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WHAT IS THE OXYGEN PROJECT? Goal: Break twenty-five area participants free from their smoking addiction by cautiously immersing them into a running-centric fitness routine, which harnesses the power of group “therapy.” Program: 15 weeks in duration commencing on May 20 in coordination with the Body, Mind & Soul Wellness Event held at Scranton’s Downtown Riverwalk. Commitment: •

Meet once per week (mandatory) for each of 15 weeks with the Project team for scheduled workouts. These will be held mid-week and should not last longer than an hour. Additional group workouts per week will be scheduled, but attendance will be optional.

For 7 of the Project’s 15 weeks, participants will also meet once per week with the group (mandatory) as part of the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program.

Raise $250 by conclusion of the program, all proceeds to be directed to the American Lung Association, in part to offset some of the costs of this program. (Could be covered by money saved from quitting smoking!)

Each participant will contribute to the Project’s blog in addition to setting up a Facebook page and Twitter account directing people to this blog. Technical support will be provided.

Who is eligible to participate?: Any smoker of varying frequency age 18-34 who can produce medical clearance from their Primary Care Physician as part of the application process and make the time commitment to participate. Non-runners/walkers should not be intimidated. The Project caters to all levels and abilities, regardless of experience. What can the participant expect to receive?: Aside from an enhanced quality of life, free Oxygen Project tee shirt, individually fitted running shoes (if needed) to be provided by the Scranton Running Company at 50% off of the retail price, custom training programs based upon ability level and exercise/injury history provided by the Run SMART project (to be administered by the Scranton Running

Co), pulmonary lung function and spot carbon monoxide testing by Marywood’s Human Physiology Lab, and free entry into the Freedom from Smoking program. Project assumptions: •

“Adhere to a regular exercise routine” is the afterthought in every smoking cessation program. And those who try to quit smoking typically treat it as such. The Oxygen Project team argues that running shouldn’t be a means of coping with life after one quits smoking. Rather, it should be one of the primary methods used for one to actually quit smoking, assuming that any potential health risks have been addressed prior to starting.

Nicotine triggers the release of natural opiates called endorphins; nicotine replicates/mimics some of the same actions associated with adrenaline (faster beating heart, increased blood pressure) so you feel more alert and alive; strenuous endurance activity in excess of 20mins replicates the aforementioned effects produced by nicotine.

Substitute the participants’ source/delivery device of these natural opiates from a documented killer (cigarettes) to a proven life enhancer (running).

Fewer than 5% of smokers who try to quit by themselves are successful. We plan to -once again, a la SRCo's Team Survivor- harness the power of a group and shared sacrifice to address that statistical reality.

Many who quit smoking are at a higher risk for type 2 diabetes b/c of the typical weight gain subsequent to the cessation. Running will naturally mitigate the risk of this side effect.

Adherence to a regular running program also addresses many of the contributing lifestyle and social factors that cause people to start or continue smoking: stress, depression, alcohol, etc.

The Oxygen Project was created in proud partnership with:


Joel Laury, MD, Allergy, Asthma and Immunology





CONTACT INFORMATION (phone & email):


Have you ever tried to quit smoking before? If yes, what do you feel went wrong?

How many years have you smoked? What do you smoke (cigars, cigarettes, pipes, etc.)? How many cigarettes do you smoke in a day?


How old were you when you started? Why did you start?

Do you regret starting or wish you had started later? Do you have a history of hypertension, high blood pressure or heart disease? Yes If yes, which ones? Do you have any other medical restrictions? Yes



What other detrimental health effects do you know that smoking has had on you?

How do you feel your life would be different if it weren't for smoking?

Do you use smokeless products? If yes, what types? Do you exercise at all? If yes, please describe a typical workout week.

Do you have any running experience? How do you feel about the sport? Do you have any injury history? If yes, please elaborate. What is your work schedule/availability to meet with the group? Most sessions will be held early evening during the week. Proof of medical clearance from your primary care physician is required to participate in the Oxygen Project. Can you produce prior to the start date of May 20, yes or no? Each participant will be required to raise a minimum of $250 in charity funds over the course of the 15-week program, which will all be directed to the American Lung Association in Pennsylvania. Do you acknowledge and agree to raise these funds, which will –in part- serve to offset the costs of the program? If so, please initial here: Each participant will be required to update a blog about their experiences during the Oxygen Project (minimal time commitment and technical instructions will be provided). Are you willing to do this, yes or no?

Please return to the Scranton Running Company by end of day Friday, May 13, which is located at 3 West Olive Street, Scranton, PA in the Ice Box Sports Complex. Or email to:

Oxygen Project Application Package  

The Scranton Running Company's unique and ambitious smoking cessation program.

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