Before Andrew, an employee of Mercy Health in Oklahoma, first met with his health coach, he was worried he would be judged for his chewing tobacco habit. He was pleasantly surprised when his health coach was understanding and also helped him realize that he didn’t have a good reason to continue his habit. With the encouragement of his coach, he started chewing nicotine gum and eventually stopped using tobacco altogether.

How We Improve the Habits of a Tobacco User

January 21, 2018, marked one year of my being tobacco-free. Before I decided to quit, I was using one can of chewing tobacco a day during the week and two cans a day on the weekends. I knew I should quit, but didn’t have the motivation to.

When I got a call from an Interactive Health coach, I expected a lecture on why my habits were unhealthy. I was pleasantly surprised when Sarah, my health coach, was not judgmental at all. Instead, she simply asked me why I used chewing tobacco.

After thinking about it, I realized I didn’t have a good answer. I knew it was an expensive habit. It made me cranky. It hurt my gums and gave me acid reflux.

She asked if I’d be willing to try nicotine gum. I figured why not try, and ended up chewing it daily to combat my tobacco use.

I eventually weaned off the nicotine gum and added in regular gum as a replacement. Now, I no longer chew tobacco, and when I get the occasional craving, I just pop in a piece of gum and go about my day.

Even though I completed my two mandatory coaching sessions, I still choose to talk with Sarah monthly. Through my positive experience combatting my tobacco usage, I learned that Interactive Health coaches are here to help. And after my experience with Sarah, I believe they genuinely care.

— As told to Interactive Health via an online form

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