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Habits are hard to change. Activities that you do every day come naturally and easily. Think about your routine when you wake up in the morning. Often, we find comfort in the daily routine of putting on slippers, having that first cup of coffee and reading the newspaper or checking emails on our phone. Habits can bring true comfort, except if those habits are actually doing us more harm than good.
Often, my patients admit to me the anxiety and fear that they have surrounding giving up smoking. Know that, because we each have habits that bring us comfort, we can understand how giving up one of those habits might be a scary concept.
People verbalize a fear of giving up something that helps them cope with boredom, loneliness or stress. They associate smoking with friendship, socializing, driving or relaxation. Although most people know and understand the risks of smoking, including cancer, heart disease, lung disease, fertility problems, insomnia and premature aging, many people find it difficult to bridge the gap between knowing these dangers and taking action to quit this dangerous habit.
As your healthcare providers, our job is to support you on your journey to better health. Dr. Katapadi as well as the physician assistants and nurse practitioners of Ohio Heart Group can counsel you on ways to tackle your smoking habit. These include lifestyle changes, medications, nicotine replacement and reaching out to supporting organizations in our community. We encourage you to replace an unhealthy habit like smoking with a habit that could improve your health like going for a walk, playing with your children or grandchildren, cooking a healthy meal, calling a friend, volunteering your time in the community or learning a new skill.
By giving up the habit of smoking, you can gain your health back, as well as money in your pocket. An average pack of cigarettes in Ohio costs more than $6/day. That is more than $2,000/year. For less than $2,000, you can take two people on a 7 day cruise from Florida to the Caribbean. Now THAT is something to strive for!