Women of Excellence

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Laurelyn Heath Southworth

Title: Vice President and Co-Owner
Industry: Healthcare/Smoking Cessation
Type of Organization: Corporation
Major Product/Service: Invented the "Better Quit Cigarette Substitute" behavioral device that addresses the important habits of smoking; Provides deep breathing approach to tension relief; Better Quit is a flexible, non-flammable device about the size and weight of a regular cigarette, with a soft plastic filter which makes a comfortable biting surface; Simulates smoking to reduce tension, and provides a satisfying "lift" by the air intake, which can be adjusted to one’s preference; Contains no nicotine or tobacco by-products
Expertise: Ms. Southworth has over 30 years experience in marketing Better Quit to hospitals throughout the U.S., cancer clinics such as the well known Roswell Park Cancer Institute, retail stores, catalogs, direct mail and online sites. Since the beginning, she has worked with Robert H. Shipley, Ph.D., founder of the Duke QuitSmart Program. Dr. Shipley has included one Better Quit cigarette substitute in each of his QuitSmart Kits, which also include his written stop smoking book and a relaxation/hypnosis tape. He has trained more than 3,000 health professionals to use the QuitSmart System to help smokers quit. Ms. Southworth provides assistance to smokers who cannot permanently quit smoking without some physical or psychological assistance. She enjoys meeting new people and is a "helper" by nature - possibly because she grew up in 8 states in all 4 corners of the U.S. and ‘never met a stranger’. Her enthusiasm and encouragement of others have helped many smokers break the smoking habit forever. Ms. Southworth is carefully watching for the right person or company to carry on successful marketing of the unique device she invented when it is time for her to retire. The marketing potential for Better Quit is enormous.
Geographic Area of Distribution: National
Affiliations: Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society; Psi Chi Honor Society
University/Degree: A.A., Developmental Psychology, Briarcliff College, Briarcliff Manor, New York; B.A., Psychology, University of Bridgeport, Bridgeport, Connecticut
Born: January 8, Boston, Massachusetts
Hobbies/Sports: Photography, arts and crafts, family activities, golf, Tai Chi
Spouse: John David Southworth, B.S., Business Administration
Married: July 22
Children: John Brooks, Ph.D., Technology Management, Kristen Leigh, M.Div.; Grandson: Desmond Southworth
Published Works: Utility Patent; Registered Trademark for the name "Better Quit"; Featured, several articles
Career Accomplishments: Career accomplishments involve working with people of all ages with a wide range of special needs including young children with autism and severe mental, emotional, and physical disabilities at The Noroton School in Darien, Connecticut; Elderly people with addiction problems at Silver Hill Foundation in New Canaan, Connecticut; And preschool children living in poverty, their families and teachers at Guilford County, North Carolina’s Head Start Centers. Ms. Southworth spent the next 30 years working as VP/Co-Owner of Health Solutions, Inc, marketing the cigarette substitute that she invented, ‘Better Quit’ which is a high quality device, designed to address the important behavioral habits of smokers. Ms. Southworth invented the unique, patented cigarette substitute, Better Quit and formed the company, Health Solutions, Inc. with her partner, Phil Curtiss, who is the President of Carolina Extruded Plastics in Greensboro, North Carolina. She came up with the idea 30 years ago, and presented it to Mr. Curtiss who saw the potential. Together, they obtained a Utility Patent and a Registered Trademark for the name Better Quit. He helped make product parts and she worked as the Marketing Director. Ms. Southworth’s compassion, creativity and perseverance, along with Mr. Curtiss's expertise and technical talents enabled them to dedicate themselves to the long term goal of helping a very large number of smokers stop smoking permanently with the help of the Better Quit cigarette substitute. Countless positive testimonials from ex-smokers who used Better Quit to stop smoking attest to the value of this unique aid which was carefully designed to help smokers quit smoking forever.