Smoking has been proven to cause a variety of health problems, and according to the CDC, is responsible for approximately one of every five deaths in the U.S. Yet nicotine is highly addictive, and quitting is easier said than done. If you’re ready to quit smoking for good, St. Barnabas Health System offers the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program for senior living community residents, employees, and residents of the Greater Pennsylvania area. With support from peers and medical professionals, this smoking cessation program can help you get ready to be a quitter for good

Health Risks Associated with Smoking

Scientific research has long demonstrated the risks smoking presents to our health. The CDC reports that over 480,000 individuals die each year due to smoking and second-hand smoke, emphasizing the danger this habit presents for smokers and their loved ones alike. The most common smoking-related health risks include:

  • Increased risk of gum disease, oral infection, and oral cancer
  • Increased risk of emphysema, chronic bronchitis, and lung cancer
  • Higher blood pressure and risk of heart attack or stroke
  • Greater danger from immune disease, like type 1 diabetes and arthritis

Still, there’s good news for smokers. Joining a smoking cessation program can help you breathe more easily, improve cardiovascular function, and reduce these risks for better long-term health

How Smoking Cessation Programs Help

If you’re a lifelong smoker, odds are good you know how dangerous cigarettes can be. The truth is, quitting smoking can be extremely difficult, and going it alone makes it even harder. Smoking may be a source of comfort, helping you relax after a long day, or something you share with friends while enjoying time together.

Fortunately, the Freedom From Smoking program helps you build and follow through on a plan to quit that can support lasting changes. The smoking cessation program covers:

  • Knowing when you’re ready to quit
  • Using medications that can make quitting easier
  • Adjusting your lifestyle
  • Getting ready for your quit day
  • Managing stress
  • Avoiding weight gain
  • Building a positive self-image that doesn’t include smoking
  • How to maintain your new smoke-free lifestyle

The program begins with a one-on-one visit with a healthcare provider. During this session, you’ll learn more about avoiding tobacco and building your plan to quit, as well as support and counseling resources. Next, you’ll participate in group sessions with fellow smokers. This is a great opportunity to talk about your plan, show each other support, and choose the strategies that work best for you. Telehealth services are also available, so you can quit smoking from the convenience of home.

Are You Ready to Be a Quitter?

If you’re ready to improve your health and take control of your life, it’s the perfect time to sign up for the Freedom From Smoking program with St. Barnabas. The smoking cessation program is free for employees and available to the Greater Pennsylvania region residents and members of St. Barnabas senior living communities for a registration fee of $75.00 to cover materials.

Please note that registration is required, as space is limited. To register or learn more about the Freedom From Smoking cessation program, contact Michele Snyder at (724) 443-7231 or via email at msnyder@stbarnabashealthsystem.com. Additional information is also available by contacting St. Barnabas.

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