Mercy Health REACH to host smoking cessation classes

SPRINGFIELD – If you are ready to make a change for the better and kick the smoking habit, Mercy Health REACH Services in Springfield can help with a free, six-week series of smoking cessation classes starting in September.

The classes are led by a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist/Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor III. Mercy Health provides nicotine replacement therapies such as nicotine patches, gum and lozenges at no cost while supplies last. Mercy Health also provides carbon monoxide testing.

The classes take place Mondays from 5:30-7 p.m. in the offices of Mercy Health REACH Services — Springfield, located at 30 W. McCreight Ave., Springfield on Sept. 12, 19 and 26 and Oct. 3, 10 and 17.

The class size is limited to six for comfortable group interaction and COVID-19 safety. Groups develop a personalized quitting plan which addresses triggers and how to remove temptations, overcome barriers, change negative habits and develop new skills. Group discussions cover addiction, brain chemistry, tobacco toxins, consequences of tobacco use and how to prevent a relapse. Participants will also explore the signs of recovery and healing, as well as the physical benefits of quitting smoking.

Other topics include weight management, healthy eating, exercise and if a cardiopulmonary wellness/rehabilitation program can help improve participants’ quality of life. Every program includes assistance with smokeless tobacco and vaping as well.

Session one is an introduction to the program and participants. The group will discuss the reality of smoking, obstacles to quitting, medication and the value of journaling.

Session two includes a discussion about addiction, brain chemistry, the consequences of tobacco use, toxins, triggers, coping skills and participants’ personal plan to quit.

Session three includes a discussion on how to identify and deal with triggers, remove temptations, change negative habits, develop new skills and manage anxiety.

Session four marks participants’ quit date and includes discussion around the signs and symptoms of recovery and healing, the physical benefits of quitting over time and putting together a quit kit.

Session five includes discussion on nutrition, healthy eating, exercise, relapse prevention and participants’ first tobacco-free week.

Session six concludes the program and includes conversations on how to stay nicotine and tobacco free and maintain your gains. Participants will also discuss the tobacco industry and receive their completion certificates.

The instructor suggests each attendee sign up for the Ohio Quit Line at 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669) for additional support while quitting. Mercy Health can also assist with scheduling lung cancer screenings for eligible participants.

Free $10 gas card will also be offered to participants for each session attended. That gives them the potential to earn $60 in free gas while supplies last. To register or for more information, contact Marcy Ivory at REACH at 937-390-5333.