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Program seems to be working

January 22, 2009 - Frank Robinson
It has been about two weeks now, so it is time for an update on the smoking cessation plan I wrote about in an earlier blog.

I vowed as part of a New Year's resolution that it's time to quit smoking. I enrolled in a program through Humility of Mary Health Partners and the Regional Tobacco Treatment Center and I'm in the second week now. Today is my second smoke-free day.

The program involves six weeks of nicotine replacement therapy and five counseling sessions with tobacco treatment specialists.

I was pessimistic about going to the weekly support group/counseling sessions -- why even think about putting a half-dozen jittery, aggravated people trying to quit smoking in a room for an hour, I envisioned -- but found it to controlled, sane and quite useful. And the stop-smoking drug really seems to work. They are giving me the oral medication Chantix.

I thought I knew it all about this stuff, but I have been surprised at the things I didn't know. For example, they actually measure the amount of carbon monoxide in your system with this little gadget you blow in. If any smoker out there were to blow in one these gadgets I am sure he or she would consider quitting smoking.

For example, a normal reading is 0-8 parts per million for a non-smoker. At the beginning of the program I blew a 23. This past Monday I blew a 12. That indicates real progress, and I expect it to be in the normal level by next week. They call it an evidence-based approach, and I guess that's where measuring the carbon monoxide comes in.

Did I mention this is at no cost to me or my insurance company?

I'll have an update in a few days.


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