Did you know tobacco use is the single largest preventable cause of death and disease in the country? According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly half a million people die from cigarette smoking each year.
That’s why Mercy St. Francis Hospital is launching a seven-week smoking cessation class this fall. The $25 course will begin Thursday, Oct. 29. Participants will meet once a week for seven weeks, getting group support and one-on-one attention from an instructor trained by the American Lung Association.
“We’ll talk about medicines that can help you quit, as well as lifestyle changes that will make it easier to move on completely,” said Miriam Johnson, manager of respiratory care at Mercy St. Francis. “There are many coping strategies, ways to avoid stress and weight gain, and pointers for developing a better self-image that we will discuss.”
Midway through the course, participants will be encouraged to give up smoking in time for the Great American Smokeout, on Nov. 19. The nationwide, group effort to “kick the habit” is held the third Thursday of November each year.
On a local scale, 27 percent of adults in the Mountain View region use tobacco, compared to the national average of 14 percent.
“Our hospital sees a lot of patients with emphysema and other health issues related to smoking,” said Cindy Tooley, executive director of operations at Mercy St. Francis Hospital. “We hope this course will inspire our friends and neighbors to cut tobacco out of their lives once and for all.”
The $25 course kicks off on Thursday, Oct. 29, and will run from 6 to 8 p.m. Classes will be held each Thursday through Dec. 17 in the Mercy St. Francis Sister Cornelia Conference Room at Mercy St. Francis Hospital, located at 100 W. US Highway 60. For more information, call 417-934-7045.