Lebanon Family Health Services Lebanon Family Health Services

Stories from our Community

Annie Bowers

I am over 187 days quit!

— Annie Bowers

I started smoking when I was 18.  I distinctly remember driving home from Park City Mall and saying to myself, “if I inhale, do you think I’d get addicted?”   Fast forward a couple of decades and yes, I was addicted.  I quit 4 brief times, one for each child, but soon I went back to it.  My husband smoked too.

I decided to quit in December of 2014.  I was using mindfulness and using skills to cope with unpleasant emotions.  I carefully thought out my plan, I immersed myself in smoking cessation-used the PA Quitline, brochures from the American Lung Association, nicotine patches and CD’s.  However, something was missing.  I was reading the newspaper one day and saw an ad from Freedom From Smoking offered by Lebanon Family Health Services at the YMCA.  How wonderful-that was the missing link!  The Freedom From Smoking program would help me be held accountable and attend every week.

 

Listening to the instructor’s tips and learning from the others in the class was very helpful.  The instructor was kind, caring and supportive.  She assured us it could be done.  Today I am over 187 days quit!

 

The Freedom From Smoking skills, the nicotine patch, lollipops and hard candy helped me a lot.   I used the deep breathing and relaxation techniques learned in class.  Each day I got a little bit better.  I re-read my Freedom From Smoking literature every day to keep it fresh in my mind and I go for walks in the evenings- my trigger time.

 

There are still times when I crave a cigarette but when I do, I use my “stop” techniques, lollipops and the skills learned in the class.  The support of the instructor and my fellow participants was the most important key to quitting.

 

I now live in a non-smoking apartment and walked a 5K with my friends.  I feel proud of my accomplishments and I thank everyone at Lebanon Family Health Services and my classmates for all they have done to help me!


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