‘SmokeFREE:’ breath of fresh air

By Melissa Steven
March 9, 2006

Tar, carbon monoxide, arsenic and formaldehyde are just some of the substances out of the 4,000 that are found in one cigarette. Cigarette smoking is the single greatest preventable cause of illness, disability and death in America today.

SmokeFREE, Main Line Health’s free smoking cessation, will be coming to Cabrini for a series of six sessions, beginning on March 15. They will be held in the Grace Hall boardroom from 12 p.m. until 1 p.m. to help smokers kick their habit.

“We have been offering the SmokeFREE program every year since 2004, as it is a valuable resource for the campus and local community and is an integral part of Cabrini’s health promotion initiatives,” Christine Hyson, the director of health and wellness education, said.

“Main Line Health’s SmokeFREE program has a tremendous reputation, and statistically speaking, nine out of 10 participants quit by the end of the program,” Hyson said.

“It’s a great idea as long as it’s not imposed and the person is willing to quit,” Clark Widger, a junior liberal arts major, said.

The program is free and is open to all Cabrini students as well as community members. Nicotine replacements, such as the nicotine patch, gum and lozenges will be given out to participants. Nicotine replacement therapy more than doubles a smoker’s chance of quitting successfully.

Mike Piatek, a sophomore accounting major, said, “I’ve been trying to quit. I’ve cut down a lot, but I don’t think it’s going to happen. I’ve been smoking for eight years, I don’t even want to try anymore to quit. It’s too hard,” Piatek said.

“Cabrini has about the same percentage of smokers on campus as do most colleges and universities,” Hyson said. “This population is actually in the minority of the overall population, and with effective smoking cessation programs available for smokers, the number will hopefully continue to decrease.”

SmokeFREE is a state-approved smoking cessation program that has been in existence since the 1980s. The six-session course includes establishing positive health behaviors to replace smoking, deals with the stress a person may encounter when quitting and helps develop permanent coping skills when a person is faced with the urge to smoke.

Hyson said, “It hopes to assist campus and community members with the process of successfully quitting tobacco products, thus leading to an improved quality of life and longer lifespan for participants. It is also an enhancement for non-smokers, either through decreased exposure to second-hand smoke or the relief that accompanies a positive change in lifestyle by family and friends.”

Posted to the web by Brian Coary

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Melissa Steven

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