Desktop version

Home arrow Health arrow 100 Questions and Answers About How to Quit Smoking

DEDICATION

To my wife, Ana Cristina, whose involved critical reading, frequent meetings with the co-authors, and editorial efforts justly deserve the right to be considered as a co-author to this book as well. It would not have been written and completed without her organizing force.

—Charles Herrick, MD

This book is dedicated to my husband, children, and grandchildren. I am a proud wife, mother, and grandmother.

I want to thank my son, Charles Herrick, for inviting me to co-author a second book with him. I am also grateful to his wife for the support that she provided both of us in bringing this book to fruition. Her editorial contributions were invaluable.

I especially want to thank my husband, Bob Herrick, for his patience in allowing me the time to do the research and writing that contributed to making 100 Questions & Answers about How to Quit Smoking possible. He has continued to encourage me to write and over the past few years I have written three books, all published by Jones and Bartlett. I want to thank the editorial staff of Jones and Bartlett. It has been gratifying to work with all of you.

I would also like to dedicate this book to all of the smokers who have quit smoking. Congratulations! As an ex-smoker, I know how hard it was. This dedication also includes those smokers who are valiantly trying to quit. Keep trying and eventually you will succeed! I am deeply grateful to two friends and colleagues who read parts of this book and gave suggestions. One is an ex-smoker, who shared her journey with me, and the other is currently trying to quit, using the patch. The fact that she is trying to stop smoking after reading parts of this book is a testament to the fact that 100 Questions & Answers about How to Quit Smoking may be helpful. Thank you so much. I hope both of you live healthy and productive lives.

—Charlotte A. Herrick,, PhD, RN

I dedicate this book to my husband, Scott, and my kids, Megan, Jillian, and Drew. They have put up with my smoking cessation ramblings for many years and can probably recite the dangers of smoking in their sleep. I could not have done this without you.

—Marianne Mitchell, APRN

INTRODUCTION

Tobacco has probably had a bigger impact on the lives of Americans than all plants, drugs, or other commodities combined. This may sound exaggerated, but when one examines the history of our nation one cannot but be left with the feeling that, were it not for tobacco, we would not have been able to gain our independence as rapidly as we did. Tobacco did it all. It brought jobs and opportunity. It led to rapid agricultural development. It brought wealth, and with wealth came the power to obtain independence. Unfortunately, like all things that seem initially like windfalls, the cultivation of tobacco came at a price. That price was paid, in many respects, on the backs of African Americans, who worked the plantations to bring the plant to market and fuel the American economy. (Cotton contributed to this as well, but tobacco was the first cash crop.) Gradually, however, America's increasing dependency on slave labor for that cash crop created deep divisions, which finally ignited in the form of a bloody Civil War, the effects of which are still being felt today over a hundred years later.

In a sense, tobacco's story on the social level has mirrored its effects on the individual level. Unlike any other drug of its kind, tobacco does it all. It perks you up and makes you sharper, but it also slows you down and allows you to focus better so you can block out bothersome stimuli; It stimulates and it sedates. It helps you manage everything that stress can throw your way without impairing you or turning you into an idiot. Because of this wealth of activity, of providing for every psychological need in a steady and manageable way, tobacco creates a slow but certain dependency that catches you off-guard until a civil war erupts in your body in the form of some life threatening disease that you can conveniently ignore until it explodes, leaving you at the edge of health.

We now approach smokers in the same way we approached other social outcasts, looking at them with disdain, viewing them as moral failures at best, or hooligans at worst. We wonder how they can ignore the flood of information that drowns us all with horrific statistics about rates of cancer and heart disease and emphysema, all leading to lost years and lost quality of life. We forget our past. We forget that this attitude is the exception, not the rule. We forget that even if we never smoked, our parents smoked, and smoking was part of the fabric of our lives, invading every medium as surely as the smoke filled restaurants, airplanes, bars, and homes filled our lungs as an accepted part of life. Smoking was the engine of America's success in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, just as oil has been America's success in the twentieth. While one can hope for a future of independence from both, one cannot forget to pay proper respect to the fact that our current freedoms and standard of living have been partly built on these products.

It is an unfortunate fact of human nature to make things all good or all bad. It is especially unfortunate that Americans tend to do this more than other peoples. It is unfortunate because it often leads us to act in ways that ultimately hurt us rather than help us. While it is a good thing that we have become more aware of the dangers of second hand smoke and have created laws to limit our exposure to it, it is not a good thing to treat our family and friends who smoke as pariahs. Hopefully, this book will provide some insight and understanding regarding tobacco's insidious effects on our biology, while offering hope that effective treatment is available to enable us to ultimately free ourselves from its grasp.


 
< Prev   CONTENTS   Next >

Related topics