Smoking cessation classes help students kick the addiction

The Huntsman Cancer Institute is offering free smoking-cessation classes starting this Wednesday to help students and members of the community follow through with one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions-quitting smoking-said James Bemel, the outreach coordinator at the cancer institute.

The classes will be conducted over a seven-week period and will use group interaction and support to help smokers follow through with quitting, Bemel said. The class will look at issues such as reasons for smoking, common triggers, methods of quitting, and will include a quitting day ceremony in which the class will throw away all of their smoking paraphernalia such as lighters and ashtrays.

“Quitting smoking is often one of the most popular New Year’s resolutions and cessation classes are often good tools to help people really quit,” said Darin Sluga, the tobacco program manager at the Salt Lake Valley Health Department.

Sluga said that for people to be successful at quitting it takes, on average, somewhere between four and nine attempts, but enrolling in a class helps people be serious about their decision to quit smoking.

“New Year’s is a great time to quit smoking,” said Lena Dibble, media coordinator for the Tobacco Prevention and Control Program at the Utah Department of Health. “There is a significant amount of support out there for quitting at this time, and it’s probably the best resolution you’ll ever make.”

According to a survey conducted last year by the Campus Wellness Program, about 8.5 percent of U students are smokers. “Students have a lot of pressure on them including money, time and the stress of classes and tests. They don’t need the additional financial and health problems that tobacco can contribute to,” Dibble said.

New Year’s resolutions are often broken because of the intense addictiveness of tobacco-one of the most addictive substances on earth, Sluga said.

Tobacco has physiological and psychological effects, and is a leading cause of death in the United States, so quitting is the “single greatest thing you can do for your health,” he said.

The first smoking cessation class will be held Wednesday, Jan. 11, from 10 a.m. to noon in the Huntsman Cancer Learning Center Conference Room. For more information, call James Bemel at 587-9976.

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