News Release, St. Mary’s County Health Department

LEONARDTOWN, MD (March 20, 2019) – The Tobacco Free Living (TFL) Action Team of the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership will host an open information session for local faith-based organizations on the Smoke Free Holy Grounds initiative on Friday, March 29, 2019 from 1:00-2:00 p.m. in Meeting Room A/B at the Lexington Park Library, located at 21677 Franklin Delano Roosevelt Blvd.

“Currently, 15% of adults in St. Mary’s are smokers and 27% of our youth are using tobacco products,” said Caitlin Kirkpatrick, Tobacco Control Program Coordinator at the St. Mary’s County Health Department (SMCHD). “We have amazing partners and resources in our community that are here to help anyone who wants to quit.”

Smoke Free Holy Grounds (SFHG) is implemented through pastoral leadership to practice and promote healthy lifestyles in the faith community. It involves a covenant to adopt tobacco-free policies and to promote tobacco prevention and cessation programs for members, with the assistance of public health partners such as the TFL Action Team and SMCHD.

Bishop Larry Lee Thomas, the founder of SFHG, will be providing an overview of the initiative and representatives of the TFL Action Team will be present to discuss local resources and ways to get involved. Faith-based organizations that join the SFHG initiative would be one of over 300 churches across Maryland that are dedicated to a healthy and positive environment.

Faith-based organizations play a pivotal role in strengthening the social fabric of neighborhoods and communities, mobilizing residents to address community issues, promoting volunteerism, and delivering direct services across a broad spectrum to address critical unmet human needs. Faith organizations have the ability to reach a great number of community members on a consistent basis, and the TFL team hopes to partner with local faith-based organizations to provide the tools and expertise needed to promote health and wellness for their congregations.

If your faith-based organization is interested in practicing and promoting healthy lifestyles in your community, please join us for this information session or contact the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership at (301) 475-6777 or atstmaryspartnership@gmail.com. Local quit resources and information is available at:www.smchd.org/tobacco

David M. Higgins II, Publisher/Editor

David M. Higgins was born in Baltimore and grew up in Southern Maryland. He has had a passion for journalism since high school. After spending many years in the Hospitality Industry he began working in...