Besides taking a lot of blood, sweat and tears, relying on self-control to change our habits may not work so well because, well, we run out of blood, sweat and tears. When our tank is empty, that habit comes rushing back with a vengeance.
This time, she couldn't seem to quit -- or didn't want to. So a friend of mine from out West -- where all new trends seem to develop first -- told me that she'd bought her husband what are now commonly called e-cigarettes, and he stopped smoking.
I had a patient who had come in to my clinic to quit smoking. He was smoking 30 cigarettes a day and had tried to quit before but to no avail. On the first night of our smoking cessation class, I taught him a simple practice.
Currently, tobacco costs New Yorkers an estimated $8.17 billion in health care costs, including $2.7 billion in Medicaid costs as a result of tobacco use. Cutting the state's program that works to reduce these costs by helping to reduce tobacco use is shortsighted.
It's been 15 years since I stopped smoking, and it's still a source of pride for me. I've gained so much personally by seeing what I can accomplish. I've spent some of the best years of my life already as a non-smoker, and I'm confident some of the best are still to come.
This research adds to a growing body of knowledge showing more clearly than ever that quitting smoking makes life better. Quitting is not only the best way to protect your body and your health, but also brings measurable benefits in terms of emotional well-being.
While adult smoking rates in the general population were cut in half between 1965 and 2004, the ratio of heavy and dependent smokers who meet the psychiatric definition of "nicotine dependence" is steadily rising.
I often see patients who want to quit smoking. Many of these people fear what life will be like without the cigarettes. "Will I put on weight? Will I sleep at night? If I can't smoke, then how will I handle stress?"
Under the pressure of stalled progress, the smoking cessation community is splintering into different and not always harmonious camps. They have competing visions for how best to spend scarce public health dollars allocated to encourage and help smokers quit.
A genuine decision to quit calls for a shift into a new relationship with the hard-edged reality of smoking. At this time of year winter blues and holiday stress, as well as holiday hype and disappointments, provide plenty of triggers for smoking addiction to feed upon.
My quitting strategy was to keep my mind and body busy all the time, in order to keep my thoughts of cigarettes at bay, but new science now suggests that the worst thing smokers can do is try not to think about cigarettes.