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Gift of fresh air

Letter to the editor

I’ve been a smoker for about 34 years, and eight weeks ago I realized that I really didn’t enjoy it anymore. On October 5th I smoked my last cigarette at 7:00 pm. I decided I did not want to smoke anymore. I knew it wasn’t good for me, but until my mind was made up, there was nothing anyone could say that would make me quit. No one disputes the negative impact cigarette smoke and secondhand smoke has on the lungs, nor does anyone dispute the devastating effects cigarette smoking and secondhand smoke have on people, particularly pregnant moms and their babies.

Quitting has been tough for me. I realized it was important to have a support system, someone to talk to when I felt like giving in to the urge. I haven’t shared this with anyone until today, but 7 weeks after I quit, I was having one of “those days”. I gave in, telling myself it’s just to take the edge off!! I got a cigarette, lit it, took “a drag”, and it was the most disgusting taste I’ve ever experienced. The burn in my lungs was horrible!!! I felt so guilty for giving in after 7 weeks, but it was the best thing for me to do. After that I haven’t had the slightest urge or thought of a cigarette.

Quitting smoking is not easy to do; anyone who has ever smoked, or had any other habit understands that. Since it is so difficult to quit smoking, it is important that as adults, we help our children understand that they should never start smoking. That is one reason why the Wisconsin African American Tobacco Prevention Network (WAATPN) is working hard to Letter to the editor: carry its message about the ill effects of cigarette smoking to youth. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), each day, more than 3,800 persons younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and each day, about 1,000 persons younger than 18 years of age begin smoking on a daily basis. As we turn the corner on another year, this holiday season is the perfect time for smokers to take a pledge to not only quit smoking for ourselves, but also for our families to give them the gift of fresh air. You have the power to break generations of cigarette smokers in your family. You can give yourself and your family the gift of fresh air and a clean start by quitting smoking.

This gift the gift of good health, fresh air and setting a good example is priceless. Quitting smoking is not easy, but it is worth it.

Call the Wisconsin Tobacco Quit Line: 1-800-QUITNOW (784-8669), for help.

Loretta Campbell
1320 E. Capitol Drive
Milwaukee, WI 53211