Smoking Cessation

Article Conference CoverageFrom American Association of Gynecological LaparoscopistsOrlando, Florida, November 2000


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Barbara Nesbitt:  “Hi, I’m Barbara Nesbitt and we’re at AAGL.  I’m with my good friend, Dr. James Carter, and we did a video about two years ago wasn’t it, in Connecticut?”

Dr. James Carter:  “Yes, Hartford, Connecticut – a wonderful place and start of a new life.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “We talked then about quitting smoking, and I was going to do it right away.  Well, I didn’t but as part of this series on quitting smoking I was pleased to tell Dr. Carter that I did quit last January 24th and I used the patch and it worked.”

Dr. James Carter:  “I am so proud.  You know smoking is so difficult for people because it becomes a part of their life and it becomes something that’s integrated into their persona, into their personality, and into their lifestyle.  It’s more than just an addiction of nicotine, it’s a pattern and to break a pattern, to start a new life, and to start a new program takes incredible strength, and I knew you had it.  I knew you would do it, you are wonderful.”

Barbara Nesbitt: “Thank you, I tried.  I took the pill which we’re not going to mention but it didn’t work for me, it works well for most people but I take a very small dose, 25 mg, of Zoloft when I remember to take it, and it made me have like a blackout thing.  I mean, I’d get in the car and drive up the street and I had no idea why I was there, and this was in the middle of the day.  So I talked with a doctor and I had even gone to the drugstore and they said evidently there was something in me that that other pill and the Zoloft together were not working so that set me back probably a year.  I decided I wouldn’t quit but then I got the patch and I decided I just was going to quit.  I believe you had told me, and it’s true, a person has to do it on their own when they’re ready and no matter how many wonderful things or reasons somebody gives you, if you don’t want to do it none of those reasons work.”

Dr. James Carter:  “Barbara, that’s so true, it’s a personal decision.  This becomes something that you have to do internally, you have to make that commitment, and there are aids that do help.  Serotonin reuptake inhibitors, for instance, like the one you mentioned, Zoloft, they’re fantastic medications but some people don’t tolerate them so the patch is a wonderful thing.  But I’ve had patients who said that the nicotine patch made them too jumpy.  Medications that help with no smoking like Wellbutrin work for some people.  It’s a whole potpourri but the bottom line is it is a very personal decision that takes a day-to-day commitment on the part of the individual and that’s how a person can change their life, and you’ve changed your life.  You probably didn’t notice before but there’s no odor of smoke anymore.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “Oh, I smell it off of all those poor smokers now.”

Dr. James Carter:  “On other people you smell it but now…”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “I can walk by their office door and smell it.”

Dr. James Carter:  “Your nose works again and you can taste again.  It’s so exciting and I’m so proud of you.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “I’ve put on a couple of pounds from that tasting.”

Dr. James Carter:  “Isn’t it wonderful how good the food is now.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “Yes, you have to take this thing on like it’s a job.  Now maybe that’s just my personality but you have to be sure that you go to the pharmacy and you have that nice supply ordered if you’re using the patch or even a pill so that you can’t have any excuse of - well they didn’t have the patch so, therefore, I’m smoking again.  You have to make sure you have this thing laid out, you have to say that phone’s going to ring and I am not going to let my brain say I want to smoke just because the phone’s ringing, I mean, you have to work at it.”

Dr. James Carter:  “There are certain things in your life that are triggers; a phone ringing, a doorbell ringing, somebody you see and all of a sudden you reach for that cigarette because it’s automatic, or a cup of coffee and then you want that cigarette.  Say no to it but there’s one other thing and that’s forgiveness of yourself.  If you step over that line and you have that cigarette, that’s not the start of another habit, that’s it, stop.  That was a fall but get up and go at it again.  You’ve got to stay positive like Barbara has, it took her a year to get to that point but she was cutting back, then she stopped, and now she’s done.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “I haven’t had One!”

Dr. James Carter:  “Fabulous, that is so great.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “I’ve had people visit and leave cigarettes in the house, I have smokers in my house.  I can have a drink and not smoke and those are all things that I wondered if I would have to give up everything just because I gave up smoking.”

Dr. James Carter:  “It’s a wonderful life and the air smells good.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “Yes, and I don’t preach to anybody, I don’t.  I’m not running around as an advocate of ‘you must not smoke’ but anyone that I know like we’re talking to today, you people, if you want to quit, quit.  Then maybe you do set a good example for somebody else, you don’t have to go beat them up because they’re smoking.”

Dr. James Carter:  “Barbara, you said you’re not an advocate but actually by your life you are an advocate for good health.  You’re sharing with people, you’re sharing the knowledge that you have, and you’re sharing yourself, your personal experiences, and your personal commitment.  That’s why I love you; you’re so wonderful.  Thank you.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “Thank you.”

Dr. James Carter:  “It’s a pleasure.”

Barbara Nesbitt:  “It is always a pleasure.”

Dr. James Carter:  “Thank you very much.”


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