Health Department offers seven-session quit-smoking class beginning Nov. 7

November 1, 2011

Online Staff Report

A new seven-session class to help smokers quit will begin at 6:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 7, offered once again by the Winnebago County Health Department (WCHD).

Classes will be conducted in Room 221 of the WCHD’s facility at 555 N. Court St., Rockford.

Now in its fifth consecutive year, WCHD’s smoking cessation program consists of weekly sessions to provide information and support to those attempting to quit. The classes deal with both the physical addiction to nicotine as well as the necessary behavioral changes that are essential in helping people stop smoking (or other tobacco use, such as “spit” tobacco.)

In the past several years, more than 70 percent of the participants who completed the entire seven-session program have been able to successfully quit smoking.

Smoking and other uses of tobacco remain this country’s No. 1 addiction and the No. 1 cause of preventable death. More Americans die each year from smoking (430,000) than from AIDS, alcohol, illegal drugs, murders, suicide, traffic crashes and fires — combined. Approximately 50,000 of those deaths are of non-smokers exposed to secondhand smoke. Medical costs amount to approximately $96 billion each year, and lost job productivity costs another $97 billion.

Registration is $35, but will be waived for those unable to pay. Low-cost or free “nicotine replacement products” (patches, gums or lozenges) are also available to participants. To register for the classes beginning Monday, Nov. 7, contact WCHD Tobacco Programs Coordinator Larry Didier at (815) 720-4269 or ldidier@wchd.org.

Financial support for this program comes from a grant received from the Illinois Department of Public Health, and from the fees generated by this program.

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