By Marianne Curtis
Smokers that are trying to quit will have a little extra help once South Eastman Health launches a new program that is expected to help southeast residents kick the habit once and for all.
In late October, a new program entitled Tobacco Free 1-2-3 will be available in Steinbach and Vita. The six session program will offer practical counseling such as problem solving and skills training as well as provide social support.
Vanessa Friesen, Health Promotion Coordinator at South Eastman is excited about the new program.
“Most smokers want to quit and the development of a comprehensive Tobacco Reduction Strategy in our region will save lives and improve the quality of life for smokers and their families”, said Friesen. “The goal is to eventually offer the program in all communities in our region.”
About 21% of South Eastman residents age 12+ smoke and about 15% of residents reported exposure to secondhand smoke at home.
The program is expected to increase the success rates of smoker attempted to quit smoking. Research shows a smoker can increase their chances of quitting by up to 75% with a combination of practical counseling, social support and the use of medications, added Friesen. Along with the sessions, participants are being asked to speak to their doctor or pharmacist to discuss medications that may help them quit.
The first two sessions of the program will be offered in Vita and Steinbach. In Vita, the program will be offered Tuesdays in Vita will run from October 26 to December 14 in the Vita Health Centre at 6:30PM. The program will be offered Wednesdays in Steinbach starting October 27, to December 15 at 7 PM at Bethesda Place.
In the spring, the program will be offered in Niverville and Sprague.