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Jody Nash and Patti Roten are sisters-in-law, and both are Administrative Associates at the UNC Cancer Hospital. They have a close relationship and decided to participate in the Tobacco Free Tar Heels program together in order to support each other’s efforts to quit smoking.

Jody’s motivation to quit smoking came from billboards on the highway promoting lung screening for current and former smokers. Her test results came back negative (cancer free!) and she decided to stop smoking to remain healthy. Jody remarked, “I see many cancer patients at my job, and many of them smoke; I don’t want that to be me.”

Patti realized that she frequently went outside to smoke, taking unnecessary time away from her family. This year, Thanksgiving was a “breeze” not having to run outside for cigarette breaks.

Jody came into the program first and after discussing the best plan for cessation with Barbara Silver, Tobacco Cessation Counselor, she decided to use an anti-smoking medication called varenicline (brand name Chantix) and to continue seeing Barbara for counseling. Patti was motivated also to join the program after seeing Jody achieve success with this combination of medication and supportive counseling.

Both women were pleased that they could get their medication for free at the UNC Employee Pharmacy. The money Patti saved at the pharmacy and from not buying cigarettes helped her family while her husband was temporarily unemployed. They were both happy to have more money in their pockets over the holidays.

The sisters-in-law describe other benefits of being tobacco free: not having cigarettes control them, good-smelling clothes, normal blood pressure readings, and children proud of their accomplishment.

If you are a UNC Health Care employee who smokes, chews, or vapes and would like help in quitting, please contact Barbara Silver at 984-974-8455, 919-904-4848, or