What is the Freshstart program?
The Freshstart program is a free smoking cessation program developed by the American Cancer Society. The program is offered throughout the year at St. Elizabeth Healthcare locations, including Edgewood, Fort Thomas, Covington, Florence and Grant County, as well as at locations throughout the Northern Kentucky community.
Freshstart is the first step toward becoming a former smoker. The class meets once a week for four weeks and focuses on topics such as:
- What do I need to know about quitting?
- How is nicotine addictive?
- Dealing with nicotine withdrawal.
- Recovering from slip-ups.
The classes are informal, engaging and interactive. Participants often bond with each other and provide helpful support during the quitting process.
Barriers to quit smoking
Nicotine is highly addictive, making it challenging to quit. Over time, smokers become physically and emotionally addicted to nicotine. Smokers must address both their physical and psychological dependency to quit and stay a non-smoker.
Additional barriers include fear of withdrawal, stress, others in the house that smoke, weight gain and fear of failure.
Quick tips to quit smoking
Even though it can be scary to make the decision to quit smoking, it’s the right choice for your health, your mind and your body. The following tips will help take it from a hypothetical idea to a reality:
- Sign up for a Freshstart class. Learn effective how-to-quit tips and get support from classmates along the way. It’s a great first step toward quitting smoking.
- What’s your reason? Identify your motivation to quit and write the reason on post-it notes. Place these notes in visible places, especially spots where you typically smoked. They’ll serve as a visual reminder not to light up.
- Set the date. Pick a date on your calendar to become a non-smoker – and stick to it.
- Ask for support. Family, friends, spouse, significant others, co-workers – tell them about your plan to quit smoking and ask for support. Better yet – ask them to join you! Accountability partners can help you to stick with quitting.
- Fight the urge. If you have an urge to smoke, wait just 10 minutes. Drinking a glass of water or if not diabetic, drinking some orange juice will help the urge. Keep busy.
Additionally, make an appointment with your doctor to discuss medication to help you quit. Your doctor can write you a prescription for over-the-counter medications like patches and gum. In the state of Kentucky, major medical insurance or Medicaid will pay for it.
We want to help you quit
At St. Elizabeth Healthcare, we are your health partner every step of the way. If you’re interested in learning more about quitting smoking and the free four-week Freshstart program, please call (859) 301-5570 for more information.