COVINGTON, Ga. - There is good news for the estimated 68 percent of adult smokers who report wanting to quit; Piedmont Newton Hospital now offers a free smoking cessation program called Freshstart™ to help those that want to quit smoking develop a plan for success.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates 34.3 million Americans smoke and more than 16 million people in the United States are living with a smoking-related disease. Illnesses related to smoking cost more than $300 billion each year in medical care and lost productivity.
“Piedmont Newton Hospital is offering a free, group-based smoking cessation program called Freshstart™,” said Brandy Smith, director of respiratory therapy at Piedmont Newton. “The two-week class provides crucial information on how to develop a quit plan, as well as teaches skills for coping with cravings.”
Cigarette smoking is responsible for about one in five deaths in the United States each year. Tobacco smoke contains more than 7,000 chemicals, many of which cause cancer and other health problems and diseases. Since smoking effects almost every organ, those who stop smoking greatly reduce the risk of diseases and even early death.
“People who stop smoking at an early age receive many health benefits,” said Smith. “However, you are never too old to quit and there are benefits at any age.”
Some of the benefits associated with quitting include:
- A lowered risk for lung cancer and many other types of cancer.
- A reduced risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke, and other vascular diseases.
- Reduced respiratory problems and symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
- A lowered risk of developing lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and emphysema.
The Freshstart™ program uses face-to-face group support sessions to teach motivational intervention activities, give social support, and educate about medication and approaches to quitting. Certified facilitators for the program, developed and offered by the American Cancer Society, use evidence-based approaches to helping participants make a successful quit attempt.
The Freshstart classes at Piedmont Newton Hospital will start Tuesday, March 5. Each class is held from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the hospital’s Physician Pavilion Auditorium (basement level). There is no charge for the class; however, registration is required. To register, go to piedmont.org and click on ‘patients & visitors’ and then classes and events. You can search by hospital or for the key term ‘Freshstart’. You can also register by calling 877-527-3712.