Tuesday, January 18, 2011


When I was in college, I took a class on substance abuse.  I remember when my instructor told the class that nicotine was more addictive than cocaine!  Interesting little fact.  Don't ya think?  As promised, I am going to list a few things that hopefully will help you kick the habit, because nothing is more important than your health.  And you certainly don't want to end up like my friend above, who appears to be ventilator dependent from smoking one too many cigarettes.

In the hospital setting, anyone who is admitted gets a booklet and instruction on smoking cessation if the patient is a smoker.  It lists different resources for smokers to help them quit.  Whether they decide to take the offered help, or not, is completely up to the patient, but we want them to know the effects upon his overall health and that help is available to him.

These tips are taken directly from the American Heart Association's website:

Step One

• List your reasons to quit and read them several

times a day.  These help reaffirm the why of what you are doing.  Frequent reminders are always a good thing.

• Wrap your cigarette pack with paper and

rubber bands. Each time you smoke, write

down the time of day, how you feel, and how

important that cigarette is to you on a scale of

1 to 5.

• Rewrap the pack.

Step Two

• Keep reading your list of reasons and add to it

if you can.

• Don’t carry matches, and keep your cigarettes

out of easy reach.

• Each day, try to smoke fewer cigarettes,

and try not to smoke the ones that aren’t

most important.

Step Three

• Continue with Step Two. Set a target date

to quit.

• Don’t buy a new pack until you finish the one

you’re smoking.

• Try to stop for 48 hours at one time.

Step Four

• Quit smoking completely. Throw out all

cigarettes and matches. Hide lighters

and ashtrays.

• Stay busy! Go to the movies, exercise, take

long walks, go bike riding.

• Avoid situations and “triggers” you relate

with smoking.

• Find healthy substitutes for smoking.

How do I quit?

What if I go back to old habits?

Take a few minutes to write your questions for the next time you see your healthcare provider. For example:

When will the urges stop?

How can I keep from gaining weight?

Do you have questions or comments for the doctor or nurse?

It’s hard to stay a nonsmoker once you’ve had a

cigarette, so do everything you can to avoid that

“one.” The urge to smoke will pass. The first 2 to

5 minutes will be the toughest. If you do smoke

after quitting:

• This doesn’t mean you’re a smoker again — do

something now to get back on track.

• Do deep breathing exercises when you get the urge to smoke.

Now, there are drugs that your medical provider can prescribe to help curve your craving for nicotine.  There are prescriptions out there that can help you.

Chantix is fairly new, but I know some peeps who have taken it and have had no craving to smoke.

Ah, yes.  Nicotine patches/gum/inhalers...these are great because they can wean you from the amount of nicotine you are consuming.  But be careful not to replace one for the other...

Wellbutrin is also another drug you can take in pill form that is supposed to help curb your appetite for smoking.

I know there are tons of others out there, but for the life of me, as I'm trying to get my tired brain to work, I can't think of anything else.  If you are a former smoker and have had success quitting, please share how you did it for those out there still struggling.   When in doubt, ask your medical provider for help.  That's why we are here.  There are counselor's out there that are certified to help you save your life!

Have a great day!

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