So this is the place where I'm supposed to tell you all about me – who I am and why I'm doing this.
Instead, I want to tell you a story.
Back in 1974, I smoked my very first cigarette. I did it for all the usual reasons: I wanted to look cool. I wanted to be independent. I wanted to seem grown up. I wanted my friends (or in this case, my cousins) to like me.
It was horrible, of course. I barely managed to suppress the coughing fit as the smoke traveled down into my lungs, and I'm sure I failed miserably at looking ‘cool' as I turned green from the unaccustomed dose of smoke and nicotine.
But practice makes perfect…
Fast-forward a couple of decades: By 1994 I'd smoked off-and-on for 20+ years. I'd tried quitting more ways than I could count on my fingers and my toes.
And I was two years into a Ph.D. program for research psychology.
Physician, heal thyself!
OK, I'm not a physician, but as a psychologist I was learning things that were clearly relevant to the task at hand: Eliminating the psychological aspects of the addiction that had brought me back to smoking after quitting repeatedly, sometimes for more than a year.
So I did what I believe we're supposed to do with science: I applied the principles to my own circumstances. And I did quit, one last time.
Some Facts About Me
- My name is Deanna Sykes. By training I am a research psychologist (Ph.D. from UC Davis, 1997), and I've been a public health research scientist for more than a decade now.
- I'm also an ex-smoker. I smoked off and on (OK, more on than off) for over 20 years, and I tried to quit about a gazillion times before I was finally successful.
- Because of my background, I have a lot of knowledge – both personal and professional – about smoking, and nicotine addiction, and psychology, and dependence.
- I like helping folks. Against the advice of my own academic advisors, when I wrote my ‘letter of intent' to get into graduate school, I admitted this tendency. They let me in anyway.
- I've always believed that scientific research is supposed to be used to make our lives better. However, it can be difficult to apply scientific findings to everyday problems. I believe that bridging that gap is my calling.
- On a personal level, I'm persistent, I see connections between things, I love to share knowledge, and I read a lot.
- My greatest strength (and also possibly my most annoying quality) is that when I discover something cool, I really like to share it with people I care about.
- My goal is to help as many people as I can quit for good – and my hope is that this contributes to their ability to fulfill their own life purpose, whatever that may be.
May you live with vitality, to shine your unique light on the world.
What Others Are Saying
"What did I like best about the program? It works! After 20 years of smoking, I didn't think I'd be able to quit, but The Complete Quit System not only showed me how to quit successfully, it told me exactly what to expect during the process—right down to my cigarette dream!"
— Georgia S., Los Angeles
"I recommend The Complete Quit System to all of my patients who smoke. As a periodontist, I see the effects of smoking every day. Quitting may be the best thing you can do for your teeth and gums."
— Terry S., DDS, New Mexico
"I loved the very specific directions contained in the program. I knew I wanted to quit, but I didn't know where to start. Having it all laid out step-by-step made it much easier. I'm now smoke-free, and I'm completely blown away by it. I never imagined that I would be able to do it, but I did!"
—Elizabeth B., Graduate Student