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Mayo helping smokers quit

Mayo Clinic Health System — Austin is recognizing the need for people to quit smoking.

The Great American Smokeout is held across the nation every year on the third Thursday of November, this year Nov. 21, to help people quit their tobacco use for at least one day, in hopes they will quit forever. More people quit smoking and chewing on this day than any other day of the year.

In recognition of the Great American Smokeout, Austin’s Tobacco Cessation Program will be holding an open house 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Nov. 21 in the Patient Education and Resource Center, located across from Customer Service on the first floor of the medical center, 1000 First Drive N.W. The open house will include free carbon monoxide screening and information about how to quit.

More than 10 million Americans take the Great American Smokeout challenge during the one day event and quit smoking and chewing for the day, and many of those people go a step further and quit for good.

Austin’s Tobacco Cessation Program is staffed by physicians, a tobacco treatment specialist, and pharmacists experienced in treating tobacco addiction. Patients can be referred to the program by a physician who provides their health care or can be self-referred. Treatment is tailored to each patient’s needs and always includes individual counseling, medication therapy and follow-up care. A typical program includes:

— Individual consultation and counseling: In-depth assessment of a patient’s tobacco use and development of a treatment plan; assistance with, understanding and changing nicotine-dependence behaviors.

— Relapse prevention: Regular telephone follow-up for advice and encouragement for six months after completing the initial assessment. Additional face-to-face follow-up counseling is available.

— Prescription therapy: Medication can be prescribed to help quit tobacco use and ease symptoms of withdrawal. Medications may include nicotine patches, nicotine gum, Chantix (tablet), Bupropion (tablet), nicotine nasal spray, nicotine inhaler, nicotine lozenge.

For information about quitting tobacco use or to schedule an appointment with Austin’s Tobacco Cessation Program, call (507)-434-1429 or 888-609-4065 (toll-free).

—Austin Daily Herald