Smoking cessation class offered at Cortland Regional Medical Center

The following is a republished press release…to submit a community announcement, email Peter Blanchard at [email protected].


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CORTLAND, N.Y. – This week, the Respiratory Care department at Cortland Regional Medical Center will begin their FREE program “Commit-to-Quit” which is designed to help smokers end their addiction. Beginning Thursday September 24, the 6 week program is led by Registered Respiratory Therapist Carrie Whitney and focuses on helping smokers become “Tobacco Free for Life” through lifestyle changes. The CRMC Respiratory Care staff is committed to helping their patients achieve a higher level of wellness through greater understanding of disease process and the proper application of therapeutic treatments. The course stresses the use of evidence-based medicine and well-researched best practices.

Tobacco use remains the single largest, most common preventable cause of disease, disability and death in the United States. Over 400,000 or 1 of 5 Americans die each year from smoking related illnesses. 21.5% of the County’s residents are everyday smokers according to the Seven Valleys Health Coalition’s 2015 health and wellness report card for Cortland County In the past decade the County’s smoking rate has not changed and sits above the national average of 19% which is decrease from 19.6%

Director of Respiratory Care, Bill Bilka commented on the success of the program “Success depends on the patient. For some people it takes ten tries while other people are lucky and can quit on their first try.” Bilka mentioned that participants have a greater chance of quitting if they attend all 6 sessions. “We see around a 40-50% success rate for the participants that attend all of the classes.” Bilka said. He further explained that quitting smoking involves understanding the effects of smoking and taking control of the urges instead of the urges controlling you. To learn more, people are encouraged to visit SmokeFree.gov. which provides links for useful information and tips to quit along with the ability to create a customized quit plan.

The Commit-to-Quit program is FREE and open to anyone in Cortland County. The sessions will be held at CRMC on the second floor in the 2C meeting room. Each session will run from 6pm until 7:15pm every Thursday from September 24th to October 29th. Participants are strongly encouraged to attend each of the 6 sessions to improve their chance of becoming tobacco free. To register or get more information, call CRMCs Respiratory Care Department at 607-756-3807 between 8am and 3pm Monday through Friday.


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