Your Guide to a Smoke Free Future

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1 Your Guide to a Smoke Free Future If you smoke, or if you have quit within the past 2 months, then ask for our detailed handout which provides information on how to begin and maintain a smoke-free lifestyle. Ask for an appointment today. Our heart health team is eager to meet with you, so that you can become ready and able to enjoy a smoke-free life. Printed with permission of the Canadian Council for Tobacco Control Your Guide to a Smoke Free Future 61

2 Benefits of Quitting It s not all gloom and doom! Quitting smoking lowers many health risks very quickly. If you quit, you may see and feel many positive things: Physical 1. you will feel free of the contol of an additive product 2. your risk of concer and heart disease will go down 3. stress on your heart will be reduced 4. your loved ones will not be harmed by your smoke. 5. breathing will be easier. 6. your smoker s cough will disappear 7. physical activity will be easier and more enjoyable 8. food will taste better 9. thing will smell better 10. you ll have more energy 11. your breath will smell fresher Social 1. you will be the one in control - cigarettes will no longer control you 2. your self-image and self-confidence will improve 3. family and friends will be rpoud of you 4. you ll be a healthier parent for your children, now and in the future 5. your life insurance premiums will go down 6. you ll have more money to spend on other things 62 Your Guide to a Smoke Free Future

3 Here is a short list of some health and physical problems caused by smoking 1. twice the normal risk of heart attack and stroke 2. more than 90% of lung cancers and other lung diseases (chronic bronchitis, emphysema) 3. 30% of all cancers 4. decreased physical endurance 5. bad colds 6. health problems for children and other family members from second-hand smoke 7. wrinkles 8. bad breath 9. stained teeth 10. persistent cough Fro men, smoking can block circulation and lead to impotence. For women on the pill, smoking greatly increases the chance of a stroke. When pregnant women smoke, they have a much greater chance of losing the baby. Also, there is an increased risk of having a low birth weight baby, sudden infant death and later developmental problems for their babies. Your Guide to a Smoke Free Future 63

4 Look at your past attempts Most smokers don t quit the first time they try, or even the third or fouth time. Usually it takes many attempts to learn the skills of living without the help of cigarettes. If you ve tried to quit in the past, take a look at what happened. This can really help you to plan for the next time. Our heart health team is here to help you begin or maintain a smokefree life. Make an appointment today, and ask for our handout on Your Guide to a Smoke-Free Future. 64 Your Guide to a Smoke Free Future

5 Coping with heart disease Paying Attention to your Quality of Life It is normal for a person to experience many changes after a cardiac event or diagnosis of heart disease. When we talk about a person s health-related quality of life, we mean the impact of disease and treatment on a person s life. This includes physical well-being, disease and treatment-related symptoms, and psychological and social well-being. Since your cardiac event or diagnosis, have you noticed changes in any of the following areas? Physical changes: Feeling weaker (or stronger) Feeling tired Having less (or more) energy Breathing difficulties More (or less) pain Psychological changes: Feeling sad or blue Losing interest in things once enjoyed Feeling angry Having more worry Having more stress Feeling proud of positive lifestyle changes Changing life priorities Social changes: Spending more or less time with friends and family Changes in the way you discuss concerns with friends and family Changes in your intimacy or sexual activity Changes in your ability to do your job or household chores Managing Stress Stress describes the challenges, frustrations, complications, and changes to which we all must adapt, usually on a daily basis. Stress involves our reactions to situations. A certain degree of stress is normal and necessary for us to grow stronger. However, stress is unhealthy when it: (1) Makes it difficult to relax or do usual activities, (2) Leads to unhealthy lifestyle behaviours, or (3) Is out of proportion to the actual threat of the situation. Understand & coping with heart disease 65

6 Three components of stress and stress management 1. Physical (what your body does) 2. Cognitive (what you think) 3. Behavioural (what you do) PHYSICAL e.g., muscle tension relaxation exercises COGNITIVE e.g., increased worry managing thoughts BEHAVIOURAL e.g., insomnia tips for sleeping MAKING HEALTHY LIFESTYLE CHANGES After a cardiac event or diagnosis, people are usually encouraged to make one or more healthy lifestyle changes. These typically include the following activities: Eating healthy Starting to exercise or exercising more Stopping smoking Drinking less alcohol Taking new medications Managing stress If you felt ready and confident, what are the most important heart-healthy behaviour changes you would like to make? 1) 2) 3) 66 Understand & coping with heart disease

7 How do people change? We know that is often difficult to change lifestyle activities or behaviours. Research tells us that people usually go through stages in terms of how ready they are to make lifestyle changes. People often cycle through the stages many times. A person should not get discouraged after cycling through the stages several times. Instead, this is a good chance to think about what can be learned from the experience. The diagram below shows the stages through which people cycle when they are making a healthy lifestyle change. The following page gives you tips for each of the stages. Cycling through stages of change What is your stage right now? Not ready or planning to make a change within next 6 months STAGE 1 STAGE 2 Readiness for Lifestyle Change Planning to make a change within next 6 months Planning to make a change within next month STAGE 3 STAGE 5 Made a change for longer than 6 months STAGE 4 Made a change within past 6 months Understand & coping with heart disease 67

