QuitCore scores success in quest to curb smoking | DrumhellerMail
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Last updateFri, 24 May 2024 12pm

QuitCore scores success in quest to curb smoking

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    It took most of her adult life, but Kathy Pinkus can finally say she is smoke free.

    This week is National Non-Smoking Week, and today is Weedless Wednesday, the perfect chance for smokers to try to kick the habit. For Pinkus, her quit date was October 23, and she has never looked back.
    Last fall QuitCore was introduced at the Drumheller Health Centre. This is a group support based quit smoking program hosted and delivered by Alberta Health Services. It was the boost she needed to quit for good.
    She started smoking like so many others: as an adolescent, her parents smoked and she tried it. Almost three decades later, she was still hooked. This was her third attempt, and this time it stuck.
    “I was just ready this time,” she said.
    Her greatest reason to quit was to maintain her own health.
    “My biggest motivation is health. My mother has battled cancer,” she said. “It (cancer) is already in the family, why put gas on the fire?”
    The QuitCore program helped her with motivation by being with other people, and it gave her the tools to succeed. Parts of this are simple coping skills.
    One cigarette that Pinkus missed was her after dinner cigarette. Now she works her way through a bag of sunflower seeds. A simple activity such as working on a puzzle during commercials watching television helps her avoid a trip outside for a smoke. The simple 4-Ds, which include: drinking water, delaying, doing something different and deep breathing are all supports in themselves.
    The cravings still come, but they are fleeting.
    This was her second attempt using Champix, a newer quit smoking prescription on the market. This time she was able to get advice on supplements to use to make it more palatable.
    Part of her change is not just the one habit, but also a more holistic approach to her life. She has even started a yoga program.
    “The first part of my life I abused my body, so in the second part I want to take care of it,” she said.
    Part of her new direction is hoping to help others battling with smoking, and now she is even working on a couple of her co-workers to quit. At QuitCore, participants are asked to fill out a survey, and one of the questions is whether the participant would be interested in coming back to the program to speak to those going through the program. Pinkus signed up.
    QuitCore is starting up again at the Drumheller Health Centre come February 1, and includes  six to eight in-depth sessions over a 10 to 14-week period. It is facilitated by addictions counsellor Trina Macfarlane, coordinator of the Primary Care Network Erica Leacock and respiratory therapist Kelly Jorgensen. It is a free program.
    To register, call 1-866-710-7848 (Quit).

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