Healthy People in a Healthy Environment

Public Health Education and Public Information

Presentations and Exhibits:

Pending staff availability, the Public Health Education Unit can provide no-cost presentations for community, business and school groups on a variety of tobacco awareness, cancer prevention and other health issues.  Staff members also may be available to exhibit at community and business functions, providing information about Health Department services and a variety of personal and public health-related topics. Call 410-612-1781 for more information.

Pre-Quitting Class:

A free one-and-a-half hour program informs smokers/tobacco users about the various techniques used to quit and also explores why individuals get hooked on tobacco products. It is highly recommended, though not mandatory, that persons wishing to participate in “Quit Tobacco” classes attend the “Pre-Quit” session in order that they might assess their personal levels of willingness and readiness to “quit.”

Quit Tobacco Classes:

Participants should attend the Pre-Quitting class prior to participating in the free “Quit Tobacco” classes.  Class topics include information about nicotine addiction, stress management, diet and exercise, how to quit, managing as an ex-tobacco user, dealing with obstacles and relapse situations, and how to remain an ex-tobacco user.

Classes are offered throughout the year at several locations in the county and also can be offered on-site at businesses, tailored to fit organizational needs.  To obtain the current schedule or for more program information, call 410-612-1781.

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) Product:

Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) product, including patches, lozenges and gum, may be available at no cost to those who qualify. NRT product eligibility requirements include:

  • Residing or working in Harford County
  • Attending at least half of the Quit-Class sessions
  • Having a completed Physician Referral Form***

***  A Physician Referral Form will be provided at the first session.  This form must be completed by a doctor and FAXed to the Harford County Health Department Tobacco program at 410-612-9184.

Additional Resources:

The State of Maryland also offers a toll-free Quit-Line to assist individuals in quitting tobacco. To learn more about this program, call 1-800-QUITNOW or visit

Information and Referral  Links:

HarfordCounty Cancer and Tobacco Community Coalition Tobacco Section:

The Harford County Health Department “Tobacco” Coalition is comprised of representatives from community agencies, minority organizations, hospitals, local government, and private citizens working together with Health Department staff to design and implement Cigarette Restitution Fund (CRF) Tobacco program initiatives.  Tobacco section meetings are held approximately six times a year in Harford County and membership is open to any person or organization interested in reducing the adverse impact that tobacco use has on health, families and the economy.  For more information about our coalition or to apply for cancer coalition membership, please see call 410-612-1781.

Why Quit Smoking?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

Within 24 hours:   

  • Carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal
  • Heart rate slow and skin temperature increases
  • Chance of heart attack decreases

Within two to five days:   

  • Detectable levels of nicotine disappear
  • Respiratory symptoms (cold, coughing, etc.) gradually disappear                         

 Two to nine months after quitting:         

  • Headaches and stomach aches caused by smoking disappear
  • Your body is better able fight  infection
  • Energy increases
  • Cilia in your lungs begin to come to life and attempt to clear the accumulated mucus out of your air passages

 After your first year “smoke-free”:

  • Heart returns to nearly normal conditions
  • Experience a 90% drop in risk of heart disease

10 years after quitting:     

  • Risk of dying from lung cancer similar to that of non-smokers

15 years after quitting:  

  • Risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker

U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative:

The U.S. Surgeon General encourages everyone to take time to collect important health history information that can benefit all family members. The U.S. Surgeon General has developed a web-based family history tool called “My Family Health Portrait”.  To learn more about the U.S. Surgeon General’s Family History Initiative, visit or click on  to develop your own family health history portrait..