🚭 S.M.A.R.T Quit Plan 🚀

Embark on a journey to a smoke-free life with a SMART Quit Plan. Although not the only factors, these are the key to help you with quitting.

🔑 Strategy is the key to success! 💡 Medication + counseling is proven, but tailor it to your personality and behaviors. 🔄 Whether you thrive in groups 👥 or prefer solo learning from books 📚, there’s a method for you!

🔥 Motivation Check: Assess your drive to quit. The higher the motivation, the stronger the quit attempt! 📈

🔍 Awareness is Key: Identify triggers – the who, what, where, and why. Understand behaviors, places, people, and emotions that fuel the habit. 🧠

✍️ Reasons Matter: Pen down YOUR reasons to quit. Personal motivations trump external pressures. Do it for yourself, for health, for the freedom! 🌈

⏰ Time and Telling: Don’t just quit, plan to quit! Set a quit date and prepare for the before, day of, and after. 🗓️ Share your journey with others for built-in support! 👭👬

Remember, success is not by chance, it’s by choice! 💫 #QuitSmoking #HealthyChoices #LifestyleChange”

2024-01-03T16:52:24-05:00January 3rd, 2024|Uncategorized|

A Gradual Farewell: Tapering Off Cigarettes for a Healthier Tomorrow

Smoking cessation is a challenging but essential journey for those looking to improve their health and well-being. While quitting “cold turkey” works for some, others may find success through a more gradual approach known as tapering off cigarettes. In this article, we will explore the evidence behind tapering off cigarettes, various methods individuals can use, and tips to make the process more manageable.

Why consider tapering off slowly:

  • Reduction in withdrawal symptoms:
    • Research suggests that tapering off cigarettes can lead to milder withdrawal symptoms compared to quitting abruptly. Gradual reduction helps the body adjust to decreasing nicotine levels, making the process less daunting.
  • Increased success rates:
    • Studies have shown that individuals who gradually reduce their cigarette intake may have higher success rates in quitting smoking in the long term. Tapering off allows smokers to adjust both physically and mentally, increasing the likelihood of sustained abstinence.

What are ways to taper off cigarettes:

  • Set Realistic Goals:
    • Establish a realistic and achievable reduction plan. For example, aim to smoke one less cigarette per day every week until you reach your goal.
  • Use Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT):
    • Consider incorporating nicotine replacement products like patches, gum, or lozenges. These products can help manage withdrawal symptoms, making it easier to reduce cigarette consumption gradually.
  • Identify Triggers:
    • Recognize and address situations that trigger the urge to smoke. Whether it’s stress, social situations, or certain activities, finding alternative coping mechanisms is crucial for successful tapering.
  • Switching Brands:
    • Some individuals find success in tapering off by switching to cigarettes with lower nicotine content. This can be a steppingstone toward eventually quitting altogether.

Tips for Successful Tapering:

  • Stay Consistent:
    • Consistency is key when tapering off cigarettes. Stick to your reduction plan and monitor your progress regularly.
  • Reward Yourself:
    • Celebrate milestones with non-smoking-related rewards. Positive reinforcement can help reinforce your commitment to tapering off.
  • Seek Support:
    • Inform friends and family about your decision to taper off cigarettes. Having a support system can provide encouragement and understanding during challenging moments.
  • Stay Active:
    • Participate in physical activities to distract yourself from cravings and boost your overall well-being. Exercise can also help manage stress, a common trigger for smoking.
  • Professional Guidance:
    • Consider seeking assistance from healthcare professionals or smoking cessation programs. They can provide personalized advice, support, and even prescribe medications to aid in the tapering-off process.

Tapering off cigarettes is a possible and evidence-backed method for individuals looking to quit smoking. Remember, each step toward reducing cigarette intake is a step toward a healthier, smoke-free future.

2023-12-19T12:04:38-05:00December 19th, 2023|Uncategorized|

Happy Thanksgiving, from Lori Sontag, President & CEO of The Breathing Association

2023-11-21T16:40:37-05:00November 21st, 2023|Uncategorized|

Combating the Teen Vaping Epidemic

Teen vaping is a problem. We have the tools to help you create a solution.

Are you a concerned parent? A teacher, coach or youth organization leader? Below, you can download the tools you need to succeed.

  • The Facts and Myths of Vaping
  • Signs of Vaping
  • Tips for Talking to Teens
  • Recommendations for Schools
  • Organizing a Community Forum or Awareness Campaign
  • Action Plans
  • Resources for more

2023-11-07T13:49:12-05:00November 7th, 2023|Uncategorized|

Giving Tuesday

How Can You Help?

This past year, The Breathing Association has experienced a rapid rate of growth. As the needs of our community increase to care for our most vulnerable populations of Central Ohio, the need for diagnostic tools increases as well.

By having a range of point-of-care testing equipment, The Breathing Association Lung Health Clinic will significantly improve the diagnostic capabilities and provide timely assessments to inform treatment decisions. These items will enable our clinicians to conduct on-site testing, ensuring convenient and efficient evaluation of various health parameters. The list of essential point-of-care machines that are needed include:

  • Hematology Analyzer for rapid assessment of low blood count, bleeding risk, and possible infections
  • Glucose Meter for an assessment of blood sugar levels within the last 90 days and diabetes risk
  • Rapid Strep Test for determination of infection for Strep A or B
  • Rapid Influenza Test for determination of an infection from Influenza A or B
  • Urinalysis Analyzer for assessments of kidney function and possible infections
  • Point-of-Care Chemistry Analyzer for assessment of body electrolytes and organ function
  • Cholesterol Analyzer for assessment of cholesterol levels and cardiovascular disease risk
  • Pulmonary Function Test to measure a patient’s lung capacity
  • Portable Digital X-Ray Machine for diagnosing lung diseases including TB and pneumonia.

