CARTI offers free classes for smoking cessation

Smokers seeking to kick the habit can discover tips, tools and techniques specifically targeted to help successfully decrease or discontinue tobacco use as part of an upcoming series of free smoking cessation classes being offered at the CARTI Cancer Center in Little Rock.

“Ask any former smoker, and they will tell you when it comes to quitting, the first step is always the hardest,” said Carolyn Garrett, coordinator of the Patient Resource Center at CARTI.

Garrett is currently accepting registrations for a new session of “Freedom from Smoking,” the American Lung Association program responsible for helping people to achieve smoke-free lives for more than 35 years. It will meet at 6 p.m. weekly beginning Thursday, March 16.

Presented in a group setting, “Freedom from Smoking” is a seven-week course designed to progressively guide smokers toward becoming smoke-free while drawing support from others in a no-pressure, non-judgmental environment.

Classes are provided at no cost to participants, and registration is open to the general public. The program is funded by a grant from CVS Health.

To pre-register for the course or for more information on future smoking cessation classes at CARTI, contact Garrett at 501.660.7610 or [email protected].

“Kicking the habit can be an intimidating experience for even the most determined user, and with good reason,” said Garrett. “Nicotine, the most primary stimulant in tobacco responsible for creating dependency, has been scientifically proven to be more addictive than heroin.”

Once perceived as a sophisticated, stylish rite of passage for teens and adults, smoking is now recognized as the No. 1 cause of lung cancer with reports from the American Cancer Society directly linking approximately 80 percent of all lung cancers to tobacco use.

Statistics compiled by the ACS indicate Arkansas is well above the national average for tobacco usage, which would also suggest that Arkansans are more susceptive to the dangers caused by smoking. Reports from the ACS show the current adult smoking rate at almost 18 percent nationally, but in Arkansas, that figure is at about 30 percent.

CARTI is an independent, nonprofit network of cancer care facilities with locations throughout Arkansas in Little Rock, North Little Rock, Benton, Clinton, Conway, El Dorado, Heber Springs, Mountain Home, Russellville, Searcy and Stuttgart.

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