Well, we have covered most of the five topics we chose for our "One Year-One Healthy Change" challenge in the last several editions of this blog.
Most – but not all. I saved the best for last!
Hopefully I have convinced some of you to commit to a single change such as eating a healthier diet, manage weight and/or stress or become more physically active. By committing to a single change, hopefully we are reaping the benefits that I am confident result in these lifestyle changes.
The one change I’ve left out until now, mainly because I feel it is probably the hardest to accomplish, is tobacco cessation.
As a cardiologist, I am an unapologetic proponent of a tobacco-free society and applaud the new Indiana Smoke Free Air Law that takes effect July 1, 2012, banning the use of tobacco in many public places.
The number one cause of heart disease, and the reason for people seeing me professionally, is the use of tobacco. Despite what the tobacco companies have stated for years, we in the medical profession know tobacco is the number one cause of heart and vascular disease and we know exactly how it accomplishes this devastating effect. Mounds of scientific data prove that tobacco has adverse effects not only on the smoker but anyone who is exposed to the smoke, second hand smoke. My only regret concerning the law is that it did not go far enough to protect anyone who chooses not to smoke by exempting too many public places.
Do not get me wrong, I am a strong advocate for personal freedom and support an individual’s right to do to themself anything they choose without government intrusion. Given what we know about tobacco and it's adverse effects on first and second hand "smokers," this comes down to a public health issue and in matters of public health, public health trumps personal liberty.
Enough of the polemics. If you are a current smoker and desire to quit I applaud you! You are in for one of the most difficult tasks of your life but the rewards far outweigh any struggles you encounter along the way.
In my experience with patients, there is no single way to quit, I frequently tell my patients that if standing on your head in a corner helps you stop smoking you should stand on your head in a corner. Nicotine patches, nicotine gum, Chantix®, Zyban®, hypnosis, acupuncture, etc., all work for some and not for others. Finding what works for you is the most important thing.
This session is for you
If you would like help, we would love to have you attend our next, and last, One Year-One Healthy Change educational session: "Tobacco Free: Is that a Change I'm Ready to Make?"
These sessions are free of charge at the Allen County Public Library (downtown branch) from 7 - 8:30 p.m. on June 5. This session is geared to any and all who have desired to quit but do not feel they have the necessary will-power or tools to accomplish this daunting task. Come and be enlightened. Just think how much money you can save by no longer having to purchase cigarettes.
Connecting with you online and in the community
On a separate topic, thank you all for your comments about this blog. I encourage any and all comments, good or bad, to try to make this a truly interactive experience for those seeking better health.
Check out the Fort4Fitness website for more ideas to improve your health. I draw your attention to the new "Spring Cycle" event at Headwaters Park Saturday May 26 (Memorial Day Weekend). This is a new feature for Fort4Fitness and promises to be as wildly successful as the fall running and walking events. Spring Cycle events include 20/35/45 mile tours, Bike the Fort, Twilight Criterium and family activities at Headwaters Park.
I hope to see you there!
Chantix® is a registered trademark of Pfizer Inc.