OneStepStories-PaulRI gave up chewing tobacco and smoking. I wanted to be around for my family.

I chewed tobacco on and off for almost 20 years. I used to smoke cigarettes but quit and picked up cigars. My wife had always been on me about quitting smoking, but she didn’t know I was still chewing tobacco since I did that only at work. I was always worrying if I had enough tobacco to make it through the week and sneaking off to the garage to smoke.

The turning point for me came when my son came home from school and told me he learned about the hazards to the body from tobacco. I had seen how cigarettes killed my grandfather, but this conversation with my son made me want to quit to spend as much time as I could with my family, present and future.

My first step was making a call to the Whirlpool quitting hotline and asking for help. This was very difficult for me to do because I had to admit I had a problem out loud. The people who I spoke to were there any time I needed to talk about issues with quitting. They were very helpful. I fought cravings by thinking of the image of my wife and son and possible grand kids. My wife and son were behind me to quit. They put up with some of my mood swings as I was going through withdrawal.

It was hard, but now I know I am no longer shortening my life by using tobacco. My next goal is to lose weight, and since quitting, I am looking forward to the future.

Now, I breathe easier. Food tastes so much better. I sleep better at night. I feel good. I feel free. Keep your sights on the goal. It’s worth it.

Paul Rogers, Clyde, OH

March 21, 2016