A BREATHE 2 study participant started smoking 30 years ago due to peer pressure.
“I wanted to look the coolest,” said the participant, who asked to remain anonymous.
Since then, they had tried to quit five times. “The first couple times, I took it seriously but trusted too much in my confidence that I could quit again.
“Overall, health is a concern that we always have. I’m still healthy, so what better time to do it than now, before there’s a problem?”
So when the participant got a letter from their UW Health clinic, “I saw it and I’m like okay, alright, it makes sense to do this.”
“She was really helpful,” the participant said. “The coaching was instrumental in infusing that sense of support, someone who was there to talk to you, hear you out, nonjudgmental. She gave me tools, not forcing the idea, rather helping you find why you wanted to.
“It was a combination of strategies. It was part of an overall plan, running and eating healthy, and quitting smoking. When you have an overall plan, you want to meet the goals of the plan. The coach was helpful to take it step-by-step in a comfortable manner.”
Now, the participant feels much better. “I have a lot more energy. I am snoring less. That helps with the stress you have in your relationship. I smell better, clothes smell better.”
The participant says they would advise friends to take time to think about why they want to quit smoking. “And do it when you’re ready, and when you want to do it. Don’t do it because people are pressuring you. Do it when you’re ready because, ultimately, you’re doing it for yourself.”