Support available for those looking to quit smoking

  • Published
  • By Debi Smith
  • 82nd Training Wing Public Affairs
Each January brings the promise of a new start, healthier lifestyle, and a new you.
Quitting tobacco is at the top of standard resolutions. By the end of the month, the promise and hope can get left behind in a wake of to-do lists, overtime hours, school projects and working a budget to get through tax season. 

This year, make that decision to quit tobacco products. You don't have to do it on your own. By reaching out to the staff at the Health and Wellness Center, you have an unparalleled support system designed to take a multi-disciplined approach to your success. 

According to HAWC Health Educator Brian Todd, "for those who use tobacco products the AETC standard is currently 12 percent and Sheppard Air Force Base currently sits at 16-17 percent." To assure the safety and readiness of Team Sheppard personnel, the HAWC's mission is to provide quality health services while promoting positive lifestyle choices. To achieve that goal, the HAWC now offers the American Cancer Society's Freshstart Tobacco Cessation Program giving an individual a broader view of how tobacco affects the body and steps to combat it. 

Free classes are held every Wednesday for a four-week period to cover life skills, nutrition, fitness and dental issues. Call 676-4292 to attend either the noon or 5 p.m. class. 

Still think you have what it takes to kick the habit on your own? The Department of Defense's QUIT TOBACCO - MAKE EVERYONE PROUD campaign identifies four steps to quitting tobacco and offers suggestions at the website

1. Thinking about quitting
2. Preparing to quit
3. Quitting
4. Staying quit 

Tips include remembering why you want to quit, setting a quit date, finding support in friends and family when it gets tough, preparing for the challenges of familiar tobacco-use situations or someone offering you a cigarette and sticking with it despite any withdrawal symptoms or cravings at the beginning. 

Ongoing help can also be found at the ACS Tobacco Quitline, 1-877-YES-QUIT (937-7848), for free, confidential support. Take that first step to a new you - visit the HAWC at the Pitsenbarger Fitness Center, Bldg 540.