RabidRatings couldn't connect to the database. Please make sure your configuration is correct. China–USA Health Project

Download MP3 Audio of this Article

Part 2

Big Smoking Problem

About 60% of Chinese men smoke and cigarettes are causing serious health problems in China. In fact, the World Health Organization says smoking related disease will kill 30% of all Chinese men who are now under 30 years old. This is shocking!

As doctors and health care workers, we cannot let this continue. Han Qide, Vice chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, urges health care workers to do more to inform people of the harmfulness of smoking and help them quit. We must join together and use our knowledge and influence to lead fellow citizens away from the culture of smoking—before it kills them.

Help Your Father Quit

In our previous lesson we shared some things you can do to help your father or family member quit smoking. We learned that smokers can be divided into 2 stages:

  • Stage 1 – They are not thinking about quitting
  • Stage 2 – They are thinking about quitting

We also learned there are important strategies to follow for each stage. Before continuing the second part of this lesson, you may want to click here to quickly review the ideas of our previous lesson so they are fresh in your mind.

Your Influence

Some experts say that 70% of smokers have thoughts about quitting but do nothing about it. Sometimes, all they need is a little advice and encouragement. Everyone who quits smoking has a different story, but the power of your influence could be just the motivation they need. Even brief advice from health workers to smokers can decrease the rate of smoking by 30%.

Stages of Quitters

When smokers decide they want to quit, they usually go through 2 additional stages:

  • Stage 3 – They are trying to stop smoking
  • Stage 4 – They are successful for a few days, weeks, or maybe forever

Treatment for Stage 3

When smokers finally try to stop smoking they need a lot of help and support. For a few weeks your father or family member will feel the pain of withdrawal and a strong desire to smoke. Their body has become dependent on powerful chemicals in cigarette smoke. Without it, quitters can suffer depression, anxiety, headaches and restlessness. The faster your father gets these chemicals out of his body, the sooner these bad feelings will stop.

Suggestions to speed the process are:

  • Stop smoking completely instead of trying to smoke less and less
  • Drink large amounts of water
  • Take in a lot of deep breaths
  • Exercise frequently

The bad feelings are signs that the body is healing itself. To lower the temptation to smoke, stage 3 smokers should stay away from places where others smoke. Keeping busy will take their mind off of their cravings. Share our Quit Smoking Tips with your father. They list a lot of solutions that have helped many people kick the smoking habit. Click here to view.

Treatment for Stage 4

Stage 4 smokers have stopped use of cigarettes. They may be free of smoking for a few days or weeks, or maybe permanently. Stage 4 smokers continue to need encouragement and support from family, friends and health care workers until the habit of non-smoking has become firmly fixed. Our Quit Smoking Tips will be helpful.

Some people will go back to smoking. If your father is able to make it to stage 4, he is like a child learning to ride a bicycle. He will probably fall a few times. Some of his falls might hurt and he may give up for a while. But just as kids need help and support learning to ride, smokers trying to quit need their family to cheer them on.

If your father quits but then goes back to smoking, here are some treatment options:

  • When he falls off the bicycle, do not say anything that will make him feel bad.
  • Remind him that losing a battle for a few days does not mean he has lost the war.
  • If he stopped once, he can do it again. Remind him that many people try 6 times before they finally stop smoking forever.
  • It will be best if he keeps using our Quit Smoking Tips.

Not for Everyone

Even the most successful and experienced doctors and health care workers are not always able to help smokers quit. However, knowing the stages most smokers go through will increase your ability to understand the difficulties they face. The skills you learn from our Leadership Club will also increase your success.

How My Son Quit

In our previous lesson I told you about my oldest son who smoked for many years. I talked with him a few days ago and he told me the story of how he finally quit 15 years ago.

I was driving my car to work one morning and realized I had forgotten my cigarettes. I stopped and ran into a store and bought a box. As I left the store I was driving fast to get to work on time. With one hand I tore the cigarette box open, pulled one out and lit it. Suddenly I thought, “This is crazy! I am risking my life the way I am driving. I am also endangering the lives of others, all because I am a slave to these stupid cancer sticks.” I threw the half-smoked cigarette out the window.  Then, using one hand, I took all the other cigarettes out of the box and broke them in half. Some I threw out the window and others on the floor.  My car was a mess when I got to work, but I was free. Since that day I have not smoked another cigarette.

Share with Friends

I hope these ideas help you become more effective in your health care career. I invite you to click the link beside this article to share our Leadership Club with 5 of your friends. Only as you tell others will our influence grow. Working together we can make big changes in the culture of smoking.

Rate This Article

We value your feedback. Kindly click a star to let us know how helpful this article was to you.

Current Rating:
0/5 stars (0 vote)