Health centre helps smokers

Sep 18, 2003, vol. 28, no. 2
By Diane Luckow

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Kim Junkin has been smoking a pack of cigarettes a day for the past 25 years.

But not anymore. Thanks to a new stop-smoking program initiated during the summer by SFU's health counselling and career centre, Junkin is down to just seven cigarettes a day and is determined to quit completely by the end of October.

“I was very encouraged by the program,” says Junkin, who is secretary to the director of the school of computing science. “It gave me encouragement through the group support, methods to cut down on my smoking and a goal to work toward for quitting.”

The free program begins again Oct. 7 and runs each Tuesday, 4:30 p.m. - 6 p.m., for four weeks. Students, staff and faculty are welcome to attend.

Based on a successful program held at UBC and Vancouver General Hospital, it focuses on gaining knowledge about how to improve the chances of quitting successfully, identifying barriers to quitting and determining readiness to quit.

“The program is unlike others because it's tailored to each participant's unique readiness to change,” says Jason Clark, a clinical counselling intern, site coordinator and group leader for the program. “We discuss what has hindered them in the past, explore their smoking triggers and provide strategies for avoiding or working through those triggers. We also help them to establish target quit dates.”

He notes, also, that smoking cessation group behavioural programs like this one boast a 24 per cent or better success rate, compared to just three per cent for cold turkey attempts. In the past, this program has recorded a 34 per cent success rate.

Contact 604-291-4615 to register.

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