Quit-smoking support group accepting participants

Community members gather at the Winfield Public Library to be trained as facilitators for Beat the Pack®, a new, free quit-smoking support group sponsored by RISE Cowley.

Local healthy communities coalition RISE Cowley is now accepting participants for a new support group to help Cowley County smokers to stop smoking.

Beat the Pack® (BTP) is a free quit-smoking program consisting of four sessions led by a live facilitator. The program includes helpful tools and tips, a support group of smokers and assistance in creating a personalized quit plan.

The first series of sessions is from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 21, Feb. 28, March 14 and April 4 at South Central Kansas Medical Center in Arkansas City. The group is planning sessions for other Cowley County communities, including Winfield.

To register for the free sessions, call Charissa Wall Finch at (620) 221-1430 or email cwall@cowleycounty.org. To sign up online, visit www.risecowley.org/join.

“Through our community surveys and conversations with healthcare providers across the county, RISE Cowley recognized a need for more local resources for tobacco cessation,” said Sarah Bryant, RISE Cowley healthcare committee chair and William Newton Hospital director of marketing and business development.

According to 2016 data from Kansas Health Matters, 18 percent of Cowley County adults smoke. In addition, 19.6 percent of Cowley County mothers smoked during pregnancy between 2014 and 2016. That places the county behind peer group, state and national averages.

Encouragingly, 66 percent of smokers in Cowley County indicated a medium to very high interest in learning to reduce or stop smoking in the 2017 RISE Cowley community perception survey.

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