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NVRH to Offer New Tobacco Cessation Course

by | Jan 25, 2021 | In the News

ST. JOHNSBURY (January 25, 2021) – To offer more support to those who wish to quit smoking, Community Connections at Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) will be offering its first ever Freedom From Smoking course, a group course designed by the American Lung Association, on March 16, 2021.

Because most people already know that smoking is not healthy, Freedom From Smoking focuses on how to quit, rather than on why. According to the American Lung Association’s Freedom From Smoking webpage, the program uses pharmacology and psychology to help tobacco users control their behaviors. It also acknowledges that there are many methods to effectively quit, and therefore the program includes a variety of evidence-based techniques.

Approximately 15% of adults in Caledonia County smoke. And most of these people likely know that smoking causes cancer. But there are other ways that smoking can affect health. For example, smoking has been connected to blindness, type 2 diabetes, erectile dysfunction, ectopic pregnancy, rheumatoid arthritis, gum disease and even fertility issues.

Freedom From Smoking has been helping participants quit for over 35 years and has helped hundreds of thousands of individuals live healthier lives. The American Lung Association webpage claims that those who participate in Freedom From Smoking are six times more likely to be smoke-free one year later than those who quit on their own. When used in combination with other cessation techniques, up to 60 percent of participants report having quit smoking by the end of the program.

“Mark Twain once said ‘Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world, I know I’ve done it thousands of times,’” NVRH Tobacco Treatment Specialist Lew Apgar said. “We all know that staying quit is the difficult part. The Freedom From Smoking structure spends a significant amount of time with participants after their quit day, refining your quit plan, reviewing coping strategies and setting you up for success.”

One focus of the program is overcoming a slip, and differentiating that from relapse. Think of a slip as a mistake you can learn from. The program asks that participants be T.R.U.E:

  • Think of how to approach it or to avoid it next time
  • Reflect on the situation
  • Use it as a learning experience
  • Encourage response as one would to any other mistake

This Freedom From Smoking is an intensive seven week group course. The first virtual class begins March 16, 2021, 5:30 – 7PM. To sign-up for this free program, please contact Katie Bocchino at 745-6438 or

For more information about the American Lung

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1315 Hospital Drive
St. Johnsbury, Vermont 05819

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