Patricia

Patricia’s Story

Do you have specific questions about tobacco, nicotine, or the ConnectCare3 Tobacco Cessation Program? Contact us to speak with one of our experienced team members.

Cigarettes have been a part of my life for 50 years… 50 years!  I considered quitting countless times, but it only ever resulted in thought.  I never actually tried to quit.  In the last few years, I started thinking about quitting more and more.  I knew what smoking was doing to my health and I wanted to stop.  When my employer informed me that I was going to receive a tobacco surcharge on our health insurance, I finally felt ready to take action.  I knew I needed to quit. I was so glad to learn about the employer-sponsored benefit of the ConnectCare3 Tobacco Cessation Program.  Although I didn’t know exactly what the program entailed, I knew I could use some extra help with the challenging process of quitting.

For me, smoking was a pastime.  I rolled my own cigarettes so when my Tobacco Cessation Coach, Amanda, started talking about my experience with cigarettes, I knew it would bring big changes to my lifestyle.  She supported me before, during, and after my quit process.  We talked about things like my plan for quitting, overcoming challenges and slips, and how to enjoy life tobacco-free.  There are aspects of the ConnectCare3 Tobacco Cessation Program that really stood out to me:

  • It’s not intrusive. My coach was respectful and considerate; we decided to schedule sessions once a week. I’m not one to talk on the phone regularly, but Amanda was easy to talk to and really helped me achieve my goal.
  • She helped me develop a quit plan. I set a quit date for myself early in the process; this helped me to have structure and clarity throughout my process.
  • I knew that I didn’t want to take medication, but wanted to use the patch and possibly the nicotine replacement gum. Amanda helped me to connect with my doctor and subsequently acquire and then use the patch.
  • She encouraged me to move forward with my idea of cutting back on smoking by only smoking ½ cigarettes and eventually progressing to eliminating cigarettes throughout the day.

As a result of the motivation and education that I gained working with my tobacco coach, I ended up quitting earlier than my quit date!  What can I say, I was ready to be done with cigarettes for good!  Using the patch wasn’t easy, but I did it and I’m glad I did it!

When Amanda and I talked about my habit of smoking, I realized that I smoked when I’m stressed. I also smoked out of habit and routine.  She shared information with me on how to healthfully cope with cravings and stress so I could manage on my own without cigarettes.  I also started doing new things such as computer games and crafts as opposed to rolling cigarettes.

When I think about my tobacco cessation experience, here are some words of advice I would like to share with others trying to quit:

  • You have to want it, you have to WANT to quit smoking. Compare the good (benefits of quitting) versus the bad (reasons to smoke); when the good outweighs the bad, then you’re ready to quit.
  • Think about what smoking is doing to those around you; think about what it would be like if you did not smoke.
  • Quitting is a time-saver and a money-saver. It’s helpful for not only your physical wellness, but mental wellness, too.
  • Enough can’t be said about the importance of your environment when you’re quitting smoking. My colleagues got word that I was quitting and were very supportive despite me being a little more irritable than usual.  My husband and I worked together to quit; we each had our own thoughts and ideas about how we would be successful, but we shared a common goal and supported each other along the way. I continued to focus on my environment; I eventually took the ashtrays out of my car, started omitting cigarettes all together and weened down to smoking only a half-cigarette or simply taking one puff. I can already tell the difference! My voice isn’t as scratchy. I don’t cough nearly as much as I used to. My cravings are much more manageable and I’m even feeling more like myself.

If you’re even thinking about quitting, I encourage you to give ConnectCare3 a try. They support you every step of the way.

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ConnectCare3 is a confidential benefit for those covered under their employer’s health insurance plan. If you have questions or would like to enroll in one of ConnectCare3’s services, contact us today.