Rose knew it was time to make a change regarding her tobacco use after experiencing a series of health issues, and after being encouraged to quit by her doctors at UNC. She began reducing her use and cut back from 2 packs per day to 3 cigarettes per day! To help reduce, she placed her cigarettes in the bathroom and only smoked when her cravings were the strongest. “It’s harder to smoke when you have an urge and your cigarettes aren’t so accessible”, Rose said. Regarding her decision to cut back, she said: “I knew it wasn’t helping my health any. I have diabetes and have had triple bypass surgery, and am almost certain that cigarettes had something to do with it.” Rose admitted that letting go of the last few cigarettes has been challenging.
While hospitalized at the UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill, she saw a Tobacco Treatment Specialist (TTS) who assisted her in identifying her motivation for becoming tobacco-free, problem solving challenges she might experience when returning home, and offering nicotine replacement therapy that would increase her chances of staying quit long-term. The TTS worked with Rose to identify strategies for managing stress and for reducing urges to smoke. Rose says the visit was a reminder of her desire to improve her quality of life and she “regained a sense of confidence.” Rose expressed appreciation for the TTS’ pleasant and non-judgmental perspective, saying “I know that once I’m discharged, I have someone holding me accountable and motivating me to keep moving forward.”
Rose continues to strive towards a tobacco-free life to improve her health and healing.
During a follow-up call with the TTS, Rose confirmed she had not smoked a cigarette since leaving the hospital one week ago. “It’s a wonderful feeling to finally be free of so many cigarettes!” She offers this advice to others who are also trying to quit: “Change your routines around a little and find a place to put your tobacco where you can’t automatically access it.”