Freedom from Smoking Class Helps Man End 45-Year Habit

After smoking 1-2 packs a day for 45 years, COPD and emphysema finally caught up with Roy Pillischafske, 60, of Springfield.

Fortunately, he enrolled in a Freedom from Smoking class at the Memorial Center for Learning and Innovation. Sponsored by the American Lung Association, the seven-week class works with participants to set a quit date, create a personalized plan to quit smoking and build strategies for managing stressors during and after the quitting journey. While there is a $30 cost for the class, financial assistance is available.

For Roy, the best part of the class was showing up every week and being there in person. He had tried all kinds of quitting schemes – hypnosis, acupuncture, all kinds of pills – but nothing worked.

“Being at class each week kept me accountable and focused on quitting,” Roy said. “The most challenging part was the actual quitting. We set the date, and I didn’t smoke after that, which was unbelievable. I had quit before for two and a half months, but it didn’t last.”

Roy will be smoke-free for a year on March 12. Today, his health continues to improve, and he looks forward to gardening and working in the yard this spring. He encourages others to consider taking the class.

“I needed to quit. It was hard to breathe,” he said. “The instructors were all great for me – really nice and treated me well. One has even checked in with me a couple of times to make sure I was doing OK.”

If you need financial assistance to cover the cost of this class, please call 217-788-3559. Complete the registration and pre-class questionnaire here.

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