Houston Methodist Sugar Land Hospital continues to offer the community a proven program to help people quit smoking.


The complimentary program, called Beat the Pack®, was developed by Pfizer Inc. and is sponsored by Houston Methodist Cancer Center and Respiratory Therapy Department at Sugar Land.


Participants will meet once a week for four weeks with a trained facilitator from Houston Methodist Sugar Land who will provide tools, tips and support to help smokers create and follow through with a personalized “quit plan.”


“Studies show that close to 70% of smokers in the U.S. want to quit,” said Amy Sebastian-Deutsch, director of oncology and infusion therapy services. “But it typically takes a smoker between six and 11 attempts at quitting to finally succeed. Beat the Pack is a proven program that can greatly increase those odds and make it easier to give up cigarettes for good.”


Even long-term smokers can benefit from quitting. “The health benefits of quitting begin almost immediately and continue indefinitely,” said Sindhu Nair, M.D., board-certified hematologist oncologist with Houston Methodist Oncology Partners at Sugar Land. “Within months, former smokers will have improved circulation and reduced blood pressure, enhanced oxygen flow, the return of taste and smell and less coughing and colds. After a year, their risk of heart disease will be reduced by half. And after 10 years of living without cigarettes, the risk of heart attack or cancer is similar to that of someone who never smoked.”


In 2015, a thorough compilation of more than 50 smoking cessation studies that included more than 25,000 participants found that combining behavior support in a group setting with medication provides the best results.


“It isn’t easy to quit, and certainly it is even more difficult to do so by yourself,” said Sebastian-Deutsch. “Beat the Pack provides all the tools and support needed, and it does so in an informative, friendly atmosphere that offers encouragement and camaraderie.”


The next four-week series is scheduled to start on July 9, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. in Houston Methodist Sugar Land’s Main Pavilion Conference Rooms A & D. The last session of the year will be offered in November. Registration is required and space is limited. For more information or to register, visit houstonmethodist.org/events and search for Beat the Pack, or call 281.205.4514.