As we round the sun yet again this
season and resolve ourselves to greater health and happiness, many of the
1-in-5 people who use tobacco are likely to be pitching their packs. My advice
for them is to go for it by focusing on something a little different: outlook.
Outlook is a term I use to describe the lens through which we see the world,
and years of clinical practice and research have taught me that it may be the
most important tool we have for health and healthy aging - at any age.
As an internal medicine doctor and
director of a large tobacco treatment service at the University of Pittsburgh
and UPMC, I talk to people every day about how to keep their hearts, brains,
livers, kidneys and other organs healthy by quitting smoking. It all
starts by helping people adopt an outlook that allows them not only to believe
that they can succeed but also to expect success—and then stick to a sound plan
to make good on that resolution.
So this time, while you’re
preparing to put out that cigarette, call the free national quit line at 1-800-QUIT NOW and use the nicotine patch, which is OK to combine with oral gum or
lozenge for tough cravings. But take it a step further by dosing yourself with
a little optimism, which is nothing more than expecting your plan to turn out
well, and mustering the courage, discipline and assistance from others to see
that plan through.
Dr. Hilary Tindle is an internist and smoking cessation researcher
Labels: Hilary Tindle, smoking