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Sheree Gallagher, Psy.D.
Michael Bridgewater, Ph.D.
Swen Helge, PhD (1975-2010)
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We are now into the second month of 2012.  Many of you may have made a New Year’s resolution to stop smoking.  How are you doing?  

Did you know
about 8 out of 10 people who try to quit using tobacco do so on their own without any formal intervention.  Congratulations, if you are one of those people!  Stopping the use of nicotine and tobacco is the single most important thing you can do to improve your health.  Keep up the good work!  

If you are one of the 2 out of 10, don’t fret.  Quitting is not always easy.  You probably already know that because most adult smokers have already tried to quit at least once.  Being unsuccessful at quitting is only a failure if you stop trying to quit.

Here are some ideas to ponder:

* Tobacco is the only legally available consumer product that kills people when it is used entirely as it is intended to be used.

* There are no health benefits to using tobacco or nicotine.

* 19.8% of the American population over age 18 smokes cigarettes: 22% of those people are men and 17% of those people are women.

*The younger you started smoking, the greater risk you have of developing a smoking-related disease, unless you stop today!

* 90% of smokers wish they had not started smoking

*70% of smokers would like to quit smoking

*Smoking often is a form of self-treatment for depression and anxiety.  However, research shows that stopping smoking itself can improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Are You Ready To Try To Quit Smoking Again?  Here are some tips.  

* Try to stop smoking on your own. This might be the time it is for good.   Nicotine replacement therapy products can be helpful and they are cheaper than buying cartons of cigarettes.  Set a quit date.  Tell your family and friend you are quitting.  Anticipate the challenges you will face and plan for them.  Remove all tobacco products and paraphernalia from your home, office, and car.

* Talk to your doctor about quitting.  He or she can ask about your tobaccos use, advise your cessation, assess your interest in quitting, assist you in quitting, and arrange for follow-ups with you.

*
Sign-up for a smoking cessation group.  We are starting these groups at the Fort Worth Psychological Center.  They will include an assessment of tobacco use, identify physical and behavioral factors contributing to your smoking, and utilize a combination of behavioral and pharmacological treatment methods to foster quitting and staying quit.

PARENT TALK

Talking to your children about not smoking, or using tobacco in any form, is an important conversation to have.  Most (63%) tobacco users begin in childhood or adolescence.  The younger a person starts smoking, the greater their risk for developing a smoking-related disease later in life.  Children and adolescents begin smoking from the influence of their family and friends.  If you are modeling smoking for your children, perhaps you should quit.  If their friends are smokers, your child/adolescent is at risk for becoming a smoker.  Statistics about health-related problems and death do not seem to deter early smokers.  Modeling does.  Children and adolescents also begin smoking to relieve stress, anxiety, or depression.  This is counter intuitive since nicotine is actually a stimulant.  Nonetheless, if you think your child is experiencing emotional distress, talking about it at home or with a therapist would be a better alternative than using a temporary escape through nicotine.


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