PREPARING YOUR FITNESS CLUB for a
NICOTINE DEPENDENCY TREATMENT PROGRAM

by Marlene M. Maheu, Ph.D.

So your club is looking for added services to offer clients ... and nicotine dependency treatment seems like a good choice for many reasons. Before diving into a program, consider following these fifteen steps. Notice that program delivery is not one of the first steps!

  • Allow adequate time (1-2 years) for full program benefits to become apparent.
  • Plan adequately and prepare to be flexible with your expectations; establish step-wise policies to be implemented over time.
  • Obtain fully-informed commitment of management in writing.
  • Form a committee of smokers/nonsmokers to decide on implementation of policies and plans with staff and clients.
  • Make firm decisions and clear policy statements.
  • Educate entire staff. Offer in-service training sessions regarding benefits of nicotine freedom using printed materials, video and audio lessons.
  • Be willing to deal with fear and other consequences.
  • Send relevant staff to training workshops and yearly updates available through the Nicotine Recovery Institute.
  • Make treatment available to staff and their families if smokers and smokeless-tobacco users are present on staff.
  • Offer printed materials, such as brochures and posters to educate clients.
  • Assess smoking status and stage of readiness to change on Information Forms given to clients.
  • Make public statements about programs -- press releases, advertisements.
  • Offer the intervention.
  • Use the Fagerstrom Test to assess degree of nicotine addiction; recommend that individuals contact their personal physicians to prescribe nicotine replacement medication (optional).
  • Expect initial resistance, be patient, and trust the process. This will take more time than you expect to catch on... but, oh, what a market!

12/29/97

Dr. Maheu is an author, speaker, and researcher. She is the lead author of E-Health, Telehealth & Telemedicine: A Guide to Program Startup and Success co-written with Pamela Whitten and Ace Allen, published by Jossey-Bass: San Francisco.

Infidelity on the Internet is Dr. Maheu's second book and she's currently working her third, tentatively titled "The Mental Health Professional Online: New Questions and Answers."

For more information about her speaking schedule, see this page: http://telehealth.net/speak.html

 

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