As the new year approaches, those considering quitting smoking will have new resources to utilize.
Chautauqua Physical and Occupational Therapy is teaming up with Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs and Jamestown Primary Care to introduce a new program called "Opt Out." The program encourages individuals considering a quit attempt to be contacted by the New York State Smokers' Quitline.
In conjunction with the implementation of the new program, CPT will host a press conference, which is open to the public, on Wednesday, Jan. 16, at 12:30 p.m. at the Jamestown Primary Care office, 17 Sherman St. in Jamestown. All who attend the event will be asked to provide a full name, telephone number and a choice on whether to "opt out" from being contacted by the New York State Smokers' Quitline.
"The program offers a variety of ways to assist a tobacco user through the quitting attempt process, including free nicotine patches and access to 24/7 counseling services," said Judi Goerke, patient development director for CPT. "The goal is to help residents successfully complete a quit attempt. We encourage those who have made a New Year's resolution of quitting to follow through by taking advantage of the free nicotine replacement therapy products and the very important counseling that is critical to understanding the needs of a person who is addicted to tobacco products."
Goerke is asking for area residents to consider submitting testimonials regarding the positive results of successfully discontinuing the use of tobacco products. Those who submit a story will be invited to speak during the press conference to inspire others to consider a quit attempt. The stories should be 200 words or less and can be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 488-2322 by Sunday, Jan. 6.
According to Goerke, the stories are meant to signify the impact that quitting the use of tobacco products has upon health, finances or any other positive changes that area residents have experienced.
"From my viewpoint, as someone who has been engaged in the process of trying to support the effort to give people the proper tools to quit smoking, coming at it from a different vantage point could prove to be a very useful and effective tool for reaching somebody new," said Goerke. "Understanding that there is a huge cost to the use of tobacco products in a person's home, and considering all of the health-care reasons, we thought that the Opt Out program might be a good approach. So, we're asking for those who have had a successful quit attempt to stand up and be the face of this new approach."
Those who wish to submit a story, but cannot attend the event, can give Goerke permission to utilize the material at the event. So, regardless of attendance, Goerke still wishes to hear the success stories of community members so that they may inspire others.
One major reason a person should consider quitting, said Goerke, is the financial burden that the habit produces.
"Something that may be shocking to people is the financial impact on the family structure that smoking causes," said Goerke. "If a person smoked one pack per day at an average of $8 per pack that equals a $240 monthly expense. This is a huge expense that could be used toward a mortgage or car payment, medical insurance for a family, clothing, recreational activities and even family vacations that were once thought to be out of financial reach."
For more information call 488-2322 or visit chautauquapt.com.