New Year ... New You: Part One

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Two-thousand-seven is almost here and its time to make your New Year’s resolutions.

The Kentucky Office of Homeland Security said every year nearly half of all Americans will make at least one New Year’s resolution. They say it is important to make a resolution that is easy to keep.

One of the top ten resolutions is to quit smoking. Nearly 28 percent of Kentuckians smoke which is higher than any other state in the nation.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said about 70 percent of smokers want to quit and with all of the different methods people can use, it can take several tries before they’re successful.

Judy Selk started smoking when she was 15-years-old and nearly 50 years later Judy has decided to quit once and for all but this isn’t her first attempt at a nicotine-free life. Judy started trying to quit 30 years ago and since then she’s tried just about everything.

“I’ve had hypnotism, acupuncture, [tried] cold turkey and the patch,” Selk said. Judy usually makes it about a week but goes back to the same routine.

“I always thought I was in control of my cigarettes but since I’ve retired, my cigarettes are in control of me,” Selk said.

Judy is trying to regain control of her life for the New Year by joining the Medical Center’s Smoking Cessation classes. It’s a 12-week class where participants use a nicotine replacement and a support group to curb cravings.

“The great thing is that one person may become more successful at it and they can tell their success to others and it creates that support. That’s where the magic happens,” Selk said.

Community Wellness manager Jenny Golden said the number one thing that helps people succeed, is motivation.

“We can have 20 people in this classroom. We can have a great support group ... The nicotine replacement is perfect. Everybody uses it correctly but ... If that willpower, if that motivation for you to successfully stop smoking isn’t there then it won’t happen. You is the key ingredient,” Golden said.

Jenny said a lot of people use the excuse “nicotine replacements are too expensive” for not quitting but it’s actually more cost effective to buy the nicotine replacement than if you smoke one to two packs a day.

“Nicotine replacements can cost up to $60 a pack but Judy Selk smokes nearly two packs a day, costing her about $240 dollars a month,” Golden said.

Judy is through with excuses and said she is determined to be successful.

“My granddaughter who is four, is on me all of the time. ‘That’s not nice Grandma ... You shouldn’t be doing that,’ and just little things I notice she picks up habit-wise. One day she picked something up and I asked her what she was doing. She said, ‘Smoking like you.’ I thought ‘okay, I gotta quit,’” Selk said.

The Cooper/Clayton Smoking Cessation class starts Jan. 8, at the Health and Wellness Center in the Greenwood Mall but there are also other ways to quit smoking. Laser therapy is a treatment that’s new to the U.S. but has been performed in Canada and Europe for 10 to 20 years.

Owner of Laser Solutions, Lisa Graven said laser therapy works similar to acupuncture.

“These are all energy points ... They stimulate your central nervous system to release your natural endorphins,” Graven said. She said the stimulation replaces the same feeling nicotine gives you to help you overcome your cravings.

For more information on Laser Solutions, you can contact them at 270-782-5055 or visit their location at 830 Fairview Ave., Suite B7, Bowling Green, Ky. 42104. Visit their website at or email them at

For more information on the Cooper/Clayton Smoking Cessation classes in the viewing area, click here.

Tomorrow in part two of New Year ... New You, we’ll take a look at another top ten New Year’s resolution ... weight loss.