Q: I am 42 years old and I am an addicted smoker since I was 14years. I smoke at least 2 packets (40 sticks) of Benson & Hedges a day. I am married and we have 2 lovely children. I have tried several times to quit smoking on my own, but for every time I tried to quit, I seem to resume the habit with a renewed vigour. I know this habit may kill me, but it’s an uphill task trying to quit on my own my own will without a support system. My kids are afraid I would die from the habit. I would like you to refer me to a NICOQUIT expert (Doctor) here in Lagos, who I can consult and also a support group that I can join, with members who can support each other during the “cold turkey” phase of kicking the habit. I NEED YOUR HELP FAST, Dr. Ketch. PLEASE.
A: Thanks a whole lot for writing in. I am excited that you have decided to quit and appear to have the right crowd urging you on. That’s a wonderful place to start. If you need a home support group, you’ve got one right there! The fact that you’ve got your children rooting for you and praying for you to be there for them is a great incentive. Think about their first days in school, graduation, weddings, first grand children etc. There’s a whole lot to keep yourself healthy for! Another important point here is the fact that your smoking could also be endangering them. Second Hand Smoke (which is smoke you exhale or that from the lighted end of the cigarette) has been linked to lung and other cancers. So, by continuing with this habit, you are not only endangering yourself but your family! I’m sure you don’t want that.
Tobacco use is a major preventable cause of death worldwide.
The first step to quitting is having a clear desire to quit. You’ve got that already. You have to be positive, reminding yourself why you need to quit. Apart from having a good support system, avoiding the areas where one usually is encouraged to smoke is a good idea. Friends and acquaintances that encourage you to smoke, should not be seen too frequently…especially as you start off on this process.
It is important to have other hobbies and activities that take your mind off smoking or take the place of smoking…in a sense. Getting more active with a sporting activity or church activities or volunteering etc are all activities that can take the edge off quitting. Some have found switching to oral substitutes like chewing gum, carrots and mints, helpful.
Apart from your home support, having a support group of people who wish to quit also helps a lot. I have sent the phone number of a psychologist who can help you during this process. I will update this post shortly with websites that have information on support groups in Lagos for people who wish to quit.
Remember that half the work has been done…making the decision to quit. Having a wonderful family that you wish to be there for is an extra push. Knowing that lots of people have been able to kick this habit before you should confirm that you can do this!
I’m rooting for you…and praying for you!
Share the good news as the days progress. You could be encouraging someone else who wishes to quit! Let’s show that this can be done!
For a related post, please click on this https://chatwithdrketch.com/2015/02/24/daily-health-tips-im-trying-to-stop-smoking-pot/
Have a good night, y’all 😀