• Help available at MAHC  to quit smoking, vaping

  • Cigarettes. Cigars. Smokeless tobacco.

    Each of these have the potential for addictions that can result in life-threatening health effects, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and other lung-related illnesses, oral cancer, heart disease and more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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  • Katie Peterson | Staff Writer
    Cigarettes. Cigars. Smokeless tobacco.
    Each of these have the potential for addictions that can result in life-threatening health effects, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer and other lung-related illnesses, oral cancer, heart disease and more, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    Now, vaping and electronic cigarettes have become the latest trend, with users believing it is a healthier substitute for tobacco products, but in reality, it contains the same addictive nicotine substance and other harmful chemicals that can result in health problems.
    As of Sept. 17, there have been 380 reported cases of lung illness and seven reported deaths and — while vaping has not been determined as the official cause — every case included a history of vaping or e-cigarette use, according to the Army Public Health Center.
    Nicotine addiction can make quitting any of these products difficult, especially when they have been used for an extended period, but Munson Army Health Center has resources to help users who are ready to take that step with its Smoking and Vaping Cessation course.
    The course, which consists of four one-on-one sessions with MAHC Public Health Nurse Lee Hutchison, focuses on helping the user decide not to smoke.
    “Each week is a different step,” Hutchison said. “They don’t have to be non-smoking at the time.”
    The four one-on-one sessions follow the American Cancer Society’s Freshstart program.
    “Freshstart is designed to help smokers plan a successful quit attempt by providing essential information, skills for coping with cravings and group support,” according to the American Cancer Society’s Workplace Solutions website.
    The program works in four stages — “decide to quit,” “plan to quit,” “your quit day,” and “stay quit.”
    “It is strictly a behavior modification process as we help people navigate through the Freshstart program,” Hutchison said. “It is not a program that they can get medication.”
    However, to compensate, Public Health is working with MAHC Clinical Pharmacist Dr. Jordan Walker who can prescribe different medications.
    “She will see them, get a history and be able to prescribe whatever it is they might need or want, and then they’ll see us for the behavioral health side,” Hutchison said. “Working with Doctor Walker will be good because … they’ll get the whole package.”
    For more information or to make an appointment, call 684-6528.
    To learn more about the health risks of smoking and vaping, visit cdc.gov.
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