May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, are you ready to quit?

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May 31 is World No Tobacco Day, are you ready to quit?

Tue, 05/26/2020 - 10:19am -- tim

Stay healthy during COVID-19, NVRH has resources to help

Vermont Business Magazine Do You Smoke or Vape? Because the novel coronavirus attacks the lungs, people who smoke or vape have a harder time fighting off the virus. There has never been a better time to quit, and Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital (NVRH) has the resources to help.

“There has been a decrease in the number of adults who smoke in the state of Vermont,” NVRH VP Marketing and Community Health Improvement Laural Ruggles said.

“Last year, 18% of our population smoked. In 2020, it’s down to 15%. The national benchmark we’re trying to hit is 14%. Those numbers are trending in the right direction.”

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), tobacco use is responsible for 25% of all cancer deaths globally. Using nicotine and tobacco increases the risk of a variety of cancer as well as cardiovascular and pulmonary diseases. And although many people may think that e-cigarettes, or vaping, may be safer, it actually increases one’s risk of developing a lung disorder.

“That’s why now, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it is so important to take the steps necessary to quit,” NVRH Prevention Specialist Tennyson Marceau said. “And what better day than World No Tobacco Day on Sunday, May 31?”

One resource available through NVRH is the American Cancer Society Freshstart program. NVRH has two certified Freshstart facilitators who teach monthly group classes. The program is designed to help smokers plan by providing essential information, skills for coping with cravings and group support. Freshstart® incorporates current guidelines for tobacco cessation support into group support sessions. Program participants choose a combination of techniques and cessation treatments they will then use as they work towards quitting.

Recently, the classes have moved to an online format. Classes are held one hour each week for one month. When participants register for a class, they’re sent the class materials and a link to connect with the facilitator and other participants via video. The next Freshstart® will take place Thursdays, June 4 to June 25, 3 – 4 p.m.

Another helpful resource for individuals looking to quit nicotine use is 802Quits.

“802Quits is great because it offers free customizable help,” Marceau said. “It’s designed to help people who are planning to quit as well as those who have already quit and need a little extra help. You can do it over the phone, but you can also do it online, so it’s really convenient.”

In April, 802Quits saw 569 people register to quit smoking. In honor of World No Tobacco Day, consider making May the month you take the first step. To learn more about 802Quits, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-748-8669) or visit For more info on Freshstart®, call 748-7532. For local support with vaping/smoking cessation, call NVRH at 748‐7526.

Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital is located in St. Johnsbury in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont. We are a community, not-for-profit, acute care, critical access hospital. NVRH is one of  two Vermont hospitals designated as a Baby Friendly hospital by the United Nations. The organization provides primary and preventive care, surgical and specialty services, inpatient and outpatient care and 24-hour, physician-staffed emergency services. NVRH serves more than 30,000 people in the Caledonia and Southern Essex Counties in Vermont and employs 600.

Source: ST. JOHNSBURY, VT (May 26, 2020) – Northeastern Vermont Regional Hospital