Tips From Former Smokers
The Tips from Former Smokers campaign features real people suffering as a result of smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke. Their compelling stories send a powerful message: Quit smoking now. Or better yet — don’t start. Don’t let their story become yours, quit today. Tobacco Free Florida is here to help you get started on your quit journey.
It’s not easy being a single parent, and for Jessica, it’s especially challenging. Not only is she a student, a bank employee, and a handball player who competes nationally, this 28-year-old also is the mother of a child with severe asthma.
Jessica’s son, Aden, was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with asthma. Although Jessica never smoked, many of Aden’s attacks were triggered by exposure to secondhand smoke. Jessica’s mother, who watched Aden during the day while Jessica was at work, was a smoker.
Unfortunately, Jessica didn’t know the connection between secondhand smoke exposure and asthma.
Like many smokers, Roosevelt started experimenting with cigarettes in his teens. But his addiction became entrenched during his time in the military. Nearly 30 years later, damage from smoking began to take its toll.
At 45, Roosevelt experienced a heart attack that landed him in the hospital for a month. In order to repair the damage to his heart caused by smoking, doctors inserted stents into his heart. When that wasn't enough, he had bypass surgery — six bypasses in all.
Now 51, Roosevelt has been smoke-free for 3 years, but he's had to give up his career as a commercial plumber because his heart no longer is strong enough for the strenuous activity such work requires.
Beatrice, age 40, is the mother of two boys and lives in New York. She tried her first cigarette at age 7, her second at 11, and then began smoking regularly when she was 13. She had friends who smoked, and she wanted to be “cool” like them.
More than 25 years later, Beatrice still smoked. She was not a heavy smoker and had not been diagnosed with any smoking-related health problems, but she wanted to quit. Her family also wanted her to quit.
Although she had tried many times before, in 2010, Beatrice quit for good. She encourages anyone who wants to quit smoking to do it—but to get help if they need it.
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