The American Cancer Society states that cigarette smoking greatly increases the risk of numerous cancers and that an estimated 21 million people in the United States have died because of tobacco use since 1964. Quitting smoking, even after many years of prolonged use, can help a person lead a longer and healthier life and Piedmont Fayette Hospital can help.

Piedmont Fayette offers the course Fresh Start, a free, four-week program, that can help participants get and stay smoke free. The group meets five times over the course of four weeks. The first meeting gets the group ready to quit and lets the participants know what to expect. In the second meeting, each participant teams up with a buddy and starts talking specifics and making a plan.

The third meeting is quit night. After that meeting, there will be no more cigarettes. The class discusses how to interact with friends, family members and colleagues at work. The fourth class is 48 hours later and the group meets to discuss the successes and challenges. The final class talks about healthy living and how to stay smoke free long term.

“The group concept really helps people in the class stay accountable and encourage others to stay strong during a difficult time,” said Abigail Davis, RN, a respiratory therapist at Piedmont Fayette and a nurse at Piedmont Newnan. “If someone has made up their mind that they are going to quit smoking, this class can help them kick the habit for good.”

Fresh Start will be offered at Piedmont Fayette three more times this year. The next class starts June 4 and there will be classes starting July 30 and Oct. 1. Fresh Start meets at Piedmont Fayette Hospital, East Lobby Conference Room, 1255 Hwy 54 West, Fayetteville (East Entrance) from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Visit to register.