Tobacco and Health: Counseling and Medication

Tobacco and Health: Counseling and Medication


– And the smoking?
The last time I saw you,
you were saying this would be the year.
How’s that going?
– Hmm, I’ve tried to quit
on my own a couple of times
but I never make it more than a few days.
– Well trying is a really important step.
You have the idea in your head,
and you’re making the effort.
And every time you try,
you learn a little more.
You get a little closer to your goal.
I know it can seem daunting,
but some additional support
can go a long way in making
your next attempt the last one.
We’ve talked about this before, but at VA,
we have to tools you need to succeed.
We can help, so that those first few days
are as painless as possible.
– I’ve just been tryin’
to do it on my own,
you know, cold turkey.
– You are definitely not alone,
but that’s a hard way to stop.
Our approach here at VA combing
counseling and dedication,
allows you to fight the
symptoms of withdrawal
and the triggers that can
trip you up as you go.
Nicotine is highly addictive as you know,
and withdrawing can lead to irritability,
insomnia, restlessness, cravings,
anxiety, hunger, even depression.
That’s where the medication comes in.
Nicotine replacement
therapy, like the patch,
gum and lozenges, or
prescriptions like Bupropion,
can help you manage your physical symptoms
and cope with the urges.
– But counseling, I don’t
know. How does that come in?
– So it’s not just that
nicotine is highly addictive,
it’s also the fact that smoking
becomes part of your daily routine.
Over time, you can start
to associate smoking
with certain times of the
day, or certain activities,
or even certain feelings.
When do you really look
forward to smoking a cigarette?
– Definitely first thing in
the morning with my coffee.
After long or stressful meetings,
and for sure after eating.
Also walking the dog at night.
– So as you try to cut out cigarettes,
these can be the moments.
Late morning for example, or
the taste, like the coffee,
that can trigger that
urge to have a cigarette.
Counseling will give you the skills
to identify these moments, these triggers,
and then develop strategies
for getting through the urges to smoke.
It can be one on one, or in a group,
and there are even
options to do it by phone.
Whether you’re smoking
because you’re stressed
or stressed because you’re smoking,
we’ll find some new
outlets and new routines
to help you cope.
Tell you what, I can refer you
to a few counseling options,
depending on what works for you.
I really do hope you give this a shot.
You have the interest in quitting,
and we have a proven road
map to get you there.
to explore the benefits of
counseling and medication,
visit mentalhealth.va.gov/quit-tobacco.

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