Man hopes class helps him kick 28-year smoking habit

Posted: 5:49 PM EST Jan 23, 2014   Updated: 6:52 PM EST Jan 23, 2014
Man hopes class helps him kick 28-year smoking habit

It is one of the hardest habits to kick, but now, smokers who are trying to quit have some extra support in Reading.

Whether you have been smoking for six months or 30 years, everyone is welcome at new smoking cessation classes.

"It is the hardest addiction to quit," said Leroy Cruz, who is trying to quit smoking. "It is really hard. I tried numerous times but I cannot. It was easier to quit drinking than it was to quit smoking."

Cruz has been smoking cigarettes for almost 30 years. He was one of 16 participants in the Council on Chemical Abuse's first-ever smoking cessation class Thursday afternoon.

"I want to breathe better. I want to start exercising. I have been smoking for 28 years and it is time to quit. I just want to have better health," said Cruz.

The council started providing the classes to give people more support.

"A lot of our participants have tried to quit smoking before and have not been successful. So definitely providing that support system of other people that are in that same exact place and taking this journey together," said Janette Nunez, a COCA tobacco cessation consultant .

The classes are free. They are held each Thursday at the Berks Community Health Center in the 800 block of Penn Street from 1 p.m. until 2 p.m.

Classes will held on other days at times at the Body Zone, Easy Does It and the Atonement Lutheran Church in Wyomissing.

The one-hour classes are held in five-week sessions and are for anyone who speaks English or Spanish. The schedule is as follows:

Berks Community Health Center, 838 Penn St., Reading Classes begin Thurs., Jan. 23 1 p.m. - 2 p.m., every Thursday at the same time until June.

Body Zone Sports Complex, 3103 Papermill Rd., Wyomissing (Spring Township) Classes begin Wed., Feb. 5 5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m., every Wednesday at the same time until June.

Easy Does It, Inc., 1300 Hilltop Rd., Leesport (Bern Township) Classes begin Tues., Jan. 28 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., every Tuesday at the same time until June.

Common Ground @ Atonement Lutheran Church, 5 Wyomissing Blvd., Wyomissing Classes begin Mon., Feb. 3 6 p.m. - 7 p.m., every Monday at the same time until June.