Hyram began smoking at the age of 15, against the sage advice of his father, a prominent business man in the community, who was all too familiar with the difficulties of quitting. Years later, he would find himself smoking up to 3 packs a day while working in the finance industry. Eventually, smoking took its toll on his health. For most of his life, Hyram was active, playing in a rock and roll band, teaching karate, and enjoying sports. Three and a half years ago, he successfully battled prostate cancer and then was diagnosed with lung cancer in 2018. Not being able to be as active as he once was has been difficult for him, but he’s still able to take joy in singing in the church choir.
While it was peer pressure and a desire to get away with something that led him to start smoking, it was concerns for his health that led him to contact the Quitline for help quitting. Upon calling, Hyram was assisted by a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist who worked with him to develop a personalized plan to help him achieve his goal of becoming tobacco free. That initial call left him feeling encouraged and as though quitting was attainable. Over the next two months, Hyram was coached on ways of coping with triggers. He says he enjoyed the conversations he had with the Quitline and the support he received.
Quitline coaches realize that reaching out for help can be a bit intimidating for some. They are trained to be supportive of callers and use their judgement to both cheerlead and challenge at appropriate times. Support can play a big role in a successful quit attempt. The Quitline can provide one leg of that support system. Hyram was able to use this support along with the encouragement of his family to aid his successful quit attempt. He notes that since quitting he’s experienced some of the many benefits of quitting such as improved health mentally, physically, and spiritually.