In Colorado alone, 4200 people die each year from tobacco related illnesses. That's why the Mesa County Tobacco Education Council is helping smokers get a fresh start.
Like many Americans, Suzie Miller had been smoking for many years, ten to be exact. For most of those years attempts to kick the habit were unsuccessful, and because she couldn't quit it ran up quite a bill.
"On average if you smoke a pack a day you spend about 1500 dollars a year," says Cathie Nicholson of the Mesa County Tobacco Education Council. And that's just for cigarettes, then you have to add on the health care costs. "In Colorado the annual medical cost related to smoking is over one billion dollars a year," says Nicholson. Numbers that has the tobacco council fighting for your health.
"The "fresh start" class has been popular, it gives you tools for success," says Nicholson. It's a 4 week, one hour a week class, and it's exactly what miller needed to help her quit for good. "It offered all the things i was looking for," says Miller. But it wasn't just the education that helped her turn things around."The gem of it was the support system, we were all going through the same thing and all had the same desires," says Miller.
Miller has been smoke free for a little more than nine weeks now and isn't looking back. "I hardly remember my life as a smoker now," says Miller. Because no matter how long you've been smoking, you can be just as successful as Miller. "Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette your body starts to heal itself so it's never too late to quit," says Nicholson.
On top of being healthier, Miller has big plans for the money that not too long ago was going up in smoke. "I'm saving it and going to Italy next month," says Miller.
Participants in the class also receive a FREE three month membership at Crossroads fitness, FREE yoga classes at the Academy of Yoga and 10 FREE workouts at St. Mary's Life Center. The next class starts Thursday August 13th and the following three Thursdays until September 3rd. To register or for more information contact Cathie Nicholson at 254-4108.