Were you ever a smoker?

When I was a teenager I smoked. When I was about 21 or so I slowed down. It was really difficult to quit. I quit smoking when I was engaged. My fiance couldn't stand the smell of smoke. I was going to do that for him. And for me, too. It was hard to do. A couple years later my brother died of cancer. That is what really made me not even want to think about smoking again. When I was around smokers, I wanted a puff. I wanted it. It had taken a couple of years or so before I didn't want them anymore.


Has smoking affected people in your family?

I want to mention something. I also lost my mother-in-law to cancer. She was a heavy smoker. She loved cigarettes and she was very upset because they were going to tax them again. Soon after that the big tax came up. She developed cancer and when she no longer could smoke, the smell of the smoke just made her so sick. As she was going through the chemotherapy, she found herself finding so many things in life that she could do instead of smoking. She'd just go outside and pick wildflowers and she'd say, "Why didn't you ever tell me that life was so beautiful!" And "Those $20 or whatever I spent a week is going get me so many nice things." I would like to get that message across to people. It's money in your pocket. You don't have to burn it.


Does quitting have benefits?

Smoking makes your teeth yellow and your fingers yellow and it makes you stink. Stay away from it. It's money in your pocket. Take the amount of money that you would put out for smoking in one year. That will buy you a cruise. Have fun. Enjoy life.