Smoking Cessation—No ifs, ands, or butts!

Dr. Marcia Nelson, M.D., M.S.

Consultant Internist

It is difficult to describe the magnitude of suffering smoking has inflicted on us all. Although smoking rates are decreasing in many parts of the developed world, it is alive and well in China.  Businessmen often pass out cigarettes to be sociable, and give cartons of cigarettes as gifts. To refuse this is to be rude. Many of my patients tell me it is too easy and cheap NOT to smoke in China, but they will definitively quit when they move back home.  


Indeed, it is a very addicting habit, but I have yet to meet a patient who tells me that they regret quitting.  Most wish they had done it sooner. No one ever reflects back on their life and wishes they would have smoked more. There is nothing good about smoking.  Who would every willingly choose  bad breath, brown teeth, brown nails, premature aging, heart and lung problems, strokes and aneurysms,  cataracts, weak bones, allergies, birth defects, cancer, early death, all at a great financial expense?  And then add the risk of fire-related injures and death. Smoking can make people around you sick, even your children. The risk of smoking-related disease increases with the amount a person smokes. Quitting smoking is the absolute best (and cheapest) things you can do for your health. There is no amount of tobacco that is safe. This goes for chewing tobacco and cigars.


Of course everyone knows this.  Quitting is hard work, but there are ways to help.  The good news is that now there are more options, even in Shanghai, than ever to quit. And the sooner you quit, the sooner and bigger the health benefits are. You will save your life, save your health, save your looks, save your loved ones, save your money, and save your freedom (from addiction).


You can do it!


Keeping in close contact with your doctor often helps a person quit.  Sometimes prescription medications and/or nicotine replacement helps. You should definitely talk to your doctor if quitting makes you gain weight or feel depressed.