Weekly Feature

2015-07-23 / Education

UB’s smoking cessation program continues rate of success

The University at Buffalo’s QUIT smoking cessation program — boasting a success rate of nearly 80 percent among those finishing treatment — returns for another extended run this summer and fall, giving smokers what could be their best chance to stop the habit.

The QUIT group program, affiliated with UB’s Psychology Department, is offering a $10 discount for those enrolling in the August sessions. Enrollment in one of these groups costs $55. September and October sessions cost $65.

According to QUIT organizers, nearly 80 percent of those completing the program remain smoke-free one month after treatment.

“People often have very different personal reasons for quitting,” said Courtney Motschman, a QUIT clinician, in a prepared statement. “We assist group members in turning these motives into action.”

Motschman said the program works because a combination of group support and individualized tailoring of skills helps make quitting easier. She said the initial two sessions help prepare for the actual act of quitting by addressing how to manage cravings and withdrawal symptoms.

In addition, she said people who quit do not have to wait long to start experiencing benefits. According to the U.S. Surgeon General’s Report, significant benefits of quitting smoking occur within just two weeks to three months after quitting, such as improvements in blood circulation and lung functioning.

“Our group members often express that breaking free from the hold of cigarettes has a huge impact on their quality of life,” said Rebecca Etkin, another QUIT clinician. “Summer is the perfect time to start breathing easier and taking advantage of all the activities Buffalo has to offer.”

The program is led by trained psychology doctoral students who use techniques supported by research. Treatments include a combination of group therapy and nicotine replacement. The QUIT clinicians say this gives clients the best chance of not taking up smoking again.

The program is open to anyone 18 years or older. While it is geared toward heavier smokers — 10 or more cigarettes smoked per day — the program also has been successful in helping lighter smokers quit.

Sessions are held at the Psychological Services Center on UB’s North Campus. The seven sessions are held during the course of two and a half weeks on Mondays, Wednesdays and one Friday.

Smokers looking to end their habit can enroll in August, September or October sessions.

Anyone interested should call 645-3697.

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