The current economic crisis is causing a great deal of stress and worry for many Americans. This might make it seem more difficult to stop smoking or could be a reason to relapse. Please remember during these times that smoking can only make things worse, for your budget and your health. During stressful times when events seem out of control, it is especially important to take good care of yourself. Focus on something over which you can gain control, rather than on events that are not under your control. Smoking will not solve worries and it is not an effective way to manage stress. Find real ways to build your body’s stress response: laugh, do something you enjoy, talk with a friend, get active. Check out the BecomeAnEX.org website and click the picture at ‘Re-learn Stressful Situations’ to see how you might imagine your colleagues in a way that will make you laugh. This may be just the right time to stop smoking for good.
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