Smokers urged to sign up for quitting course

| 14/05/2014

(CNS): The Public Health Department is introducing a new programme to help local smokers kick the nicotine habit. The ‘I Can Quit’ smoking cessation seven week course begins next month and aims to help those struggling with one of the most difficult health threatening habits to kick. Working in tandem with support from key healthcare providers the programme will help smokers who want to quit develop the skills to help them put out those cigarettes once and for all. Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful changes a person can make for their health, but it’s not easy, Dr Kiran Kumar, Medical Officer of Health acknowledged.

“Even fifty years after the first Surgeon General’s Report linking cigarette smoking to a variety of cancers, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world killing nearly six million each year," the public health expert stated. "The most recent Surgeon General’s Report, released in January 2014, recommends providing access to cessation treatments, and expanding cessation services for all smokers in primary and specialty care settings. This year, for World No Tobacco Day, this is our renewed commitment,” Dr Kumar added.

Scheduled to begin on 4 June 2014, the programme will run for seven weeks on Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 6: 30 pm, at the Public Health Department. Officials are encouraging all interested persons to get registered so that they can be offered appropriate support. The programme will supply participants with educational resources and the provision of prescription medication if required, helping with the motivation to quit, avoiding triggers, stopping aids and strategies to keep tobacco free. The course will also test participants carbon monoxide levels and blood pressure so they can see the rapid improvements that stopping smoking brings.

“Developing the skills necessary to identify smoking triggers and conquer them, coping with withdrawal symptoms, the provision of medications to help quit the addiction, and general support, are some of the key features of this programme,” said Therese Prehay, Health Promotion Officer of the Public Health Department.

To register interested persons should contact Sarah Hetley in the Public Health Department on tel. 244-2889, or email. . The programme will cater to a maximum of 15 participants on a first come first served basis. as well as covering all aspects of the process of quitting smoking, from recognising smoking triggers to the physical discomforts of quitting, and strategies for success, those who successfully quit will have a support group to help prevent relapse.

The course is structured as follows:

Week 1
• Programme Overview
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• Issuing participant with educational resource packages
• Provision of prescription medication if required

Week 2
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• The dangers of smoking versus the benefits of quitting
• Identifying your motive for quitting

Week 3
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• Identification of your  triggers (activity to determine triggers)
• Smoking cessation aids 

Week 4
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• Strategies for quitting
• Quit smoking
• Referrals for individual counselling as deemed necessary

Week 5
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• Coping with side effects

Week 6
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• Skills to develop dealing with anxiety and boredom

Week 7
• Baseline testing  (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)
• Prevention of  relapse

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