“Freedom From Smoking” Program Begins January 31

BREWSTER, NY- The Putnam County Department of Health is kicking off the New Year right—offering residents an opportunity to kick their smoking habit. The free, eight-session Freedom From Smoking (FFS) program will be held on Wednesday evenings, starting on January 31, at 6 pm at the Health Department’s Main Office at 1 Geneva Road. Each session lasts from 60 to 90 minutes. Two sessions will be held during the fourth week of the program, which is “quit week,” on Wednesday, February 21, and Friday, February 23. The last class is on March 14.

The group leader is a FFS/American Lung Association-certified facilitator from the health department, who starts the sessions talking about preparing and planning to quit. The Center for a Tobacco-Free Hudson Valley provides additional technical assistance with training on the program that involves lifestyle changes that support tobacco-free living. Each person’s experience with quitting smoking is different. The Freedom From Smoking program uses proven activities and tools to help participants understand their own relationship with tobacco—and how to have a smoke-free life. Nicotine replacement products (NRT) such as the patch and gum will be available, also for free, while supplies lasts. Using NRT is encouraged, and will be discussed in detail as part of the program, but it is not required.

Widely regarded as the gold standard in quit-smoking programs, the FFS program was created by the American Lung Association, an organization with more than 50 years of experience helping smokers quit. Some smokers feel hopeless after unsuccessful attempts at quitting. The FFS Program recognizes these feelings are part of the journey to become a non-smoker and stresses the fact that most successful quitters have failed at it before. The program reinforces the greater belief  no matter what setbacks you have had in the past, you still have the power to quit.

Pre-registration is required, as group size is limited. More information on the program can be found online at www.freedomfromsmoking.org. For more information or to pre-register, contact the Putnam County Department of Health at (845) 808-1390, ext. 43155.

The mission of the Putnam County Department of Health, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB), is to improve and protect the health of the Putnam County community, composed of nearly 100,000 residents. Core services include community health assessment, disease surveillance and control, emergency preparedness, environmental health protection, family health promotion and health education. For more information, please visit our County website at www.putnamcountyny.com ; or visit our social media sites on Facebook at www.facebook.com/putnamhealth  and Twitter @PutnamHealthNY.