• Everyone has their own reason to quit smoking.

    Ready to quit smoking? Whatever your reason, Rome Memorial Hospital is here to help you succeed. Starting Wednesday, June 4 the hospital will begin a four-week smoking cessation clinic.

    “Everyone has their own reason to quit smoking,” said Rome Memorial Hospital Education Director Gale Barone, RN, BS. “Maybe you want to improve your health, look and feel better, or protect the health of loved ones. When you stop smoking, major health benefits for you start right away and you’ll be helping family and friends reduce the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke.”

    Smoking is expensive. In addition to the high price of cigarettes, smokers may find they are adding higher costs of health and life insurance and health care costs due to tobacco-related problems, according to the American Cancer Society.

    “Regardless of their reason for coming to the class, our graduates tell us the class has changed their lives,” Barone added. “Regardless of how long you have smoked, it is never too late to quit smoking to improve your health and quality of life.”

    Teaching the class is Marie Smith, RN, an experienced instructor from Tri-County Tobacco Cessation Center. Participants meet 6:30 p.m. each Wednesday, June 4, 11, 18 and 25. Participants should plan to attend all four sessions for best results. The program is based on the American Cancer Society’s “Fresh Start” program, which combines information and support to help smokers break the addiction.

    Space is limited and advance registration is required. Please call Rome Memorial Hospital’s Education Department at 338-7143 by Friday, May 30 to register. The class is open to adults 18 and older. A $10 registration fee is due at the first session.

    “No doubt about it – quitting smoking is difficult. But, you don’t have to do it alone,” said Smith. “When people make the decision to quit smoking, we want to be there to help.”

    The classes offer the information and encouragement people need to understand the addiction and the tools that are available to help them overcome the challenges.

    Smoking cessation class participants may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement patches provided through The New York State Smokers Quitline. It would be advantageous to call Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS before attending the first class to receive the free “start kit” of nicotine replacement patches.

    “We see the adverse effects of smoking on our patients, including various forms of cancer, chronic lung disease and coronary heart disease,” Barone added. “But, the risk of lung cancer and other smoking-related illnesses can be reduced if you quit smoking.”

    “Research shows that 70% of all smokers want to quit. With some help and determination, people can quit smoking,” Barone said. “Are you one of the 70% that wants to quit and has a willingness to try? If you are, then we at Rome Memorial Hospital may be able to help you.”

    Anyone who is interested in learning more about smoking cessation can call the hospital’s education department at 338-7143 or contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitline at 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487) or www.nysmokefree.com. Other information may be obtained by visiting www.smokefree.gov.