By Jason A. Smith
Henry Medical Center (HMC) is registering participants for the latest installment of a program designed to help people quit smoking.
The hospital's free Fresh Start course will be held on Tuesdays, at 5:30 p.m., from Aug. 9, through Aug. 30. Each hour-long session of the course will be held in the Henry Medical Center Foundation Education Center, said the hospital's Public Relations Specialist, Michelle Nunnally.
"The Fresh Start course is an American Cancer Society program," Nunnally said. "Individuals participating in the course are given helpful hints, to aid in the stop-smoking process. A Fresh Start instructor will teach techniques to help end the physical and psychological need to smoke."
The hospital offers the Fresh Start course on a quarterly basis, according to HMC's Community Educator, Vicky Ayers. She said the class is for anyone who needs help to quit smoking, including those who use tobacco, smoke pipes or cigars.
"Most people, when they sign up for this, are ambivalent about whether they want to quit," said Ayers. "It's OK to show up if you're ambivalent, because you have begun your first step toward quitting, just by coming."
Ayers has been involved with stop-smoking classes since the 1980s, and has taught the course at HMC since 1997. She said results from the hospital's endeavor, over the years, have been positive.
"The success rate of this particular class, if you attend all four sessions, is really pretty good," said Ayers. "Last year, the success rate was very high. This year, tentatively, 70-75 percent of the people who have attended all four sessions have quit. But, the year's only half over."
She added that young people, at times, choose to take the course because they know the risks of smoking, and the impact it could have on their health later in life.
To register for the course, call HMC's Community Education Department at (678) 604-1040, or visit the hospital's web site at www.henrymedical.com.