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Quit Tobacco with Support from RiverView’s Tobacco Treatment Specialist Stephanie Korynta

Hospital news | Tuesday, November 8, 2022

Did you know the American Cancer Society is sponsoring the Great American Smokeout on Nov. 17? The annual event challenges smokers to give up cigarettes for 24 hours. If you or a loved one smokes cigarettes, consider joining the movement, and take the first step toward quitting cigarettes forever.

Not sure how to start quitting? Let RiverView Tobacco Treatment Specialist Stephanie Korynta help. Korynta is a respiratory therapist who was recently trained and certified by the Mayo Clinic to provide support, education, and treatment options to help individuals quit tobacco use. She supports those interested in quitting tobacco, whether it be smokeless tobacco, cigarettes/cigars, or vaping.

Though smoking rates have dropped, almost 38 million Americans still smoke tobacco. About half of all smokers will encounter smoking-related deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, smoking causes 1 out of 5 deaths in the US alone. Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable disease, disability, and death in the US.

RiverView's Tobacco Cessation Program consists of one-on-one counseling with Korynta to set goals, determine why the patient wants to quit smoking, and determine ways to accomplish those goals.

Through the program, patients receive a kit to help with cravings and to teach calming techniques to help with the anxiety that can come with quitting. Follow-up sessions are provided as well. RiverView offers a non-judgmental, pressure-free environment to assist in your journey to a tobacco-free life.

"Quitting a habit can be very hard, especially one we may have had for quite some time," Korynta shared. "I grew up watching my parents try to quit smoking many times - sometimes successfully and others not.

"In many cases, tobacco is a source of calm and comfort for people, and they are told every day, either outright or through media, that they should give this up. It is highly addictive and can be very hard to do alone."

Fortunately, Korynta said many options and techniques are available to help those who want to quit.

"Don't feel like you have to do it alone," she said, sharing her desire to help others. "Helping people achieve their goals, extend their lives, and do something they may have never thought they could is very rewarding…Even if you have tried in the past and been unsuccessful, you can do it, and we are here to help!"

During an individual session with Korynta, the patient will learn about the following:

  • The science behind tobacco addiction
  • Nicotine withdrawal symptoms
  • Effective treatments for tobacco use
  • Causes and consequences of tobacco use
  • Individualized treatment plans
  • Medication use
  • Cognitive-behavioral strategies

Most insurances cover tobacco cessation but check with your insurance provider to confirm coverage.

Whether you have tried quitting multiple times or are unsure if you are ready to quit, talk to your primary care provider about a referral or call RiverView's Rehab Services Department at 281.9463 for more information.

Pictured above: Stephanie Korynta explains how RiverView’s tobacco cessation program works.