Ed Palombo - A Workplace Cessation Success Story

(January 9, 2014)

 

Ed Palombo started smoking as a young teenager and enjoyed smoking for many years.  Like most teenagers back then, he was drawn to smoking because it was trendy and there was an immense amount of peer pressure.   Of course, after he smoked for a while, he became addicted to nicotine.  Although he was fortunate to have had no personal connection to any type of lung disease, he knew that smoking was unhealthy.  So in the back of his mind he always wanted to quit but never actually tried to fight the addiction until recently.    

Even though he hadn’t had any health issues associated with smoking, when Ed turned 50, he decided to stop smoking.  His company’s insurance premiums were increasing so they began offering a wellness discount incentive through the American Lung Association to help offset the costs.  Most people got angry over this new policy but Ed saw it as an opportunity.  This was the nudge he needed.  This motivated him to quit smoking.  The way it worked was that his company covered the cost of the patches and Lung Association offered a cessation program where they did the assessment and mailed them to him after each weekly call.  Ed stopped smoking on his first attempt.  He participated in a step down program that help him achieve his goal.  The Lung Association provided individuals for Ed to call weekly to discuss his progress as well as any issues he may have had.  He really liked talking to people and appreciated them listening to him as well.  Their encouragement helped enormously.  He enjoyed going through the program – it was fun for him. 

However, Ed offers a word of caution to individuals who want to stop smoking, to not quit cold turkey because it could have an adverse effect on their health.  He adds that it’s not as hard as what it’s thought to be and that their health will improve in every way once the process is started.  Addictions are difficult to overcome and he thought the process of quitting was going to be a lot harder than it actually was.  Once he got the nicotine out of his system, it was easy.  Nevertheless, he does not praise himself for doing something he should’ve been doing all along.  For that reason, he isn’t proud of himself for quitting but is extremely happy that he quit. 

Ed appreciates everything the Lung Association did for him.  He is happy that it was available and has paid it forward by participating in the HelpLine (phone) program.  For the future, Ed looks forward to what is coming in the health science and technology fields that will help solve a lot of health problems such as blood cancers, Alzheimer’s, and dementia.  He realizes it’s going to be a wonderful decade.  Ed concluded that life is good; nature is good; the Lung Association is great; and he is grateful for everything the Lung Association does.