Nacogdoches smokers kick butts

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Smokers are making the commitment to stop a habit that for some has been with them for years.

"About 20 years," Regina Tucker said. "I don't know why I ever started. I wish I never would have started."

Yet Tucker knows why she's quitting.

After a surgery two weeks ago she knew she had to do it for her health.

"It wasn't easy, but with a lot of prayer and a lot of determination I made it and it's gonna get better," she said.

Fortunately, the Great American Smokeout provides resources to make it through those rough times.

The Healthy Nacogdoches Coalition provided the support starting early this morning.

They even loaded up free resources for industrial workers.

"Because they want their employees to be healthier," said Amy Nichols, a human resources employee.

A stop to smoking makes good business sense.

It leads to the illnesses that can drive up insurance rates and medical costs for everyone.

"If they compare populations that are non-smokers with smokers, the smokers have a higher, 30 percent higher, increase of hospitalization for any illness," said Dr. Laura Fernandes, an intervention cardiologist.

Unpleasant pictures are the tools used by life skills instructors when discouraging teens from picking up the habit.

"They're surprised to find some of the chemicals that are in smokeless tobacco and cigarettes," Debbie Tanner said.

It took Tucker years to learn that lesson. Today, she's thankful for the support she's receiving to kick the habit.

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