Smoking Cessation Tips from Natalie

Smoking Cessation Tips from Natalie

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Natalie Waskowiak, PA-C

Did you know that you can reverse the effects of smoking in just minutes? Natalie Waskowiak, PA-C at Gothenburg Health, pointed out that the American Cancer Society found that you can observe a measurable drop in your heart rate and blood pressure only 20 minutes after your last cigarette.

"The Benefits of Quitting Link from the American Cancer Society has more great information about the immediate benefits of smoking cessation," recommended Natalie.

Natalie stressed the importance of readiness before starting a cessation program, "the patient has to be ready to quit. The patient needs to take ownership of their health."

Providers can supply tools to assist with smoking cessation such as medications: nicotine patch, gum or lozenges. Wellbutrin®  or Chantix®  are prescriptions patients need to discuss with their healthcare provider if they are viable options for their medical history. 

"Set a quit date and stick with it!" stated Natalie. The American Cancer Society has many tools and resources to help you make a plan to quit, check out this link: Deciding to Quit Smoking and Making a Plan.

"Changing routine is essential as smoking can be a social routine or part of a coping mechanism for stress." Natalie continued explaining,"thus patients need to find another method to not reach for cigarettes such as exercise, relaxation techniques,  and distraction activities to avoid thinking about nicotine." 

Also, Natalie encourages patients to eat healthy snacks rather than candy when they have cravings. "Sometimes the oral fixation of smoking is a habit that causes patients to start reaching for unhealthy food instead of cigarettes. Lastly, if you fail to quit, don’t give up, just try again. Each day is a new opportunity to improve your health."

As a final piece of advice, Natalie recommends patients contact the NE Tobacco Free Hotline. 1-800-QUIT-NOW.