How Sam’s Club encouraged me to quit smoking after 47 years

Sam’s Club Pharmacy Managers receive training in smoking cessation therapies.

My Sam’s Club Pharmacists in St. Joseph, Mo., have always felt like family to me. They had been encouraging me to try smoking cessation for some time, and when I finally made the decision to quit, they encouraged me throughout the entire process.

I’d been smoking a pack a day for nearly 47 years, so the decision to stop was not easy. Even though I’d developed chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis and cardiovascular disease as a result of my smoking, I hadn’t been able to quit. It wasn’t until I spent eight days in the hospital from bronchitis complications that resulted in pneumonia that I got serious about my health. As I was lying in the hospital bed, I realized I couldn’t live like that anymore. I wanted to quit. I saw my doctor and was given a prescription for varenicline.

When I took my prescription in to my Sams Club Pharmacy, both my Pharmacist, Lance Miller, and Pharmacy Technician, Cheryl Bricker, were excited I was taking a step toward becoming smoke-free. Their concern and encouragement helped me push through the difficulties of quitting, and I really felt like they cared about me. They were a big part of why I ended up successfully quitting.

I’ve been smoke-free since November of 2011, and I look forward to many years of better health. My breathing has improved, which makes my everyday life much easier. I even enjoy my food more, since my senses have sharpened. My wife and grandkids are happy I’m healthier. But most of all, I feel better about myself and proud that I was finally able to quit.

Although I had to make the choice to quit, the years of encouragement from my Sams Club Pharmacists helped bring me to a place where I was ready to live a better life. I have been a member for 10 years, and I look forward to being a member for years to come.

What Happens When You Quit?

After 20 minutes

Your blood pressure and heart rate drop.

After 12 hours

Your body is clear of excess carbon monoxide.

After 23 months

Your lung function improves.

After 1 year

Your heart disease risk is cut in half.

After 10 years

Your risk of dying from lung cancer is half that of a smoker.

After 15 years

Your heart disease risk is the same as a non-smokers.