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Profile: Kicking the Smoking Habit

The American Cancer Society's "FreshStart" program is one of the more successful and affordable smoking cessation initiatives aimed specifically at adults. Led by a trained facilitator, smokers participate in four one-hour sessions over the course of two to four weeks, at little or no cost, working on strategies to help them kick their habit.

The program uses group interaction to support quitting goals and addresses the reasons why people smoke, including physical addiction, habit, and psychological dependency. It also helps quitters cope with two of the most difficult obstacles faced by many ex-smokers: weight control and stress management.

The goal is to modify behavior that leads to smoking. The program uses a pragmatic, step-by-step approach. Instead of reaching for a cigarette, for instance, facilitators urge participants to practice the "four Ds": Delay, Deep breathing, Drink water, or Do something else. When the urge to smoke hits, participants are also advised to take a warm shower, go for a walk, call a friend, drink a glass of cold water, or question why they want a cigarette in the first place.

-- Janet Firshein

Sign: This facility is smoke free.

This description is not intended as an endorsement of this particular program.

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