WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Smoking can be a tricky habit to kick on your own, so New Hanover Regional Medical Center is trying to help.
“It’s very addictive. Studies have shown that nicotine can be as addictive as heroin,” respiratory therapist Tony Bollhorst said.
The hospital is holding a free smoking cessation class at Cape Fear Heart Associates in Wilmington Thursday from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m.
“I’ve actually had a lot of success stories from people that have actually quit smoking as being a patient from the hospital,” Bollhorst said. “Now we’re trying to reach out more into the community and not let them get as bad as our patients and maybe they can start quitting sooner.”
Bollhorst says the dangers from smoking are getting more and more apparent.
“With COPD and other smoking-related illnesses on the rise, not just in this state but across the country, we thought we could be proactive and help the people that actually want to quit smoking,” Bollhorst said.
Pharmacist Rachel Thomas will discuss the benefits of nicotine patches, gums and lozenges. She says those are more effective than going cold turkey.
“When you go cold turkey, the success rate is pretty low. We’re talking less than five percent success rate,” Thomas said. “Now, people have done it successfully, but we would recommend not going cold turkey and coming to learn about how to safely use the over the counter nicotine products to help you quit.”
If you want to sign up for the class, you can call Bollhorst at 910-264-9200.
If you cannot make it to Thursday’s class, the next one will be July 19.