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  • Writer's pictureGene Marsolek


Updated: Nov 12, 2019

Amanda MacDonnell RN, BSN, MSM,FNP-BC

I have been in the nursing field for 20 years. Early in my career, I spent 6 years as a charge nurse on a cardiopulmonary unit. You see a lot of people on oxygen on this type of unit and a common diagnosis treated on this unit is COPD. The most common cause of COPD is smoking. People with severe COPD struggle to breath all the time, all their energy goes into breathing, and they are exhausted.

For the last 17 years, I’ve been a Family Nurse Practitioner. In any role as a medical provider, one would not escape coming across a patient with a nicotine addiction. It is one of the top five addictive substances in the world.

If you are reading this and you are a smoker or you are a loved one of a smoker, know this – it is NOT your fault/it is NOT their fault. Nicotine is one of the top 5 addictive substances in the world! For some people, any amount of nicotine can have them hooked. It is the nicotine, not the person who uses it, that is the problem. The message I give to smokers is this – It’s not easy to quit but I recommend you do. It is the single most important thing you can do for your health. Nicotine is addictive. It’s up there with cocaine in terms of how addictive it is (people are usually pretty surprised about this). I don’t recommend you quit cold turkey. It may have worked for someone you know, but it won’t work for most. You’re more apt to restart with this method of smoking cessation. Research indicates the best way to quit is with smoking cessation medication and counseling.

Amanda MacDonnell, RN, BSN, MSN, FNP-BC

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