Classes help smokers butt out

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society is observing May as Lung Cancer and Tobacco Awareness Month.

The Cayman Islands Cancer Society is offering free smoking cessations classes to help smokers butt out.

Most smokers say they want to quit and with the help of smoking cessation programmes, 20 to 40 per cent of participants are able to quit smoking and stay off tobacco for good.

The society’s smoking cessation classes aim to support and advise group members by helping them to realise their smoking habits, triggers for smoking and devise individualised coping strategies to help them ‘kick the habit’.

Guest speakers are brought in to share information, including a pharmacist to talk about nicotine replacement therapy, a counsellor, dietician and a lung cancer survivor.

FYI

Smoking cessation classes begin 21 May and will be held every Wednesday for six weeks at the CICS office on Eclipse Drive (off Eastern Avenue), from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Classes are free of charge, and are run by Health Promotion Officer Katie Evans. For more information, contact the Cancer Society at 949-7618 or email [email protected].

Benefits of quitting

Smoking cessation has significant health benefits even for people who have been smoking for many years. The sooner people give up smoking, the better. After:

20 minutes – your blood pressure and pulse return to normal

8 hours – nicotine, carbon monoxide and oxygen levels in your blood begin to return to normal

2 days – your lungs start to clear and your sense of taste and smell begin to return

3 days – breathing is easier and your energy levels increase

2-12 weeks – circulation improves and exercise gets easier

3-9 months – breathing problems, coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing improve

5 years – risk of having a heart attack falls to about half that of a smoker

10 years – risk of lung cancer falls to about half that of a smoker. You have the same risk of a heart attack as someone who has never smoked.

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