In 2003, HealthNet launched its Tobacco Cessation Program, designed to give one-on-one support for patients who want to quit smoking. The highly effective program follows the clinical practice guidelines established by the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services. More than 277 people successfully completed the program last year. Husband and wife, David and Kathy Hagan have both successfully completed our Tobacco Cessation Program and are both 3 years smoke free! Check out the story below about Kathy’s journey to becoming Smoke Free!
Discuss how you started smoking. What age? What was the appeal? Did you think of possible consequences?
I started smoking around age 14 with friends. At age 14 you think everything looks cool. I did not think of health consequences at that age, I only wanted to fit in.
Discuss your past attempts (if any) to quit smoking. Why do you think they weren’t successful?
I tried several times to quit, none of them worked because I was not doing it for me. I was not ready to quit.
What motivated you to quit for good? How long have you been smoke-free?
Being a grandmother motivated me. I have four beautiful grandsons who are my world. The oldest is six and told me my hair smelled like his dad’s ashtray. This October 10th will be 3 years smoke-free.
Discuss how HealthNet’s Tobacco Cessation Program helped in your journey to quit for good.
This program offered me motivation, support, tips, and the feeling that someone else believed that I could do it.
What has been most rewarding to you about quitting?
Overall health issues are improving. I have Barretts esophagus that used to cover my entire esophagus. However, now 3 years smoke-free, my last biopsy showed only one very small spot. This program was the best thing that ever happened to me.
HealthNet’s Smoking Cessation Program provides nicotine replacement therapy (NRT), which helps reduce patients’ withdrawal symptoms and cravings. Unfortunately, the cost can be a real barrier, particularly for patients without insurance. In the past, we’ve partnered with the Marion County Public Health Department to provide these patients with NRT at no cost to them. In 2013, we supplied these patients with 155 boxes of patches and 60 boxes of gum, totaling $3,500. This year, the Health Department was forced to end this support, due to funding cuts. We are currently looking for other community partners who might be able to assist with this $3,500 need.
If you’d like to support HealthNet’s Smoking Cessation Program, you can make a tax deductible donation here.