Cessation of smoking group’s priority

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Community residents who have made the New Years resolution to quit smoking or cease using tobacco of any kind, will soon have the opportunity to participate in a support group, to help reach their goal of quitting.

The first step in that process is a tobacco cessation facilitator training, hosted by Community Resources. The training, taught by the American Lung Association is expected to certify 10-15 facilitators who will each begin programs working directly with those who want to kick the habit.

“The program will serve as a training ground to certify interested individuals in helping others to quit using tobacco products,” said Terry Teti, executive director, Community Resources. “Freedom From Smoking, is a very well received and successful program to help people quit smoking,” said Teti.

During the course of the day, participants will be taught the Basic Tobacco Intervention Skills program and the Freedom From Smoking Facilitator Training program, said Monica Patten, coordinator of tobacco control programs, for the American Lung Association. Upon completion of the programs, participants will receive a certificate, and will be qualified to teach smoking cessation classes in the community, said Patten.

According to Patten, quitting tobacco usage is becoming important. Portales is located in the area of New Mexico that is ranked highest in tobacco use. Tobacco use for this part of the state is at 25.6 percent, compared to other parts of the state that have tobacco usage under 22 percent. A campaign is currently in effect to become a smoke-free state, said Patten.

“That’s why it’s important to have all these classes, to help people quit,” said Patten.

Patten also stated that smoking can cause and lead to health problems for smokers and those around them. Smoking around children can lead to breathing problems and ear infections. Smoking also releases toxins into the air that others breathe in, she said.

Throughout the day’s training, Patten will use interactive methods to teach the class. By interacting with the class, Patten is able to set up real-life scenarios. This allows her to help the participants learn how to teach and deal with a support group. It also allows for any questions to be answered that may arise in handling a particular situation. During the training, Patten will also offer advice and tips to help the facilitators to conduct their classes, she said.

“I always encourage and try to keep things upbeat,” said Patten.

For more information, call Teti at 226-6456