Fewer Arkansas adults are smoking

By Lauren Payne - bio | email feedback

Jonesboro, AR (KAIT) --  "I've tried different medications, I've tried patches," said Michele Polk.

Michele Polk is one of the thousands of Arkansans who smoke, she's also one of thousands who have tried to quit.

"Probably all together, between 5 to 10 times," said Polk.

Kicking the habit is a battle not easily won, says St. Bernard's Community Educator, Beth Murff.

"Be ready to let everybody know that you're going to do it because you're going to need a lot of help and support," said Murff.

Murff says through St. Bernards community education programs,  help is available through monthly classes and individual education.   She says one of the first things they discuss are what triggers the desire for a cigarette, and learning to avoid those situations.

"Are you sitting in a certain place? Is it when you're drinking alcohol? When you're around a certain group of people?  Is it at work because everybody goes out to smoke?  One of the first steps is to identify the triggers that are keeping you from quitting," said Murff.

The good news is that more Arkansas adults are  quitting, according to new state statistics.  The numbers for last year show 20.7 percent of Arkansas adults smoke.  That number is down from years past, but still above the national average at just over 18 percent.

"If you quit, several start.   It's just something we have to continue to battle,"said Murff.

Michele Polk still fights the desire for cigarettes, but she is confident for good reason, one day she'll kick the habit completely....

"My overall health and well being, and also the cost," said Polk.

For more on St. Bernards education programs to help stop smoking, call Beth Murff at 870-336-4912.  You can also call 1-800-QUIT-NOW.

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