Singing River Hospital System helps tobacco users kick the habit

Pascagoula, MS (WLOX)-- "Nicotine is the most additive drug."

Health Official Timothy Neese says it's an addiction that can ruin your teeth, your heart, and take years off your life.

" It causes harding of the arteries, which then can lead to high blood pressure and blood clots and to other risk factors," Neese said.

To help people finally put out the cigarettes and turn away from tobacco products for good, Singing River Hospital System is offering a six week treatment program.

"It's composed of two parts, one we are able to offer free tobacco sensation mediation. Two,  we will actually be teaching the people how to deal with the withdrawals, " Neese said.

Neese says after the storm the number of tobacco users began to skyrocket on the coast.

"It (Tobacco) is a learned addiction, an there are cues and triggers.  What we have to do is give them some coping strategies to replace that learned addiction and that learned habit,"

"I am grateful the hospital offered this to us," former student Kim Monson said.

Kim Monson says she doesn't think about lighting up anymore thanks to the program, she's also saving money now.

"It is costly, and just like gas cigarettes are going up. By the time I quit smoking it was  up to four dollars a pack. You feel healthier, you look healthier, and I have added many year to my life."

Tobacco Treatment Classes will start in January, but the Hospital officials will start signing people up for the program tomorrow. The classes will be held at Singing River and Ocean Springs hospitals in Jackson County. For more information about the program call 497-7470.