By Lena StangeJuly 17, 2019
WIESBADEN, Germany -- People who find it hard to stop smoking can come to the Wiesbaden Army Health Clinic's tobacco cessation classes to receive medications and support.
The classes start out with a general overview of resources and a questionnaire that determines how great the addiction to nicotine is. In the second class, a clinical pharmacist provides the person willing to quit with medication, and a quit plan is developed. During the third class, the psychological aspects are addressed.
"In class number four, we talk about dietary concerns, because everybody thinks that when they quit that they're going to ... gain weight. So, we go over what you should be eating now that you're quitting," said the clinic's Chief Army Public Health Nurse Maj. Joel Osterhout. "And then we also talk about some of the myths, because it does tend to be a myth that once you quit smoking you're going to gain weight."
The classes are open to all Department of Defense ID card holders and only require a mini registration in the health clinic. Medications are billed to the respective insurances.
Some insurances only pay when people attend the classes. That is why the health clinic provides participants with a certificate, Osterhout said.
Smoking tobacco feels relaxing, but actually causes an increased heart rate and hypertension. The feeling of relaxation is only there because the nicotine dependence is fed, Osterhout said.
At U.S. Army Garrison Wiesbaden, 17.5% of Soldiers are tobacco users, Osterhout said. This is higher than the national average of 15.5% and lower than the Army average of 26.1%. These are the latest numbers from 2018.
"It's important to quit smoking because it will improve your health and your physical fitness, which also means more quality time with your Family," Osterhout said.
People who would like to quit can also rely on web-based resources such as http://www.ucanquit2.org/, a Department of Defense support program with advice and strategies, or Life Armor, an app developed for the military.
Classes start the first Tuesday of every month at 1 p.m. in the Army Wellness Center conference room, 2nd floor, Bldg. 1201, Clay Kaserne. Following four 1.5-hour sessions, follow-up sessions will be scheduled after one, three, six and 12 months.