Kingsley Field finds resource for those looking to ‘kick the habit’

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Jefferson Thompson
  • 173rd Fighter Wing

Brittany Crooks, a 173rd Fighter Wing Director of Psychological Health—a position designed to foster resiliency among Kingsley Airmen—says a number of Airmen have approached her who want to quit smoking or using tobacco.

With her background as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, fighting addiction is something she’s very familiar with, although in the past it was primarily with teens fighting substance abuse.

After a little research she found the American Lung Association program called Freedom from Smoking and she decided to become a certified facilitator, allowing her to organize a group cessation clinic here at the wing.

Crooks says this planned group will address one of the main hurdles in quitting. 

“I hear a lot of people tell me it’s the social piece,” she said. “You go out to the smoke pit and there’s people there and you chat, or you go outside at a family function and other people are doing it—it’s a very social piece that is really hard for people to get out of.”

And so, this new social group offers a supportive community, leveraging that powerful social influence to fight tobacco dependence rather than reinforce it.

Crooks explains the group is for any kind of tobacco use, including vape, chewing tobacco, and cigars or pipes and will feature eight sessions laying out a step-by-step plan. Additionally, there is a helpline provided by the American Lung Association and an interactive web-based program called Freedom From Smoking Plus, all of which combine to offer a nearly 60-percent success rate according to the their literature.

Although nearly everyone understands that smoking or other tobacco use is unhealthy it is helpful to look at some of the benefits of quitting.

According to WebMD the body has an incredible capacity to heal. Within 20 minutes pulse and blood pressure resume normal levels and within eight hours carbon monoxide levels drop by half allowing better blood oxygenation. In two to three months a new non-smoker has stronger lungs and can exercise without getting winded—while seeing heart attack risk drop steadily. Looking further down the road a person’s risk of stroke and several types of cancer are significantly reduces including cervical, mouth, throat, esophagus and bladder. Persisting to the 15-year mark reduces heart disease risk to that of someone who has never smoked.

Crooks extends the offer to any Kingsley Airmen as well as Title-5 civilians and asks those interested to contact her directly at 541-885-6644 or 541-863-8496.