• Are you ready to stop smoking and feel better? Rome Memorial Hospital is here to give you the support you need to break the addiction.

    Starting Wednesday, Oct. 23, the hospital will begin a 4-week smoking cessation class. The classes continue on Nov. 6, 13 and 20. (There will not be a class on Oct. 30).

    Teaching the class is Marie Smith, RN, an experienced instructor from Tri-County Tobacco Cessation Center.

    “No doubt about it – quitting smoking is difficult. But, you don’t have to do it alone,” said Smith. “We want to be there to help people succeed in their decision to quit smoking.”

    According to the American Cancer Society, the moment you quit smoking, it takes just minutes for your body to start healing. At the same time, you’ll be helping family and friends reduce the health risks associated with breathing secondhand smoke.

    The classes offer the information and encouragement people need to understand the addiction and the tools that are available to help them overcome the challenges.

    “As we know, smoking cessation has major immediate health benefits,” added Rome Memorial Hospital Education Director Gale Barone, RN, BS. “Working in healthcare, we see the adverse effects of smoking on our patients, including various forms of cancer and coronary heart disease,” she said.

    Barone said that the four-week program will be held at 6:30 p.m. in Rome Memorial Hospital’s conference room. The program is based on the American Cancer Society’s “Fresh Start” program, which combines information and support to help smokers break the addiction.

    Smoking cessation class participants may be eligible to receive free nicotine replacement patches provided through The New York State Smokers Quitline. It would be advantageous to call Quitline at 1-866-NY-QUITS before attending the first class to receive the free “start kit” of nicotine replacement patches.

    A $10 registration fee for the four-week program is due at the first session. Space is limited and advance registration is required for the smoking cessation class. The class is open to adults 18 and older. Participants should plan to attend all four sessions for best results. Please call Rome Memorial Hospital’s Education Department at 338-7143 by Friday, Oct. 18 to register.

    “Research shows that 70% of all smokers want to quit. With some help and determination, people can quit smoking,” Barone said. “Are you one of the 70% that wants to quit and has a willingness to try? If you are, then we at Rome Memorial Hospital may be able to help you.”

    Anyone who is interested in learning more about smoking cessation can call the hospital’s education department at 338-7143 or contact the New York State Smokers’ Quitsite at 866-NY-QUITS (866-697-8487) or www.nysmokefree.com. Other information may be obtained by visiting www.smokefree.gov.