Crestview program aids residents' efforts to quit smoking

Published: Monday, March 4, 2013 at 01:10 PM.

"That's just more incentive for me to quit smoking," Smith said.

Another incentive is for her health.

"I have heart disease and high blood pressure,” she said, adding the former runs in her family.

Aiding her mission to quit that habit is AHEC’s six-week program, which provides free counseling and offers four weeks’ supply of free nicotine patches and lozenges.

"Most of the time, the patches are not enough for them, so we offer the combination treatments," Miriam Lavandier, the program’s instructor, a certified tobacco treatment specialist, said.

A box of nicotine patches can cost $30 to $40 per week, she said.

The state-funded program, which applies to smoking and chewing tobacco users, has been available at AHEC’s south Ferdon Boulevard location for the past six years. Tobacco users meet for one hour a week and learn effective ways to avoid tobacco use, cope with nicotine withdrawals and prevent relapses.

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