People who stop smoking before age 50 cut their risk of dying in the next 15 years in half compared with those who keep smoking, according to the American Cancer Society. Despite serious health threats, millions of Americans struggle with effectively kicking this harmful habit.
To help people conquer this challenge, Washington Adventist Hospital’s Tobacco Cessation Program was established in 2002. The program provides expert counseling, support and resources for people to achieve a smoke-free life.
Program features include:
- Nicotine Replacement Therapy Nicotine patches, gums and lozenges help relieve nicotine cravings and reduce withdrawal symptoms by providing low doses of nicotine without the harmful toxins found in smoke.
- Counseling Expert, one-on-one counseling provides personalized guidance to people over the course of a year. People are monitored and receive follow-up at one week, three months, six months and one year, to track progress and minimize relapse.
- Support Groups Held monthly at Washington Adventist Hospital, these voluntary sessions o er additional support to help people succeed in staying smoke-free. Open discussions with others facing similar challenges help decrease feelings of isolation, build confidence and keep patients motivated to quit.
Since the program’s inception, Washington Adventist Hospital’s dedicated tobacco cessation coordinators, Julinda Massey and Bozena Skraban, have provided expert counseling and support to more than 5,300 people.
“Our program strives to keep open and ongoing communication with patients, accommodating their needs to ensure their continued success,” Massey says. “Through following best practices such as counseling, NRT and consistent follow-up, we are able to support patients at each stage of their journey.”