Support is Key

Health insurance coverage of tobacco cessation counseling and treatments has been expanded for new health insurance plans as well as those insured by Medicare and TennCare.

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 Take advantage of the help available to you to quit tobacco use.

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Has your life been affected by cigarette smoking? Are you a former smoker? Did you quit for personal health reasons? How long did you smoke? Are you a current smoker? Do you know someone who died after years of smoking? We are always looking for new stories for our Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Blog. You NEVER know when your story could help someone else and encourage them to stop smoking. Send us your contact information below so we can tell YOUR story.



Prabhu Ponkshe’s Story

I was one who quit. After being both, a smoker and a non-smoker for extended periods, sometimes years, I knew I had to stop the on-again, off-again nicotine ride. So I picked a date, my birthdate, in 1992, I think. I woke up that morning and decided that was it. But there were still five or ten cigarettes left from an old pack somewhere in the house. And it occurred to me that perhaps I will smoke those and then quit. Thankfully, it also occurred to me that quitting on my birth date meant not smoking on my birthday. So I washed the cigarettes in tap water, crumpled the pack and tossed it in the trash can. I did use a nicotine patch. I started wearing the patch for 24 hours a day, then realized that I was not sleeping well because the body was not accustomed to a constant dose of nicotine. So, I started taking the patch off at night and putting it back on in the morning.

One day I realized that it had been five days since I last used the patch which made me wonder if I even needed the patch anymore. I have not smoked since. Besides never having throat infections, food has tasted so much better and the flavors are real. But, I was careful not to switch from nicotine to food. Well, except for having cake or ice cream maybe once a week or so. I have since successfully encouraged at least three good friends, all so gently, to quit and they have. I am thankful that I did not berate them but suggested that they consider being smoke-free.


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