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MUSCMedical LinksCharleston LinksArchivesCatalyst AdvertisersSeminars and EventsResearch StudiesPublic RelationsResearch GrantsMUSC home pageCommunity HappeningsCampus NewsApplause


Smoking cessation classes offer support

Health 1st offers free smoking cessation classes to all MUSC employees. Taught by Robert Mallin, M.D., Family Medicine, the classes will integrate education about smoking cessation, pharmacotherapy, and group support. There are six, one-hour meetings during a three-week period. Prescriptions for appropriate medications will be provided. To sign up, e-mail

Insurance programs—The State Health Plan and BlueChoice offer the Free and Clear Program to eligible subscribers and their dependents. A Quit Coach works with each participant to create a personalized, 12-month Quit Plan. Free nicotine replacement products, such as patches, gum or lozenges are available through the Free and Clear program and are provided when appropriate. To register, call 866-784-8454.

CIGNA offers the Quit Today Tobacco Cessation Program. The year-long program includes unlimited calls to a coach, an optional telephone relapse support group and over-the-counter nicotine gum or patches. Call 866-417-7848 or go to

Within 20 minutes after you smoke that last cigarette, your body begins a series of changes that continue for years.
  • Twenty minutes after quitting, your heart rate drops.
  • Twelve hours after quitting, carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
  • Two weeks to three months after quitting, your heart attack risk begins to drop and your lung function begins to improve.
  • One to nine months after quitting, your coughing and shortness of breath decrease.
  • One year after quitting, your added risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a smoker’s.
  • Five to 15 years after quitting, your stroke risk is reduced to that of a nonsmoker’s.
  • Ten years after quitting, your lung cancer death rate is about half that of a smoker’s, and your risk of cancers of the mouth, throat, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decreases.
  • Fifteen years after quitting, your risk of coronary heart disease is back to that of a nonsmoker’s.
Source: Tobacco Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,

Editor's note: The preceding column was brought to you on behalf of Health 1st. Striving to bring various topics and representing numerous employee wellness organizations and committees on campus, this weekly column seeks to provide MUSC, MUHA and UMA employees with current and helpful information concerning all aspects of health.


Friday, Sept. 25, 2009

The Catalyst Online is published weekly by the MUSC Office of Public Relations for the faculty, employees and students of the Medical University of South Carolina. The Catalyst Online editor, Kim Draughn, can be reached at 792-4107 or by email, Editorial copy can be submitted to The Catalyst Online and to The Catalyst in print by fax, 792-6723, or by email to To place an ad in The Catalyst hardcopy, call Island Publications at 849-1778, ext. 201.