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James Hammond had been wanting to quit smoking for a long time, but when he had smoking-related health issues, it “woke (him) up.” Mr. Hammond was a 2 pack-per-day smoker for many years, but after a little over a year, he was able to completely stop smoking.

He started with nicotine replacement patches and lozenges and was able to progressively decrease the number of cigarettes per day to zero while working with Jeremy Finazzo, a Social Worker and Tobacco Treatment Specialist with the UNC Tobacco Treatment Program.

Mr. Hammond identified why his work with the Tobacco Treatment Program was helpful, “it was basically the way Jeremy talked to me, he never looked down on me, he never judged me, he always encouraged me.” He shared, “My breathing has improved, I’m feeling better, my taste is back, my smell is back.”

Reflecting on his experience with quitting smoking he stated, “I would encourage anyone that is smoking and having problems, to get in touch with UNC because you guys can do it. It really affects your health in more ways than you realize, quicker than you know…just stop. Do whatever it takes, call whoever you need to call, get all the help you can get, just please stop smoking cigarettes.”