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October 3, 2001

Seven Oaks Patients to Participate in Smoking Cessation Program

WRHA, the Wellness Institute, and GlaxoSmithKline to partner on program

A smoking cessation pilot project got under way at Seven Oaks General Hospital this week and will run through to September 30, 2002. The Winnipeg Regional Health Authority Family Medicine Program, the Wellness Institute at Seven Oaks General Hospital, and GlaxoSmithKline are partnering to provide the program to certain patients admitted to the Seven Oaks General Hospital Family Medicine units. The goal of the program is to provide patients with assessment, referral and support to quit tobacco use post-discharge.

"This will be the first program in Canada to provide smoking cessation support to inpatients," said Garey Mazowita, Acting Medical Director of the WRHA Family Medicine Program. "We anticipate that approximately 500 patients will be offered the program through the duration of this pilot project."

All patients who smoke and are admitted with a diagnosis of diabetes, cardiac disease or respiratory disease will be offered medical and behavioural assessments while they are still in hospital to encourage and support tobacco cessation. Individuals who consent to participate will be discharged with a smoking cessation action plan. They will receive a seven-day supply of nicotine addiction treatment products (when deemed medically appropriate) at no cost to them, a self-help program package and will be offered a referral to the Wellness Institute's Kick Butt program. They will also leave hospital with a prescription for additional nicotine addictions products that they will have to purchase. Follow-ups will be done at three months, six months and 12 months post-discharge.

The Wellness Institute's smoking cessation program, Kick Butt, was based on the Mayo Clinic model. In 1999-2000, the Wellness Institute piloted the program with an outpatient population, specifically with Seven Oaks General Hospital staff. There were no costs to those participants, and all were required to cover the cost of pharmaceuticals. The results of this pilot were extremely encouraging, with a 32% quit rate at 1 year.

Previous smoking cessation programs offered in Manitoba have reported a 12% quit rate after 8 weeks. The Mayo Clinic's most aggressive program, the residential format, posts a quit rate of 47% over one year. Its outpatient model has a 34% quit rate at one year.

The Wellness Institute recently opened the program to the public. The cost of the Kick Butt program is $270, which includes a physician visit, four one-hour sessions with a program counselor, resource materials, a fitness/lifestyle assessment and access to the Wellness Institute facility for three months.

Individuals who opt to enroll in the Wellness Institute's Kick Butt program will be able to do so at a reduced cost. For the cost of about 30 packs of cigarettes, they will have access to three additional sessions with a behaviour counselor, a fitness/lifestyle assessment and access to the Wellness Institute for three months.

An evaluation of the pilot project will be conducted when it ends to determine if the program should be continued.

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