“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.