NEWARK — Among current U.S. adult smokers, 70 percent report that they want to quit completely, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Despite this desire to stop smoking, one recent study found that the average smoker takes five years and seven attempts to give up cigarettes.
“Tobacco dependence is a chronic condition that often requires repeated interventions, but effective treatments do exist,” reports Dennis Lee, Tobacco Dependence Treatment Specialist, Barnabas Health Institute for Prevention, with a branch located at Newark Beth Israel Medical Center.
Tobacco smoke contains over 4,000 chemicals in addition to nicotine. Some of the toxic chemicals found in tobacco smoke are known to cause cancer. Over 400,000 Americans die each year from smoking-related illnesses — more than from AIDS, alcohol/drug abuse, fires, car accidents, suicides and homicides combined. Second-hand smoke is an environmental hazard to non-smokers and especially harmful to children.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that nicotine, a powerful drug found in all tobacco products, is a highly addictive drug, as addictive as heroin, cocaine, or alcohol. Nicotine dependence is the most common form of chemical dependence in the US.
“Relapse can occur for a variety of reasons, including stress, weight gain, and withdrawal symptoms,” reports Lee. “Because smoking is such an addictive behavior, our program utilizes all of the latest research to address all of these concerns.”
Help for Smokers
The Barnabas Health Behavioral Health Network Institute for Prevention provides a comprehensive Tobacco Dependence Treatment Program including:
- Stages of Change Readiness
- Nicotine Dependence Evaluation
- Individual, Group and Family
- Up-to-date information on the latest FDA approved prescription and over-the-counter drug therapies including: the Patch, Gum, Inhaler (Rx), Nasal Spray (Rx), Varenicline (RX) and Bupropion (Rx)
Institute for Prevention also offers a support group, The Tobacco Treatment Group, to help support those people on the path to freedom from tobacco. A free assessment is required for participation in the program. Smokers meet with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist for one hour and receive information and tools to help quit smoking and receive a customized smoking cessation plan. More information about the program is available by calling 1-973-926-7978 or visiting http://www.instituteforprevention.com/programs/tobaccodependence.html
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