Pearson earned her CTTS-M credential from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. To earn the credential, she had to undergo extensive training in tobacco dependence treatment, have a minimum of 2,000 hours of experience specifically in delivering tobacco dependence services, and meet all of the requirements for UMass Medical School certification, including an exam, performance review, take the online course "Basic Skills for Working With Smokers" and take a TTS Core Certification five-day course in Worcester, Mass.
Quitting tobacco is one of the toughest lifestyle changes to make and one of the most important for health, Pearson said. It's not just about will power, Pearson said, and the combination of counseling and nicotine replacement therapy (NRT) is shown to be the most effective way for most people to quit tobacco.
The SEARHC Tobacco Program and Sitka Community Hospital have partnered so they both can offer one-on-one tobacco cessation counseling and access to nicotine replacement therapy to all Sitkans. The SEARHC Tobacco Program can be reached at 1-888-966-8875 (toll-free in Southeast Alaska), or SEARHC patients can call 766-6315 in Haines, 364-4440 in Juneau or 966-8721 in Sitka. The Alaska Quit Line (1-888-842-7848) also is free and it offers 24-hour statewide counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.