The Mayo Clinic reports that only about 5% of people who try to quit smoking without a "quit smoking" product will be successful. However, over the counter nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) can often be an unobtainable expense for many patients who wish to quit smoking. Our cardiopulmonary department once again stepped up to help.

This second project funded through the 2021 employee fundraising campaign focuses on long-term smoking cessation through coaching, free NRTs, and incentive items for participants. Research shows that rewards are great motivators to continue the desired smoking cessation pattern.

22 patients have joined the smoking cessation program, and almost 20 more are interested in joining the program. Some patients have "lung ages" up to 90 years old. Patients are often referred to the program by another MHP provider, but some have expressed interest on their own.

Coaches do extensive follow-up with each participant to discuss how the patient is feeling, take health assessments (like lung age and carbon monoxide levels), review any needs, and map out next steps in the program. Support packages have even been provided to patients who have difficulty finding transportation to appointments or group sessions.

One patient stopped smoking completely after two sessions in the program. About $150 is spent per patient to improve their health tremendously by helping them stop smoking. Congratulations to MHP's cardiopulmonary team for making a difference again!