According to research, smokers are most successful quitting when they have some type of support such as counseling; nicotine replacement products; telephone smoking cessation hotlines; stop smoking groups; prescription medicine to decrease cravings; encouragement and support from family members and friends; and/or guide books.

An example of an available supportive program is the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking, which is a smoking cessation program that combines peer support, nicotine replacement and provides coping tools to help you successfully stop smoking.

We have an American Lung Association (ALA) certified Smoking Cessation Facilitator – Kim Lewelling - that is not only offering ALA’s “Freedom From Smoking” program to the community but also her uniquely formatted class “Choose to be Smoke Free” to MMC patients and employees of local business with the possibility of getting a business/corporate discount rate.

Kim is an ex-smoker herself. The ALA “Freedom From Smoking” program encouraged her to finally take the steps necessary to quit.

Lewelling states: "After many attempts to stop smoking over a period of 29 years, I had given up on ever quitting.  Although I went into the program offered to us very skeptical, I came out of it with a positive attitude and finally a successful attempt!  Quitting is not easy and it is a struggle at times still to not slip.  I realize now that I have the ability to stay smoke free and feel like my experience can help others to become smoke free.  I know that if I can quit smoking, anyone can quit smoking."

If you are interested please contact Kim Lewelling at McKenzie Medical Center: 731-352-7907 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Remember it’s never too late to quit. Here are some of the benefits of quitting:

- By quitting you can substantially benefit your bank account. For example, if a person smokes a pack per day at $4.00 per pack (this cost can be much higher) that represents approximately $1,460 a year. Over a thirty year smoking history this is $43,800 – the price of a new car.

- 20 minutes after quitting: Your blood pressure and heart rate lowers.

- 12 hours after quitting: The carbon monoxide level in your blood returns to normal.

- 2 weeks to 3 months after quitting: Your lung function increases and your circulation improves.

- 1 to 9 months after quitting: Shortness of breath and coughing decreases; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) regain their normal function within the lungs, which increases the ability to clean the lungs, handle mucus and reduces the risk of infection.

- 1 year after quitting: The increased risk of coronary heart disease is decreased to half that of a smoker’s.

- 5 years after quitting: Your stroke risk is lowered to that of a nonsmoker 5 to 15 years after quitting.

- 10 years after quitting: The lung cancer death rate is approximately half that of a continuing smoker’s. The risk of cancer of the mouth, esophagus, cervix, bladder, throat and pancreas lowers.

- 15 years after quitting: The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a nonsmoker’s.