Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) is now offering help to those in the community who have the desire to quit smoking. Plan to be Tobacco Free is a program developed by The Kentucky Cancer Program. To date, it has assisted thousands of Kentuckians in becoming tobacco free. PMC is proud to incorporate this strategy into its growing oncology outreach services.

PMC has been providing this service to patients for months and is now offering it to the public.

“We rolled the program out with patients in November during the Great American Smokeout,” said PMC Oncology Outreach Coordinator, Melissa Bentley. “This class combines group support with nicotine replacement and is perfect for people who have tried numerous times with other plans and still couldn’t quit smoking.”

During this one-time, two-hour class, participants will get help coping with their nicotine addiction and learn about over the counter nicotine replacement products and how to use them. Enrollees are also supplied with the necessary tools to ease the transition from tobacco use. They are educated about prescription medication options available from primary care physicians that can be used to help them quit.

“We work to help identify your smoking triggers and devise a plan that will work,” Bentley explained. “We offer lozenges, gum or patches to aid in quitting. Prescriptions for your choice of nicotine replacement will be sent to the PMC Pharmacy for you to pick up at no cost.”

The group class is conducted by a trained navigator. They assess each person’s habits and their readiness to quit, then develop a personalized quit plan. The navigator follows up with a weekly call to each participant and online support is offered 24/7. A toll-free number is also provided for participants to call for help and encouragement.

Bentley conducted the first class on Monday, February 18th. Additional classes will be held the 3rd Monday of each month from 12-2pm at the Leonard Lawson Cancer Center in the 2nd floor conference room. To register, please call 606-218-4843. Registration is encouraged, but not required.

The Kentucky Cancer Program is a statewide, state-mandated organization jointly administered by the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky. Their mission is to reduce cancer incidence and mortality through education, research and service.