Holiday Survival Guide from the Great American Smokeout


Are you trying to quit smoking? Good for you! At Texas Foot Specialists it’s something we encourage all of our patients to do. Smoking causes blood vessels to constrict and reduces the flow of oxygen-rich blood to all parts of the body. Patients who don’t smoke have faster healing times from surgeries, injuries and infections. For those with diabetes, quitting smoking is even more important because that disease already is associated with a decreased circulation, which increases the risk of infection and slows the healing of potentially dangerous ulcers and wounds.

Quitting around the holidays can be challenging. Use these tips from the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout to get you through:

Fight the desire to overdo it—oftentimes people giving up smoking end up overeating instead. This is double trouble during holidays when there is an abundance of tempting dishes to eat. Seek out low-calories nibbles such as raw veggies, fruit, and hummus. Put a plate together for yourself and stop when it’s done to control portion size.

Steer away from alcohol—drinking often goes with smoking, so avoid the trigger to light up. Try seltzer or club soda with a splash of juice or apple cider. Drink it out of a wine glass to keep the festive feel.

Consider hosting—planning, shopping, cooking and setting up for a holiday dinner or party can keep you occupied and your mind off smoking. Be careful not to overextend yourself, however. It’s natural to feel frustration and irritation when you first quit—have a plan in place if you start to feel overwhelmed. A brisk walk, hot bath or phone call to a friend can help you get back on track.

Stay busy at parties—if you’re the guest, help serve food, clear dishes and assist the host. Introduce yourself to someone new. If you feel the urge to smoke, take something to fiddle with in your hand like a coffee stirrer or straw.

Celebrate your success—set a reward for yourself if you can stay away from smoking. Buy yourself something you’ve wanted for a while or plan an outing for after the holidays. When you’re tempted to smoke, focus on your reward.

Talk to our podiatrists, Dr. Gregory Mangum and Dr. Bruce Miller, about your foot health concerns and how quitting smoking can positively impact your podiatric health. Contact our Houston (713) 664-6677, Sugar Land (281) 242-4448 or Pasadena (281) 991-0600 office for an appointment.