As a new year approaches and New Year’s resolutions abound, many individuals turn to setting goals for better health and wellbeing. For some, especially those with heart and lung disease, that goal may include quitting smoking. Thanks to Iredell Health System’s smoking cessation program, Freshstart®, that goal has the potential to become more of a reality.
“The program is designed specifically for the participant,” said Lisa Warren, director of Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation for Iredell Health System. “It is to aid them in determining a quit date and provides the knowledge and processes of how to successfully quit.”
The program is the official smoking cessation program of the American Cancer Society and consists of four weekly one-hour classes. While group interaction is involved, the program focuses on individual attention and addresses specific reasons people smoke, including physical addiction, habit and psychological dependency.
Available to all patients, Freshstart® is especially important to those suffering from peripheral artery disease (PAD), which causes abnormal narrowing of arteries causing pain with walking and exercise.
“Smoking cessation is a key element in all three of our cardiopulmonary rehab programs, but especially for patients with PAD because cigarette smoking is one of the top risk factors of constriction and damaged arteries,” Warren said. “Smoking significantly increases the risk of the development and worsening of PAD. If you smoke, quitting is the most important thing you can do to reduce your risk of complications.”
The cardiopulmonary rehab staff manages the Health System’s quit smoking program and works directly with the Health System’s pulmonary evidence-based committee to help strengthen the program. It includes education on pharmacological aids, which staff help participants obtain from their physicians if requested.
“This program can really make a difference in someone’s life,” Warren said. “We’re here to inspire the wellbeing of our patients, and this program is one of the many ways we do that.”
For more information on Freshstart® and other available Cardiopulmonary Rehab programs, call 704-878-4558.