit smoking and once I found out about the free diapers, I knew I had to do it,” Strickland said. “Quitting was very important for both my son's health and my own. I want to be the best mom I can be, and smoking is not me being my best — that's my motivation. Plus, I love that I’m saving money not buying cigarettes and winning 24 packs of diapers! I’m very proud of myself and so are my friends and family.”
The next Quit4Me class will be held 2-4 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 10, at the health department in Bunnell (301 Dr. Carter Blvd). Expectant and new mothers who wish to be part of Quit4Me should contact Rochelle Stone at 386-313-7107.
After attending the introductory class, moms report back to the health department as needed to be tested for tobacco use. Participants who successfully quit smoking and remain smoke-free after delivering will save money while creating healthier environments for themselves and their babies. As a bonus, the moms will receive a box of diapers each month for up to a year if they stay tobacco free. Partners and anyone living in the same home are encouraged to participate as well.