Gerber Memorial to host free quit tobacco sessions in March, April
Fremont– Smokers and nicotine users looking to quit for good can turn to some free help in March and April.
Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial is offering free classes to the public every Tuesday and Wednesday in March, starting March 5 through March 27.
Gerber Memorial is extending its quit tobacco support to new moms and moms-to-be in April, with free classes every Monday starting April 1 through April 22. The moms’ sessions will be held at Tamarac, and participants will get free smoothies and day passes to Tamarac’s Wellness Center plus free in-house child watch.
Gerber Memorial Community Health Specialist Caitlin Mitchell-Schucker will lead the courses, designed to help participants learn ways to break nicotine addiction, including using nicotine replacement products and medication to decrease cravings.
“These can help you begin to decrease the amount you smoke, chew or vape very quickly, giving you a jump start to your quit date,” Mitchell-Schucker said. “We’ll also help each person plan what to do instead of using nicotine and tobacco, and how to be a lifelong quitter. Studies show that people can double or triple their success rates by coming to a class, using the best medications or nicotine replacement products for them, and following a plan that fits their lifestyle and needs.”
Gerber Memorial’s quit tobacco seminars in March and April are part of its larger effort to reduce nicotine use in Newaygo County. In addition to the free classes, Gerber Memorial’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist Shelly Klochak, RN, also offers free one-on-one tobacco and nicotine counseling.
Mitchell-Schucker said smoking tobacco can lead to more chronic diseases and deaths than any other daily lifestyle behavior – and it’s preventable. Smoking can cause 12 kinds of cancers, emphysema and COPD (chronic obstructive lung disease), heart disease and stroke, among others. Chewing tobacco can cause cancer in the mouth, stomach, colon and bladder, as well as tooth decay and gum disease. Mothers-to-be who smoke can contribute to the premature birth of their baby, increased infections and higher rates of SIDS, or Sudden Infant Death Syndrome, in their newborns.
The new trend in nicotine consumption, e-cigarettes, is also dangerous to those who vape and people around them. The vapor from e-cigarettes – which are not federally regulated – contains more than just water: It also contains small particles and toxic fumes from the flavors and additives in the e-juice, some of which are cancer causing, Mitchell-Schucker said.
Pre-registration is required for the March and April classes. To sign up, or for more information, contact Caitlin Mitchell-Schucker at 231.924.7589; or email email@example.com.