Help Your Loved One Quit Smoking

February is American Heart Month, so before you think about what kind of flowers or type of candy to buy for Valentine's Day, choose the Valentine that is better than any box of chocolates or bouquet of expensive red roses: show your love by supporting your sweetheart in quitting smoking.

According to the CDC, smoking is a leading cause of heart disease. Smoking leads to the narrowing of blood vessels and high blood pressure and quitting smoking greatly improves heart health.

If your sweetheart is thinking about quitting, here are some ways your gift of support can encourage them along their journey:

1. Let your sweetie know you'll be their quit partner for as long as it takes - a smoker usually attempts to quit an average of 7 times before they quit for good.

2. Remind them that going cold turkey is not always the best option. Recommend that they talk to their doctor about stop-smoking medications. Smokers who get support and use stop-smoking medicines are nearly 3 times as likely to quit for good!

3. Help them celebrate the small victories - like the first 24 hours of being smoke-free, the first week, or the first time they make it through a stressful event without smoking.

4. Bring them little treats like sugar-free gum, mints, and healthy snacks to help keep their hands and mouth busy.

5. Distract them from cravings and help them relieve stress - take a walk with them, send them a reassuring text, or just run an errand together.


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If it seems like your loved one is in a bad mood, try not to take it personally - nicotine is a very addictive drug! Quitting smoking is one of the most difficult things they will ever do.

Lastly, it is common for those attempting to quit to slip up and have a cigarette. If this happens to your loved one, don't be discouraged or critical. Most importantly, let them know you're there for them when they're ready to try again.

To learn more about how you can help your loved one quit smoking, visit makesmokinghistory.org and click on the "Quit Now" tab.

This Valentine's Day and American Heart Month, give the perfect gift; show your beloved just how much you care with the gift of support, and, ultimately, heart health.

Tina Grosowsky, Project Coordinator

Central MA Tobacco Free Community Partnership

Snow postpones Shirley Charitable Foundation Show

It was disappointing to have to postpone the Shirley Charitable Foundation Fashion Show on Sunday, February 12, but safety was our primary concern. We have another date, Sunday, May 21, when the weather will hopefully be warm and sunny.

Tickets that have already been purchased will be able to be used on that date. If you are not able to attend the fashion show on May 21 and have purchased a ticket, please inform the person you purchased the ticket from and you will receive a refund.

All of the details for the fashion show are the same except for the date. It will be held at the Bull Run from 2 to 4:30 p.m. on May 21, featuring a dessert buffet. Tickets will continue to be sold until May 20 and will be available from the previous sellers: Hazen Memorial Library and Noyes Insurance Agency in Shirley and Owen Jacobs Salon and Day Spa and Union Coffee Roasters in Ayer.

If you have any questions or would like to purchase tickets for May 21, please e-mail Claudette Williams at cmw@claudettewilliams.com or call at 978-425-9264.

Once again, we thank you for your support of the Shirley Charitable Foundation.

Claudette Williams, Director

Shirley Charitable Foundation

Townsend Democrats will caucus in March

Registered Democrats in Townsend will be holding a caucus at Townsend Town Hall in Selectmen's Chambers on March 4 at 9 a.m. to elect delegates and alternates to the 2017 Massachusetts Democratic Convention, where Democrats from across Massachusetts will gather to adopt a new Party Platform. The Convention will be held on Saturday, June 3 at the Tsongas Arena in Lowell.

"People are excited about politics and want to make a difference. Our caucuses are a great opportunity for those who are interested to get involved," commented Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair Gus Bickford. "Delegates will be voting on our Party Platform in Lowell, and we want to make sure that every Democrat has a voice. This is a time to come together and speak to our shared Democratic values."

The caucus is open to all registered and pre-registered Democrats in Townsend, and the Democratic Committee welcomes participants. Pre-registered Democrats who will be age 18 by Sept 11, 2018, the anticipated date of the primary, will be able to participate in caucuses and run for delegate. Voter registration will be available at the caucus for new voters and those who want to change their registration to Democrat. Delegates will be divided equally between men and women, and all ballots will be written and secret. In the spirit of inclusion, youth, minorities, and people with disabilities who are not elected as delegates or alternates may apply to be add-on delegates, either at their caucus or online at www.massdems.org.

For more information on the caucus or the committee please contact TownsendMADemocrats@gmail.com or visit their Facebook page.

Cindy King

Townsend

Beacon Hill pay raises are an insult to struggling workers

I was a Democrat until Jan. 20. I officially left the party, but the truth is it really has left me.

An inability to listen seems to be blossoming into total tone deafness, and I now can stop mourning my defection.

Senate President Stanley Rosenberg defended the raise proposal for constitutional officers and judges because the poor underpaid public servants haven't had a raise in two years. Is he kidding? Mr. Rosenberg, I dare you to have an open hearing and ask the little guy off the street when is the last time he or she saw a bump in pay.

Then he goes on to talk about the economy and dignity surrounding wages. Mr. Rosenberg, I will make it even easier on you: Just walk across to the Ashburton Building and poll some of the workers there.

Some of them started under $30,000 a year, so even with a raise it is a long way to a livable wage.

They would love the dignity of a working wage. If the Democrats ever hope to regain their footing they better start putting their money where their two mouths are.

Instead of looking for a way to fill their own pockets, they should be standing with the little guy they claim to represent, and refuse raises until there is a decent minimum wage, and people don't have to work two jobs to make one livable salary.

To try to invoke sympathy for people making $90,000 a year as part-time legislators is not only tone deaf, it is insulting. I know most Democrats in this state don't worry about losing their comfortable seats. But this time I think voters might tell them they are wrong.

Nehcole Hooper

Ayer