Maryland Freedom From Smoking Facilitator on a Quest to Help People Quit Smoking

(July 1, 2013)

Lorenza Reid is a smoking cessation facilitator at Baltimore-Washington Medical Center (BWMC). In 2002, BWMC was offered a grant to provide smoking cessation services to populations Lorenza Reid200% under the poverty level. This opportunity introduced the staff to the American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking© (FFS) program and as a result, Lorenza was selected to become a certified FFS Facilitator.

As an FFS Facilitator, Lorenza puts focus on understanding a participant's smoking triggers. Lorenza encourages all his FFS participants to ask questions and discuss their experiences within the FFS clinic so they may help others within their group understand different strategies to overcome smoking triggers as well. "I get everybody to participate, even those who appear to not want to share their opinions," he says. This technique aids Lorenza in helping the FFS participants understand their smoking habits. As Lorenza states, "You cannot undertake a venture and make it successful without knowing your obstacles and making a plan for what you need to do."

Helping people quit smoking is personal to Lorenza. Two of Lorenza's siblings died from cancer; both were smokers, and he believes that smoking contributed to their failing health and exposed the rest of the family to secondhand smoke. Lorenza himself was also a smoker. Initially, Lorenza stopped smoking around his family at home, but continued to smoke elsewhere. Lorenza tried to quit three times before his was successful in quitting completely.  Since 1980, Lorenza has been proud to be a non-smoker and has made it his mission to help others quit smoking and to improve the quality of life of those living with lung disease. Along with becoming a certified FFS Facilitator, Lorenza also has gone on to become a Certified Respiratory Therapist, Certified Asthma Educator, and Open Airways for Schools Facilitator. "Helping people with respiratory disease is a fulfilling experience," says Lorenza, "but I tell people to put me out of a job!"

When asked what advice he would give to somebody who is trying to quit smoking, Lorenza says, "Just one day at a time. You have to analyze what part about it [smoking] that you love, and find something else to substitute that love." Thank you, Lorenza, for leading the effort in helping people drop cigarettes for good!