After Years Of Smoking, Two East Texans Decide To Quit

by Jessica Cervantez

They have been smoking about a pack a day for thirty years. But on Thursday, Kim Iribarren and Steve Halsell threw away their cigarettes and lighters. Both are committing to quit for their own reasons.

Iribarren said, "My children and my husband, they hate it, they complain when I do it."

Halsell said, "My doctor for years has been hounding me to stop smoking. I thought the Great American Smoke Out would be a great day to do that."

Both have tried quitting before, Steve stopped for six years once. This time, he is choosing Nicorette gum and the "Quit Now" hotline to help him.

Kim's going a different route. She is using healthy snacks, the patch, a stop smoking program and prayer. Kim says it will be difficult because she started smoking at such a young age.

Iribarren said, "I tried smoking in fourth grade, believe it or not, just because it was the thing to do."

Steve's seen the affects of smoking first hand.

"My father died of lung cancer. I literally would go to the hospital and I saw him dwindle down to nothing," Halsell said.

On the first day, both smokers are already having urges.

Halsell said, "The first cigarette in the morning is the best one, when I got up this morning I wanted a cigarette and I got a piece of gum instead."

Both know it will be tough to stop smoking forever. But, they plan on taking it one day at a time.