Vital Signs Volume 9, Issue 2 - Page 4

YOU REALLY CAN STOP SMOKING! THESE CLASSES REALLY WORK! By Dave Langdon, Director of Public Information, Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness M ike Cooper smoked at least a pack of cigarettes each and every day for 32 years. “I tried to stop hundreds of times,” said Mike. “I even quit once for four months, but then out of sheer boredom, I picked up a cigarette at work and smoked it – first one, then two, then three cigarettes - then I went right back to smoking as much as I ever did.” Priscilla Ewing’s story is much the same. She smoked a pack and half of cigarettes each day for 35 years. Like the nearly 70% of all people who currently smoke, she desperately wanted to quit. “My husband and I tried to quit cold turkey, said Priscilla, “but that just didn’t work. We got constipated and very, very irritable.” “I can After decades of smoking each day and after numerous unsuccessful attempts to quit, Mike Cooper and Priscilla Ewing have both successfully become and remained non-smokers using the Cooper/ Clayton Method to Stop Smoking. Priscilla overcame her apprehensions and successfully quit smoking using the Cooper/Clayton method. She hasn’t had a cigarette since 2007. Mike Cooper also completed the 13-week course and smoked his last cigarette in January, 2011. “I can breathe now,” said Mike. “I don’t wake up in the morning short of breathe with that rattle in my lungs. I’m also free now to go wherever I want without having to plan where I can smoke my next cigarette.” breathe now,” said Mike. “I don’t wake up in the morning short of breathe with that rattle in my lungs.” The Cooper-Clayton method combines the use of nicotine replacement products with education and group support. Weekly videos from Dr. Thomas Cooper and Dr. Richard Clayton, two University of Kentucky professors who developed the program, help participants anticipate what to expect during the upcoming week on their journey to becoming nonsmokers. Nicotine patches, lozenges and gum help program participants overcome their physical addiction to nicotine, weaning them with step-down reductions in dosage over the 13-week course. The program also provides weekly group support sessions led by trained facilitators, many former smokers themselves, to deal with the psychological issues often associated with smoking cessation. The Cooper/Clayton method boasts a 42% success rate upon completion of the 13-week course. This compares to a 5% success rate among those trying to quit with no nicotine replacement or group support and a 9% success rate among those using nicotine replacement alone. His grandson Steven convinced Mike Cooper to try to quit smoking one more time. This time Mike signed up for a Cooper/Clayton class offered at Family Health Centers. “The facilitator was one of those people that you just couldn’t help but like,” said Mike. “She really helped to put me at ease.” Priscilla Ewing and her husband William also enrolled in a Cooper/Clayton course. “I was very apprehensive at 4 first. I wasn’t sure I could quit because I had smoked for so long,” said Priscilla. so much better.” “The benefits of not smoking are off the charts,” said Priscilla. “My life has completely changed. I ride my bicycle three miles each day. I eat better because now I can actually taste my food. I don’t have to load it up with salt. I’m about to turn 62 and when I see friends my age who continue to smoke, you wouldn’t believe that we could be the same age,” said Priscilla. “I don’t take any medication – no blood pressure pills – nothing at all. I’m so much more active and my life is Both Priscilla Ewing and Mike Cooper are giving back and now serve as a class facilitators, helping others to overcome their tobacco habit. “I decided to become a Cooper/Clayton class facilitator not only to help others, but to also make sure that I don’t relapse and start smoking again,” said Priscilla. “I tell people in my classes to trust the nicotine replacement products and to trust the Cooper/Clayton method. If they do this, they can be successful,” said Mike. “This program really works. I’m living proof of that.” “When you take the step to become a non-smoker, it’s the best decision you’ll ever make,” said Priscilla. “You’ll start to live the way we were intended to live.” The Louisville Metro Department of Public Health and Wellness and its community partners sponsor Cooper/ Clayton Stop Smoking classes at various times and locations throughout Louisville. The classes are free and participants receive free weekly supplies of nicotine replacement products for the first five weeks of the program. For more information or to register phone 574–STOP (574-7867) or visit or email [email protected] VITAL SIGNS Volume 9 • Issue 2