American Lung Association program at the Idyllwild Library

The Hemet Unified School District will present an eight-session workshop hosted by the Idyllwild Library on how to quit smoking.

The workshop program, developed by the American Lung Association, is licensed by HUSD. According to Valerie Velez, HUSD health education program specialist, “This is the first time I’m aware that this program is being offered to the community and certainly the first time it’s offered at no cost.”

Included as part of the workshop are all materials, including workbooks and CDs. “This is open to the community, parents and others, to learn how to be smoke-free as models to young people, to promote being smoke-free to youth,” said Velez. “People who use electronic cigarettes are also welcome.” Velez stressed that only FDA-approved nicotine replacement mechanisms are part of the public health community discussion about serious nicotine addiction. Participants are expected to attend all sessions.

“Obviously, a person has to continue working the plan after the workshops,” said Velez. “We’ll have a panel of former smokers who will give their testimony and tel l their stories as part of the series — how to maintain being smoke-free once you’ve quit. And part of what we’re doing in the class is learning how to develop support systems with people who are supportive of these changes.”

Velez noted that many people who have used this ALA system have been successful in quitting. She requested that those interested pre-register since space and materials are limited. “Enrollment will be on a first-come, first-serve basis,” she said.

To register, contact Valerie Velez at 951-765-5100, ext. 3210, or [email protected].

Classes will be held every Monday from 4:30 to 6 pm. beginning June 5 to July 17 in the Idyllwild Library Community Room. Velez, certified as a trainer in the program, will be assisted with facilitating by Idyllwild local Bronwyn Jones, a volunteer with the HUSD Tobacco Use Program. Water and snacks will be provided.