There’s no quick fix to quit smoking, but this family doctor still wants to help

Former military doctor now treats Federal Way patients of all ages, helping them stay healthy

After years working as a military doctor traveling the world with his brigade unit, Dr. Scott Trapman has brought his skills to Federal Way.

In his family practice at Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Federal Way he may not have the thrills of coordinating on-the-spot care with host-nations, assessing medical intelligence and risks, and running a small trauma center, but Dr. Trapman sees many benefits to family medicine.

“It’s a great field of medicine. It allows me to see patients from all walks of life, all ages,” he says. “I really like getting to know my patients, and I want them to know I really care about what’s going on in their lives outside the clinic.”

Are some tobacco products less harmful than others?

As a primary care physician Dr. Trapman helps patients with a full range of issues, from well-child visits and preventive care to family planning, diseases of aging and osteopathic manipulative treatment. But one of his passions is helping people quit smoking.

“I don’t believe that some tobacco products are less likely to cause harm,” he says. “Smoking, vaping, snuffs, dips and chews, and even products containing nicotine like gums and patches all have negative health effects, ranging from emphysema and cancer to hypertension and heart attacks. It’s also important to mention that all smokers and vape users do poorly when contracting COVID-19.”

Dr. Trapman doesn’t have any magic potions for smoking cessation, but he offers practical advice that can improve your chances of leaving nicotine behind.

  • “Quitting smoking is very hard, but avoiding restarting is even harder.” When people quit using tobacco products, the physical withdrawal symptoms only last three to five days. Most people manage to get through those initial physical withdrawal symptoms but still return to smoking.
  • Make a plan. “This is important! A smoke break is dedicated ‘me’ time and your brain will miss that break if you don’t fill in the time with a replacement activity.” Contemplating quitting is the first step, and setting a quit date is next. “Pick a date seven to ten days in the future so you have time to make a plan.”
  • Enroll in a tobacco cessation program. “Pharmaceutical products may not work for everyone, but they do help for many. Studies on Chantix and Zyban show that people are much more likely to succeed if they are used in conjunction with an education program.” Classes provide important information, and also reinforce your commitment to tobacco cessation.

For more information on smoking cessation or other family health questions, visit Dr. Trapman at the Pacific Medical Centers (PacMed) Federal Way at 31833 Gateway Center Blvd S. To make an appointment call 253-214-1920 or book online at pacmed.org.