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Support for Smokers to Quit

The Public Health Department is urging members of the public to enlist in its 'I Can Quit' smoking cessation programme.

Scheduled to begin on 4 June 2014, the programme will run for seven weeks on Wednesdays from 5:30pm to 6: 30 pm, at the Public Health Department.

'I Can Quit' empowers smokers to quit the habit, and works in tandem with ongoing support from key healthcare providers.

"Developing the skills necessary to identify smoking triggers and conquer them, coping with withdrawal symptoms, the provision of medications to help quit the addiction, and general support, are some of the key features of this programme," said Therese Prehay, Health Promotion Officer of the Public Health Department.

To register interested persons should contact Sarah Hetley in the Public Health Department on tel. 244-2889, or email. sarah.hetley@hsa.ky .

The programme will cater to a maximum of 15 participants on a first come first served basis, However, Public Health encourages all interested persons to get registered so that they can be offered appropriate support.

Quitting smoking is one of the most powerful changes a person can make for their health, but it's not easy and many persons are at varying levels of readiness, noted Dr. Kiran Kumar, Medical Officer of Health.

"Even fifty years after the first Surgeon General's Report linking cigarette smoking to a variety of cancers, smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disease around the world killing nearly six million each year. The most recent Surgeon General's Report, released in January 2014, recommends providing access to cessation treatments, and expanding cessation services for all smokers in primary and specialty care settings. This year, for World No Tobacco Day, this is our renewed commitment," Dr Kumar added.

I Can Quit Programme Outline

The sessions will be held for an hour each Wednesday, from 5:30 to 6:30, for seven weeks. They will cover all aspects of the process of quitting smoking, from recognising smoking triggers to the physical discomforts of quitting, and strategies for success. For those who successfully quit, a support group will aim to prevent relapse.

Week 1

- Programme Overview

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- Issuing participant with educational resource packages

- Provision of prescription medication if required

Week 2

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- The dangers of smoking versus the benefits of quitting

- Identifying your motive for quitting

Week 3

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- Identification of your triggers (activity to determine triggers)

- Smoking cessation aids

Week 4

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- Strategies for quitting

- Quit smoking

- Referrals for individual counselling as deemed necessary

Week 5

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- Coping with side effects

Week 6

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- Skills to develop dealing with anxiety and boredom

Week 7

- Baseline testing (Carbon Monoxide and Blood Pressure)

- Prevention of relaps