Community forum: Porter offering help to tobacco users

With each New Year there is a tendency to not only look back to reflect and evaluate, but to look forward to dream and plan with renewed enthusiasm. If you smoke or use tobacco, the arrival of 2018 could spark a determined resolve to quit.
In the United States, more people are addicted to nicotine than any other drug, and research suggests that nicotine may be as addictive as heroin, cocaine or alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control, tobacco smoke contains a deadly mixture of more than 7,000 chemicals; hundreds of which are harmful, and about 70 can cause cancer.
Optimistically — after all, it is the New Year — positive health changes occur when quitting, regardless of age. In other words, immediately after quitting, the benefits of being tobacco free begin to accumulate. The CDC states that just 20 minutes after your last cigarette, your heart rate slows, and after 12 hours carbon monoxide levels in your bloodstream return to normal. Two to twelve weeks after quitting, your risk for heart attack declines and lung function improves.
And the benefits continue to accelerate. Quitting smoking reduces the risk of lung cancer and lung disease, heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease, and respiratory symptoms such as coughing, wheezing and shortness of breath.
So as we change the calendar to 2018, perhaps it’s time for a powerful personal change to a tobacco-free life. Porter Medical Center, in conjunction with the State of Vermont’s Blueprint for Health Program and the University of Vermont Medical Center, are offering free Tobacco Cessation programs throughout the county beginning January 10th. These programs are led by a trained Tobacco Treatment Specialist and nicotine replacement therapies are available.
For dates, times, locations and to register, contact Michele Butler, Chronic Disease Programs Coordinator, UVM Health Network Porter Medical Center, 802-388-8860 or at [email protected]

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