Columbus, Ga. – There are plenty of reasons to smoke, and Lung Nurse Navigator Kim Carroll has heard it all. She’s talked to patients at the John B. Amos center that started their smoking habits early in life or later on. Usually smoking become a stress reliever.
“Because of the anxiety. You don’t want to gain weight so you pick up something that’s going to reduce that stress,” said Carroll.
The problem is smoking is still a fatal form of coping. According to the American Cancer Society, around 480,000 deaths are caused by smoking every year. That translates to about 1in 5 deaths caused by smoking. Nurse Carroll says the lung screenings for cancer has only increased during her time at the John B. Amos center.
“I’ve been doing this for about 14-15 months now. And my numbers are probably around 60 percent higher than what they were the year before,” Carroll.
Ultimately, health experts want people to break their smoking habits, and it could start with one day. The annual “Great American Smokeout” is a 24-hour period for smokers to try and be smoke free.
“Just 24 hours go without smoking and see how you do. There’s assistance out there through the American Cancer Society to give you the tools that you need to be successful for stopping for that 24 hours,” said Carroll.
As an ex-smoker, Carroll knows how difficult it is to quit smoking. She says one of the keys to quitting is getting strong support community around you.
“Get a support network around you. It’s not an easy thing. When I did it my husband and I did it together. Yes we’re still married. I had smoking friends, and it made it harder. They realized how serious I was about it and they started helping me too, and now they don’t smoke,” said Carroll.
Another key to success is use the programs out there to help you quit smoking just like her.
The tools are out there. There’s a lot free programs out there. John B. Amos smoking cessation program. There’s resources out there to help you get through it,” said Carroll.