January 23, 2017

Stop Smoking: Follow President Obama’s Example

For many people, quitting smoking is a real test of wills.  Ozzy Osbourne, the Black Sabbath singer and of the rock world’s most famous drug abusers, said of all the drugs he quit, that smoking was the hardest.

For President Barack Obama, quitting was a personal challenge. Kicking the habit wasn’t easy, “The fact is, quitting smoking is hard. Believe me, I know.” The commander in chief has managed to wean himself off the coffin nails, quitting his 30-year cigarette habit.  After numerous failed attempts, he wanted to be able to look into his daughters, Malia, 12, and Sasha, 9, in the eye and say he did not smoke.

In fact, just recently (November 2011), President Obama encouraged smokers to quit smoking or make a plan to quit as participants in the “Great American Smokeout.”

First Lady Michelle Obama said she does not ask him a lot about how he stopped smoking, but is happy for her kids that he did. Obama discussed his smoking–and his use of Nicorette–in 2008.

“I’ve been chewing on this Nicorette, which tastes like you’re chewing on ground pepper – but it does help.”

How did Obama quit smoking without getting fat? Obama’s doctors say he is, “Tobacco free, physically active, eats a healthy diet, stays at a healthy weight, (and) on occasion drinks alcohol in moderation.”  It helps having your own private chef, nutritionist, trainer and the best medical care on the planet.  Or, maybe it is the basketball workout. 🙂

In the president’s challenge to quit in the “Great America Smokeout,” he links to resources that can help smokers quit and highlights government efforts to prevent young people from lighting up. If have tried to quit many times and will likely try again, but not on a government-mandated day, we respect anyone who is able to quit today.

You can follow the President Obama’s example.

  1. Set a target quit smoking date: make it a week or two in advance and think about what the challenging situations are to prepare for.
  2. Get rid of all cigarettes: get them out of the house to remove the temptation.
  3. Tell your friends and family: you want to be sure they know so they can support you in your effort.
  4. Engage in evidence-based cessation treatments:
    • Brief clinical interventions (i.e., when a doctor takes 10 minutes or less to deliver advice and assistance about quitting)
    • Counseling (e.g., individual, group, or telephone counseling)
    • Behavioral cessation therapies (e.g., training in problem solving)
    • Treatments with more person-to-person contact and intensity (e.g., more time with counselors)

Who has inspired you to quit smoking? Share some inspiration with others below…



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