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Quit Smoking with Free Help from Nationally Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialists

  • Category: In The News
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Melanie Zaffuto

North Oaks Smoking Cessation Clinic has helped more than 400 smokers quit the habit with free medications, individual counseling, a telephone quit-line and an abundance of support from Grace Stiegler and Allison Vergona, who are health coaches and nationally certified tobacco treatment specialists.Grace Stiegler

Whether it takes a patient one day or more than three months to quit, Stiegler and Vergona share that they are committed to helping patients create customized quit plans and eliminate roadblocks to success.

“Studies show that smokers who work with a counselor while taking medications or using nicotine replacement products are three times more likely to quit than those who try to kick the habit without help,” notes Nurse Practitioner Jennifer Bouffard, who also staffs the clinic.

North Oaks Smoking Cessation Clinic offers free assistance on an outpatient basis to any Louisiana resident who started smoking before Sept. 1, 1988, (even if it was one puff) through a partnership with the state’s Smoking Cessation Trust. Call (985) 230-QUIT [7848] to schedule an appointment and begin your quitting journey.

Both Stiegler and Vergona earned certification as tobacco treatment specialists through the Association for Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) and the Association for Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD) after completing the “Intensive Treatment of the Tobacco Dependent Patient” program. The course, which is accredited by the Council for Tobacco Treatment Training Programs, required them to complete more than 240 hours of testing, training and shadowing. Professionally, both maintain memberships in ATTUD.

Stiegler earned both a bachelor’s degree in Health and Physical Education (K-12) and a master’s degree in Health Promotion and Exercise Science from Southeastern Louisiana University. She joined the North Oaks Smoking Cessation Clinic team in 2017 with five years of experience working in the health education and fitness field.

Allison Vergona

Vergona joined the staff of North Oaks Smoking Cessation Clinic in 2018. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Health Education and Promotion from Southeastern Louisiana University. In her final semester before graduation, she interned with the Health Transitions Alliance at North Oaks Medical Center helping patients with chronic health conditions avoid hospital readmissions.

North Oaks Smoking Cessation Clinic is located in Suite 5 of the Hammond Park Professional Building, located at 2101 Robin Avenue in Hammond. Hours of operation are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

To learn more about the services of North Oaks Smoking Cessation Clinic, call (985) 230-QUIT.