Kicking The Habit

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

It's time to kick some butts, and make today the day you do it during the Great American Smokeout.

People who smoke lose their health and wealth; and experience pain, suffering and economical problems.

“Tobacco is a big health hazard to the population,” says Dr. Bhailal Gondalia, medical director of pulmonolgy rehab at St. Joseph's Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center.

The smokeout represents one day of the year that encourages smokers to stop smoking, make a plan and set a quit date.

"‘Cause it's not only a nicotine addiction; it's also a habit, so they have to learn what kind of things they can put in place to stop that habit,” says Karrell Anderson, pulmonary rehab coordinator.

Cigarette smoking causes a host of diseases and millions of potential lives lost in the United States every year, but people just can't stop.

"Like COPD, chronic bronchitis, emphysema, cancers,” Gondalia says. “Like lung cancer, mouth cancer, laryngeal cancer, esophageal cancer, bladder cancer; vascular disease: like coronary artery disease, stroke, peripheral vascular disease. May end up with amputation of the lower extremities."

Pulmonary patients can strengthen their lung capacity with this (breathing exerciser), on the road to better health.

Rehab is one tool that Anderson agrees makes a difference.

"To help patients with lung disease increase their quality of life and stamina," she says.

Gondalia sees firsthand how this modern health hazard cripples people.

"They’re unable to buy healthy food, fruit or vegetable, but they have to buy cigarettes because they are addicted,” he says.

And it’s a billion dollar business.

"The doctors make money, nurses make money or hospital makes money, the tobacco company makes money, farmer who grow the tobacco; they make money,” Gondalia says. “All the stores who sell the cigarettes make money, government even charge higher tax -- government make money."

When it comes down to it, kicking the habit is the one (best) choice you can make, doctor’s orders.

"This is the day people should decide and stop smoking, take responsibility of their own health,” he says.

The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout on the third Thursday of November every year, when they celebrate all the quitters.

Make today the day you kick the habit and live a smoke-free life.

The American Cancer Society marks the Great American Smokeout the third Thursday of November each year by encouraging smokers to use the date to make a plan to quit or plan in advance and quit smoking that day.

Dr. Bhailal Gondalia, medical director of pulmonolgy rehab at St. Joseph's Campus of Camden Clark Medical Center, says this is the day people should decide to take control of their health.

"People who smoke, they lose their health, wealth -- pain and suffering and also a lot of economical problem in family," the doctor says. "So tobacco is a big hazard, health hazard to the population."

Gondalia says smoking is a billion dollar business, from the advertisers to tobacco farmers to cigarette companies and they're not doing anyone any favors.

But when it comes down to it, he says each person has to want to quit.

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