Published April 24, 2014
After a year of helping clients kick a deadly habit many have endured their entire lives, UB’s individualized QUIT smoking program marks a year of success stories by substituting burning cigarettes with birthday candles for some of the area’s heaviest smokers.
The QUIT program, which has helped numerous heavy smokers kick the habit, recently celebrated its first anniversary. Affiliated with the Department of Psychology, QUIT uses a three-week treatment program that combines group therapy with nicotine-replacement treatment to produce impressive results.
There are other smoking-cessation programs in Western New York. But the combination of its high success rate and the program’s flexibility makes it unique, according to Lisa Germeroth, the creator and primary clinician of the QUIT program, who has treated smokers throughout the history of the program.
“Although we offer group therapy, we have figured out how to really tailor the program to individuals’ strengths, challenges and concerns,” says Germeroth, a clinical psychology graduate student. “We are really the only intensive program in the Buffalo area that does this while also sticking to methods that best increase quit rates: nicotine-replacement methods and therapy sessions.
“After celebrating our first anniversary, we have made adjustments to further strengthen a program that has been used and enjoyed by several groups.”
The QUIT program is known for its effectiveness, especially among heavy smokers. Germeroth says past and current members have tried other programs and found them a “one-size-fits-all” treatment.
“The therapy was not tailored to them,” Germeroth explains. “We, however, constantly introduce flexibility and individual tailoring — and we have received a lot of remarkably positive feedback on this point.”
The three-week group therapy sessions take place from 6-7:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, and Friday of week two. Sessions will run in June, July and August, and begin the first full week of each month. The June session begins on Monday, June 2.
For registration and information, call the UB Psychological Services Center at 716-645-3697. The program fee, which covers costs of the materials, is $65.
The QUIT program is open to anyone 18 years or older. While it is geared toward heavier smokers (10 or more cigarettes a day), the program also has been successful in helping lighter smokers quit.
“No matter how many times you have tried to quit or how scared you may feel to try again, please give us a call,” says Germeroth. “We are always here to help and provide a support system that will make quitting easier.”