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American Enterprise Bank

Change your life; quit today

I’m a man of many vices — bad sci-fi and horror movies, pizza, beer, shoes, the list goes on. But one vice I kicked to the curb some five years ago was smoking.

I was never a heavy smoker. Even after 10 years I couldn’t puff away a whole pack in 24 hours without some help. I was nearing 30 years old and needed to get healthier, lest I end up six feet under before my time. That and the love of a good woman was enough motivation for me.

I’m not going to get all preachy on you about the dangers of smoking and other tobacco use. Suffice it say, tobacco use will shorten your lifespan. It’s a scientific certainty.

It’s also a certainty that while smoking rates in Baker County have fallen in the last decade or so, many folks still smoke. According to 2010 survey data, about 20 percent of adults, or one in five, reported smoking.

That’s down from 30 percent in 2002, and the drop is wonderful. At least we’re not chillin’ with Dixie County in the 30-plus-percent club.

Still, I want to urge anyone who as even thought about quitting any form of tobacco use to stop thinking and start doing, or not doing, as the case may be.

But if you need help weaning yourself off the nicotine or want step-by-step guidance, call the health department and ask about their tobacco cessation classes. A new series is beginning soon. The free six-week classes have been very popular in recent years. You might even make some friends.

From my personal experience I can promise you, once your body and mind figure out they can live without tobacco, you will feel better. Not only that, you’ll gain that confidence you need to make other changes in your lifestyle that will make you feel even better, like exercising and eating healthier foods.

But first things first.

You can’t walk, run or jog that 5K everybody’s talking about if your lungs can’t breath well enough to feed oxygen to your muscles. And you can’t play with your kids or grand kids if your laying in a hospital bed. So, take the first step and quit today.

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