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Inspiring Others to Quit Smoking: Robert Plante

I would love to see people quit just like I did. If I can quit smoking after 53 years, anyone can.

Robert Plante
In this video, watch Robert talk about his journey to quit smoking as he celebrates his one-year anniversary.

Robert Plante hopes to inspire others to quit smoking. After smoking for more than 50 years, the Lebanon, NH, resident hasn’t smoked a cigarette since October 29, 2017. “I don’t miss it at all,” says the 71-year-old, who started smoking at age 18.

Plante was advised to quit smoking by his Dartmouth-Hitchcock (D-H) orthopaedic surgeon Marcus Coe, MD, MS. “Robert needed a hip replacement because he had severe arthritis in his left hip,” says Coe. “But in order to reduce his surgery risks, I told him he had to quit smoking. It’s hard for folks to quit, so it’s a huge testament to his resolve that he was able to do it.”

The D-H Tobacco Dependence Clinic offers a supportive approach to quitting smoking. Plante quit over a two-month period, thanks to the encouragement of his D-H physician Rebecca Crow, DO, and Julia Steckbeck, RN, a care coordinator for General Internal Medicine. At their suggestion, Plante participated in the QuitWorks-NH program, which mailed nicotine patches to his home and provided daily phone check-ins. He started with the 15 milligram patches and was able to quit after working his way down to the seven milligram patches.

“After two years of telling me he couldn’t quit, it was all about finding the right support system and external motivation for Robert to succeed,” says Crow. “The D-H Tobacco Dependence Clinic helps break down a lot of the barriers people can build over years of smoking. Robert shows if you are willing to take the leap, you can be successful.”

Three months after quitting smoking, Plante had a total left hip replacement in January 2018. Five months later, he walked in his 30th Cystic Fibrosis Walk-a-thon, an organization for which he has raised more than $300,000. “It was hard on me at first, but it got easier and easier with the nicotine patches and I can breathe better now,” says Plante. “I would love to see people quit just like I did. If I can quit smoking after 53 years, anyone can!”

To schedule an appointment with one of D-H’s certified tobacco treatment specialists, call (603) 650-8537.