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Quit Smoking With Personalized Plans
Durham, NC - When Don Watt was 10 years old, he smoked his first cigarette - something he would do on-and-off until he was 18, when it became an everyday habit. Over 44 years of smoking, he worked up to two packs a day, spending about $40 a week per carton of cigarettes.
"Can you imagine what that money is really paying for?" asked Watt, a general maintenance mechanic with Duke's Facilities Management Department. "I was walking up in the morning coughing. It wasn't good for my body."
Fed up with spending about $150 a month on cigarettes that worsened his health, Watt looked to Duke for help to quit. In January, he signed up for free tobacco cessation classes through LIVE FOR LIFE, Duke's employee wellness program. In addition to group support, he also received free prescriptions of CHANTIX, a nicotine-free medicine that reduces the urge to smoke.
Watt quit smoking cigarettes in March, noting the support of others as a reason for his success. Now he has better sense of taste and smell. "I love eating a good steak with potatoes," he said. "I definitely have to watch what I eat because things taste better now."
Duke staff and faculty and their dependents can receive a range of free tobacco cessation services, including one-on-one consultations to design individualized quit plans at no charge with LIVE FOR LIFE. Consultations are available each week at Duke Clinic, Duke Cancer Center and Duke Raleigh and Regional hospitals. Times vary by location and meetings can be scheduled by calling (919) 684-3136, option 1.
Diane Dunder, LIVE FOR LIFE's smoking cessation specialist, said one-on-one sessions are ideal because they create personalized timelines for quitting and offer an in-depth look at methods to quit. Dunder also noted that because most smokers try to quit more than once, personal consultations involve reviewing quitting attempts to determine what worked and what didn't for each person.
"Having a quit plan creates the most informed attempt to quit for people," she said. "Often, this is the biggest health change for most people and it's hard."
Along with one-on-one and group support, Duke also offers:
- QuitSmart Stop Smoking Kit
- Nicotine replacement therapy at no cost for employees in a Duke health plan
- Three-month supply of prescription tobacco-cessation drugs with no co-pay for those active in LIVE FOR LIFE support programs.
The American Cancer Society recognized Duke this year with an Excellence in Workplace Tobacco Control. Thanks to the help of Duke's programs, Watt, the general maintenance Facilities mechanic, used the money he saved from buying cigarettes to purchase a 1985 Yamaha V Star motorcycle, the kind of vehicle he's had his eyes on since he was a kid watching his dad drive one around. He paid off the $4,200 vehicle in one year thanks to his savings.
"It's all about setting a goal and that helps you work toward quitting," Watt said. "Getting my motorcycle was a great benefit."
Duke employees and their adult dependents can schedule a free, one-on-one 30-minute consultation with a tobacco specialist to design an individual quit plan. Visit the LIVE FOR LIFE website or call (919) 684-3136 for more information.
© 2013 Office of Communication Services
705 Broad Street, Box 90496, Durham, NC 27708
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