Quit for Good: Huge success rate with new local treatment program for smokers

-       It often takes smokers many times before they finally stop smoking, some people up to thirty times!  However, M.D. Anderson's Tobacco Treatment Program has a much higher success rate.  While it's usually available and free for patients and employees, it's now being offered to the public through several studies.
        As you probably know, many people start smoking in their teens, not realizing they'll get so addicted.    That's what happened to Tanner Touchstone.  "I quickly became a pack-a-day smoker.  From 17 until July 26th, 2015," says Tanner.  July 26th is the last cigarette he says he will EVER smoke.  After relying on tobacco for 17 years, he was ready to let it go!  "You hear all the warnings, and I was starting to see it effect my energy level, my ability to do activities, and the cost was having an affect on finances," says Tanner.
        Smoking a pack a day costs almost $8,500 a year!
        Tanner knew he needed help to quit for good, which is why he signed up for a study in M.D. Anderson's "Tobacco Treatment" program. Everything was paid for: his counseling, access to doctors, medications, and parking. 
        "It is the single most important thing they can do for their health is to quit smoking.  There is no question about whether they have a disease, cancer, lung cancer, heart attacks, strokes, all of them are impacted by smoking, caused by smoking," explains the Associate Medical Director of the program, Dr. Maher Karam-Hage . He goes on to explain that the public can currently participate in several studies at M.D. Anderson. It's a partnership to help the smoker quit - plus give valuable information to doctors about what really works.  "I think it's a good time of year for people to make their New Year's resolutions, so if they succeed - fantastic, if they didn't - this is the perfect time to try to do this - it's the best thing," says Dr. Karam-Hage. 
        Tanner says one of the best things for him is he could tell a huge difference in his stamina only ten days after snuffing out his cigs!  "I feel an overwhelming sense of freedom!  freedom from what I was always having to work out, not participate at a level I was wanting to - I don't have to worry about that anymore!  I can show up and be present in any situation and not have to worry about stepping aside to go have a cigarette and then long-term health is definitely a plus," exclaims Tanner.
        When Tanner gets an urge now, he just pops in a piece of sugar-free gum, to help get his mind off of it.  "That works for me!  I went from a smoky smell to a minty fresh smell, so that works out pretty good," laughs Tanner.
        The best way to find out if you qualify, for the studies we mentioned, is just to pick up the phone! The number is on your screen and also on our website at fox26houston:  713-792-2265.  
        More information:  Behavioral Research and Treatment Center:  www.mdanderson.org/behavioralresearchstudies
Tobacco Treatment Program:  www.mdanderson.org/quitnow

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