The beginning of the year is a common time for people to try and make healthy changes in their lives. But, as we all know, those “resolutions” come with varying degrees of follow through and success.
There is a lot to be said for utilizing this annual reminder for fresh starts — but the reality is, it may take your patients several attempts to finally kick the habit of smoking or vaping. And that’s okay.
While the idea of quitting “cold turkey” is admirable, that’s not how it works for most people. On average, it takes 10-15 quit attempts for someone to stop smoking for good. Even people who say they quit cold actually tried several times before they got it to stick.
So, it’s often unrealistic to expect that there’s a magical time, like a new year or maybe a birthday or anniversary, where someone can simply flip the switch. Quitting smoking or vaping is a process that involves fits and starts. Making a quit plan, finding the right strategies for dealing with triggers and cravings, finding the right dose and type of cessation medication that works best for curbing withdrawal, and getting the various forms of support that are needed—it all takes time, and some trial and error.
Everyone who smokes or vapes knows that they should quit. And the pressure to quit can be even higher in the new year, when everyone around them is either making resolutions or nudging them to resolve to quit. But external pressure, or internal feelings of guilt, aren’t going to provide your patients with the sustainable motivation that they’ll need for quitting.
A funny thing about new year’s resolutions — while their aims are often grandiose, their staying power is often short-lived. Most resolutions are abandoned by the middle of February. That’s why we emphasize that quitting is a long game. Ultimately, we want people to quit for good. To do that, they need the tools and motivation that will keep them going, even when quitting gets tough.
There are three keys to supporting sustainable motivation: (1) providing people with opportunities to have ownership around how and when they quit; (2) helping people develop the necessary skills and offering the tools for being able to quit successfully; and (3) creating an environment in which people have space to try, potentially lapse, and come back, all without judgment.
With all this in mind, CDPHP offers eligible members (those 18 and over who smoke or vape) a no-cost smoking cessation program called Pivot. As the name implies, it’s a program that allows tobacco users to pivot toward healthier behaviors, without the pressure of thinking it has to happen overnight.
Pivot is an app-based, personalized cessation program that is self-paced, engaging, and motivational. It includes the Pivot SmartSensor, a hand-held device that your patient breathes in to, to measure carbon monoxide in their breath and show them the tangible results of lessening tobacco use day to day. Patients also have access to a dedicated quitting coach, and a four-week supply of nicotine replacement therapy is also included at no-charge.
Find out more about the Pivot program for your patients, offered at no cost to eligible CDPHP members. Or contact Liam Harrison on the CDPHP physician engagement team at (518) 641-3498 or Liam.Harrison@cdphp.com