Pfizer’s Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall’s Advice for Quitting Smoking — Dr. Phil


DR PHIL: My next guest, Loree, started smoking when she was 12 years old. That’s right, she
started smoking at 12. Now, Loree says smoking rules her
life, and she wants help to quit this deadly
addiction, before it becomes a deadly diagnosis. Take a look … LOREE: I have been smoking since I was 12 years old. So, pretty much, most of my life. I smoke a pack to a pack-and-a-half a day. When I wake up in the mornings, I cough for probably the first half-hour. When I was pregnant, I cut it down to three cigarettes a day, but that’s as far as I could get. I’m a nurse, and I was a nurse and a safety
officer in Afghanistan. I have taken care tracheotomy patients
and as a nurse, I know better. I do patient
teaching on the hazards and risks, and then I go
outside and smoke a cigarette. I have continued to smoke, and [I’m] starting to feel the effects of it. My grandfather died of lung cancer. He was a smoker. My dad has emphysema, and I guilted him into stopping smoking, and then I continue to smoke. WOMAN: Yeah, you’ve gotta quit baby. You’ve gotta quit. LOREE: They’re so good. WOMAN: No, they’re not. LOREE: My children beg me to quit. Pretty much everybody that knows me wants to help me quit. I’ve tried to quit smoking at least 20 or 30 times. I’ve tried the patch, that gum, medications, inhalers, and I always end up smoking again. I do know it’ll kill me, but I
have tried everything, and I just can’t quit. Please help. DR PHIL: OK, why did you start? LOREE: I really don’t know. I was, like I said, I was only 12 years old. But I did always have older friends
and cousins around. They smoked. I thought it looked kinda cool. DR PHIL: What point did you realize, ‘I’m outta control. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to’? LOREE: It really wasn’t till I was in my later twenties … Well, actually, when I got pregnant, and the
doctor said, ‘You need to quit.’ I could only cut it down to about three a day, and I couldn’t completely quit. Then, I knew it
had me. DR PHIL: What’s the longest you’ve ever gone without smoking? LOREE: I managed to make it a year one time. DR PHIL: You made it a year. Well, that good. (APPLAUSE) How did it feel? … after you … LOREE: My lungs felt better. I had more energy, but I still thought about it all the time for the entire year. That never got better. DR PHIL: So, would you say you kind of white-knuckled for a year? You
never got over the craving. You never got over
the desire. LOREE: No. DR PHIL: Alright. You’ve heard the saying, ‘You gotta break habits.’ That’s a real misnomer. See, we don’t break habits. What we do is we replace one behavior with a new behavior. If we take that away
from you and we don’t put something in its place, guess what happens? That pops back up.
Not some of the time, but all of the time. Now, Loree’s grandfather died from lung cancer. Her father has emphysema from smoking, yet she still smokes every half-hour of her waking day. If she’s awake, every half-hour. Her daughter, Natasha, wants her mother
to put down the cigarettes, for the sake of her future grandchildren. Look at this … NATASHA: I did recently just hear that my mother would quit smoking if she
found out that I were pregnant, and Josh and I, my husband, we are planning to begin to start and have children. I love my mom and I don’t wanna hurt her
feelings, but at the same time, I don’t want my child — future child — to
have to deal with smelling cigarettes or being around it. Mom, my biggest fear is that someday, Bree, Elijah and I are going to be standing around a
hospital bed, and you’re not gonna be able to breathe. I love you. I hope that you can get some help. DR PHIL: No matter what reason gets you to quit smoking, it is always a good idea, and here to
help us learn more about the actual quitting is a real favorite of ours here at the Dr. Phil show, Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall. She’s the Chief Medical Officer of Pfizer,
and she’s like real smart about this stuff, so … Can you
help us understand why it’s so hard to quit? -DR FREDA: Well, for starters, a lot of us think that it’s
just a habit, but it isn’t just a bad habit. Smoking is an
addiction, and we have to start treating it that way.
So, let me start by asking you … We heard what your daughter said about your motivation. But because this is such a hard
addiction, you tell me, what would your motivation be? LOREE: I really don’t know. I … Well, I’ve worked with pulmonary patients,
cancer patients. I think I’m — and seeing these commercials
lately — I’m really afraid of ending up like that, and my family watching me die like that. I do not want that to happen. DR PHIL: Let me ask you when — because the use of ‘addiction’
gets thrown around a lot — which you’re using it in the strictest
sense of the word here, right? This is an addiction — psychologically,
physiologically, in every way, correct? DR FREDA: The whole spectrum. This is the
real deal addiction. DR PHIL: OK. Loree has tried to quit smoking over 30 times, and nothing has ever lasted more than one year. She’s here to get help on how to really
quit for good. Now, Dr. Freda, she’s been telling us
that, first off, this is not just a habit. It’s
an absolute addiction. What advice can you offer someone that
wants to quit? DR FREDA: First, let me start with the — with the motivation — because it has to be
deep and it has to be real. You can’t wait to be a grandma to start, right? You have to quit now in order to make it to be a
grandma. And I want to share something with you
about me. My mother was a lifelong smoker, a lifelong smoker.
She wanted nothing more than to be a grandma. Three years before my daughter, her first grandchild,
was born, she died suddenly of a stroke. She didn’t make it to be a grandma, and trust me, you really wanna make it. I became a grandma four months ago. There is nothing better. Is there anything better? There’s nothing better. So, we’re gonna start with your motivation and then
we’re gonna say, you know, quitting, whether it’s your first time or your thirtieth time, is not easy. Remember, this addiction is a chronic, relapsing medical condition. So, people need, in many cases, and do
better when they have a doctor to help them. So, we have a quick list. These are things
that your doctor will need to help put a plan together
for you. So, how many packs a day do you smoke, for how long? LOREE: A pack and a half. DR FREDA: For? LOREE: Thirty-three years … most of my life. DR FREDA: And
how many times you started to quit … LOREE: About thirty, at least, probably at least. DR FREDA: That’s a lot of times. And then we want to get to the methods that you’ve used and what the barriers are. These are the
things that you were talking about earlier — what keeps you in that addiction mode. And then last, but not least, the reasons that you want to quit now. DR PHIL: You know, I think when people … you say that it works better with the
doctor. You know, sometimes people just kinda go in there and they’re passive patients. You don’t wanna be a passive patient. This is this is what I love about get healthy stay healthy dot com, is it’s got action-oriented things on. If this is
something you’re really committed to, and you acknowledge it’s in addition, huge. I mean, that’s huge. It’s not just a behavior, it’s an addiction. DR FREDA: And so we want start today, and because it’s an addiction, what we want to do is to look for
tobacco specialist for you. Sometimes, they’re in your area. If not,
there’s often a lot of resource online or on the
phone, so we can make sure that you get connected to that. And then also, on get healthy stay healthy dot com, we have some other information for you to help you get started. But it’s
really all about today. LOREE: OK. DR PHIL: Yeah. OK, now, this — you’re talking about get healthy stay healthy dot com. That’s not my website, that’s y’all’s. But, there’s real information on there about this, and I want you to take a look
at that. But hear what Dr. Freda’s saying here. This is subject to relapse. It may not be
a success-only journey, but you know what, if it’s four days and
you stumble, then you get back up, and you do it again, and
you do it again, and you do it again. You do it until, because you’re poisoning yourself every day until
you do. And so, that’s critical. Alright, I’d like to
thank all my guests today, especially Dr. Freda Lewis-Hall. For more information on today’s show, you can visit. DrPhil.com. We’ll see you next time.