Gold Sneaker!!!

WHAT IS THE GOLD SNEAKER INITIATIVE? The Gold Sneaker Initiative enhances policy related to health and wellness within licensed child care facilities in Tennessee. Gold Sneaker consists of 9 policies which deal with physical activity, nutrition and a tobacco-free campus. Participation in Gold Sneaker is voluntary and FREE! Child care programs that implement the policies will earn a Gold Sneaker award and are designated a ‘Gold Sneaker’ child care facility. 2 hours of continuing education is awarded and recognized by the Department of Human Services.

A Gold Sneaker designated facility will receive:

• an incentive package, with $200 worth of physical activity and nutrition resources

• a certificate signed by the Governor

• access to an electronic Gold Sneaker logo for parent letters, etc.

• two Gold Sneaker decals for your facility doors

• recognition on the Gold Sneaker web page, and

• a Gold Sneaker newsletter.

Gold Sneaker Facilities will:

• offer children at least 60 minutes of physical activity per day

• limit television and video viewing to 60 minutes per day of educational programs

• not allow children to remain sedentary or passive for more than 60 minutes continuously

• ensure physical activity is a positive experience

• ensure appropriate feeding patterns, including breastfeeding

• ensure appropriate feeding patterns, including adequate time for meal consumption

• ensure appropriate infant and child feeding patterns, including appropriate portion sizes

• promote a positive attitude toward food, and

• maintain a tobacco free campus.
For policy details and to learn more about the Gold Sneaker Initiative, please go to:


To become a Gold Sneaker facility, please contact
Marcha E. Allen-Bradley, M.B.A.

Tobacco Risk Coordinator

Office (901) 222-9273

Fax (901) 222-9287


National Public Health Week

Click here to view Shelby County’s NPHW video

All of us at the  Shelby County Health Department believe that we can make a difference as we strive to become the healthiest and safest community in Tennessee. Our mission is to promote, protect, and improve the health and environment of all Shelby County residents. Shelby County Health Department is committed to all areas of public health. We offer a plethora of tobacco prevention/ cessation services.

Youth Prevention – 901-222-9008

  •  Why Animals Don’t Smoke
  • #weDONTpuff
  • TATU – Teen Against Tobacco Use
  • T4 – Tennessee Teens Talk Tobacco

Adult Awareness/ Cessation 901-222-9274

  • TN Tobacco Quit  line 1(800) QUIT- NOW
  • Freedom from Smoking
  • Smoke Free Housing Assistance
  • Pathways

Maternal Cessation/ Prevention 901-222-9268

  • Baby & Me Tobacco Free


Talk it out!!!

 April is National alcohol and substance abuse month. This is a month where organizations and individuals focus on bringing awareness and education to alcoholism and substance addiction. One of the most abused substances in today’s society is tobacco and tobacco related products. Take a moment to talk it out with your  child about the dangers of tobacco, alcohol, and drugs. Knowing the facts will help your child make healthy choices.

  Not sure what to say? Here is a help list below!
When you talk about tobacco, alcohol, and drugs:

  • Teach your child the facts.
  • Give your child clear rules.
  • Find out what your child already knows.
  • Be prepared to answer your child’s questions.
  • Talk with your child about how to say “no.”

The Shelby County Health Department would like to reinforce the conversation parents have started. #WeDontPuff is a youth tobacco prevention campaign that encourages youth to never start tobacco and/or tobacco products. If you are a leader of a youth group in Shelby County and want more information about #WeDontPuff contact Paul Richardson at (901) 222-9008.

Talking it out is also great for support quitting if you want to talk it out call the TN QUITLINE 1800QUITNOW


Colorectal Cancer & Smoking

colon cancer

Colorectal cancer risk factors

A risk factor is anything that affects your chance of getting a disease such as cancer. Different cancers have different risk factors. Some risk factors, like smoking, can be changed. Others, like a person’s age or family history, can’t be changed.

But having a risk factor, or even many, does not mean that you will get the disease. And some people who get the disease may not have any known risk factors.

Researchers have found several risk factors that might increase a person’s chance of developing colorectal polyps or colorectal cancer.

One of the healthiest choices a smoker can make is to quit smoking in order to decrease risk factors for colorectal cancer.


what is your story question

Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) or 901-222-9274 to get more information on quitting tobacco.



Saying “Goodbye” to Smoking, part 2


Earlier this month, we told you about the Freedom from Smoking program offered by the Shelby County Health Department and shared some Quit Day Goodbye letters to cigarettes from the class’ participants. Here are a few more letters – two in the form of poetry – from participants in the January 2016 class. Please contact the Shelby County Health Department Tobacco Quit Line at (901) 222-9274 for information about cessation services available in Shelby County.

“Dear Mr. Marlboro”

     You have been a part of my life for 40 years but today things change. I must consider my health and the health of those I love. You were there in the good times and the bad always demanding my attention.

I am choosing today to be rid of you. The smells, bad breathe, and the need to step outside at family functions and the sending my dollars up in smoke ENDS today.

“Dear Cigarettes”

     I have enjoyed knowing you but you and I know that our relationship should end. I will miss you for a while. I have to keep reminding myself that this is the best thing for me.

There’s the door!

“Dear Marlboro Light Shorts”

I have decided that without you I will not miss:

Clothes, car and home smell

Worrying about my health

Short on $$

Being Avoided by non-smokers

Being fussed at by my family and friends

Cleaning ashtrays

Time spent on waiting in line to buy you

Time spent going back in the house when I left in a hurry and forgot to pick you up

Worrying if I am out of you

Having a habit like you


I have laughed with you

I have cried with you

You have always been my “go to”

I didn’t think I would

I didn’t think I could

But now I know that I should

Not die because of you

I will start my journey,

Take deep breaths of air

I will heal my body

Save my money

And no longer hover in far corners.

