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October 2011

NCH Augments Tobacco Treatment Services

Despite the overwhelming medical evidence that tobacco use is a proven health danger, more than 20% of Americans continue to smoke. Many who want to quit smoking come to realize that breaking their nicotine addiction is more challenging than they thought. To help individuals make that change, Northwest Community Hospital (NCH) has incorporated outpatient counseling and support services into its tobacco treatment program.

Following a proven counseling model, NCH tobacco treatment specialists (TTS) have turned to Courage to Quit®, a comprehensive tobacco treatment program sponsored by the Respiratory Health Association of Metropolitan Chicago. According to the Association, approximately 18 to 34 percent of smokers who enroll in the program remain smoke-free after six months.

The Courage to Quit program at NCH is led by tobacco treatment specialists and offered in two formats. For a low cost, enrollees can choose three hours of individual counseling or six weekly group sessions, both of which provide smokers with practical tools, access to resources and personalized support to help them reach their smoke-free goals.

With three tobacco treatment experts leading the way, the Hospital is poised to help smokers quit once and for all. Both Mary McNally, RN, cardiopulmonary rehabilitation nurse, and Janice Lau, RN, APN, TTS, stroke clinical nurse specialist, have years of experience helping smokers. NCH clinician, Juli Aistars, RN, APN, TTS, who was recently certified as a tobacco treatment specialist, looks forward to the dialogue and positive impact she can have with smokers.

"We are interested in seeing patients who express a serious commitment to quitting and need help, but they don't know how to take the next step," Aistars says.

Aistars adds that the NCH tobacco treatment specialists can serve as a resource for physicians who may not have the resources to oversee their patients' smoking cessation efforts. Through Courage to Quit, the Hospital's tobacco treatment specialists can provide the ongoing support that smokers need to successfully quit smoking once and for all.

For more information about tobacco treatment services at NCH, please call the Hospital's Quit Smoking Line at 847.618.7915 and leave a message for Juli Aistars or Mary McNally. Additional information and resources are available for patients at

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Last Updated 04/10/2009