Did you know that the American Cancer Society is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout on November 17? The annual event challenges smokers to quit smoking for 24 hours. If you or a loved one smokes cigarettes, consider joining the movement and taking the first step towards quitting smoking for good.

You do not know where to start? Let Stephanie Korynta, tobacco processing specialist at RiverView, help you. Korynta is a respiratory therapist who was recently trained and certified by the Mayo Clinic to provide support, education, and treatment options to help people quit smoking. She supports those
interested in quitting smoking, whether it’s smokeless tobacco, cigarettes/cigars or vaping.

Although smoking rates have declined, nearly 38 million Americans still smoke tobacco. About half of all smokers will experience smoking-related deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking causes 1 in 5 deaths in the United States alone. Smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the United States.

RiverView’s Smoking Cessation Program consists of one-on-one counseling with Korynta to set goals, determine why the patient wants to quit smoking, and determine ways to achieve those goals.

As part of this program, patients receive a kit to help them fight food cravings and teach them calming techniques to combat the anxiety that can accompany quitting smoking. Follow-up sessions are also offered. RiverView provides a judgment-free, pressure-free environment to help you on your journey to a tobacco-free life.
“Letting go of a habit can be very difficult, especially one that we may have had for a while,” Korynta explained. “I grew up watching my parents try to quit many times – sometimes successfully and sometimes not.

“In many cases, tobacco is a source of peace and comfort for people, and they are told every day, directly or through the media, that they should give it up. It’s very addictive and can be very difficult to do on your own.
Fortunately, Korynta said there are many options and techniques available to help those who want to quit smoking.

“Don’t feel like you have to do it alone,” she said, sharing her desire to help others. “Helping people achieve their goals, extend their lives, and do something they never thought they could do is so rewarding…Even if you’ve tried in the past and failed , you can do it, and we are here to
to help!”

During an individual session with Korynta, the patient will learn the following:

  • The science behind tobacco addiction
  • Nicotine withdrawal symptoms
  • Effective treatments for smoking
  • Causes and consequences of smoking
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Use of drugs
  • Cognitive-behavioral strategies

Most insurance covers smoking cessation, but check with your insurer to confirm coverage.

Whether you’ve tried quitting several times or aren’t sure if you’re ready to quit, talk to your primary care provider about a referral or call RiverView’s Rehabilitation Department at 281.9463 for more information.

Stéphanie Korynta tobacco specialist

About Antoine L. Cassell

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