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Program helps smokers kick the habit

Southeastern Idaho Public Health is teaming up with several other health institutions to help people quit tobacco with its Fresh Start program.

Rose Sterner completed the program nearly a decade ago and hasn’t lit another cigarette since. Before the program she smoked three packs a day for 43 years. She describes quitting as a freedom.

“I could go through a movie now and sit through it,” she said. “(Before) you looked for certain places, you went to the restaurants you could go to. You’d find a place, even in the hospital they had a section that was for smoking.”

The cessation program runs for four weeks and first has people identify why they smoke in the first place, like stress, stimulation or pleasure. From there they create action plans to change their behavior.

For example, if someone smokes out of stress, their action plan would have stress management techniques in it.

The workshop meets as a group and that’s why Fresh Start’s creators say it sets it apart from other programs.

“If it was an individual approach, it works, but having dialogue and having that group of people there – that supportive environment,” said Traci Lambson, SIPH’s tobacco cessation coordinator.

Still, no matter how someone goes about it, Sterner stresses an individual has to be 100 percent committed to quit.

The program will run every Thursday from April 23 to May 14 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Healthy Place Counseling. Another will run every Tuesday from April 28 to May 19 at Health West.

It is completely free to attend and to reserve a spot you can contact Traci Lambson at (208) 478-6316 or go to

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