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Get a Fresh Start: Tanner Offers Free Tobacco Cessation Classes


01.10.2019

With the new year, hundreds throughout west Georgia will resolve to quit tobacco.

Quitting tobacco will not only help cut your risk for diseases caused by smoking, dipping or chewing, it can leave you feeling healthier and stronger. Most tobacco users who want to quit try several times before succeeding, but there are steps you can take that will improve your chances of quitting for good.

If you or someone you know is ready to make a fresh start and quit tobacco, Tanner Health System’s Get Healthy, Live Well offers free tobacco cessation classes.

Freshstart, a program designed by the American Cancer Society, supports participants through the first few days when quitting is the hardest and then teaches them how to master obstacles that may come later. The program is designed to help participants develop coping skills for the physical and psychological side effects that come with going tobacco-free.

Classes meet one hour a week for four weeks and all materials are provided. The group sessions provide former tobacco users with education on approaches to quitting, skills for coping with cravings and motivational support. Those who attend the classes learn the lifelong benefits of quitting tobacco and how to avoid a relapse.

An important part of the program is making an individualized plan to quit. To help fight the urge to start using tobacco again, participants are asked to make a list of things they could do instead.

More than 700 people throughout Carroll, Haralson and Heard counties have been served by Freshstart tobacco cessation programs offered by Get Healthy, Live Well since July 2013. According to surveys taken by 121 participants, the average packs of cigarettes smoked per week fell nearly a pack, from 5.5 to 4.8. Participants also showed a 10 percent increase in confidence to cope with tobacco cravings.

The Freshstart program has also been an integral part in Get Healthy, Live Well’s efforts to assist more than 20 local organizations in the implementation of tobacco-free policies, which have impacted more than 60,000 individuals. These local organizations include clinics, faith-based organizations, housing authorities, schools, universities and worksites.

Because of efforts like these, adult smoking rates in Carroll County dropped from 23 percent in 2013 to 20 percent in 2018, according to the County Health Rankings report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Interested smokers, dippers and chewers are encouraged to attend the free Freshstart class starting Feb. 5. Classes will be held Tuesdays from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Tanner Medical Center/Carrollton in Classroom 3.

Visit tanner.org/freshstart to register for a free Freshstart class now or call 770-214-CARE (2273).



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