One of the core values of TB Vets is its commitment to the community. In line with this and the vision to keep our province at the forefront of respiratory care, TB Vets recognizes the significance of a support system and a safe space to those who want to quit smoking.
Because of donors like you, TB Vets is able to fund the Smoking Cessation Program at Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey.
Every quit journey is different, but for the most part, it can be tough. “Most people who want to quit don’t make it the first time. It’s somewhere between five to seven attempts to quit before they’re successful. So, we are here to help them,” says Dr. Raymond Dong, a cardiologist at Surrey Memorial Hospital.
With the ten-week program, the clinic aims to reduce smoking rates and related health care use through early identification and management of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease).
Progress in giant leaps and baby steps
Of the close to thirty participants who “graduated” from the smoking cessation clinic in 2018 (a 50% attrition rate is normal), 22% achieved an outright quit, with another 60% significantly reducing their tobacco use.
It is important to remember that when someone goes from a forty-year, two-pack-a-day habit to ten cigarettes, that is the next best thing to ceasing smoking entirely. “Smoking is not a habit. It’s an addiction that highjacks the neural pathways of the brain,” reminds Dr. Dong.
A number of participants indicated that the sessions have encouraged them to really think about the health benefits of quitting. One shared that they “love the group format and non-judgmental attitudes of staff”, with another saying that they “appreciate meeting others who are struggling like me”.
The quit plan
Over the course of the program, participants have the opportunity to attend group meetings and are contacted over the phone by tobacco cessation educators. The clinic also provides both behavioural support and medical management.
Education is focused around four main topics: 1) understanding the nature of addiction, 2) effective use of smoking medications, 3) understanding behavioural triggers, and 4) developing strategies for quit attempts and relapse prevention.
The cessation clinic, which opened in March 2018, is comprised of a respiratory therapist certified in tobacco education, a mental health nurse and a clinic physician. Access to the clinic is by physician or nurse practitioner referral.
Helping more people quit
For 2019, more group sessions will be offered, based on feedback that they were helpful and encouraging. In place are nine 10-week intakes, with 36 enrolments per session. This would not have been possible without the kind support of TB Vets donors like you.
Given the immediate and long-term health benefits of quitting, your gifts to TB Vets make a world of difference in the community. As participants go on their quit journey, you join them too through TB Vets, one important step at a time.*