Beginning on Monday, Sept. 17, the hospital will offer American Cancer Society Freshstart Smoking Cessation classes.
“We wanted to add a resource for people in the community who wanted to quit smoking,” said Julie Holdsworth, director of marketing and public relations for the hospital. “There were no resources available.”
According to a press release, the classes, led by a “trained facilitator,” address the reasons -- both physical and psychological -- why people smoke and provide participants with tools for overcoming obstacles and staying tobacco-free for good. The program is designed to help participants stop smoking in two weeks and stay stopped.
“Your Freshstart facilitator will begin each meeting by asking for questions or individual reactions from group members,” according to an American Cancer Society brochure. “Quitting cold turkey, use of the nicotine patch, fighting urges to smoke, addressing physical symptoms of withdrawal from smoking, and highlighting all of the benefits of not smoking are completely discussed throughout the two weeks.”
The class will also discuss stress management and weight gain, two common obstacles for those wishing to quit smoking.
According to the American Cancer Society Web site, the benefits of quitting smoking begin within 20 minutes of one’s last cigarette. After 20 minutes, heart rate and blood pressure drop, while within 12 hours carbon monoxide levels in the bloodstream return to normal. Within five to 15 years, the risk of stroke is reduced to that of a nonsmoker. Other benefits of quitting smoking include a return of normal sense of taste and smell and better breath.
In addition to offering classes on quitting smoking, the hospital building and grounds will become tobacco-free starting on Nov. 1. According to the Web site, “tobacco-free” means that employees, physicians, patients and visitors will no longer be permitted to use any tobacco products whatsoever on hospital property, even in outdoor areas or parking lots. The Web site describes how Spalding Regional is joining other hospitals across the United States in going tobacco-free due to the risks tobacco use poses for health.
“By becoming a tobacco-free campus, Spalding Regional is reinforcing our commitment to providing a healthy environment for all of our patients, employees and visitors,” Quinn said.
The first class is scheduled for Sept. 17, with the remaining classes on Sept. 20, Sept. 24 and Sept. 27. Space is limited, so those who wish to participate should register early by calling 770-467-6136.