Stories from our Community
FREEDOM from Smoking!— Ana Montanez
I smoked from age 16 to age 55. My father was a smoker and having been exposed to smoking, I became a smoker myself.
Today, I am a Resident Services Coordinator for Housing Development Corporation Mid Atlantic and as part of my role, I bring educational programs to my residents. In 2015 I reached out to Lebanon Family Health Services to set up on site classes for my residents to help them quit smoking. I arranged the classes and sent out flyers to my residents.
I thought long and hard about my situation with smoking and it was weighing heavy on my heart that I needed to do something to quit. Five years had passed since my personal goal to quit smoking, so I decided that I would take the classes with my residents. I knew that this would be a good way to support each other. The instructor was very knowledgeable and professional and taught us skills that with time proved that they work.
The course guided me in many ways. At the end of the course, we choose a gift to give ourselves. The gift I gave myself for quitting was joining a gym which I now attend 3 times a week. In August of 2019 I lost my mother. I was thankful for the skills that I learned because during this challenging time, I was strong enough to remain smoke free.
On November 17th I celebrated 5 years smoke free thanks to the Freedom from Smoking class that I took from Lebanon Family Health Services. Today, I continue to encourage others by talking to them about my experience and what I did to quit. I refer them to the program that helped me.
‑Ana Montanez, HDC MidAtlantic, Resident Services Coordinator and Freedom From Smoking participant