Smoking Cessation Assistance available
Wed, 11/23/2022 - 3:09pm admin
Held on the third Thursday of each November, The American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout event is an excellent reminder of the importance of healthy lung and respiratory function. Many smokers wanting to take an essential step toward a healthier lifestyle and reduce cancer risk use this event to mark the beginning of their journey to quit smoking.
According to the American Cancer Society, about 34 million American adults still smoke cigarettes, and smoking remains the single most significant preventable cause of death and illness worldwide. Smoking causes an estimated 480,000 deaths yearly, or about one in five. While cigarette smoking rates have declined over the past several decades, from 42 percent in 1965 to 14 percent in 2019, the gains have been inconsistent. Some groups smoke more heavily or at higher rates and suffer disproportionately from smoking-related cancer and other diseases, such as those residing in lower socioeconomic areas like the Ozarks.
Ozarks Healthcare has several resources available to those facing disease and damaging effects from smoking or who need assistance quitting the habit altogether. Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonology services, cancer screenings, and smoking cessation programs can help provide a pathway to healing for those suffering from respiratory diseases and disorders.
About Ozarks Healthcare’s Pulmonology Services
Ozarks Healthcare's Heart and Lung Center treats all diseases associated with the lungs and the respiratory system. Rapid diagnostic evaluations and advanced bronchoscopy provide patients with current therapeutic options. Ozarks Healthcare's pulmonology team works closely with patients' primary care providers to assist with smoking cessation and treating obstructive sleep apnea. Ozarks Healthcare pulmonologist Dr. Praveen B. Datar is an expert in smoking-related diseases, including asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, lung cancer, interstitial lung diseases, cystic fibrosis, pleural effusion, pulmonary hypertension, and more.
At Ozarks Healthcare’s Heart and Lung Center, staff understand the toll respiratory conditions caused by smoking and certain diseases can take on patients' lives. To determine patients' best treatment methods, the Ozarks Healthcare pulmonology team uses an in-depth process to identify patients’ conditions precisely.
“When a patient is seen, we start by finding the source of his or her condition using various diagnostic tools,” Datar said. “Physical examination, imaging studies, bronchoscopies, ultrasounds, and pulmonary function tests can help us develop a treatment plan targeted to patients’ particular needs.”
Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonology services also include a pulmonary rehabilitation program to help patients overcome difficult respiratory symptoms and improve day-to-day activities through exercise training and behavioral and educational programs. Physicians, respiratory therapists, physical and occupational therapists, dietitians, social workers, mental health care providers, and exercise specialists compose Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonary rehabilitation program team.
About Ozark Healthcare’s Lung Cancer Screenings
Ozark Healthcare’s Cancer Treatment Center offers lung cancer screenings with the latest imaging technologies. For eligible individuals, annual screenings are covered by Medicare and private insurance. Current and former smokers aged 50 to 77 who have smoked within the past 15 years or have a history of smoking at least one pack of cigarettes a day for 20 years or more should consider getting screened. Both private insurers and Medicare offer coverage for annual screenings for lung cancer among high-risk individuals who meet all the eligibility criteria.
Ozarks Healthcare’s lung screening team includes radiologists, pulmonologists, cardiothoracic surgeons, and oncologists. Ozarks Healthcare performs screenings with the latest imaging technologies, such as low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans. A complete range of services for people at risk for lung cancer, including smoking cessation support and modern lung cancer treatments, are also offered.
About Ozarks Healthcare’s Smoking Cessation Program
In cooperation with the American Lung Association (ALA), Ozarks Healthcare offers smoking cessation assistance to individuals in Howell County and surrounding communities free of charge. The program is led by ALA-certified instructors and consists of eight classes over seven weeks. Instructors use proven psychological interventions and pharmacological nicotine replacement methods customized to best fit individuals’ needs.
“Our smoking cessation program helps individuals understand the addiction process, evaluate their best avenue for becoming nicotine free, and offers support as they create a plan for quitting and remaining addiction-free,” Natalie York, registered respiratory therapist (RRT) and manager of Ozarks Healthcare’s respiratory services, said. “Every smoker’s path is different and requires an individualized plan that accommodates their environment and physical needs. Cessation can sometimes require multiple attempts, so we follow our participants for a full year to provide ongoing support to help participants remain in a nicotine-free state.”
For more information about how Ozarks Healthcare’s pulmonary rehabilitation program, lung cancer screenings, and smoking cessation program can help smokers end their nicotine addiction or relieve chronic lung conditions, call the Ozarks Healthcare Pulmonary Rehabilitation Department at 417-257-5959.