8 Helping With Your Change Plans Stage Description Helpful Tips 1 Not ready or planning to make a change within next 6 months Think about what might be different if you did make a change 2 Planning to make a change within next 6 months Think about the pros (good things) and cons (bad things) of changing Think about what might happen if you don t make a change 3 Planning to make a change within next months Set a change date Arrange things in your home to remind you and help you make a change (e.g., have healthy food, keep walking shoes at front door) Experiment by making a short-term change 4 Made a change within past 6 months Reward your good behaviour Spend time with people who are supportive of your change 5 Made a change for longer than 6 months Avoid places, people, or situations when you are most likely to slip Please ask a member of the Cardiac Care and Heart Health team for a referral to the Psychology service (1) if you would like assistance managing distressing thoughts and feelings or making behaviour changes, or (2) if you would like to take part in a stress management workshop. 68 Understand & coping with heart disease

9 Do You Know What to do in the Case of an Emergency? Although you may have made some new healthy choices in your life, there is still a chance that you may need urgent medical attention. Do not wait in fear but prepare yourself and your family so you know what to do in case of an emergency. Knowing how to handle an emergency will help get rid of your fears. Learn the signs of a heart attack Find out how and where to get emergency help Develop an action plan of what to do if you think you or a family member is experiencing a heart attack Review the above steps with your family What is the Difference Between Angina and a Heart Attack? Common Questions Angina Heart Attack Are the signs the same? The signs are the same The signs are the but less severe same but more severe How long does the chest 5 to 30 minutes Longer than 30 minutes discomfort usually last? When does the chest With exercise or emotional upset Often suddenly with discomfort usually start? exercise, emotional upset, or just at rest What makes the chest Rest and/or nitroglycerine Getting emergency medical discomfort usually go away? under the tongue help right away. CALL 911 When should you If you notice your symptoms are Do not call your doctor but call your doctor? occurring more often, with less CALL 911 right away activity, at rest or at night What are the Signs of a Heart Attack? Chest pain: tightness, discomfort or crushing pain, heaviness, pressure or squeezing, fullness or burning Pain spreading from chest: down one or both arms, up to neck, jaw, shoulders or upper back Shortness of breath Paleness and sweating Weakness, faintness Upset stomach, vomiting, or indigestion Anxiety, fear DENIAL If you or anyone else is experiencing any of these symptoms, and they last more than 30 minutes do not deny it or wait. CALL 911 OR YOUR LOCAL EMERGENCY NUMBER. In Case of an Emergency 69

10 What Do You Do If You Suspect You Are Having a Heart Attack? 1. Stop what you are doing and rest for 1 to 2 minutes 2. Take your nitroglycerine under your tongue (if you have already been given this drug by your doctor) 3. Tell someone 4. If your symptoms do not go away after 30 minutes even after taking several nitroglycerin: *CALL 911 or your local emergency number* How Do You Take Your Nitroglycerine? If you experience any chest discomfort follow these instructions below: 1. Stop what you are doing, and sit down for 1 to 2 minutes 2. If you still feel some chest discomfort, take one of your nitroglycerine pills or one spray under your tongue (Do not swallow the pill or spray. Allow the medication to dissolve under your tongue and it will get into your bloodstream through your tongue. The drug will not work if swallowed) 3. Wait 5 minutes, if the chest discomfort is still there take a second pill or spray 4. Wait 5 minutes, if the chest discomfort is still there take a third pill or spray 5. If the pain is not relieved within 5 minutes of taking the third pill or spray, you may be having a heart attack. If this happens, have someone take you to the nearest emergency department. If you are alone, do not drive yourself call 911, then sit or lie down to rest until help arrives ** Always carry your nitroglycerine with you How Can Family Members or Friends Help? Know the signs of a heart attack. Remember that denial of a problem can be a sign of a heart attack. If you suspect a problem, act on it, do not wait Take a CPR course so you will know what to do in an emergency. If you want to find a CPR course in your community, call the HEART and STROKE FOUNDATION at Have a list of the person s medication and medical history ready so that it can be given when the ambulance comes or when you reach the hospital In an emergency, call 911 and not the family doctor. The staff at the doctor s office may not realize that you are calling about an emergency. 70 In Case of an Emergency

11 Evaluation Form for Binder 1. Gender: Male Female 2. Education Grade School High School College/ University 3. Which of the following age groups do you belong to? under age of years of age years of age years of age years of age 75 and over 3. How long have you been diagnosed as having heart disease? Less than one year 1-5 years Over 5 years I am a partner or family member of a heart patient I am a health professional 4. On the following scale, please indicate whether you found the information in Take Your Health To Heart binder to be very good, good, fair or poor. If you didn t read a particular section, please mark the Didn t Read box. Very good Good Fair Poor Didn t Read Introduction From patient to person About the heart Procedures Nutrition Exercise and your heart Medications Smoking Cessation Coping with heart disease Emergency Community Linkages 5. Is there information that you would have liked included? 6. Would you recommend Take Your Heart to Health binder to other people with heart disease? Yes, very strongly Yes No Not at all 7.Did you find the binder easy to read? Yes No 8. Overall, how would you rate the binder? Very good Good Fair Poor Didn t Read Comments: Thank you for taking the time to fill out this evaluation.

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