Mayo kicks off annual smokeout

Residents looking to kick their tobacco habit can take heart — they’ll have a lot of company if they choose to quit this week.

The Great American Smokeout is held every year on the third Thursday of November — Nov. 17 this year — 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.

If the Great American Smokeout isn’t incentive enough to quit, then the Tobacco Cessation Program at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin can help. The Tobacco Cessation Program will be holding an open house on Nov. 17 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Patient Education and Resource Center in recognition of the Great American Smokeout, located across from Customer Service. The open house will include free carbon monoxide screening and information about how to quit. It is open to the public.

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.

 What is the Tobacco Cessation Program

The Tobacco Cessation Clinic at Mayo Clinic Health System in Austin is staffed by physicians, counselors 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 program. 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 and Nicotine lozenge.

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

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