It's time to clear the air! If you are a resident of Boyle County and would like to quit smoking, make a pledge the day of the Great American Smoke-Out to call the health department and register for the next Cooper/Clayton Method to Stop Smoking Class. These classes have been conducted all over Kentucky and have proven very successful right here in our own community. The 13-week class is successful because there is a long-term support group, the training is designed to achieve and maintain abstinence, and it uses proven nicotine replacement products. There is no charge for the class. Nicotine replacement therapy is provided free of charge for Boyle County residents. Classes meet for one hour, once a week. The next class will run from Jan. 13, 2005 to April 7, 2005. Classes are held every Thursday night at 6 p.m. at the Boyle County Health Department. For more information on smoking cessation or to sign up for the next class, please contact Jamie Oakes at (859) 236-2053.
Jamie Oakes, health educator
Boyle County Health Department
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Quitting smoking has been difficult but not as difficult as I thought it would be in that I actually have been able to stop smoking. Going into the health department's program, I was not sure if I could stop even though I wanted to very badly because of health problems related to smoking. Doing this as part of a group was helpful to me because I felt that if the others around me could do it, I could, too. Quitting smoking has been very rewarding in many ways. I can breathe so much better now. My breathing improved within a couple of weeks. Coughing stopped immediately. I now have more energy. I have found that some things that I was simply chalking up to getting older, were being caused by smoking. I no longer have those problems either.
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I can say that I have been through about every emotion you can imagine and my 13-year-old daughter would agree! I first felt apprehensive. I didn't know if I could do it or if I really wanted to. The first week on the patch was pretty hard. I thought about cigarettes a lot. I talked about what I was feeling with co-workers throughout the day (one of which was taking the classes as well) and this helped. I was moody with not a lot of patience. Each day really did get easier, and I began to feel better physically and about myself. Finally, I feel proud. I know that this is a huge accomplishment and it has made me want to reach other goals to improve myself.
I would have to say the difference in this experience working for me when other times have failed is owed to the support system of the health department's smoking cessation program. I knew every week that I was not going through it alone, and I did not want to be the one person in the class that had broken down and smoked that week. I just took it one day at a time, trusting that the patch would work, and telling myself that I am now a non-smoker. Before I knew it, more time was going by between me thinking about cigarettes.
It has been seven months since my last cigarette, and I know I still have to take it one day at a time, but I know I'm winning back the days cigarettes would have taken from my life!