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Letter: Quitters always win if they are smokers

Quitters always win if they are smokers

I had my first cigarette as a high school student in 1973, not realizing how quickly it would become a habit. At the time, smoking was acceptable everywhere – including airplanes.

My first job out of school, working as a secretary, entitled me to a big desk with a big ashtray on it, which made it very easy to continue the habit.

Over the next 10 years, I became dependent on cigarettes. At the age of 28, I smoked my last cigarette.

On Thursday, millions of Americans across the nation will celebrate the Great American Smokeout. I’ll celebrate by offering these tips.

Although I went “cold turkey,” there are other options. Like getting help from the New York Smokers’ Quitline at Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

Take it one day at a time. It took a year for me to feel normal again, but it will happen. I fought every day to get to the next.

You may have friends who don’t want you to succeed. The man I dated at my quit time was a smoker and would light up in front of me. He did not want me to quit because he couldn’t. That made me even more determined.

Don’t let the dreaded weight gain stop you. When I started gaining, I started walking, especially after dinner when I craved a cigarette.

Finally, get support. I got my biggest boost when my 10-year-old niece called to tell me how proud she was of me for quitting. That’s when I realized that when it comes to smoking, quitters always win.

Kathleen Clark


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