Quit Smoking Stories: Mark Ballas, Award-Winning Choreographer

Mark Ballas is a two-time winner on Dancing with the Stars, an Emmy award-winning choreographer, and musician. And while he is known for winning on the dance floor, Mark is also a champion at something that’s even more difficult to master: quitting smoking. As you’ll see in the Q & A below, he’s as proud of quitting as he is of his dance career.

Q: Can you talk about your decision to quit smoking?

A: Lots of people in the dancing community smoke, and it was a big part of my life. Since I was a teenager I was always around it—both my grandmother and my mother smoked. I grew up in England and it’s a big part of that culture. I wanted to quit because smoking was really starting to affect my dancing. So I said to my mom, “I’m ready to quit and I want you to quit with me.”


Q: How did you stop?

A: I used the NicoDerm® CQ® patch. My mom chewed Nicorette® Gum.


Q: Is it easier to quit if you have support from a family member or friend?

A: I think it’s easier when you have help for when you say, ‘Oh, I’ll just have one.’ It’s like when you’re training, it’s easier to have a coach. They’re like a teacher - they talk to you and you can move yourself along with the problem. Some people can’t cope, and a partner helps them stay on track. But if you don’t have a partner you can go to Quit.com and see things like What’s Your Why - those stories really help you realize you’re not alone.

Q: Do you think quit-smoking products like Nicorette® Gum and NicoDerm® CQ® Patches can help?

A: Well, it worked for me. I could just put on [the NicoDerm® CQ® Patch] and go about my day. Then you wean yourself off. When you’re smoking and taking in that much nicotine a day, the patch helps reduce your cravings for cigarettes because your body is still getting a controlled amount.



Q: Would you give different advice to a longtime smoker who wants to quit versus a relatively new smoker?

A: No, I would give the same advice. Whether you’re a longtime smoker or a relatively new one, you’re still a smoker. I do think if you’ve been smoking longer, you’ll be more stubborn [about quitting] and it might be a little harder to quit, but I’d give the same advice.


Q: What are your favorite songs to dance to?

A: So many. Old school Michael Jackson, like “Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough.”

Sourced from Fox and Friends and The Celebrity Cafe.