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Quitting smoking is easy.  I’ve done it a hundred times.

Dec 28, 2023
Smoking is easy; it is quitting that is hard.
Mark Twain was being funny but lung cancer and complications from smoking and vaping are serious business. Dr. Wendt discusses ways that some patients have found effective for quitting.


So said Mark Twain with his sarcastic humor, but he was really making fun of the truth.  Addictions of any kind are not easy to break.  They give us pleasure, reduce our stress, or fulfill a need.

However, lung cancer, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), Head and Neck cancer, increased risk of other cancers, worsened skin issues for conditions like psoriasis are just a few risks of smoking cigarettes.  Vaping is no better, and in some cases may be worse as its contents are not regulated and the relative quantity used seems to be greater.  In addition to all the side effects of smoking, interstitial lung disease, which is a very damaging inflammation of the lungs can even destroy the ability of the lungs to function and in severe cases be fatal.

With that in mind, how do you quit?

According to, there are 6 keys to quitting:

  1. Get ready.

This involves picking a date when you are going to quit and planning and thinking about that.  Let yourself review all the reasons to quit, and the harmful things that will happen to you if you don’t.  You have a lot to live for—think about them.  While you are waiting for the date to arrive, get rid of anything that will trigger or tempt you.

What triggers your thoughts of smoking?  Is it the gas station where you buy the cigarettes?  Find an alternate route where you won’t have to see that gas station, at least until it gets easier.

Have you ever quit before?  What worked?  What tripped you up?  How can you prevent the trip up?  When did it start getting hard and why?  Did you have withdrawal?  How can you prevent this from happening this time?  The time to contemplate possible hurdles is now, before your quit date.

  1. Get support and encouragement.

Talk yourself up.  Get advice from your friends or family or team up and find a quitting buddy.  Can’t find one in your family, consider collaborating with a expert or call 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free help and advice.

Consider addressing the reasons you smoke.  Is it a stress relief?  You will need to find other ways to reduce your stress.  Is it because you’re tired?  You may need to get more sleep or get a sleep study.  Is it to lose weight?  Consider getting help with that as a separate issue.  It is important to seriously consider reasons and substitute with healthier habits.  Consider getting a therapist or counselor to help you work through these issues.  This insight can be the difference between success and failure.

  1. Learn new skills and behaviors.

Keep your mind busy.  When that is not possible, consider keeping your body busy.  Take a walk, visit a friend, make a phone call, draw, paint, put a puzzle together.  Anything that gets your mind off the addition.

  1. Get medication and use it correctly.

1-800-QUIT-NOW can help provide discount medications.  Medicaid, Medicare, and commercial insurance often pay for smoking cessation.  Your primary care doctor can help you greatly in finding a medication that works for you.  Medication can be used to help cut the craving and withdrawal symptoms if that is what challenges you.

  1. Be prepared for relapse or difficult situations.

It is all right to fail, but don’t give up.  Analyze what happened.  What was the trigger?  Maybe it surprised you or was one you had not thought about before.  How could you make yourself more resistant to that trigger?  How can you avoid the trigger? 

Don’t focus on failure—focus on what went right.  If you returned to smoking after 20 days, that was 20 days of smoke-free living you succeeded in accomplishing!  Go for 27 next time!

If you think you need help breathing and just can’t do it yourself anymore, Dr. Wendt and her team staff at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives would love to help.

Relieve Allergy Asthma & Hives is located near Kierland Commons, Scottsdale Quarter, DC Ranch and Grayhawk at 21803 N. Scottsdale Road Ste. 200, on the corners of Deer Valley and Scottsdale Roads, and has convenient evening and early morning hours to accommodate your schedule.

Dr. Wendt is also available for telemedicine appointments as appropriate. Insurance plans accepted. Call 480-500-1902 today to schedule an appointment now and begin your allergy testing and treatment with Dr. Wendt at Relieve Allergy, Asthma & Hives in Scottsdale, Arizona.

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