Keep Your New Year’s Resolutions and Choose to Be Smoke Free

 

There is a steadily growing awareness and acceptance of the fact that smoking is one of the leading preventable causes of death. Tobacco kills more than five million people every year. It is not only fatal to the consumer but also those around them. Tobacco is the only legal consumer product that kills when used precisely as intended by the manufacturer. 

As a result of this awareness many people will have made New Year’s resolutions to quit smoking this year. This resolution is not only good for your health, but also your wallet -an added bonus considering the turmoil in the economy.

However, as March approaches you may be having second or third thoughts about the ability to achieve this resolution, but don’t give up yet! It is a challenging feat that takes a substantial amount of perseverance and determination.

The American Lung Association states that having a solid smoking cessation plan can greatly improve one’s chance for success. Here are some tips they offer to help you revive your dedication to quitting:

  1. Talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the different over-the-counter and prescription medications to help you quit smoking.
  2. Look into the different kinds of self-help options available to smokers. Visit www.lungusa.org for suggestions.
  3. Take time to plan. Pick your quit date a few weeks ahead of time and mark it on the calendar. If you can, pick a day when life’s extra stresses are not at their peak, such as after the holidays. Mark a day on the calendar and stick to it.
  4. Get some exercise every day. Walking is a great way to reduce the stress of quitting. Exercise is proven to not only combat weight gain but also to improve mood and energy levels.
  5. Eat a balanced diet, drink lots of water and get plenty of sleep.
  6. Ask family, friends and co-workers for their help and support. Having someone to take a walk with or just listen can give a needed boost.

Remember that you don’t have to quit alone. Help is available. Consider joining a stop-smoking program like Freedom From Smoking from the American Lung Association. The value of such a program has been seen at McKenzie Medical Center, a local facility that declared itself smoke-free on July 4, 2008. After completing a smoking cessation program, four of MMC’s previously nicotine addicted employees have successfully overcome this habit and have been smoke free for over a year and a half - from June 17, 2008. 

Another advantage of completing this program is that it encouraged participant Kim Lewelling to become a Smoking Cessation Facilitator with the American Lung Association.

Lewelling states: "After many attempts to stop smoking over a period of 29 years, I had given up on ever quitting.  Although I went into the program offered to us very skeptical, I came out of it with a positive attitude and finally a successful attempt!  Quitting is not easy and it is a struggle at times still to not slip.  I realize now that I have the ability to stay smoke free and feel like my experience can help others to become smoke free.  I know that if I can quit smoking, anyone can quit smoking."

Kim intends to offer American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking to interested community members. The program is a seven week, eight session course that requires a $25.00 registration fee and a $50.00 incentive deposit that is refundable at the end of the course if you attend all the sessions. This program has helped thousands of people quit smoking and is considered the gold standard for its clinically proven techniques.

Following a similar format, Kim will also be offering a “Choose to be Smoke Free” program to McKenzie Medical Center patients, as well as to employees of local business with the possibility of getting a business/corporate discounted rate. This will be a four week, five session program.

As these programs are group cessation classes there must be a certain amount of committed members before the courses can take place. If you are interested please contact Kim Lewelling at McKenzie Medical Center 731-352-7907 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

*Pictured are Kim Lewelling (Left) and Shelia Orr (Right) two of the four smoke-free MMC employees*

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