Theresa, Social Services Billing Manager for Alaska Island Community Services, Wrangell, Alaska. Photo Credit - Aisa Dore Photography

My rollercoaster ride with quitting smoking.

“I started smoking as a young teen and continued as an adult.  i stopped during my pregnancies but went right back to it after.  My infant daughter had RSV (respiratory syncytial virus) and was diagnosed with asthma and a heart condition so I stopped smoking, cold turkey, for 8 years.  Due to life changes and stress, I began smoking once again.  I quit smoking once more and got a job as the Smoking Cessation Grant Coordinator and learned about nicotine addiction, triggers and found some tools.  But low and behold, even with all the information I’d learned, I started smoking again!  Smoking is one of the hardest addictions to break free from.  Finally, 6 years ago, with urging from my sister, I quit smoking for good.

“What I learned from my rollercoaster journey is that I had to want to quit.  I had to develop new skills to handle stress in my life.  I also had to surround myself with people that support me to be as healthy as I can be.

“If it takes a person 100 times to quit, congratulate them 100 times!  At least they are trying!”

Even though RSV is a common virus for babies to contract, smoking around a baby is a risk factor.  Infants exposed to tobacco smoke have a higher risk of contracting RSV and potentially more-severe symptoms.  If you do smoke, never do so inside the house or car.

For free support to quit tobacco, call or enroll online with Alaska’s Tobacco Quit Line 1-800-QUIT NOW or call the American Indian Commercial Tobacco Program at 1-855-372-0037.

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January is Cervical Health Awareness Month | Find HPV Resources HERE

Reclaim Sacred Tobacco Bi-Monthly Call | Organized by American Non Smokers' Rights Foundation and Air is Life | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

2023 Art & Science of Health Promotion Conference | The Broadmoor | Colorado Springs, Colorado | Core Conference:  March 29-31, 2023 | Intensive Training Seminars:  March 27 - 28, 2023 | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

Tribal Public Health Conference 2023 | Choctaw Casino & Resort, Durant, Oklahoma | LEARN MORE AND REGISTER