Two employees from Brooks Memorial Hospital were awarded $500 each at the conclusion of a smoking cessation program conducted by Brooks, an affiliate of the Lake Erie Regional Health System of New York.
The six-week challenge was conducted by the employee wellness program through funds from Roswell Park Cancer Institute Action-To-Quit grant and technical assistance from the Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs.
The Quit & Win Program encouraged employees and members of their household to quit smoking and stay quit for six weeks. The smoker was "adopted" by a buddy who assisted them in the quitting process. If the adopted smoker was selected as the grand prize winner, the buddy won the same prize. The employee wellness program provided weekly prizes and educational handouts to encourage the smoker to stay quit. Smokers were tested on their non-smoking status using a breath-test and/or saliva test.
Left to right Theresa Schrantz, employee wellness coordinator; Angela Prince, buddy; Joan VanDette, human resource director; Joseph Hallmark, ex-smoker; Laurie Adams, program director, Tri County Tobacco Free Programs.
Joseph Hallmark, employee and winner of the $500 prize drawing stated, "It was time for me to quit. I'm engaged to be married and wanted to quit for health reasons. I have more stamina now and feel much better since I quit. I won't go back. I'm free."
Joseph was "adopted" by his fiancee and co-worker Angela Prince, who also won $500 for her help in encouraging Joseph to quit. Additional winners in the program were; $200 prize winners Micky Feeney and her "adopted" buddy, Susan Worczak, and $100 prize winners Patricia Ferry and her "adopted" buddy, Teresa Sanders.
Laurie Adams, Tri-County Tobacco Free Program Director, said, "All of our participants are winners. The average cost for a pack of cigarettes is over $10. If someone smokes a pack of cigarettes a day that's a savings of over $3,500 per year.
The employees and their "adopted" buddies prove that anyone can quit and stay quit."
Brooks Memorial Hos-pital employee wellness coordinator Theresa Schrantz stated, "Having a Quit & Win program is one piece of helping our employees manage their health. We also provide community based cessation programs and assist our patients in quitting smoking. We look forward to conducting future health and wellness programs, especially ones like the Quit & Win program.
According to the US Surgeon Generals 2012 report, tobacco is the leading cause of preventable and premature death, killing an estimated 443,000 Americans each year. Cigarette smoking costs the nation $96 billion in direct medical costs and $97 billion in lost productivity annually.
For more information or help in quitting smoking contact the NY State Smokers Quitline at 866-697-8487 or www.nysmoke-free.com. For information regarding the Action-to-Quit program, contact the Tri-County Tobacco Free Programs at 665-2310.