FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 12, 2013) -- On April 1, the Kenner Army Health Clinic and Bull Dental Clinic campuses and the areas in between became tobacco-free zones.

It is a measure that meets Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Patricia Horoho's desire to change Army Medicine to a system of health care delivery that focuses on prevention, health promotion and readiness. In addition, tobacco-free living can have a vital impact on all components of the Performance Triad -- physical activity, nutrition and sleep.

In just four months, the significance of establishing Kenner as a tobacco-free campus has yielded impressive results. The clinic firsts include:

• Highest number of cessation class enrollees (54) for April - July since 2009.

• Highest number and percentage of enrollees to complete all sessions since 2008 (42 and 78 percent).

• First class with all military and spouses attendees (June: 19 enrollees, four couples completed all training).

• Kenner's first "Champions" campaign on March 31 (World No Tobacco Day) to recognize participants who completed all sessions and remained tobacco-free for three months. The presentation was made by Col. Thomas S. Bundt, commander, KAHC, and a former smoker.

• Introduced guest presenters (former smokers including Kenner "Champions") at the first session of monthly classes (May through July 2013).

• The recruitment of class participants to assist in planning and facilitating future classes (June 2013).

• Launched the first phase of a multi-media campaign on March 3 to raise awareness about classes and to increase enrollment. Phase II is scheduled to commence later this month.

What are participants saying about the program? The many comments include:

• "Don't know of any way to improve, class was awesome."

• "Would like longer classes."

• "Excellent facilitator, informative and knowledgeable!"

• "Awesome facilitator!"

• "Facilitator went above and beyond."

• "More advertising!!! Get the word out. It's amazing!"

We need your help in getting the word out! Tobacco-free living is about all of us. Quitting is not easy, but the payoff is immediate. The personal health benefits of quitting are enormous to you and your family. If you or someone you know or love has considered quitting, you've already taken an important first step. We are here to support you to the next level. So, if you are tired of being "Zombied Out" by nicotine addiction, Kenner offers Tobacco Use Cessation classes for active duty military members, retirees, their spouses and DOD Civilian employees. Some restrictions may apply for prescription therapy.

The goal of the FreshStart program is to assist you in reaching and maintaining a tobacco-free lifestyle. Although most students will tell you, there is no magic pill and no easy way to quit and stay tobacco-free, many have said that your individual commitment to succeed is the most important element for success.

The program is an excellent resource and guide toward tobacco-free living. There are a number of aids to help you. as well, but there is no one sure-fire remedy.

The success of the aid depends on what you and your health care provider decides is best.

Tobacco (nicotine) use is a powerful addiction and dealing with withdrawal, cravings and relapses are all part of the therapeutic process and stages of change.

For more information or to enroll in classes, call (804) 734-9304 or email alvina.s.bey.civ.@mail.mil. The next class begins Sept. 18, 11 a.m., in the Preventive Medicine Classroom, 2nd floor, Kenner Army Health Clinic.

Page last updated Thu September 12th, 2013 at 00:00