A friend told me on New Year’s Eve that she was going to quit smoking.
After 30 years of smoking it was time to flush the fags down the loo and breathe easy.
The decision was inspired by the dentist telling her that her planned tooth implant would stand a better chance of success if she gave up smoking 6 weeks beforehand .
Her partner was less than supportive saying she spent more time talking more about giving up smoking than actually doing it and was sceptical about her chances.
Great news, I said – how are you planning to do it? Well, she said, she was just going to stop. That was the extent of the plan.
As we know, giving up smoking is hard but sustaining the change is even harder.
I was surprised to discover that my friend had no knowledge of any of the support available – for example, smoking cessation groups or the Quit Kit that she could get from the chemist.
I gave her as much information as I could but it was not the ideal setting. Anyway, the subject was making her sufficiently twitchy that she was heading outside to have one of her last cigarettes of 2012 and ever, or so she hoped.
So what I am thinking is that health professionals have an important role to play in prompting people to give up smoking in 2012 but they also need to make sure that they know of the support that is available.
All the research shows that supported cessation is much more likely to be successful in the long term than the ‘I am just going to give up’ approach.
Where do you stand?