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Published on November 04, 2013

'Smokeout' team to help hospital visitors kick the habit

UHS News Release
Release:  Immediately
Contact:  Jon Tooley, 762-2336 or

November 4, 2013

An estimated 21 percent of the Broome County population smokes cigarettes.  UHS Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist Laura Schutt, RN, MSN, wants to change that.  On Thursday, November 21, she and her colleagues plan to distribute tobacco cessation information at five UHS locations in commemoration of the national Great American Smokeout campaign sponsored by the American Cancer Society. 

Each year since the 1970s, the third Thursday in November has been proclaimed the Great American Smokeout day.  All tobacco users are encouraged to refrain from smoking on that day with the hope that they will give up the habit for good.

This year, the UHS tobacco cessation group called TeamACT will staff information booths at UHS Wilson Medical Center, UHS Binghamton General, UHS Chenango Memorial and UHS Delaware Valley hospitals, and in the lobby of UHS Vestal Primary Care offices from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.   They will reach out to UHS employees and visitors in an effort to lower the smoking rate in the area.

“In New York State, 16 percent of the population smokes, so the rate in Broome County is significantly higher,” said Ms. Schutt, TeamACT program coordinator.  “We want that number to shrink.  And we know that when someone tries to quit ‘cold turkey’ the success rate is only 7 percent.  But with counseling and medication, the success rate climbs to 30 percent.  That’s why we want to get the cessation information out to as many people as we can.”

UHS TeamACT is one of nineteen cessation centers under the New York State Tobacco Control Program.  Team members often refer smokers to the NYS Smokers’ Quit Line for a series of telephone counseling sessions and a free starter pack of nicotine patches. 

UHS TeamACT also provides individual and group counseling for tobacco cessation by phone or in person at the Stay Healthy Center at the Oakdale Mall.  Each Monday evening Laura Schutt hosts a tobacco cessation class at the center from 6 to 7:30 p.m.   The classes are free and no pre-registration is necessary.   For more information, call UHS Nurse Direct at (607) 763-5555 or call Laura Schutt at (607) 763-5091.

UHS is a locally owned, not-for-profit, 916-bed hospital and healthcare system serving Greater Binghamton and surrounding counties. Founded in 1981, UHS provides a full range of medical, surgical, rehabilitative and long-term care services from more than 60 locations around New York’s Southern Tier.
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