By incorporating these machines into the clinical workflow, our clinic team will be able to perform comprehensive and rapid assessments, enabling prompt diagnosis, personalized treatment plans, and improved management of pulmonary conditions.

2023-11-01T15:59:17-04:00November 1st, 2023|Uncategorized|

Mental Health and Nicotine Addiction

Nicotine addiction and mental health problems often go hand-in-hand. Nicotine acts on the brain and can change mood, thinking, and behavior. Over time, the brain gets used to nicotine and needs it to feel normal. When someone tries to quit nicotine, they can feel anxious, sad, crabby, and have trouble focusing. This can make any mental health problems worse. 

Research shows that people with conditions like depression, schizophrenia, and bipolar disorder are more likely to smoke and get addicted to nicotine. 

  • People with mental health conditions smoke about 1 in 3 of all cigarettes smoked by adults (CDC 
  • Adults with mental illness smoke nearly 40% of all cigarettes in the United States (American Lung Association):   
  • Individuals diagnosed with mental health disorders (depression or bipolar disorder) are 2-3 times as likely to be current smokers than individuals without mental health disorders (American Psychiatric Association).   
  • Smoking rates are 3-4 times higher among those with schizophrenia compared to the general population (National Institute of Mental Health 

Don’t think that vaping is a healthier option. There is emerging research on the connections between mental health and vaping: 

  • The rates of teen vaping are 2-3 times higher among those with mental health disorders (NIDA) 
  • Analysis of a national survey showed that adults who vape regularly are about twice as likely to suffer from depression, anxiety or other mental health conditions compared to non-vapers (Truth Initiative). 
  • For those already struggling with mental health disorders, vaping may exacerbate symptoms just like traditional cigarette smoking (CDC). 
  • With more research emerging, experts theorize that high nicotine concentrations in some vape juices may negatively impact mental health, especially in teens whose brains are still developing (CDC). 

Sadly, there are a few reasons for this: 

  • Nicotine may help some mental health symptoms feel better for a short time. But it does not treat the actual problem. 
  • Mental health issues can make it hard to control urges and quit smoking. 
  • Smoking may be more accepted around psychiatric patients and healthcare providers. This reinforces the habit. 
  • Some mental health medications and nicotine do not mix well. This can make quitting harder. 
  • Genes and environment may play a role in both mental illness and smoking. 

Quitting smoking can improve mental health over time. Withdrawal goes away after a few weeks. Brain receptors become more responsive, easing anxiety and depression. Quitting also eliminates smoking health risks like cancer. 

People with mental illness who smoke can use nicotine gum, patches, sprays to manage withdrawal. In fact, nicotine replacement therapy, though not risk-free, is safer than smoking. Research shows that they can double the chances of successfully quitting, regardless of mental health status (Cochrane Review). Combine these treatment options with professional support, like that at The Breathing Association, and a personal drive, even those with mental illness can quit smoking or vaping and gain the mental benefits. 

2023-10-13T14:09:15-04:00October 13th, 2023|Uncategorized|

What to Do as School Begins?

Even though school is just beginning all around the country, I am being flooded with calls and emails that vaping remains the school’s number one problem. Research has shown us that vaping affects students’ learning ability, mental and emotional health, and self-esteem. This summer, researchers found that our youth are at risk of experiencing significant respiratory symptoms like bronchitis and shortness of breath, after vaping in the past 30 days. Those using in the past 30 days were 78% more likely to experience shortness of breath. Dr. Hamburg, cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at Boston University, wrote that youth who vape have been shown to “increase heart rate, blood pressure and affect the ability of the blood vessels to relax”.

So, what can we do? We must use our voice in our communities to not only support our schools in addressing this epidemic with evidence-based science but also with local, state, and national officials to change policies that allow companies like Puff Bar, not to be allowed to sell their products to youth. Get involved with Parents Against Vaping E-cigarettes, PAVE. Their fall campaign, “Schools In – Vapes Out!” is something you will want to look at. PAVE is extremely helpful if your community needs education or direction in working with policymakers. Of course, our first priority is to communicate with our kids and for me, my grandkids, about the concerns of them and or their friends vaping. You can always email me with questions or comments. I can be reached at: bruce.barcelo@sotertechnologies.com.

Looking to have The Breathing Association bring the Kick The Nic program to your school or youth organization? Click here to find out more: https://breathingassociation.org/services/asthma-services/kick-the-nic/

2023-09-15T15:30:44-04:00September 15th, 2023|Uncategorized|

Back to School and Vaping

2023-08-16T15:54:32-04:00August 16th, 2023|Uncategorized|

The Breathe Easy Stroll on the Piazza!

In the mood for some Italian and charitable giving?

Join us for the Breathe Easy Stroll on the Piazza on Thursday, October 5th from 5:30pm-8:30pm at Carfagana’s Ristorante for an evening of fun, friends and fundraising for The Breathing Association Charity Healthcare Center.

What is happening on the piazza?

  • Wine tasting with Carfagna’s own wine experts!
  • Housemade Italian appetizers crafted by their chefs!
  • A silent auction, benefitting our charity care!
  • Live music!
  • Talk with our team about the newest ways The Breathing Association is growing to meet the needs of and bring heath equity to the communities we serve

Bring your friends and make some new ones!  Tickets are $150 per pair, and are limited!

Carfagna’s Ristorante is located at 1440 Gemini Place, Columbus, Ohio 43240

Click here to purchase your tickets!


Can’t make it on October 5th?  The silent auction is live now so you can still join in the fun and help support charity healthcare!  New items added regularly, the auction will conclude on the evening of the event!

Click here to check out the silent auction!


2023-08-14T16:28:37-04:00August 14th, 2023|Uncategorized|
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