There’s Never Been a Better Time to Quit

Mary Bird Perkins-Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center Offers Free Services to Help Kick Tobacco Habit


(Baton Rouge, La.) After kicking the tobacco habit, breast cancer survivor Juanita Russell says she has never felt better. She credits much of her success to the support she received by enrolling in Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center’s Geaux Free tobacco cessation program. Now, Russell said she hopes other tobacco users will take the steps to quit and register for the Cancer Center’s free group programs or individual counseling sessions that begin in January.

“I feel better, breathe better and can walk further,” said Russell. “Participating in the individual counseling sessions gave me the motivation I needed to quit.”

Tobacco use can lead to serious health problems, including lung, head and neck, bladder, kidney and cervical cancers. Because of these risks, Mary Bird Perkins – Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center offers Geaux Free, a free tobacco cessation counseling program to help people break the nicotine addiction.

“Health benefits begin almost immediately when people quit using tobacco, including your heart rate returning to normal, and your risk of a heart attack decreasing,” said Dr. Brad Vincent, chairman of the Canter Center’s Lung Cancer Multidisciplinary Care Team. “Over time, your lung function improves significantly and your risk for developing cancer is decreased.”

Dr. Vincent encourages tobacco users to enroll in Geaux Free to help make a lasting change. In addition, Geaux Free helps individuals prepare for quitting, manage withdrawal symptoms, identify triggers that create urges, and learn new behavior and skills to help remain tobacco-free.

Weekly one-hour group sessions are scheduled Jan. 14 – March 18; noon and evening options are offered at various locations throughout the Greater Baton Rouge area. An individual counseling clinic begins Jan. 12 and offers one-hour appointments on Mondays and Thursdays. All Geaux Free group sessions and individual clinic appointments are provided by a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist. For more information on Geaux Free, visit or call (225) 215-1274.
Mary Bird Perkins—Our Lady of the Lake Cancer Center is the most comprehensive cancer center in Louisiana offering patients the convenience of receiving high-quality, advanced care close to home.