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Make today the day you decide to quit smoking

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By The Staff

Lecreta Thomas knows how difficult it is to quit smoking. She began smoking at age 20, and says it was mostly because it seemed everyone around her was smoking. 

She tried quitting smoking four times, and was successful for eight years before starting again because of stress. When she received a notice from her employer about local smoking cessation classes offered through the Oldham County Health Department, she was ready to quit for good. 

“It was a great time to quit,” Lecreta said, “because it was the beginning of the year and many people are making resolutions to be healthier.” 

Lecreta joined the Cooper Clayton Smoking Cessation Class at the Oldham County Health Department in January 2006, successfully completed the program and has now been smoke free for almost three years. 

Lecreta now encourages all smokers to try the class. “The facilitator, Dori Livy, was very non-judgmental and the support of the group was helpful,” she said. “When I heard about the research that the developers of the program had done and their background and their experience smoking, I figured that they knew what they were talking about.” 

Lecreta says the nicotine replacement and the support of the program made quitting easier than her earlier attempts to quit cold turkey, and that going at her own pace was also very helpful.

It is again getting closer to the beginning of a new year, and if you are a smoker that wants to make 2009 the year you become smoke free, I encourage you to celebrate today, (Nov. 20) which marks the 33rd annual Great American Smoke Out, a time designed to encourage and inspire smokers to quit for one day. 

Many people that smoke have tried quitting in the past, and quitting for one day can provide the confidence and commitment to quit forever. 

If you smoke and want to quit, make plans to be smoke-free today, and take the day to set a permanent quit date and develop a quit plan. There are many, many resources to help you be a successful quitter – including the Cooper Clayton Smoking Cessation Classes that will begin again at the Oldham County Health Department in February. The number to register for Cooper Clayton is 222-3516, ext.143. 

You can also call the Kentucky Quit Line1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669), a free telephone service to help Kentuckians quit using tobacco. You can talk to your doctor about medication or counseling. 

Quitting smoking is difficult, but as Lecreta can tell you, it is worth it and you can do it!

For information or to register for the Cooper Clayton class, call the Oldham County Health Department at 222-3516, ext. 143.

The views expressed in this column are those of the writer.