If you’ve made the life-changing decision to quit smoking, University of Mississippi Medical Center offers a help program at the ACT Center for Tobacco Treatment, Education and Research. The program, located at the Jackson Medical Mall, uses medications and counseling to help you break your tobacco habit.
Tobacco use, whether “chew” or cigarettes, is linked to multiple health problems, including cancer, heart and circulatory and lung. Without addressing both the behavioral and emotional issues associated with smoking, the risk of relapse is high. Studies show that for patients who use medication alone to quit smoking, only a small percentage is tobacco-free after one year. So the ACT program provides patients a treatment plan that’s focused on addressing the complex issues associated with tobacco to ensure long-term cessation success.
Counselors and physicians with years of experience in tobacco dependence care provide treatment designed to meet each patient’s needs. The counseling services and FDA-approved medications are free, funded via the Mississippi Legislature. A grant from the Mississippi Department of Health funds ACT satellite clinics at various locations across the state.
Patients receive an initial evaluation and then attend six counseling sessions, one a week, covering topics such as nicotine addiction, health risks, managing stress and preventing relapse. Brief follow-up visits keep them on track and adjust medications if needed. They are monitored as long as they are using any medications, and all patients’ primary care physicians are involved to provide the broadest medical and emotional support possible. More than half who go through treatment are still tobacco-free six to 12 months later.
The ACT Center also offers a training program for healthcare providers and provides information for public health fairs, encouraging Mississippians to give up smoking or never start. The center coordinates more than two dozen clinics across the state, so staff here can arrange for you to attend counseling sessions at a location most convenient for you.
For more information, visit the ACT web site, www.act2quit.com, and click on “treatment.” Or call (601) 815-1180.