Cessation aid class held to fight tobacco addiction

Tracie Sypin, prevention specialist from the Greene County Drug & Alcohol Program, will be teaching “Smoke-Free For Life,” a new series that aids in the cessation of those addicted to tobacco in Greene County.

Sypin is trained in facilitating classes and is additionally a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS). Though the course has been taught for free in the past, current statistics prove they are still vital in the community.

Sypin said according to the 2017 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), in Greene County, approximately 21% of all adults smoke tobacco. Even more alarming,  the 2017 Pennsylvania Youth Survey indicated that 16.7% of Greene County youth have used cigarettes and 23.4% have vaped or used an e-cigarette in the last 30 days.

“Smoke-Free For Life is an eight-session smoking cessation program developed by Breathe Pennsylvania. This approach focuses on the individual needs of each smoker, while in a group setting. Key topics of this eight-session program include understanding the habit, developing a plan to quit and maintenance strategies,” Sypin explained.

As a provider of services for Tobacco-Free Southwest PA, offering community cessation programs is one of its objectives, Sypin said.

This program also offers other ways to help those trapped in tobacco addiction including: PA QuitLogix at http://pa.quitlogix.org., which is an online service available to those who cannot attend the meetings in person. People are also encouraged to reach out to 1-800-QUIT-NOW, the Pennsylvania Quitline.

“At this time, we don’t know how many people will come, but everyone who wants to become nicotine-free is welcome to attend,” Sypin said. “I’m looking forward to continuing to help our community members on their journey to become nicotine-free.”

According to the Greene County news website, Smoke-Free for Life, the agency responsible for making these classes available, is developing a program with the intent to help those struggling with step-by-step maintenance of their addiction.

The first gathering will be held on Jan. 22, at 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Community Room at Parkview Knoll in Carmichaels, Pennsylvania and will begin with an introductory session on learning how to remove tobacco addiction from a lifestyle.

The remaining sessions of the tobacco-cessation program will be held on the following dates: Jan. 29, and Feb. 5, 12, 13, 19 and 26.

If anyone is interested in attending the cessation classes at Parkview Knoll, no pre-registration is required. Tracie Sypin can be reached at 724-852-5276 for more information.