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Dr. Oz: The Latest Secrets to Quit Smoking - Show Recap


Original Air Date:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


  • Danielle, 28, smoker for 14 years
  • Cynthia, 48, smoker for 26 years
  • Leon, 44, smoker for 18 years
  • Nicole, 33, smoker for 10 years
  • Aubrey, 29, smoker for more than half of her life
  • Gail, 31, smoker for 18 years
  • Wendie, 35, smoker for 23 years
  • Cassandra, 36, smoker for 15 years
  • Debbie, 54, smoker for 34 years

Oprah and Smokers Outside Harpo Studios:

It's common to find people standing just outside of a building smoking - it is no different at Harpo Studios in Chicago. Oprah joined some of her guests outside as they had a quick smoking break before the show to ask them what it feels like to stand outside separated just to smoke a cigarette. Guests gave Oprah a variety of responses: embarrassing, not worth it, crazy, an emotional smoker, a grieving process, a best friend in a pack that's trying to kill you.

There are an estimated 45 million people in America who smoke. Oprah had over 300 smokers in her audience to get the full effect of what Dr. Oz had to say.

The Basics of Smoking from Dr. Oz:

Dr. Oz expressed that everyone in the audience looked rational, but that people need to know that even smoking a little bit is too much. Dr. Oz shared that quitting is about fear, not about will power. 500,000 people die a year from the effects of smoking, so Dr. Oz wants smokers to stop beating themselves up for it and get the tools they need to quit. Oprah and Dr. Oz want to encourage people to "breathe free" since saying "don't smoke" still stimulates the brain with the word smoke. "Breathe free" takes the stimulation out of the act and focuses on healthy living.

Dr. Oz educated Oprah and viewers about the addiction of smoking - it is as addictive as heroine and more difficult to quit. The act of smoking revolves around forming habits such as where and when a person smokes - the physical motion of had-to-mouth is also a habit that can be hard to break. Dr. Oz suggests replacing the bad habits with good ones, since a person can never truly break a habit. Addressing the excuses is also something that Dr. Daniel Seidman explained. While some smokers feel that smoking helps them relieve stress, the problems are still there when the cigarette is gone - it has just postponed it.

Health Risks of Smoking:

Smoking near children is an issue Dr. Oz addressed with Wendie, who sometimes smokes when her 5 year old daughter is in the car with her. Dr. Oz pointed out that 1 out of 4 cigarettes that Wendie smokes are also being smoked by Bailey. When children breathe cigarette smoke, they can develop asthma or SIDS. With 250 toxic chemicals in cigarettes, it was important for Dr. Oz to conduct a cutting edge heart and lung test on guests to see how the chemicals were affecting their bodies. Common diseases stemming from smoking include COPD, emphysema, cancer, and heart disease. Dr. Oz saw a change in 6 guest's lungs.

Ben Affleck's Experience with Quitting:

Actor and director Ben Affleck had been smoking a pack a day for almost 20 years when he was finally able to quit. He said to himself that he would stop at 25, then at 30, then when he was going to have a child. Friend Matt Damon quit one year before Ben using hypnosis, a method Bed decided to try. November 10, 2005 was the day Ben Affleck finally quit smoking. He now feels better and is in better shape, but he advises to take it a day at a time. Dr. Seidman explained that the reason Ben stopped was because having a child was an internal decision - not an external one where people were hounding him to quit.

Steps to Stop Smoking:

  1. Figure out what kind of smoker you are: take Dr. Oz's quiz on Oprah.com.

  2. Prepare yourself mentally and physically: set a quit date and pre-plan healthy habits to substitute.

  3. Get a check-up from your doctor, seek out support and prepare for the first day of not smoking.

  4. Figure out how not to relapse: learn how to say no to smoking friends and find ways to distract yourself.

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