Stop Smoking!

As a resource to the community, Eisenhower Medical Center offers “Freedom From Smoking,” a comprehensive, eight-week smoking cessation program, several times each year. In concert with the implementation of its new tobaccofree policy, Eisenhower will be expanding the program, and increasing the frequency of “Freedom From Smoking” sessions. The next eight-week series will begin on Wednesday, July 21. Sessions are from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. and a light dinner is served. The series will be facilitated by Jean Martinez, a certified respiratory therapist.

“Eisenhower initiated its tobaccofree policy to provide a healthy and safe environment for employees, patients and visitors, and to promote healthy behaviors,” says Alison Sachs, Community Outreach and Patient Support Services Director at the Eisenhower Lucy Curci Cancer Center.“We know how difficult it is to quit smoking….We want to be there to support and guide those who want to quit, and provide the tools and information they need to be successful.”

In anticipation of the expansion of the “Freedom From Smoking” program, Eisenhower partnered with the American Lung Association® to train additional nurses and other staff members to become program facilitators.

The eight-week smoking cessation program is designed to provide maximum support to participants, and paces them to prepare for a “quit day” in the program’s third week.A unique feature of the program is a special class on stress management taught by Beth Mulligan, PA, Mindful-Way Stress Reduction program. Beth is a frequent teacher and lecturer at Eisenhower.

“Setting a ‘quit day’ is very important,” Sachs says.“We don’t expect people to arrive for an eightweek class and quit cold on the first day. Instead, we start to talk about what quitting looks like so people are prepared, and then in the third week, we meet twice for what we call our ‘quit week.’”

According to the American Cancer Society®, one third of cancer deaths can be prevented if people avoid tobacco. The link between smoking and numerous cancers, not just lung cancer, is well documented. Smokers who quit can add up to eight years to their lives, and if they smoke a pack a day, a smoker can save more than $1,800 a year just by quitting.

“Tobacco use is the most common preventable cause of death — half of people who don’t quit smoking will die of a tobacco-related health problem,” Sach says.“The good news is, once you quit, your circulation begins to improve, your blood pressure starts to return to normal, your sense of smell and taste return, and breathing becomes easier.And, your risk of getting cancer is reduced each year that you stay smoke free.”

For more information on the Eisenhower “Freedom From Smoking” program, please call 760- 834-3798. The fee for the eight-week program is $100. Registration is required

On July 1, 2010, Eisenhower Medical Center will implement a new Tobacco-Free Policy on all of its campuses

The Tobacco ban will apply to all patients, visitors, medical staff, vendors and employees. No Tobacco use of any kind will be permitted inside the hospital, Eisenhower Buildings or in parking lots.