Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association: Do you want to be tobacco free? |

Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association: Do you want to be tobacco free?

Only about 4 percent of smokers are able to quit smoking without assistance. If you are ready to quit tobacco, this could be your chance to give it up for good.

The Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association now is offering community members a free program to help interested individuals stop smoking and start a healthier life without tobacco. The group will provide emotional, informational and social support for tobacco reduction and cessation.

Tobacco-free group

Initially developed in 2006 and implemented in 17 states (and counting), this evidence-based program promotes positive health behavior change. By focusing on the whole person and a healthy lifestyle in general, you more successfully can address and overcome an addiction to tobacco.

The group will use a holistic approach with a focus on the eight dimensions of wellness and healthy living: emotional, environmental, financial, intellectual, occupational, physical, social and spiritual. The group will look closely at each dimension during the entire course, finding strengths and working on areas for improvement. Through these eight components, each participant will work toward creating a tobacco-free, healthy lifestyle.

When you call to register for the group, you will be connected to one of our cessation counselors to set up an appointment for an Individualized Tobacco Assessment to discuss your personal motivations and goals before the first class. This way, though you will be participating in a group setting, you still will have your individualized plan in mind throughout each session.

At the beginning of each class, participants can report on their weekly progress. The group covers topics such as stress management, wellness and behavior change techniques. Each session focuses on creating attainable goals and offers peer support. Information will be provided about proven strategies to decrease tobacco use, in addition to providing professional guidance and support.

Throughout the Tobacco Free Group, participants will be given information regarding healthy lifestyle decisions, the adverse effects of tobacco use, strategies to change behavior patterns, coping skills to help manage tobacco triggers and cravings, stress management techniques and assistance in planning for a life without tobacco.

The Tobacco Free Group will meet in the private conference room of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association at 940 Central Park Drive, Suite 101 from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Mondays (Aug. 11 to Sept. 15). Call Suzy at 970-871-7627 to register for the group at any time. There is no charge to participate. This will be a drop-in group, but commitment to the entire course is strongly recommended.

Northwest Colorado VNA offers options to help quit tobacco

• To be connected with a cessation counselor in Steamboat Springs, call 970-871-7634 or call 970-871-7696 for a cessation counselor in Craig. Counseling helps tobacco users set quit goals in a judgment-free environment. Participants also may receive support for weight management, nutrition, heart health and stress control. There is no fee for these services. They are available in English and Spanish.

• The Colorado QuitLine, which offers free personalized cessation phone support for tobacco users. Call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

• SmokefreeTXT program provides free personalized text message support. Text the word QUIT to IQUIT (47848).

Suzy Bouzo is a community outreach coordinator at Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association.

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