Free smoking cessation classes in support of Tennessee Quit Week


Summit Medical Group will offer free classes to help East Tennesseans stop smoking as part of the organization’s support of Tennessee Quit Week. An annual statewide healthcare initiative led by the Tennessee Department of Health, Tennessee Quit Week encourages people to quit using tobacco. Held Feb. 4-8, the 2019 theme is: “Let’s Call It Quits.”

Summit Medical Group offers a “Fit to Quit” smoking cessation class and other free health education seminars year-round for its primary care patients. In support of Tennessee Quit Week, Summit will extend its “Fit to Quit” class to everyone in East Tennessee, not just its patients, at no charge.

“This is a statewide health issue,” said Dr. Eric Penniman, executive medical director of Summit Medical Group. “We want to be at the forefront of helping Tennesseans break this unhealthy and often deadly habit once and for all. Our classes have been extremely successful – 68% of patients who have completed a ‘Fit to Quit’ smoking cessation class with Summit report that they were finally able to stop smoking.”

According to figures from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, more than 22 percent of adults smoke in Tennessee compared to 17 percent nationwide. An estimated 11,400 Tennesseans die every year because of smoking, and the health care cost in Tennessee attributed to smoking is an estimated $2.67 billion.

Summit’s free “Fit to Quit” program – a series of seven one-hour classes over a six-week period – provides the tools and support to stop smoking. The free classes will start in February and March at three East Tennessee locations:

  • -- Sevierville: Wednesdays, 6-7 p.m., starting Feb. 27
  • -- Knoxville: Mondays, 5:30-6:30 p.m., starting March 4
  • -- Greeneville: Wednesdays, 2-3 p.m., starting March 6
  • The program also will be available via live webinar. Pre-registration is required by calling 865-212-2281 or emailing