The Gratitude of Quitting

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Quitter's Circle, a collaboration between the American Lung Association and Pfizer. All thoughts and opinions presented in this post are purely my own.

Helping someone through a health scare may make you uneasy, but it’s these times of uncertainty when family needs you the most. I recall being by my dad’s side when he had surgery to remove polyps from his throat. My dad always had a raspy voice and we figured the polyps contributed to it. Well, the polyps and smoking.

Shortly after my dad’s surgery, doctors asked him to come back for the results of a biopsy – a test to determine whether the polyps they found in dad’s throat were cancerous. They were.

We’ve always had a hard relationship with dad and that summer found us tense around one another with my mother running interference. But, that’s when he needed us. A treatment plan was quickly created as his diagnosis of laryngeal cancer was given. And then, we went into action. Leaving behind the feelings we’d had and concentrating on the treatment. Today, I’m grateful that he has been cancer free since January of 2008.

More than 16 million Americans are living with a smoking related disease and it seems that my dad joined those ranks.[i] My dad smoked for the better part of his life, quitting only after my mom quit. It’s difficult to imagine how this story may have turned out, had he not quit when we did.

And just like with a major health scare, someone who is quitting smoking may need help and support too, and someone to be by their side along the way. Support can come in a number of forms, but no matter how you help someone, being there as they quit smoking is what matters.

Having parents who spoke little English AND were nervous around doctors, being the interpreter between them and their doctor was my way of helping them with their health. Can we pause and say how horrid that translator job is for a child? But, I digress.

If you are part of someone’s support system, it’s important to understand your role in helping them quit smoking. There are also communities like Quitter’s Circle that provide information and resources to those who want to quit smoking and those who want to help their loved ones quit.

Let’s not wait to take action on our health. Let’s get to it! Download this quit smoking checklist and get a plan together to help you on your quit journey!

[i]Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Smoking and Tobacco Use: Fast Facts. Updated December 1, 2015. Accessed October 13, 2016.