I will not mourn this loss.

For today I will toss

All thoughts of you from my mind.

Farewell and so long

Because today,

I will begin to right

30 (give or take)

Years of wrong


Saying “Goodbye” to Smoking


The Shelby County Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program offers free smoking cessation classes through the Freedom from Smoking program to Shelby county residents who are looking to become tobacco free. Freedom from Smoking is an evidence-based smoking cessation program offering a systematic approach to quitting smoking that focuses on behavior change. Instead of concentrating on the negative effects of smoking, Freedom from Smoking highlights the positive effects of quitting smoking, including improved health and lifestyle. Participants in Freedom from Smoking attend eight community-based sessions within seven weeks. During Session 4 participants prepare for their expected “QUIT DAY”, participants also prepare to say good-bye to an old habit by writing “goodbye” letters to their cigarettes. Check out below some of the goodbye letters our participants shared in the currently-running class:

“My Dearest Friend Kool Mild”

     For many long years, you have been there for me, a source of comfort. You came back into my life 33 years ago, at the death of a loved one, my only Uncle Jack. I can remember that day like it was yesterday. You comforted me; you helped me to get through one of the darkest times in my life. You are always there, waiting to give me what I think I need. You fill a void in my life. Being with you gives me a false sense of power.

How crazy is that!!! You have all of the power and I gave it to you. I have given you my last dollar at times. There were times when there was a choice of food or cigarettes, and I choose you. I cling to you even when I am chronically ill. Through serious bouts of pneumonia and bronchitis, I still gave in to you. It is time for the madness to stop! Enough is enough!!! I do not belong to you, you do not own me. I am done allowing you to suck the very life out of me. Today is the first day of the rest of my life; a life that does not include a relationship with you.

I trust the God I serve to keep me through this transition. I know that he loves and truly cares for me. His will for me is to be happy, healthy, and prosperous. I choose God’s will for my life. I choose to be healthy and to feel good. I choose a life without YOU.

Goodbye Old Friend

“Dear Camel Blues”

     Our relationship has been a lie. It is a relationship of deception, co-dependence, and convenience. Before you came into my life, I knew how to enjoy my own company. I could ride in a car with the windows up and just enjoy the drive. I could sit outside and enjoy being outside. Before you, my morning routine had more to do with breakfast and getting out the door to be 15 minutes early. Before you, I would fill my free time with outdoor activities or cooking and cleaning for my family. I cared about them first before you. Because of you, I have subconsciously lowered many of my standards for life. I’m late for things. I choose you over my children. Emily hates you. When the three of us are together, she stares at you with contempt and anger about what you are doing to her mother. She wonders how much time we have together before you take me away for good. My mother hates you too. She doubts herself and her ability to parent every time she sees us together. When she looks at you, she is reminded of a time in our lives when I was completely broken….and I turned to you instead of her. She wants so much more for me than you. She knows you’ll take me away from her and from my children before it’s time.

Ben is too young. I won’t let him see us together because I’m ashamed of you. Which only embarrasses me more when I allow Emily to see us together.

When I think about why we are together… makes me want to turn the page. We are together because I foolishly thought you could help me through the darkest period of my life. What I didn’t realize then, was that as deep and dark as that was for me…it was temporary. Now, that time is over, and I am basking in more blessings than I ever thought possible for me. And yet here you are. Unwelcome. Demanding my time and health. Choosing you was choosing a slower form of suicide… a permanent solution to a temporary problem. Thinking that you were helping me was beyond foolish. Since the day we met, you have been slowly leading me towards a darkness that will not only affect me, but everyone who loves and depends on me. I’m smarter than this. I
know better. I’m not weak anymore. I’m not afraid anymore. It’s time to let you go and stand supported by those who need me, want me and more important… love me.”

If you are interested in receiving more information about the Freedom From Smoking program or any other cessation services, please contact the Shelby County Health Department’s Quit Line at (901) 222-9274.

New Hopes!!!

New is the year, new are the hopes; new is the resolution for us to help you put down your smokes!


The Shelby County Health Department will host Freedom from Smoking classes starting Tuesday January 05, 2016. Shelby County Health Department’s Tobacco Prevention Program offers free cessation classes via the Freedom from Smoking program to Shelby county residents who are looking to become tobacco free. Freedom from Smoking is an evidence-based smoking cessation program offering a systematic approach to quitting smoking that focuses on behavior change. Instead of concentrating on the negative effects of smoking, Freedom from Smoking highlights the positive effects of quitting smoking, including improved health and lifestyle. Participants in Freedom from Smoking attend eight community-based sessions within seven weeks. All class materials are provided in the first sessions with no charge to the participant. The sessions have two facilitators and a maximum of 16 participants. The first three sessions are considered part of the “Preparation Phase”. Session 4 is “Quit Day”. The sessions that follow are the same “Maintenance Phase” designed to support participants through a difficult behavior change and to focus on techniques to maintain permanent smoke free status. The facilitator’s task is to help create a step-by-step plan for quitting smoking with each program participant. The goal is to get participants focused on how to quit smoking and how to maintain abstinence. If you or a loved one may be interested in the Freedom from Smoking please contact Courtney Tipper at 901-222-9274.

Location 1:

Shelby County Health Department

Class Day: Tuesday Nights

Start Date: January 05, 2016

End Date: February 16, 2016