Joe Bastianich, restaurateur, Master Chef co-host, and business partner of chef Mario Batali, has teamed up with Blueprint to Quit, a customized program for quitting smoking, in order to help restaurant industry workers kick the habit, and not start up again.
"I started smoking when I was 13 years old," Bastianich said in an exclusive interview with The Daily Meal. "But when my first daughter was born, I knew that I wanted to live a long, healthy life. The older I got, the more smoking affected me."
Blueprint to Quit provides smokers with the resources and tools to quit by addressing both the physical and psychological aspects of putting down the pack. "With this tool, people will have the inclination to quit, which is a huge advantage. It makes the dream of quitting real," Bastianich said. "Quitting changed my life. I couldn’t walk up a flight of stairs! It allowed me to take control of my life and move forward as a human being."
When asked why he thinks smoking is so prevalent in the restaurant industry, he pinned it on a host of issues. "The kind of hours we keep, it’s a crutch and a reward," he said. "It’s a way to pass the time, and also restaurant workers have the type of disposition that can lead to smoking. We like having fun."
But Bastianich knows how hard it can be to quit, and the toll it can take. "Being a leader in the industry, if I can help anyone to quit I am going to do all I can," he said.”
Those interested in the program can learn more be visiting their website.