If your parents convinced you at a young age to never be a quitter, we are going to assume they weren't talking about smoking. Nancy Naeve Brown introduces you to a Sioux Falls woman who didn't wait until the New Year to kick the habit for good.
Carole Brunsting has worked in the business office of North Central Heart for 23 years. She's also been a smoker for a little longer than that... that is until 6 months ago when she decided she's making a change.
Carole says, "It's going good. It's going better than I thought it would. There are times when it's not easy. I'm proud of myself for doing it because I've tried it at least 5 times and I couldn't master it and I've mastered it this time."
Respiratory Therapist and Tobacco Cessation Coach Deb Murray at the Avera Heart Hospital says when you have decided to stop smoking you need to make a plan and follow through with it. Know your triggers and avoid them. She also says it's not unusual for quitters to fall off the wagon a time or two before their cig free habit finally sticks.
Deb Murray says, "It may happen so how are you going to learn from that. What made you fail? What happened? What are you going to do to be more successful? Don't beat yourself up over it. Just get back on track and start again."
Carole says, "I have a good support group. This room is an inspiration. Everyone has been so helpful to back me up and my family has been great. And I walk. If I get home and I feel stressed I'll go for a walk or ride to divert the desire. I feel so much healthier too. When I first started walking, I would get winded and would have to slow down, but now I can walk up and down the stairs and not get winded. I really feel like I'm going to be a much healthier person."
Besides the great support team she has, Carole says another secret weapon is gum. When she gets stressed out, instead of lighting up she chews it up.
Carole says, "I don't want to repeat the last 6 months. I have too much invested. I don't want to go back and I won't."
As Carole will tell you, quitting isn't easy. If it was she would have quit a long time ago. Carole will also tell you it's not only possible, it's probably the most positive change she's ever made.
If you need help the Avera Heart Hospital does have a "Quit for Good" Tobacco Cessation Clinic with one on one counseling or group sessions.
The Avera Heart Hospital is also starting the only tobacco cessation group in the region. They will be offering 8 weeks of classes starting February 8, 2011 and meeting every Tuesday at 7:00 pm in our classroom. People will go through the quitting process with support of their group and Respiratory Therapist Deb Murray. The cost is $100 and covers all materials.Call 605-977-7000.