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My mom was a smoker. Many of my friends in high school were smokers. I eventually became a smoker too. I smoked cigarettes for years. I stopped when I had my sons then secretly started up again. When my step dad was sick with his brain cancer I found myself coping with cigarettes heavily. You'd think watching a 40 year smoker deal with not smoking while in the hospital and the toll it took on him would drive me to quitting but it didn't. Watching him die in the hospital made it worse. At the same time I was dealing with a separation. I felt all kinds of feelings I couldn't deal with all at the same time and smoking made me feel better, at least that's what I was thinking at the time.
Last December I had a falling out with some very close family members and then I had my first Christmas without a husband and my two kids. It was a very difficult time for me. It was then that I decided that I didn't want to deal with my issues and "cope" by smoking. I was hiding it from my kids. Staying in the bathroom in my room with the window open, going outside a lot when we were visiting others, going through a lot of Febreze and perfume. I'd finally had enough and didn't want to hide it anymore. If I had to hide it from my family it wasn't something I needed to be doing. I decided to stop buying cigarettes and told those closest to me to not buy or let me bum cigarettes from them. It was hard at first but I was determined. My boys deserved to have Mom around for as long as possible and with each cigarette I smoked I was taking time away from them because I know the tobacco and everything other horrible thing in a cigarette was doing all kinds of disgusting things to my body. Who wants to kiss a smoker? If they don't smoke it's like licking an ashtray. No one wants to buy items from you off eBay because you aren't a smoke free home. Cigarette smoke stinks and it turns things in your house yellow. Cigarettes were expensive. $3-4 a pack with me going through a couple packs a week. I was literally burning that money away.
I'm happy to be able to say that as of December 26, 2014 I have been cigarette/smoke free for one year. A great way to start the new year, right? New Years is the perfect time to focus on a new, improved you. Recently, CVS removed tobacco products from the shelves of all CVS/pharmacy stores nationwide and the company began a smoking cessation campaign to help patients become tobacco-free.
Studies show that smokers assisted by a health care provider have a greater chance of quitting smoking. MinuteClinic has a program to help those over 18 kick the habit, which includes personal counseling with a practitioner. What do you recommend for someone who says they are ready to quit?
· Ask for help and support from your family members.
· Consult with your primary care provider or MinuteClinic practitioner.
· It can be helpful to get the type of one-on-one education and coaching that MinuteClinic or another medical professional can offer.
· If you don’t have access to a MinuteClinic, any local CVS/pharmacist can also help you start on a customized smoking cessation program.
Is the MinuteClinic Smoking Cessation Program only for cigarette smokers?
No we can help those who use smokeless tobacco and some nicotine replacement therapies are effective for these users.
What is the cost of the program?
$69 for your initial assessment and visit and $59 for subsequent follow up visits and coaching sessions. Consult with your insurance provider, because visit costs might be covered under your plan.
How do the CVS/pharmacy and MinuteClinic smoking cessation programs differ?
Both the CVS/pharmacy and the MinuteClinic are safe and effective programs and offer patients a customized treatment plan that includes Nicotine Replacement Therapy. The MinuteClinic program, however, allows more time for one-on-one education and coaching with a nurse practitioner.
In addition to the smoking cessation program, MinuteClinic also offers Eyelash Lengthening Consultations, and a comprehensive Weight Loss Program, complete with personalized assessment, plan and ongoing coaching. Visit your local MinuteClinic in your CVS/pharmacy for more details and to get on the road to a better you for 2015.
disclaimer: This post is sponsored by CVS MinuteClinic but my story is my own.