Recovery Connections

John Schwary is CEO of Transitional Living Communities, a 850-bed recovery program he founded in Mesa, Arizona January 9, 1992 when he had a year sober. He's in his 27th year of recovery.

In these posts, he views life mostly through the lenses of recovery. While the blog is factual, he sometimes disguises events and people to protect anonymity.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Deadly Addiction

Smoking is the most powerful and deadly addiction there is.

Each year some 444, 000 Americans succumb to this insidious habit. There are more deaths from smoking than from all other causes combined.

That includes automobile accidents, alcoholism, drug abuse, murders, suicides, cancer, heart disease, diabetes and all other medical causes – plus all the Americans who died in World War II. And, I repeat, that’s each year.

I’m on my soapbox again about this because another staff member recently went to the hospital suffering from the effects of smoking. The doctor frightened him enough that he vowed to stop. And he now has several days without a cigarette.

Because I witnessed eight close family members die a slow suffocating death from emphysema and COPD, I encourage the smokers in our program to kick the habit.

I’m so dedicated to helping smokers quit that last year I took a 60 hour hypnosis course with the primary objective of helping – at no cost – clients to stop smoking. And so far, I’m pleased to report, there are around 10 success stories of those who have quit.

As a former smoker who quit 29 years ago I know how difficult quitting can be. For me it was much easier to quit heroin that to give up cigarettes.  But it’s one of the best decisions I ever made.

And after the first week I didn’t even miss it.

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