Support - Giving and Receiving

Blog Post created by dr_hurt on Aug 14, 2009
Using tobacco can become integral to the way we relate to others. A person might smoke to be connected with others in happiness, or smoke to be alone after a disagreement with a loved one. Smoking can be an easy way to make acquaintances with others who have stepped outside to have a cigarette or it can feel helpful in managing loneliness or boredom. While you are smoking, it can sometimes be hard to imagine being a social being without smoking.

But, in some ways smoking may distract us from deeper relations with others. Stopping smoking can provide an opportunity to connect with others in a new meaningful way.

We frequently see a good example of this at our residential treatment program at the Mayo Clinic. The residential treatment program is an 8-day live in program designed to help people from smoking. It consists of a full schedule of education. counseling, and medical supervision that truly helps people who have 'tried everything' to stop. One of the most powerful things in the program is how the patients support one another.

It is always impressive to see how patients in the program share with each other, accept help form one another, and grow stronger together in stopping smoking. Patients become acquainted, grow familiar, laugh together, sometimes cry together, and all with a smoke. Sometimes life-long friendships are forged. The genuine and smoke-free emotions are palpable. People learn that they can have fun, step away and be alone, communicate directly, have emotions, and be more fully involved in the give and take of social living without smoking - check out EX Community to share and receive.

Dr. Richard D. Hurt is an internationally recognized expert on tobacco dependence. A native of Murray, Kentucky, he joined Mayo Clinic in 1976 and is now a Professor of Medicine at its College of Medicine. In 1988, he founded the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center and since then its staff has treated over 33,000 patients for tobacco dependence. Send your questions directly to Dr. Hurt at AskTheExpert@becomeanex.org