Kick the habit for yourself and others

Champaign County knows smoking and chewing tobacco is unhealthy.

For their own reasons and inability to give it up, users accept the risk, resigned to the fact that someday it might catch up to them.

But perhaps they aren’t thinking about the others it may impact and what those loved ones may not accept.

A popular method to persuade people to quit tobacco is sharing the cost over a single lifetime (in Ohio the lifetime out-of-pocket cost is $138,934). Those who won’t quit have to accept this money coming out of their own pockets. But would they accept that they’ve spent over $100,000 of their children’s and grandchildren’s inheritance on something like tobacco?

Another persuasion tactic is sharing the number of potential years lost (on average smokers die 10 years earlier than non-smokers). Could one comfortably accept missing 10 birthdays, 10 Thanksgivings, 10 Christmases for one grandchild? And what about for any more grandchildren and great-grandchildren?

Some users may accept they’re going out of this life early. Tobacco brought them joy in their shortened life. But many don’t know a life lived healthy is not the same as a life lived with debilitating health issues.

There are approximately 25 games in a youth baseball season. Could one with chronic lung issues accept sitting in the hard-to-see spot behind the dugout in a wheelchair on oxygen instead of sitting in the bleachers with the rest of their family?

There are 52 weekends in a year — 520 weekends in 10 years. Could one with heart disease accept missing that many weekend walks, bike rides, and trips to the park with their family? That’s also 520 Sundays.

How accepting would one who’s had their teeth pulled due to oral disease be watching their family eat their Sunday steak dinners while they had to suck their dinner through a straw?

Next time you go to light up or dip, please think not about the momentary pleasure it will bring you but instead the lifetime of memories you could be missing out on. Could you accept living with this regret?

Quitting is hard and for many may seem impossible. Fortunately there is help. A couple of resources available in Champaign County include The Ohio Tobacco Quit Line and the Mercy Health REACH Tobacco Program.

For information about and to sign up for the Ohio Tobacco Quit Line please call 1-800-QUIT-NOW (1-800-784-8669). For information about the Mercy Health REACH tobacco program please call 937-390-5338.