Gerber Memorial Expands Quit Tobacco Effort
FREMONT – Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial wants to make it easier for people who want to kick the tobacco habit get the information and support they need to succeed – by opening a new location for its tobacco cessation program in the hospital.
On Tuesday, March 14, Gerber Memorial will celebrate a new office located at the hospital specifically for tobacco cessation, with an open house from noon to 6 p.m. The public is invited to stop by. Information about quitting tobacco will be provided, as will light refreshments.
The new office is in Room 2121, on the second floor of the hospital and just around the corner from the OB/GYN clinic. Previously, Gerber Memorial’s tobacco cessation programs were located...
...only at Tamarac, a member of Spectrum Health. Classes and consultation will continue to be provided at Tamarac as well as at The Stream in Newaygo.
“We’re excited to have a place right here in the hospital where people can easily go for information about programs that are designed to help people quit tobacco and improve their overall health,” said Sally Wagoner, BSN, who is certified to lead courses designed to help people quit tobacco. “We want to make it as convenient as possible for both patients and Gerber Memorial staff, and this new office is where the patients are. Discharge planners, people coming from the OB/GYN clinic and visitors who are already at the hospital can come by and get information.”
Wagoner plans to be at the hospital location in the afternoons Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays. Office hours and consultation will be by appointment only, but tobacco quit information, as well as other Community Health program information, will be available.
All tobacco and nicotine quit classes and counseling are free. For more information about classes or to set up an appointment for individual consultation, call 231-924-7589.
“The evidence shows that people who succeed at kicking tobacco and quitting smoking are most likely to be those who work with a tobacco treatment specialist to create a plan for dealing with the habits, behaviors and emotions surrounding tobacco use,” Wagoner said. “We also want to be sure to help people find the right nicotine replacement products or medication to help with nicotine withdrawal symptoms. Support from primary care providers, family and friends are also critical to success. Using all three tools can double, even triple, success rates.”
Gerber Memorial’s tobacco cessation efforts are geared toward targeting all tobacco users and all nicotine products, from cigarettes and smokeless chews to e-cigs and cigars. Wagoner said she hopes to also reach out to pregnant women and new moms who use tobacco, in-patient tobacco users before they leave the hospital, outpatient referrals and anyone in the community who wants to sign up for a cessation program.
At 26 percent, Newaygo County has among the highest rates of smoking in Michigan, where the state average is 22 percent, according to District Health Department #10, which covers 10 counties including Newaygo County. Nearly 30 percent of pregnant women in Newaygo County smoke, compared with around 21 percent statewide, according to the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services.
Quitting smoking is the single most effective action a person can take to prevent at least 12 types of cancer, including cancer of the mouth, lung, stomach, bladder and prostate, health experts say. When a pregnant woman quits smoking, she significantly reduces the likelihood of premature birth, birth defects and Sudden Infant Death Syndrome or SIDS – all conditions linked to tobacco use by the mother.