Chances are if someone smokes, vapes or chews tobacco they have considered quitting at some time or another.
The good news is that free classes will be available in North East.
Val Luebke, a public health educator employed by the Erie County Department of Health (ECDH), coordinates and teaches six-week Quit Classes across Erie County.
“I used to be a smoker and it’s hard finding a place to start when you want to quit,” Luebke said. “Many people who want to quit also may not be able to afford many of the products that help and this program allows us to provide the help and products people may need.”
Classes are often held at community centers, worksites, college campuses, churches, fitness centers and medical offices and are free to participants.
ECDH Quit Classes are evidence-based and designed to help tobacco users meet their goals by learning practical strategies to address nicotine addiction. Because nicotine use is often socially acceptable, it is not frequently thought of as an addiction.
In truth, nicotine is the chemical in cigarettes, chewing tobacco and often vape juice that creates the physical need to use these products. Couple the physical cravings with emotional triggers caused by stress, boredom, or loneliness; then add in routine times of the day tobacco use occurs out of habit such as; with that first cup of coffee, during scheduled work breaks, after meals or during a commute and may indicate someone has an addiction to address.
Fortunately, if anyone has the desire to quit he or she can be successful by attending a quit class. Classes typically consist of small groups committed to attending one-hour classes for six weeks. During class sessions participants will be offered free nicotine patches, gum or lozenges to address physical cravings. Participants will also learn to identify emotional triggers and strategies to address those triggers without using nicotine.
Finally, they will figure out ways to adapt to a nicotine-free daily schedule with the support of a certified tobacco treatment specialist and other like-minded individuals.
In North East, the ECDH Quit Classes will be held at 4 NINE Place on Wednesdays from 3 to 4 p.m. and will run from Sept. 22 to Oct. 27.
If anyone is interested in making this healthy change and want to register for classes, contact Val Luebke, at 814-451-6705; or email at email@example.com for more information.
“There has never been a better time to quit smoking, chewing or vaping,” Luebke said. “It is a great opportunity and we are excited to be partnered with 4 NINE Place. The members there work hard to provide resources much needed in the community.”