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Leuven supports residents in their battle against tobacco

The Flemish municipality offers a group course on how to quit smoking, which is already almost fully booked

  • 25 септември 2020, 17:30
  • Author Aseniya Dimitrova
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Earlier in September Leuven marked the successful launch of a self-help group on smoking cessation at the Romaanse Poort (a historic site with meeting spaces). After six people attended the inauguratory information session about the upcoming course on how to quit smoking, the course starting 28 September is now almost fully booked. This, the authorities believe, stems from the utility and usefulness of such an endeavour, namely – turning the individual challenge into a group task where support and encouragement are the dominant principles.

It is easier to quit together

The course on how to quit smoking in Leuven is still awaiting its future participants. The organization is a collaborative effort bringing together the city of Leuven, the primary care zone Leuven and Logo Oost-Brabant, an organisation engaged with smoking cessation.

According to tobacco treatment specialist Laurens Schroyens, a course like this, mixed with group therapy and individual program, can show better results. "It amazes me time and again how quickly a group dynamic is set in motion and how smoking fellow sufferers find each other and encourage each other to ban the cigarette from their lives for good", he said quoted by leuven.be.

The participants learn to quit smoking and to persevere in eight sessions starting September 28, on 5, 12, 19 and 26 October, on 9 and 23 November and on 7 December.  Sessions start at 7.30 pm in the Romaanse Poort.

The course is based on a group approach, where quitting smoking is no longer a lonely battle. The counselling pays a lot of attention to increasing one's own insights into smoking addiction and strengthening motivation.

In addition, participants receive support in resolving doubts and preparing for the first day of their post-smoking lives. After the collective work is done, the group learns to cope with any withdrawal symptoms.

Learning skills to curb the urge to smoke and the desire for a cigarette are also discussed. The role of the tobaccologist is also important as he keeps the motivation of the participants sharp during the months of the course. The municipality points out that the data shows that support is the most important factor of this group approach. 

Bieke Verlinden, alderman for care and welfare believes that the high interest in the course means that people are concerned with their health in these unusual times. Hence, the course will be repeated in 2021. She also said that the organisers are making extra efforts to reach families in vulnerable situations.

The course is organized respecting the applicable measures regarding the coronavirus, which is why registration is mandatory. Finally, the cost for the entire course is barely 48 euros, as the Flemish government reimburses the rest. The fee can be further reduced to 24 euros for those who qualify for additional support.

For more information, simply contact karen.opdencamp@leuven.be  or call 016 27 26 30.



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