Smoking cessation class helps Team Robins kick butts

  • Published
  • By Wayne Crenshaw
  • 78 Air Base Wing Public Affairs
Maj. Sherry Moore didn't know when she set the date to teach her first smoking cessation class that it was an important day for smokers wanting to quit.

She learned after scheduling the class that it fell on Nov. 20, which was the Great American Smokeout. It's the second biggest day of the year, next to New Year's, for smokers trying to snuff out butts for good.

It apparently had an impact on participation, as 20 people signed up. She originally expected about a dozen.

Major Moore has never smoked, but she spent 28 years as a nurse where she had many occasions to witness the suffering caused by smoking. She also had a grandmother who died of lung cancer, which she said was as a result of her grandfather's second-hand smoke because her grandmother never smoked.

"I'm very passionate, seeing some of the damage it has caused, both professionally and in my family," she said.

One of the persons who showed up for the class was Tech. Sgt. Paul Phinisee, a smoker for 20 years. He has tried unsuccessfully to quit before but he said this time he has made up his mind to do it.

"I'm at the point where my body is sending me little signals," he said.

He said a major reason he wants to quit, repeated by others in the class, is the increasing emphasis the Air Force puts on physical fitness.

The class includes four weekly sessions held Wednesdays at 11 a.m. A new series starts each month.

Maj. Moore said it's recommended to start with the first class and attend all four sessions, but if anyone doesn't want to wait for the next series to start they can come and she can fill them in on the previous sessions.

The classes are free and available to all base employees, although only military personnel can get free Chantix, a prescription drug that blocks the pleasurable aspect of nicotine in the brain. Civilian employees can get free nicotine patches.

Anyone who wants to attend the classes can register by calling the Health and Wellness Center at 327-8480.

The program is based on the American Cancer Society's Freshstart program. For more information visit the ACS Web site at