Laser therapy among newer stop-smoking methods
Clint Cooper Staff Writer
After 40 years of smoking, Jim
Robin son will be smoke free for one year
believed so much in the Anne Penman Laser Therapy he received in Atlanta to help
him quit that he bought a franchise.
tried virtually everything out there," said Mr. Robinson, 54, a former high
A spokesman for the American
Cancer Society said the organization does not endorse a particular method for
quitting but said the ultimate goal is to quit.
"We know smoking kills people," said the
organization’s Michael Holtz. "We’ve known that since the Surgeon General’s
report in 1964. It’s linked to a whole host of diseases, not the least of which
is lung cancer."
The American Cancer Society
will mark its 29th annual Great American Smokeout locally with a luncheon at the
Chattanooga Choo-Choo on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and a reception at Life Care
Centers of America in Cleveland, Tenn., at 4:30 p.m.
The speaker at both events will be Patrick
Reynolds, grandson of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds. His message is "Tobacco
Wars!" or "The Truth About Tobacco."
Reynolds, who lost both his father and his oldest brother to cigarette-induced
emphysema and lung cancer, said he first spoke to a congressional subcommittee
in 1986 and in 1989 founded the Foundation for a Smokefree America.
The more he was "catapulted into the spotlight,"
he said in a phone conversation from his home in
California, "the more dedicated I became."
Mr. Reynolds said he will share his personal story, he also will speak on
tobacco issues specific to Tennessee.
those, he said, are urging the state to repeal a preemption law that doesn’t
allow local governments to make their own rules on indoor clean air laws,
tobacco taxes or fines for illegally selling tobacco products to minors;
persuading the state to raise its cigarette tax so the product won’t be as
attractive to young people, who have a higher addiction rate than the rest of
the population; and implementing tobacco education programs with some of the
state’s tobacco settlement revenue.
said, according to statistics, Tennessee is one of five states which allocate no
funds for tobacco prevention among youth from tobacco settlement money. In
addition, he said, 27.6 percent of Tennessee high school students and 26.1
percent of adults smoke, both of which are higher than the national average.
However, he said youth smoking is on the decline
nationally and especially so in states where money has been spent on tobacco
Mr. Reynolds said such
states have seen a 50 percent decline in middle school smoking and a 35.6
percent decline in high school smoking.
programs) work," he said. "That’s all the more reason to do something for the
Mr. Reynolds, who smoked for 15 years,
said the most important message for smokers to learn is not to give up if they
try and fail to stop.
"You can do it," he said.
"The journey is to become a nonsmoker."
Reynolds suggests smokers get in some kind of program to help them quit, but he
said they should give equal weight to their craving after the original urge has
"The secret is ‘Hold on for five
minutes,’ " he said.
Mr. Robinson said not even
a heart attack was enough to motivate him to stop smoking.
"I figured lightning doesn’t strike twice," he
When Mr. Robinson learned about the laser
treatment, he was initially leery.
"I had never
heard of it, but I was intrigued so I checked it out," he said.
When it worked, Mr. Robinson became so
interested in the therapy he decided to quit his job and open a franchise in
In the therapy, a low-level cold
laser is applied to a variety of pressure points on a smoker’s ear, nose, hands
and wrist, and endorphins — feelgood chemicals in the body — are gradually
elevated and held in a heightened state.
in turn, reduces craving, stress and the irritability that goes with
withdrawal," Mr. Robinson said. "It makes it easier to stop smoking."
Nicotine from cigarettes, he said, elevates
endorphins quickly, then sends them to a quick crash.
The Anne Penman Laser Therapy method has a
national 64 percent success rate, higher than most other methods, he said. He
said his franchise has maintained that standard.
Mr. Holtz of the ACS said while the organization
can’t vouch for the method, it is intriguing.
"It sounds like a pretty neat thing," he said.
E-mail Clint Cooper at
email@example.com TOBACCO TALK
Patrick Reynolds, grandson of tobacco magnate
R.J. Reynolds, will help mark the 29th annual Great American Smokeout by
speaking at a luncheon at the Chattanooga Choo-Choo on Tuesday at 11:30 a.m. and
at a reception at Life Care Centers of Cleveland on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. The
cost for the luncheon meeting is $20;
registration is required.
For information, call 209-5535. The Cleveland, Tenn., reception is free,
but registration is required. For information, call Paula Petty at 728-7020,
ext. 154. Mr.
Reynolds’ appearance is sponsored by Tobacco-Free
Tennessee, the American Cancer Society, Campaign for a Healthy and Responsible
Tennessee and Students Taking a Right Stand.
STRATEGIES TO QUIT SMOKING
Consider using medication to help you quit. There
are prescription and over-the-counter medications that can help you deal with
withdrawal symptoms or even help to reduce the urge to smoke.
Enlist support. Many states, communities and
health-care organizations have free or low-cost counseling available to help you
quit. Tobacco-Free Tennessee has a QuitLine in Chattanooga.
Get help or ask for help from your
Don’t keep your intention
to quit a secret.
Include your friends and family in your quitting
process; they can offer much-needed support.
Clear the places where you usually smoke of
anything that reminds you of cigarettes — like lighters, ashtrays or matches.
Also ask other smokers not to smoke around you, and clean your house and car
thoroughly to remove the smell of cigarettes.
Avoid places where smokers gather. Go to the
movies, museums or other places where smoking is not allowed.
Calm the nervous energy you may feel with
physical and mental activities. Take long strolls and deep breaths of fresh air,
and find things to keep your hands busy, like crossword puzzles or gardening.
When the urge to smoke strikes, do something
else. Call a supportive friend. Do brief exercises such as pushups, walking up a
flight of stairs or touching your toes. Keep oral substitutes like carrots,
apples, raisin, or gum handy. And never allow yourself to think that "one won’t
hurt," because it will.
— American Cancer
Photo Patrick Reynolds, grandson of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds,
believes smoking is harmful.