QuitCore can help you kick tobacco

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Now I may get a bit of backlash for admitting this out loud, but I’ve found myself starting to dream about the end of summer.

Sure, it’s early to start thinking about fall and there are plenty more warm summer nights ahead, but I can’t help but crave the normalcy and routine the fall season brings.

If you’re anything like me, summer can be a constant cycle of late nights, long road trips and all too often skipped daily rituals that help make you feel your best, like eating well and exercise.

Come fall, I always feel this overwhelming urge to work on bettering myself in some way, whether small or large.

Because we know this is a common feeling, we tobacco educators spend our summer busily booking locations and dates for QuitCore, our free six-week tobacco reduction course. I thought this would be a perfect time to highlight some of the programming we have scheduled for this fall.

In recent months, we’ve seen a huge increase in the numbers of people attending QuitCore in the South Zone — and we couldn’t be happier! For those of you who have never heard of QuitCore, let me tell you a bit about the program. QuitCore is six weeks long and we meet for about an hour and a half each week. It’s a support group for those thinking about making some change to their tobacco use. On night one of the group, I usually get asked the same question: “Did you ever smoke?” That’s a fair question.

I have not used tobacco, and could not possibly understand fully what my participants are going through.

With that said my colleagues and I consider ourselves “facilitators of learning” not “teachers” or “experts.” By this I mean, we are there to open the door, welcome you, but the value of the group is really in the support the participants give each other.

We will prompt the conversation with researched techniques that have helped others, but the group is really about the members sharing and motivating each other.

Running these groups is one of my favourite parts of my job. It’s truly heartwarming to see a group of motivated individuals encouraging one another to take this important step and sharing tips and tricks they’ve learned along the way.

Some of the topics we cover in QuitCore include nicotine replacement therapy, stress, healthy eating, active living and relapse prevention.

Research suggests that you can boost your chances of quitting by getting support, so why not give it a try? To register for a QuitCore program in your area, please visit www.albertaquits.ca or call our toll-free telephone line at 1-866-710-QUIT (7848). We look forward to seeing you there!

Megan Burland is a health promotion facilitator and certified tobacco educator with Alberta Health Services and can be reached at Megan.Burland@ahs.ca.




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