to offer free smoking cessation classes
St. Mary’s Hospital is offering ongoing smoking cessation classes using the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program. The first class session will be held Wednesday, February 6, from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in the Cottonwood Medical Clinic reception area. Each class consists of four sessions.
“The first class will meet on Wednesday evenings during the month of February. Anyone interested in quitting and staying quit should plan on attending all four sessions,” said Faunda Butler, SMHC Respiratory Therapist. “I plan on offering a new set of classes on the first Wednesday of each month, as long as there is a demand.”
The Freshstart program recognizes that smoking cessation is a two part process. One is stopping and, two, is staying stopped. According to the ACS, Freshstart addresses both processes through the use of new techniques for ending the physical and psychological need to smoke. Topics covered include quitting cold turkey, use of the nicotine patch, fighting urges to smoke, addressing physical symptoms of withdrawal, weight control and stress management during the process. ACS provides a kit with materials for use in the classes and at home.
According to the Centers for Disease Control, smoking is the leading cause of preventable death in the United States, resulting in an estimated 440,000 premature deaths annually. On average, adult men and women smokers lost 13.2 years and 14.5 years of life, respectively, because of tobacco use.
The CDC also asserts that if current trends continue, 6.4 million children will not live full lives because of tobacco.
“I believe most smokers would like to quit, but haven’t tried yet or have tried and failed. Sometimes people have to quit a number of times before they are successful and others are successful on their first try,” said Butler. “The Freshstart program provides the most effective elements for success. I am here to help people interested in quitting. It’s never easy, but the benefits are certainly worth it.”
To register for the class call SMHC, 962-3251 to leave your name and phone number with the receptionist. Registration is recommended, but not required.