I am the first to admit that smoking cessation is not part of something I do with Alegent Creighton Health in my role as a behavioral health therapist. So when I was asked to write a blog about helping people quit smoking, I knew I needed to turn to an expert. That expert is Lisa Fuchs, a certified tobacco treatment specialist here at ACH who does a lot of work – a lot of great work – with helping people quit smoking.
Lisa works one-on-one or in groups to help people quit smoking. She tells me that there is greater success with the individual one-on-one sessions. She also reports there are many tools to help people quit, but the most important tool for quitting and succeeding at quitting is your own desire to quit. According to Lisa, “You have to do it (quit smoking) for you” – which really makes sense to me. Change is hard, and quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things to do. Your body, mind and spirit really have to be engaged and committed to the process. From what I learned today, Lisa takes a very personal approach and sits down with the person wanting to quit smoking, working closely with them to figure out what tools they need to reach success – physical exercise, yoga, visualization, imagery techniques, reading material – whatever they might need. She helps people figure out what’s going to work and what’s not going to work. It makes sense that, since everyone is different, there are many ways to achieve success. This personal, one-on-one approach is what makes the difference.
Family members can be a great support for the person trying to quit smoking. Big changes toward health and well being are not always easy. Sometimes the person quitting can be moody, even downright grumpy. Lisa says that’s okay. Just expect it and accept it. She also reminds us that nagging just doesn’t work, but patience with yourself and others does.
Lisa is such a great resource for the community. She has a wealth of information regarding smoking cessation and is truly dedicated to helping those who are serious about quitting smoking. Like so many things in life, quitting smoking is a lifestyle change and Lisa adds that this lifestyle change is in a positive direction – there are no negatives to quitting smoking. Better health is always a positive! Her final thought regarding the Great American Smokeout and quitting smoking is to make an appointment with your primary care provider to discuss this one issue specifically.
The Alegent Creighton Health website also offers these tips for quitting smoking:
- Get ready by setting a “quit date”
- Get support and encouragement
- Learn new skills and behaviors to distract yourself from using tobacco products
- Consider medication as an option and use it as directed
- Be prepared for the possibility of a relapse, stressful times and difficult situations
The Great American Smokeout is Nov. 21, 2013.
So maybe it’s time to start thinking about stopping. Like Lisa said, “There are no negatives to quitting, only positives.”