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Revised Quit Smoking Program Starts in Sept.

Missouri has the 48th-worst smoking rate in the country, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Here, about 25 percent of adults are smokers. That means you’re very likely to treat patients who light up daily and struggle with quitting.

At North Kansas City Hospital, our smoking cessation program has shown success, especially when combined with prescription medication when appropriate. The “Freedom from Smoking … You Can Do It!” classes, which begin Sept. 9, have been condensed to ease patient anxiety about the quitting process.

David Hahn, MD“Our job is to educate,” says Dr. David Hahn, a cardiologist who works closely with the program and practices at Meritas Health Cardiology (formerly Northland Cardiology). “It can’t be anything threatening or forceful.”

Need to Know: Freedom from Smoking Program

The program is coordinated through the Hospital’s Community Health and Wellness department and meets American Lung Association criteria; it’s medically and ethically sound, cost-effective and evidence-based.

The program is voluntary, costs $50 and consists of seven, two-hour classes spread over three weeks — recently condensed in response to patient feedback.

While your enrolled patients may choose to use nicotine replacement products, you should also be prepared to write a prescription if warranted for a medication such as Wellbutrin, Zyban or Chantix — the newest and most successful in terms of cessation efforts.

Our program has been developed on a key principle: Patient education and support are the biggest factors in a successful recovery from tobacco addiction.

Class Structure 

The first two classes cover the physiology and psychology of tobacco addiction. The third one is the “quit date,” while the last four sessions deal with changing personal habits, getting healthy and adopting a new lifestyle.

While physical craving for nicotine wears off after a couple of days, Dr. Hahn says, the psychological effects linger. The best smoking cessation therapy only works a third of the time if measured at the one-year mark. That’s why our program allows patients to enroll multiple times.

“People who ultimately have success quitting have generally tried numerous times,” Dr. Hahn says. “Before they even set a cigarette down they need a desire, a quit date and a plan.”

To learn more, call 816-691-1690.