The process of quitting smoking can last for a lifetime. Though one may put down his or her cigarettes and never smoke again, the habits that compose the addiction can linger for years.
There are two major factors working against any smoker attempting to quit: the chemical addiction and the habit of smoking. In the past, there were not as many quitting aids available to the struggling ex-smoker. Today one can purchase over-the-counter drugs including Nicorette, the nicotine patch and nicotine lozenge pair at his or her local supermarket. Also available are prescription drugs such as Chantix and Wellbutrin, which in combination can reduce the craving for cigarettes and address the immediacy of cigarette smoking.
For most smokers though, the chemical inclination to smoke is much easier to address than the everyday r
outine of smoking.
“It takes seven times to make something a habit and on the average cigarette there are ten drags,” said Jodi Brawley, Assistant Director of Wellness and Marketing at Boise State who works as an health educator; specifically with breaking the habit of
“Pack-a-day smokers smoke 20 cigarettes in a pack; that’s 200 drags a day. There’s a lot of habit that goes along with that,”
Habits come in many forms.
Max Head, a junior majoring in international business, said, “I live by myself so it was so easy to wake up in the morning, brew the coffee, open the paper, then light
As well as habit, nicotine addiction has plenty of triggers for the average user. “Anything stress-inducing gave me the desire to have a cigarette,” Head said.
Though indoor smoking bans and regulations have increased over the years, smoking is still prevalent throughout the nation. For smokers, a difficult part of quitting comes with the access and acceptance of smoking. When someone is a smoker, he or she often feels a sense of community with other smokers and oftentimes has formed relationships with others because of the shared
“Three out of four people I lived in a house with smoked. It was really convenient and easy; it was a great way to socialize,” Head said.
Friendships, romances and even job opportunities can all manifest by way of smoking. When quitting, however, one is often isolated. Those in the process of quitting lose access to a community that welcomed them before. As a smoker, one can be a part of something where the only initiation necessary is a smoking habit; as someone quitting smoking, it can be difficult not to consider oneself
Fortunately, there are options. Located inside the Norco Building there is a team of specialists who meet with students and staff once a week and work with them directly in order to break the behaviors and habit of smoking. Some people using the Tobacco Cessation Classes at the Wellness Center can spend up to three months avoiding the behaviors associated with smoking in order to arrive at their actual “quit day.”
“I spend a lot of time talking to people about what behaviors go along with their smoking: anything from ‘you get out of bed, you flip the coffee machine on, you grab for your cigarettes.’ Your brain is sending you these signals, and we have to break those up if you’re going to quit,” Brawley said.
Whatever the reason may be, quitting is a long and arduous process. Some people pick it up again after years, some people smoke alternating years and others have been in the process of quitting for months. Either way, it is important for students to know they are not alone; there are resources available whether be drugs or behavioral counseling.
“It all depends on the person’s readiness to change,” Brawley said.
Available through the Tobacco Cessation program.
For students and staff at the Norco Building—at little or no cost (depending on one’s insurance).
Walk-ins are welcome or students can contact Wellness Services at 426-5686 or firstname.lastname@example.org to set an appointment.