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St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake Joins In Great American Smokeout



Media Contact:

Joshua Cowan, St. Helena Hospital

Phone: 967-7515 Email:

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 14, 2012

St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake Joins In Great American Smokeout

Helping the community become smoke-free for greater health

November 15, 2012, Clearlake, CA. St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake once again participated in the American Cancer Society’s annual Great American Smokeout. The nationwide event, held on the third Thursday in November, took place this year on November 15.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to make an affirmative choice for better health," says John E. Hodgkin, MD. "People all over the country join together in mutual support to overcome the single greatest killer in modern society, tobacco dependence. Whether you use the day to actually quit smoking, or simply to make a concrete plan and get started, taking that step along with millions across the county provides strength and support that makes a difference for success."

Dr. Hodgkin, a renowned pulmonary rehabilitation expert and medical director of St. Helena Center for Health’s Smoke-Free Life program, is well-versed both in the devastation caused by tobacco use, and in the sense of freedom and renewed well-being experienced by those who successfully quit. He considers his work in the Smoke-Free Life program some of the most rewarding he does. "This is one area where a physician can make an enormous difference simply by empowering patients with information and support. Smoking kills more than 1200 people each day, and a typical life-long smoker loses nearly 10 years of life. Yet, when patients quit their lives are lengthened and improved, and if they quit before the age of 40, we can even see most of the harm reversed. We can literally help lengthen life significantly."

According to Dr. Hodgkin, tobacco dependence is a chronic medical disease, yet one that is also highly treatable. The addictive nature of tobacco can make quitting challenging, but there are many effective approaches. Research by the American Cancer Society shows that smokers are most successful in kicking the habit when they have support, and the more approaches they use, the more likely they are to succeed. Some methods include:

Telephone smoking-cessation hotlines

Stop-smoking groups and online quit groups


Nicotine replacement products

Prescription medicine to lessen cravings

Guide books

Encouragement and support from friends and family members

Comprehensive lifestyle medicine programs

"Even quitting for a single day, as many do during the Smokeout, has benefits," Dr. Hodgkin points out. "Each day you don’t smoke is a day of improved health and lengthened life, a short-term success. I have tremendous admiration for those who make the effort, especially those who find it difficult but keep trying."

St. Helena Hospital offers a variety of smoking cessation programs ranging from community support groups to the seven-day residential Smoke-Free Life program, which provides active medical management while addressing smoking as part of a broader pattern of habits and needs. St. Helena Clear Lake also offers the innovative Live Well program, which helps patients take a multi-faceted approach to improved health, including smoking cessation, while working closely with physicians to address the chronic health problems smoking can cause or worsen. Live Well is popular with patients for its positive approach, whole-life focus, can-do approach to problem-solving, and long-lasting friendships formed.

"Quitting is the single most important choice you can make for your health," says Dr. Hodgkin.


About St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake:

St. Helena Hospital is part of Adventist Health, a faith-based, not-for-profit integrated health care delivery system serving communities in California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington. Our workforce of 28,700 includes more than 21,000 employees; 4,500 medical staff physicians; and 3,000 volunteers. Founded on Seventh-day Adventist health values, Adventist Health provides compassionate care in 19 hospitals, more than 150 clinics (hospital-based, rural health and physician clinics), 14 home care agencies, six hospice agencies and four joint-venture retirement centers. We invite you to visit for more information.