WHAT: Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, in conjunction with the University of Missouri Wellness Resource Center, is sponsoring a free 10-week program on becoming tobacco free. The program provides tobacco users with access to counselors, assistance in developing a personalized quit plan, peer support and free nicotine-replacement therapy patches.

WHY: According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, nearly 10,000 Missourians die every year from tobacco-related illnesses, including lung cancer, heart disease and stroke. More than 1,100 additional deaths are caused by exposure to secondhand smoke every year.

WHO: The program is available to tobacco users ages 18 and older.

WHEN: The 10-week program will take place at 5:30 p.m. every other Thursday from Aug. 10 through Oct. 5.

WHERE: The second floor of Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, One Hospital Drive in Columbia

HOW: Registration is required. To register, please contact Angela Winterbower, coordinator of outreach programs at Ellis Fischel Cancer Center, at winterbowera@health.missouri.edu or 573-884-2049