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Oaklawn to offer free 'Freshstart' stop-smoking program during May

Oaklawn to offer free ‘Freshstart’ stop-smoking program during May

MARSHALL – Smokers who want to stop a potentially health-threatening tobacco habit can get help and information during a free, four-part program hosted by Oaklawn Hospital.

The “Freshstart” program, developed by the American Cancer Society, will be conducted in two one-hour sessions beginning at 5 p.m. on May 23 and 25 in the large classroom of the Wright Medical Building, 215 E. Mansion St. Both sessions are required.

Registration is required to attend the free program, and may be obtained by calling (269) 789-7937.

Additional programs are planned July 25 and 27 as well as Oct. 24 and 26.

“Smoking certainly increases a person’s risk of developing many illnesses, with emphysema and heart disease as a few examples,” said Jess Kingston, the hospital’s director of Cardiopulmonary, Sleep Services and Emergency Preparedness.

Tobacco remains the single largest preventable cause of disease and premature death in the United States, according to the society, which developed the program to help participants quit smoking through proven strategies.

Kingston and other Oaklawn staff members who are registered respiratory therapists and certified “Freshstart” instructors will facilitate the clinic.

Following an open-discussion format, each session is designed to help participants understand the nature of nicotine addiction and provide solutions to quit the habit, Kingston said.

Class participants are advised to enter the Wright building’s south entrance and take the elevator to the third floor, where directional signs will be clearly posted.