WellSpan Home

Linda's Story: Quitting Smoking Lowers My Risk

Linda's story

Linda's best friend had just had a heart attack.

Linda, 56, and Terri, 52, work together in the records section of their city's police department. They had also been working on getting healthier together. They both had high cholesterol and were overweight. They both smoked. But they'd been going to aerobics class and had sworn off fast food.

"Terri's heart attack scared me to death," says Linda. "I decided that this time, I'm doing the whole package. I'm quitting smoking for good. My doctor told me that quitting is one of the best things I can do for my heart."

Recipe for success

Linda talked to her doctor, read up on quitting tactics, and made a plan. She told everyone she knows about her plan to quit. "It helps keep me honest," she admits.

Linda planned ahead for moments of weakness. "I wrote out a list of things that make me crave a cigarette. Next to each one, I wrote a substitute. Like when I get in the car, I can chew gum instead of lighting up. When I'm upset, I can call a friend or go for a hike. I keep that list with me."

Linda has also found that using nicotine gum has made the cravings easier to bear. "I was a bit cynical when my doctor first suggested it," she recalls. "It seemed like a crutch. But those cravings are just too powerful without the little shot of nicotine."

The rewards

Being smoke-free is Linda's long-term, lifetime goal. She has also set herself short-term goals, like "be smoke-free today" and "be smoke-free this week."

Each time she meets a goal, she rewards herself. "At first, one smoke-free day was cause for celebration," she says. "Now, I'm adding up a few goals toward a larger reward. I've saved enough would-be cigarette money that I can afford a little trip soon."

And how does it feel to be smoke-free? "It's been 16 weeks now, and I already feel so much healthier."

This story is based on information gathered from many people living with high cholesterol.

For more information, see the topics:

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine

Current as ofDecember 6, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×