North Carolina Freedom From Smoking Facilitator Shares Her Experiences

Written by Stephanie Griggs, American Lung Association Volunteer

(March 7, 2014)

Sheneka Foskey has been a Freedom From Smoking Facilitator at the Cone Heath Cancer Center in Greensboro, NC since 2011.  Her involvement in the program was triggered by wanting to help some family members quit smoking as well as people in her community. She realized that even if people want to quit smoking, they don’t always know the avenue to do so. With the Freedom From Smoking program, participants have a full seven weeks to work with a facilitator to learn different techniques to help them quit as well as to learn what their triggers are so they can avoid them.  Sheneka has found that that works!

Sheneka admits that at first she was nervous when she became a Facilitator because she didn’t know if the participants would take her seriously since she has never been a smoker.  However, she found that this experience has given her more insight to help a lot of people both in the community and in local businesses. 

Sheneka’s proudest moment is when her participants give her hugs after each session, thanking her and letting her know how much she’s helped them.  Her class method is to provide the program information and then to incorporate an open discussion among the members.  She feels that her participants should share their own experiences so they can learn from each other and the participants seem to like that technique.  Sheneka has seen a lot of good responses and successes from her participants.  She sends a letter to them at the 6 month and 1 year anniversaries just to see how they are progressing.  The majority of her past members are smoke free, but a few have relapsed.  For those who have relapsed, she reaches out to them to offer help and support if they would like it.  

The best advice she would give to those who are trying to quit is to just keep working at trying - it is a process.  It can’t be done overnight so should just go at your own pace and eventually, you’ll become smokefree for good!