Quit Smoking Facts
By Brenda J. Hoilman, RN
Brenda wrote this article in early November 1998 for our Smoking Quit-A-Thon Two.  She developed a virus and was hospitalized.  She continued to get worse and passed away on the evening of November 28, 1998.  Brenda had agreed that this was an appropriate article for the Medical Information pages of our web site but had wanted to add some additional thoughts about quitting aids such as patches.  She never got to make those changes.  The article appears as it was originally written. The song, "The Air I Breathe" was one of Brenda's favorites.

Hello everyone. I want to say good luck to all you who are quitting. I hope you will all do some serious planning ahead. That will increase your odds of succeeding. I quit smoking 6 years ago, on July 4th. That was surely My Independence Day.! Some people say they quit with no problems. If so, then they were not addicted.

There are 2 types of addiction to tobacco, physical and psychological. Some people are not addicted at all. Yes, these people can just lay the cigarettes down with no suffering or hardship.

For those who have a physical addiction, these are actually physical discomforts related to not having that nicotine. The nicotine patches help to get off it gradually, and therefore, avoid some of the physical discomforts of withdrawing. This is important for those who are addicted physically. It increases their chance of success. Please talk with your doctor and get a prescription for a quitting aide.

The second type of addiction to tobacco is psychological. There are many who have a psychological addiction. This is evident in the habit smoking, when one automatically pick up a cigarette with that first cup of coffee, or when reading the paper, etc. The person often has such an ingrained habit that they have a negative emotional reaction from not taking that cigarette at that time. The psychological addiction is even harder to manage than the physical addiction. Different people have found different little "tricks" that seemed to help them. I am sure you will hear from many of them. Quitting is so hard, but so worth your greatest effort. If you don't succeed all at once, just pick yourself right up and try again. Hang in there. You are going to make it.

November 1998

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