Lacombe and area residents who are looking to kick their tobacco habit can find support in a newly offered class.
QuitCore is a free tobacco reduction support program led by a trained counsellor.
Through a partnership between Alberta Health Services (AHS) and Wolf Creek Primary Care Network, a weekly class will be offered in Lacombe each Wednesday, starting next month.
Program Facilitator Heather Mielke said the class will run for a six-week period and that participation in the group can more than double your chances of quitting compared to trying just on your own.
“We all know someone who has smoked and tried to quit,” she said. “The group support is key with the program. It provides people with the tools that they need to be successful. People will quit during the program or even reduce with an aim to quit at some point.”
The class is designed for anyone who has an aim to eliminate any type of tobacco use in the future.
“We are not trying to change your mind in this,” said Mielke. “We are taking people who are already leaning towards that and are ready to make a change.”
Each class will cover a different topic ranging from stress management to physical activity.
A dietician may visit the class to also provide nutritional information.
“Lots of people have concerns about weight gain and that type of thing with quitting smoking, so we will provide some information that way,” said Mielke. “There is so much of smoking or tobacco use that is very behavioural and so teaching people how to manage that end of it is important as well.”
Mielke said if you are a tobacco user, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health.
“The research out there and the numbers show that two-thirds of current tobacco users want to quit but it’s the question of ‘how?’” she said. “Even if the person comes into this class and they’ve tried several times and have not managed to sustain the quit, they’ve learned something along the way and they can really make use of that.
“With QuitCore, in particular, it’s just providing tools and the tool that works for you might not work for the guy sitting next to you but it gives people options.”
Motivation to quit for each person is different, but Mielke said some individuals are motivated by the sheer cost of the habit or are sometimes motivated over a health scare.
“Everyone’s motivation comes from somewhere different and what’s going to work for them is going to be different,” she said. “Hopefully we can give them some tools along the way.”
She added that QuitCore is not a step-by-step program and does not come with an obligation for attendees to quit. Mielke is also available to work with people on an individual basis.
“If the class time doesn’t work or if they are more interested in doing this on a one-on-one basis, we can certainly do that too,” she said.
The program is offered free of charge and does not require a referral.
The QuitCore program begins on Wednesday, Feb. 17th from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the Lacombe Hospital Board Room. To register, contact Mielke at 403-782-1408 or call the toll-free line at 1-866-710-QUIT (7848).
More information can be found at www.Albertaquits.ca.