Minot AFB Kicking Smoking in the Butt | VideoAmy Fox | 1/31/2013
From physical training to practice drills, Minot Air Force Base wants healthy airmen. And, for some, that means saying no to tobacco.
"It`s not like if you smoke they`re pushing you to quit,” said Michael Connors, first airman. “But, the Air Force wants you to be healthy. So, if you want to quit, they want to help you quit and they`ll do everything they can to make it as easy as possible for you."
One of the ways the Minot Air Force Base is helping airmen kick the habit is through a tobacco cessation program.
"Research has shown there is value of members being able to speak and to share their stories, their successes, what`s happened in the past, and what`s been successful for them,” said Lori Halvorson, Health Promotion Coordinator.
For four months, airmen meet in a group environment to share their experiences with each other and learn how to become smoke free.
Charles Besore, weapons and armament support, says it wasn`t easy to give up an 18 year habit of smoking a half pack of cigarettes a day.
"You kind of know your triggers, but you don`t think about it. And, going through the class will bring up those triggers where it is in the front of your mind and you actually think about them.”
While nearly all of the buildings on base are smoke free, there are still some places where airmen can light up. But, Halverson hopes the number of smokers continues to go down. “It goes from word of mouth and those that attended class in the past and found it beneficial.”
Besore said, "I`ve recommended one person so far to go through the class. The more people that go through the class, I believe, will recommend it to more and more. So you will have a more of a domino effect on that."
While Besore has only been smoke free for 32 days, he`s already noticing improvements in his health. "I`ve noticed easier to breathe. My heart rate doesn`t spike as much as it used to. And it also declines faster now.”
Minot AFB will continue to kick smoking in the butt, one cigarette at a time. Halvorson says they`re working on a new initiative to make the tobacco cessation program more flexible for airmen. Instead of attending monthly classes, airmen will have the option of taking classes online.