UNC Tobacco Treatment Program Helps Cancer Patients Become Tobacco Free

Glenn Hair started smoking when he was 12 years old and over time began smoking up to two packs of cigarettes every day. He tried to quit numerous times but always found an excuse for why it was not the right time. He told himself he would quit later, but when he received his cancer diagnosis, he realized “One of these days, later isn’t going to come.”  

UNC Tobacco Treatment Program Helps Cancer Patients Become Tobacco Free click to enlarge UNC Tobacco Treatment Program Counselors

By: Meredith Pochily

Glenn Hair started smoking when he was 12 years old and over time began smoking up to two packs of cigarettes every day. He tried to quit numerous times but always found an excuse for why it was not the right time. He told himself he would quit later, but when he received his cancer diagnosis, he realized “One of these days, later isn’t going to come.” 

Hair started working with the UNC Tobacco Treatment Program (TTP) while receiving treatment at the NC Cancer Hospital. He appreciated that his counselors did not tell him things he already knew, but instead focused on practical solutions to help him quit. He stressed the importance of being prepared and having a plan for handling cravings before they occurred.

Hair said that working with the UNC TTP was similar to having a gym partner. He said that having support from the TTP and “knowing that somebody else would feel a sense of success with me” helped him through cravings and the challenges of quitting. When asked about his experience with the program, Hair said: “There was no downside. There was no inconvenience. [The TTP counselors] were phenomenal and made everything so easy and accessible.” Since becoming tobacco free, Hair has noticed that he is able to breathe more easily, and he expressed a sense of pride about overcoming this obstacle in his life. TTP counselors continue to check in with him and provide support as needed.

His advice for others who are hoping to quit or cut down on their smoking is to, “Accept the fact that you are probably going to stumble, don’t let that define your effort, and always, always be prepared. Have your back-up tools ready.”

If you smoke or use tobacco and are considering becoming tobacco free, contact the UNC Tobacco Treatment Program for support. TTP works with everyone: patients, community members and loved ones. Click here to find out more.

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