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Community Hospital Unveiling Tobacco Cessation Program

November 30, 2012

McCook, Nebraska—Community Hospital has recently developed a new tobacco cessation program which offers services for inpatients, outpatients and the public.

To help develop the program, three Community Hospital Registered Respiratory Therapists attended specialized training to become Tobacco Treatment Specialists. Their training was funded through a grant from Community Hospital Health Foundation. Completing the training were Chris Carfield, Kim Kuykendall and Jessica Meyer, all registered respiratory therapists with Community Hospital’s Respiratory Therapy department.

A tobacco specialist is a professional who possesses the skills, knowledge, and training to provide effective, evidence-based interventions for tobacco dependence across a range of intensities.

“Evidence shows the most effective approach to tobacco cessation is a multi-channeled approach which includes nicotine replacement therapy and tobacco cessation counseling,” according to Carfield. 


When admitted, an inpatient will be asked if they have used a tobacco product within the past 12 months. A “yes” answer will initiate an order from the physician to start the tobacco cessation protocol. This protocol includes nicotine replacement therapy, as well as some one-on-one counseling with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. After the patient is dismissed, they are given the option of scheduling a follow-up appointment with one of Community Hospital’s Tobacco Treatment Specialists. Research has shown that tobacco cessation counseling improves the patient’s success at quitting. 


A physician may also order the tobacco cessation protocol for a person on an outpatient basis.  After the patient receives an order from their physician, a one-on-one counseling session to establish an individualized plan of tobacco cessation can be scheduled with a Tobacco Treatment Specialist. “There are numerous strategies to help people to achieve this goal and the specialist’s job is to help the individual find the one that will work for them,” Carfield said.

Quit Smoking Now Group Program

Community Hospital, with the help of the hospital’s Tobacco Treatment Specialists, will also be offering the “Quit Smoking Now” group cessation program. The first class will be held in January (date to be announced) to help people achieve their New Year’s resolutions. The class consists of six, one-hour sessions in a small group setting. Participants will be given the information and materials needed to help them succeed in quitting.

In the United States it is estimated that 23 percent of the adult population uses some form of tobacco. This equates to more than 40 million people. Fifty percent of these users will die from a tobacco related illness. Cigarette smoke contains more than 4,800 chemicals, of which 70 are known to cause cancer. It causes more than 90 percent of lung cancer deaths and 80 to 90 percent of COPD deaths. For every death caused by smoking, more than 20 others are affected with some sort of serious illness. Every day, 1,200 people die from a smoking related illness.

The list of diseases caused by smoking includes emphysema, chronic bronchitis, coronary artery disease, stroke, abdominal aortic aneurysm, leukemia, cataracts, pneumonia, periodontitis, and cancers of the throat, bladder, esophageal, laryngeal, lung, oral, kidney, cervix, stomach, and pancreas. It also causes slow wound healing, infertility, and peptic ulcer disease, as well as premature births to pregnant smoking mothers. The list goes on, and includes every organ of the body.

These startling facts have led Community Hospital to take a pro-active approach in tobacco cessation. Tobacco cessation includes all tobacco products, not just cigarettes. The list includes, but is not limited to, cigarettes, cigars, smokeless tobacco products, pipes, as well as many other tobacco forms.

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