Kaiser Permanente Helps Community to Call It Quits
ATLANTA, Nov. 8 /PRNewswire/ -- Ruth Philips, a Kaiser Permanente nurse, started smoking when she was 7 years old. As she got older, Philips knew the risks of smoking and made several unsuccessful attempts to stop. Like most people, she tried everything -
``Quit Smart was the last resort to help me stop smoking. Other people who participated in the program gave me a lot of support during the tough times and helped me along the way,'' Philips said. There were grueling points throughout the program when Philips succumbed to the pressure and resumed smoking, but she never gave up on her goal.
``Once the nicotine was out of my system, I began to feel things that my body had been trying to tell me for decades and I never listened to. It took a while to feel better and to get back on my feet. I've learned that I am only human and it's alright to fall and get back up,'' she said.
Quit Smart combines group therapy with a cigarette substitute that helps a smoker gradually ease off nicotine. Program participants receive a kit that includes an informative guide to smoking cessation, an audiotape and a patented cigarette substitute. Members who continue in the program receive vouchers every two weeks for a supply of nicotine patches that can be redeemed at a Kaiser Permanente pharmacy.
``Studies show that it takes the average smoker two to seven attempts before they stop smoking,'' said Dianne Harris, Kaiser Permanente's Member Health Education Coordinator. ``By helping our employees and members kick the habit once and for all, we're helping them take control of their lives and live longer.''
During Great American Smoke-Out Day on Thursday, Nov. 15, Harris will coordinate smoke-out activities at 10 Kaiser Permanente medical centers. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente of Georgia's Chief of Prevention and Health Promotion Adrienne Mims, MD, will be the physician spokesperson for the Georgia Tobacco Quit Line, a statewide toll-free resource available beginning Nov. 15 to all Georgia residents over the age of 18 who are interested in quitting smoking. When they call the Quit Line, callers will be assessed and counseled on how to quit smoking. They will also get written materials and referrals from counselors who will follow up with them to determine their progress.
``I have tried to encourage everyone from family to friends and patients to at least try the Quit Smart program. It worked for me; it can work for anyone! All you have to do is try and be honest with yourself about wanting to stop,'' Philips said.
For more information on Kaiser Permanente Smoking Cessation Programs or to speak with a counselor, please call Matthew Grund at 404.364.7074.