Quitting Smoking - Making a Difficult Decision

Quitting Smoking - Making a Difficult Decision

After spending 15 years as a smoker, Stephanie Vaughn, an employee at Emory Oxford College, was faced with an important long-term decision when she learned of a health condition which required surgery. Making matters even more difficult, her surgeon informed her that she must quit smoking prior to the operation for it to be successful. This was not the news she wanted to hear as a long-term smoker, but, nonetheless, action was required. Stephanie had to quit in order to move forward and get her health back on track.

To begin the process, Stephanie met with a case worker at her surgeon’s office for smoking cessation coaching, tips and resources. “It wasn’t easy and the first week was the worst,” explains Stephanie.

Stephanie’s husband also smoked and made the decision to support her by quitting at the same time. During their first tobacco-free weekend, they had visitors in town, which activated many of her smoking “triggers” as they entertained their guests.  Stephanie made a point to remain occupied by cleaning the house and snacking on sunflower seeds whenever she had the urge to smoke. These tactics helped tremendously and proved to be successful strategies.

On June 14, 2016, Stephanie officially kicked the habit and “quit like a champion” as the American Cancer Society’s theme states and she remains smoke-free today. Thinking back to how she was able to overcome the challenges of her first week (and not wanting to relive it) is a continuous motivator for her. She says she feels very accomplished for achieving such a significant goal and is experiencing tremendous health benefits. Not only does she receive compliments about how radiant she looks since quitting, she also has improved lung capacity and an enhanced sense of smell and taste.

If you (or a loved one) are a tobacco user who is trying to free yourself from nicotine Emory offers a number of resources to help you in achieving your goals.  . During this year’s Great American Smokeout on Thursday, November 17, take the pledge to give up smoking. If you’re a non-smoker, encourage and support those around you by taking the pledge to give up another health-compromising behavior.  

Quitting is hard, but possible. “Everyone is different…what works for others may not work for you. It’s important to know yourself and try anything you can,” says Stephanie.

For more details about quitting smoking and the Great American Smokeout, visit the FSAP site HERE.