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This is Dave. Dave has been smoking for the last 25 years and has also been struggling with depression and anxiety. He wants to improve his health but feels like he is tied down by his addiction to tobacco. 

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For people living with mental health challenges, such as Dave, it can feel like a cloud is looming over their heads. Some days are overcast; some days are full of storms; other days, there just might be a little sun peeking out from behind the clouds. Being tied to the tobacco boulder makes the days feel cloudier and darker. 

Dave’s anxiety and depression medications help him cope and clear the clouds, however, his smoking is holding him back. The TOBACCO boulder weighs him down. Having to pull the tobacco boulder makes Dave short of breath and induces coughing fits.  

To make matters worse, Dave is having trouble finding somewhere to live because most rental homes and apartments don’t allow TOBACCO boulders in their spaces. His lack of housing increases his stress which means more clouds in the sky! And don’t forget, it takes a lot of money to buy tobacco products to keep the TOBACCO boulder happy, so Dave doesn’t have much money left over for rent. In addition, Dave has addictive behavior which makes him more susceptible to using multiple addictive substances at the same time. Dave becomes further weighed down by tying himself to other boulders, such as alcohol and drugs. They become an added burden.

For people with mental health challenges, such as Dave, the burden of multiple addictions can make it even harder to ‘clear the skies’. But Dave has had enough! He is tired of being weighed down. He wants to be free from the boulders AND he wants clearer skies in his day-to-day life. This is why he seeks out a healthcare provider who can prescribe nicotine replacement therapy and provide substance use treatment to get rid of those pesky boulders weighing him down. 

Smoking puts an enormous strain on your body. By stopping smoking, Dave has decreased his risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and cancer. Without addictions weighing him down, his heart and body don’t have to work as hard, so he can focus on receiving mental and behavioral support. With that support, the clouds can begin to clear and Dave can focus on taking care of his mental health and living his best life.