Bob Knox Find a Location Find a Doctor Heart & Vascular Advanced Heart Failure Management Center Arrhythmia Center Diagnostic Testing Treatments/Procedures Cardiology Heart Attack Care Minimally Invasive Procedures Cardio-Oncology Cardiac Rehab Clinical Research Diagnostic Services Heart Surgery Patient Success Stories Prevention & Wellness AHA Training Center CardioVascular Mobile Health Unit Hands-only CPR Healing Hearts Women's Support Group Heart Healthy Lifestyle Tips My Heart Rocks Take Time For Your Heart Women and Heart Disease Tobacco Cessation E-cigarette Education Fresh Start Tobacco Cessation Nicotine Medication Nicotine Replacement Nicotine Therapy Success Stories Tobacco Cessation Resources Valve Center Aortic Valve Replacement Mitral Valve Surgery Your Hospital Stay Care After Heart Surgery Intensive Care for Heart Conditions Nurses with Heart Care Expertise Partners in Heart Care Transitional Care Units Bob Knox: The Will to be Smoke Free Bob Knox hadn’t smoked a cigarette for more than eight years. But in April 2015, a phone call telling him that his beloved older brother had died suddenly pushed him to seek out the comfort of a cigarette. The devastating news came on top of his mom’s battle with stage 4 cancer. His mother and sister pleaded with him not to resume smoking, a habit he had originally picked up in his college years. Bob’s experiences working at St. Elizabeth Edgewood also reinforced that smoking wasn’t a good idea for his health. For many months, however, he couldn’t find the energy or the will to stop smoking as he battled grief and stress. Although smoking a cigarette gave him temporary peace and comfort, Bob felt like a hypocrite. He knew his church and family were opposed to smoking. He knew previous years of smoking a pack a day had lessened his lung power. “My wife and I went to Hawaii a couple of years ago and did a lot of walking. I was out of breath a lot,” he says. His job in Patient Transport requires him to move patients throughout the hospital, and smoking made his breathing a lot more labored. As all of the disadvantages of smoking began to sink in, Bob’s resolve to quit smoking grew. Making a Fresh Start About seven months after he had started smoking again, Bob heard co-workers talking about a free Freshstart® smoking cessation program offered at the hospital. He found the phone number and signed up for the four-week program. “My goal was to quit by Dec. 31, my brother’s birthday,” Bob says. “I told myself, ‘I picked this up and I can put it down.’” Right away, he felt good about the program and its instructor, Joyce Jacobs, RN, MSN, St. Elizabeth Heart and Vascular Prevention and Wellness. “Joyce didn’t put you down if you smoked, but she didn’t sugar coat things either,” Bob remarks. “She told us the facts about the effects that would come with smoking.” He also liked hearing from other people in the classes. Bob was gradually using up the last few packs around his house when he made a trip to the doctor and learned that he had congestive heart failure (CHF). The CHF diagnosis gave him additional motivation to quit smoking altogether. He had his last cigarette on Jan. 15, 2016. Reaping the Rewards “CHF scared me to the point that I won’t touch a cigarette again as long as I live,” Bob vows. “Instead of a cigarette, I put a piece of candy in my mouth or just think about something else.” He likes so many things about not smoking: “I can breathe and walk up stairs without getting too out of breath. I don’t have to use cologne to hide the smell of smoke. The swelling in my legs has gone down.” Bob also likes to keep up with his four very active grandchildren for outings to the zoo and other places. The savings from not buying cigarettes is significant. Plus, Bob likes to go to 50 or 60 Reds games a year, and he can now park on the street and walk to the game instead of paying $20 to park at the stadium. Joyce is thrilled with Bob’s success. “Nicotine is as addictive as heroin or cocaine and smokers are addicted not only physically but psychologically as well. It’s so rewarding to see someone able to accomplish what Bob has accomplished.” Learn More About Freshstart® Freshstart® is a FREE 4-week smoking cessation program developed by the American Cancer Society and offered by St. Elizabeth Healthcare. The program is designed to provide group support to help smokers quit and individualized help to meet your goals. Smokers learn how to deal with the physical and psychological dependence to quit. For additional resources on how to quit smoking, please click here. To register for an upcoming Freshstart® class, call (859) 301-5570.