Drs. Audrey Darville and Zim Okoli Featured in New KET Program Calling It Quits: Real Help to Stop Smoking

Posted: December 14, 2017

Audrey Darville, PhD, APRN, CTTS, FAANP, associate professor at the UK College of Nursing and tobacco cessation treatment specialist at UK HealthCare, and Zim Okoli, PhD, MPH, MSN, RN, CTTS, associate professor, are featured in a new KET program Calling It Quits: Real Help to Stop Smoking.

The show airs Monday, Dec. 18 at 9/8 pm on KET, and examines effective medications and behavioral strategies available to help tobacco users give up smoking for good. The program offers insights from medical experts – including Drs. Darville and Okoli, and Dr. John Gregory Cooper, a family physician from Cynthiana – as well as ordinary Kentuckians struggling to quit.

Nearly 70 percent of smokers report that they want to quit using tobacco – but far too many fail in their attempts because they try to quit “cold turkey.” The program details seven FDA-approved medications for kicking the smoking habit, as well as recent research that suggests the most effective way to quit smoking is to use a combination of medication and counseling.

The programs are part of KET’s ongoing Smoking Cessation initiative funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

Audrey Darville has been a family nurse practitioner since 1998. She has been a clinic provider at the Hope Clinic and Pharmacy, a free clinic in Danville, since its inception in 2006. As a certified tobacco treatment specialist with the University of Kentucky health care system, she works with inpatients, outpatients, and employees to provide group and intensive individual tobacco dependence treatment. She also works closely with the Tobacco Policy Research Program at the College of Nursing. Darville is a member of the Kentucky Coalition of Nurse Practitioners and Nurse Midwives (KCNPNM); a member of Sigma Theta Tau and the Society for Research on Nicotine and Tobacco (SRNT); and chair of the communications committee and a member of the policy committee of the Association for the Treatment of Tobacco Use and Dependence (ATTUD). Her research interest is in developing behavioral strategies to reach and treat tobacco users with medical illness.

​Chizimuzo (Zim) Okoli received his undergraduate degrees in nursing and philosophy from the University of Kentucky. He subsequently earned a Master of Science in Public Health, Master of Science in Nursing, and in 2005, his Doctor of Philosophy in Nursing, all from UK. In 2008 he completed a Canadian Institute of Health Research (CIHR) postdoctoral traineeship in tobacco research at the University of British Columbia. In 2010 he further completed a CIHR postdoctoral fellowship in gender, mental health and addictions through the University of British Columbia. Dr. Okoli is an associate professor in the UK College of Nursing and he directs the Tobacco Treatment Services and Evidence-Based Practice at Eastern State Hospital, a state-psychiatric facility in Lexington, KY. He also directs the Tobacco Treatment and Prevention Division of the BREATHE program. Building upon his earlier work on the effects of tobacco smoke exposure on smoking behaviors, he currently focuses on the effects of tobacco exposure on mental health outcomes and psychiatric disorders. He is also actively involved in developing and evaluating tobacco treatment approaches for individuals living with behavioral health challenges; and the training of health care professionals on delivering tobacco treatment within behavioral health settings.

Calling It Quits: Real Help to Stop Smoking is a KET production, produced by Laura Krueger. Tobacco-Free Kentucky Kids is a KET production, produced by Tom Bickel.