The Next Normal: Support groups

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Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 6:09 PM CDT
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LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - Like many agencies, The Coalition in Lufkin has had to change how they serve the community.

On Tuesday evenings in July, from 6 to 7 p.m., they are hosting free online classes to help adults quit tobacco.

“Just groups like this are really what people need to double and triple their chances of quitting. So I would say give yourself a break, give yourself grace because smoking is hard enough, tobacco is hard enough to break the habit,” said Bonny Hicks, Tobacco Cessation Specialist. “But also in these times of COVID-19, it’s even more stressful.”

At a time where support may be needed more, The Coalition is responding. Before the pandemic, they were able to host tobacco cessation classes in person, but now they’ve gone virtual.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with it how it turned out,” Hicks said. “You’d think it would be really hard to get to know people and offer support, which is really such a big aspect of the class, is supporting each other and we got to know each other so well.”

At 6 p.m. on Tuesdays Hicks pulls up Zoom and leads the class through exercises and discussion. Participants have to fill out an initial form on their website and then can join the class.

“We need to get you a workbook. We provide all of the supplies you’ll need,” Hicks said. “So the other thing we’d need to get is your address and get that mailed to you so you’ll be able to have it. Because we go along with the lessons each week.”

Hicks said having this class virtually has created lots more flexibility for participants.

“One of the upsides is, one of our class participants was out of town and so she was still able, I mean she was in a hotel room,” Hicks said. “So she was still able to meet with us and she knew that she had that flexibility.”

To learn more or register for the class you can visit their website at

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