Starting on the Road To Healthy Living: SMOKE FREE


  • Did you know that people diagnosed with a mental illness are three times more likely to smoke than people without a mental illness?
  • Did you know that HALF of all cigarettes bought in the USA are purchased by people with mental health problems?
  • Did you know that tobacco use can interfere with psychiatric medications?
  • Did you know that people with serious mental illness die 25 years younger than the general population, due largely to conditions caused or worsened by smoking?

    Statistics like these point to the urgent need for people with mental illness to take control and quit smoking as soon as they can.

    Part of the recovery process is attending to all the issues that impact our health and wellness. Healthy living is not just about feeling good physically. It improves your mood, decreases your risk for chronic illnesses like diabetes and high blood pressure, and improves your life overall.

    Developing a healthy lifestyle does not have to be overwhelming. It can be a step-by-step process, making small changes towards the bigger goal of “complete wellness.”


    Seven people recently started – and completed – a stop smoking class at our Houghton Lake office. They attended group for 10 weeks with group leader Barbara Lane, a Registered Nurse. Not everyone who started the group planned to quit – a few just wanted to give the group a try to see what happened. Here’s what they have to say:

    Conchita – “Smoking cessation class works. I’m smoke free for 8 weeks now. I’m walking more to take the place of eating and smoking. My lungs feel great.”

    Carol – “The smoking cessation class has really helped me. Initially I had no plans of quitting, but with each week I found myself wanting to quit. The group has been so supportive and informative. The encouragement has been invaluable. I would recommend enthusiastically the group for anyone not even thinking of quitting. You may be surprised.”

    Christine (8 months smoke free!) – “I have felt that I have really done something wonderful to help others to quit smoking. I’ve enjoyed the class immensely. We’ve become a close knit group.”

    Josephine – “I think the smoking cessation groups are very helpful to me and others. I get a lot of support from all my peers and instructors. I feel like there should definitely be more smoking cessation groups available for the community because people don’t realize how bad smoking can hurt them until they get told by their doctor they have a disease due to smoking and by then it’s too late. I just wish they would have never come out with cigarettes in the first place.”

    Mike – “I haven’t met my goal yet, but where I started with 2 packs a day, I am down to about 3 cigarettes a day.”

    Vickie – “This class is really a great help to help from smoking, because you have support from other peers. This is a fantastic class. Barb and Cheryl are great supporters. I have quit smoking and I hope to stay that way. If you get a chance to take it, it’s GREAT!”

    Mary Jane – “In the last 89 days, I have NOT smoked 1,825 cigarettes, I have saved $625.00 and added one week to my life! My voice is coming back – I can carry a tune again.”

    Barbara Lane, RN Group Leader – “I cannot express to you the incredible things that happen in a group. Everyone has grown so much during the class. It is amazing to me to see the progress. When I started the group I thought I would receive blessing if one person was able to quit. Now every single one of them are quitters or are so close to being smoke free it won’t be long!”

    New groups will be forming in the next few weeks in Grayling and Cadillac. The groups are open to Northern Lakes consumers and their family members, and community members, if room permits.

    The Grayling group will be led by Cheryl Sherman, RN, on Mondays from 1:00 to 3:30 p.m., starting September 14 and ending November 23.

    The Cadillac group will be led by Cathy Larson, RN, on Wednesdays from 9:00 to 11:30 a.m., starting September 30 and ending December 9.

    If you want to improve your health and save money, we encourage you to sign up and give it a try!