Kelly: I tried to quit twice, many years ago, before any of the smoking cessation aids were available. Each time, I quit cold turkey, but after three months, I was smoking again. At the time, I felt young and healthy and two of my best friends were smokers, so I really wasnt motivated to give it up yet.
Kelly: I quit by using a combination of Zyban and a nicotine patch. Zyban is an antidepressant that has been found to curb cigarette cravings. I took the Zyban for one week before my official quit date, which was the day I threw out the cigarettes and slapped on the patch. My quit day was a Monday and by Sunday, when I was smoking my last cigarette, I was already losing my taste for them. On Monday, I added the patch. The brand I was using came in three levels; I started with the highest level, which I wore for one month, then moved to the intermediate for another month, and the weakest for the last month. By the end of three months, I removed the patch, quit taking the Zyban, and turned 50-as a non smoker. That was two and a half years ago.
Kelly: I was pretty determined, so I didnt need to rely too much on other people for support. There are support groups for people using Zyban to quit, but I didnt participate in one. The RN from my doctors office called me regularly to check on my progress. Also, my daughter gave up desserts while I was quitting, although when she first agreed to it, she thought the process was only one month not three! But she stayed away from sweets for the whole three months.
Kelly: It was actually very easy. The Zyban really killed my taste for the cigarettes and I stayed out of situations where I would normally smoke. Although I did allow myself to cheat upon occasion, which I think was a big help. For me, knowing that I could have a cigarette if I really wanted one was sort of a psychological safety net. I dont think I could have quit if I could never again have another drag. My doctor said it was okay to have one once in a while, although not while I was on the patch.
Kelly: My insurance company did not cover the Zyban, so the cost of this drug plus the nicotine patches amounted to $500. This monetary investment was another motivator for me. I also saved money from all the cigarettes I was not buying, and I put that money toward a trip to the Caribbean to celebrate my 50th birthday.
Advanced Motivational Interviewing: Smoking Cessation
Q: How many years did you smoke cigarettes?
A: I smoked for five years. By the end, I was smoking a half pack to a whole pack a day. At that point, I kind of always wanted to smoke. Sometimes I had to smoke first thing in the morning, and theres nothing grosser than having a cigarette at 6 a.m.
Q: What were some challenges you faced when quitting?
A: For me, the longer I smoked, the more it felt like part of my identity, and that was difficult to let go.
There were also certain triggers that made me want to smoke when I was trying to quit. One of my triggers was driving, so when I was driving, I would want a cigarette. My big trigger was stress. I felt like I couldnt cope if I didnt have a cigarette. Now I realize that wasnt true.
Another challenge I faced when trying to quit was dating a guy who smoked. Smoking was a couples activity. When you have people close to you who smoke, it makes it difficult to give it up. I would think, “This person I respect and spend a lot of time with has this nasty habit. Hes not giving it up, so why should I?”
Q. What made you decide to quit smoking?
A: I always felt guilty about it, and I got tired of the health effects. I always knew I needed to quit, but I had to try between 5 and 10 times before I was successful.
When I was in high school, I was a peer anti-smoking educator. I talked to younger kids and health classes, informing them about the health risks of smoking. I knew what I was doing to myself. Everyone knows its bad, but I had an especially informed perspective on it.
Can an employer ask if you smoke in an interview?
How do you ask someone about smoking history?
- Ask About.
- Whether the patient currently smokes or has smoked.
- What age they started smoking.
- How many years they smoked in total.
- How many cigarettes per day.
- Heavy Smokers.
- Past attempts to quit.
How does smoking affect your job?
What is the importance of smoking answer?