Quitters always win Featured

8:00pm EDT May 22, 2005
Dr. Asif Ali of Community Health Partners' Avon Lake Health Center recently taught three sessions of a smoking cessation program at Henkel Consumer Adhesives Inc. in Avon. Reaching an audience of about 300 employees, Ali hopes the sessions will raise awareness of the health concerns of smoking.

"More than 400,000 people died in 2004 because of tobacco-related mortality. A large part of that is cancer, but (another) is heart disease," he says. "Most people know that smoking is related to lung cancer, but they don't know that smoking also causes a multitude of other cancers -- cancers of the esophagus, ear, nose and throat, bladder and, in women, cervix."

Ali says corporations that sponsor smoking cessation programs not only educate employees who smoke but also to educate nonsmoking employees who have friends or relatives who do smoke.

"You cannot force anybody to quit. People will quit when they are motivated, and, in my opinion, the only way to achieve this is through education and information," he says. "Millions of people quit smoking each year, so it is very doable. However, lots of people are unsuccessful the first time or the second time. If you've had an unsuccessful quitting experience, the key is to get more information and then try to analyze why the last experience failed."

Smoking cessation programs in the workplace can lead to a healthier work force and employees who take fewer sick days due to respiratory illnesses, a win-win situation for employees and companies alike.

" In today's workplace and in today's environment, where everything is so geared toward being more productive and more efficient, (offering a smoking cessation clinic is) one way for an employer to say, 'We care about your health and your family's health,'" Ali says.

HOW TO REACH:

Community Health Partners - Avon Lake Health Center, (440) 933-5237 or www.community-health-partners.com