Smoking cessation programme set

It’s the time of year when we all make New Year’s resolutions and see how long we can keep them. If your resolution is to quit smoking, the Cayman Islands Cancer Society (CICS) has a programme that can help.

Offered free of charge, the programme is set to begin on Wednesday, 12 January at 5.30pm at the Society’s offices on Maple Road beside the Cayman Islands Hospital. The programme offers group-based support to help participants identify and cope with problems encountered in their attempt to quit smoking. Some of the key components of the programme are helping participants better understand why they smoke, how to handle withdrawal and tips to help resist the urge to smoke. As a part of the programme, a ‘quit date’ is set and participants are prepared for this quit date.

The Society is also offering this programme in-house to the business community, clubs and associations. Christine Sanders, Education and Office Manager of the Cancer Society, said the Society has taken this decision in light of the fact that there may soon be tobacco legislation introduced to the Cayman Islands which will include a ban on smoking in all indoor public places.

Ms. Sanders says there are many ways to quit smoking including ‘cold turkey’, the use of pharmaceuticals such as Nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) or bupropion (Zyban), support groups and alternative therapies such as hypnosis and acupuncture. She said research shows that the most successful quit attempts combine the use of support groups with pharmaceutical assistance, especially NRT products like the patch. Some of the pharmaceutical products used to assist people in quitting smoking are available over-the-counter and others by prescription. Regardless of which product you choose to use, the Cancer Society recommends consulting with a doctor or pharmacist to ensure that they are safe given your health and any other medication you may be using.

Ms Sander also provided the following tips to help ensure a successful quit attempt:

Tell as many people as possible about your attempt to quit – you will need their support and you are more likely to keep your resolution if you feel you are responsible to someone to be successful.

Develop a list of reasons why YOU want to quit. Most quit attempts are only successful if you are quitting because you want to quit and not because someone else wants you to quit. Start to think about when and why you smoke – you may notice some interesting patterns!

Make a list of alternative things to do with your hands and your mouth other than smoking.

Rid your house, car and office of smoking paraphernalia and then set a quit date.

The urge to smoke will pass – it lasts on average three to five minutes. Work through the urge by practicing deep breathing and relaxation exercises or with some other activity.

For more information on how to quit smoking, on the group programme or to arrange an in-house programme, contact Christine Sanders at the Cayman Islands Cancer Society at 949-7618 or email [email protected].

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