Smoking Cessation

Quit Smoking, Cigarettes, The Patch, Nicotine, Tobacco
Curated By
Dr. Charlene Dewey

Charlene M. Dewey, M.D., M.Ed., FACP is a physician and a faculty member at Vanderbilt University where she is a full professor, Assistant Dean for Educator Development, and Co-Director of the Center for Professional Health. Dr. Dewey graduated from the Morehouse School of Medicine in 1990 and completed her residency and chief residency at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine/Montefiore Medical Center in 1993. She received her master’s degree in education from the University of Houston, and has 25 years of experience in faculty development and advanced education training, as well as 10 years of focus on the professional development of physicians and other health care providers. Dr. Dewey is married to Dr. Wayne Riley and they have two lovely daughters. She relishes her many roles as professional, mother, wife, sister and daughter. In her spare time, she takes pleasure in preserving her family’s memories by creating scrapbooks for them all to enjoy.

They Might Be Thinking:

  • My doctor told me I should quit smoking to improve my health.
  • I’m thinking about getting pregnant, so I really need to quit smoking.
  • My wife is pregnant. I should probably quit smoking for her and the baby.
  • My kids are bugging me about smoking. I need to quit in order to be a better role model for them.
  • Sometimes I need a cigarette when I'm stressed out and need to calm down.
  • I'm worried I will gain weight if I quit smoking. 
  • How will I be able to start my day without first smoking a cigarette?
  • How will I deal with stress if I can't smoke?
  • How bad will the withdrawal symptoms be?
  • I've heard that withdrawal symptoms can include a sore throat, gums or tongue, headaches, cramps, leg spasms, constipation, and insomnia. How long do those last?
  • Will a nicotine patch or gum help relieve withdrawal symptoms and cravings?
  • Will quitting be worth it?
  • My family member has been diagnosed with lung cancer and I'm scared that I'm next. 
  • What will I do when I am surrounded by smokers, but I can't light up?
  • I associate alcohol with smoking. Will I be able to enjoy a drink after I quit?
  • Will I enjoy going out if I can't smoke with my friends?

Words That Might Be Encouraging:

  • I'm so proud of you for making this change. 
  • I know you can do it. 
  • What made you want to start smoking originally?
  • When do you most crave having a cigarette?
  • What made you decide to consider kicking the habit?
  • What could I do to help make quitting easier for you?
  • You will be such a good role model for your friends and family when you quit.
  • Remember the 5 Ds: Delay Smoking, Drink Water, Deeply Breathe, Do Something Different, Discuss the Cravings.
  • You have a lot of great reasons to stop smoking. Write out a list and keep it close by to remind yourself why it will be worth it in the long run..
  • I'd be happy to come over to help you get rid of all of your tobacco products, ashtrays, lighters and matches.
  • Be sure to change the habits you have that are associated with smoking. For example, instead of smoking after meals, chew on a toothpick or change rooms.
  • Change your environmental cues. For example, the telephone often causes a reflex action to smoke, so think about moving the telephone to another place in order to change the cue.
  • Let's sit in the non-smoking section when we go to dinner. 
  • Take deep breaths and engage in positive self talk. You can do this!
  • Try to avoid stressful situations during the immediate period after stopping.
  • If you feel like smoking, give me a call and let's meet to go for a walk instead.
  • Sometimes daily exercise, such as walking, can keep your mind occupied, relieve stress, and help maintain a positive frame of mind. I'd be happy to exercise with you.
  • Set aside the money you would normally spend on cigarettes and treat yourself to something special.
  • We don't have to go to a bar; let's go to a movie instead.
  • I'll let our friends know that you are quitting so they don't offer you cigarettes or smoke in your presence.
  • You have so many great reasons to quit. 
  • Don't overwhelm yourself by thinking of this as a lifelong commitment. Take it one day at a time. 

Words That Might Be Discouraging:

  • Quitting is really hard. Are you sure you have the willpower?
  • Smoking is cool.  
  • I know how hard this is. 
  • I can't imagine getting through the day without being able to smoke.
  • Aren't you afraid you'll gain weight if you stop smoking?
  • There are a lot of things you could be doing that are a lot worse than smoking.
  • If you quit, does that mean I can't smoke in front of you?
  • You look glamorous when you are smoking.
  • Once you get addicted to nicotine, it's really hard to quit the habit.
  • I could never stop smoking.
  • Geez, I can't believe you relapsed. What's wrong with you?
  • You have been smoking for so long. Do you think you can do it?
  • So you're going to try to quit? Again!?!?
  • Do you mind if I smoke?
  • You've been really crabby since you quit smoking. 
  • It's not hard to quit. You just have to have the willpower.
  • If you don't quit, I'm done with you.
  • You've been smoking forever. Why quit now? It's not like it's going to make much of a difference. 
  • A couple of puffs won't kill you. 
  • Are you going to nag me to quit now that you've stopped smoking?
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