Well we all know that smoking cigarettes is bad but do you know how really that scary that. How about one in five deaths is related to tobacco in the United States. Did you know that cigars have the same carcinogens that are found in cigarettes. And while cigarette smoking declined by. 33% from 2000 to 2011. Cigar smoking is up 233%. Not -- Even with the decline in smoking every day. That is every day more than 3800 kids younger than eighteen smoke their first cigarette. The battle is not over this week it'll be waged nationwide. As the 38 annual great American smoke out will be this Thursday. If you are smoker I hope you're listening because there is help out there. And if you've quit we would love to hear from you on how you do it you can call 260187. Well joining us is Rachel from who knows all about how tough it is to quit. And I wanna thank you for joining us we hit some of the people on and introduce in a moment I just wanna say Rachel. To anybody out there listening I was a smoker I've been very public about it I smoked for twenty years and I smoked like a chance. And at the end it was three packs a day and it was very very hard to quit so anybody who and I tried I tried many times before succeed. -- had nothing but sensitivity and really sympathy for someone who is smoking and doesn't watch it. The difficult I want you to tell your story because I look at junior very young that you say you smoked ten years he asks. I started smoking when highways. I am first here at my -- twelve. It was a camel non filtered cigarette that I found in my brother's room. And I continues -- keen. Think it was in seventh grade -- -- it's been keen. More regularly. We see you go to this we found this store that didn't card -- we see gallon by our cigarettes they act after. We had ran out and down he got a point when I was in high school in our smoking the force school and then finally when I when I got out of school so. Graduated high school I was -- addicted to cigarettes and when I'm in college of freshman year of college I was routine mean now everywhere I went in the car. Anytime I got in the car anytime I was bored at any time. I just felt anxious as to which I thought would help it -- probably only made the connection of cigarettes and anxiety more intense -- now. Sound. You only because my smoke which was an eighteen hundreds they were like a dollar pack some time and now I look in the drugstore and I'm. I'm blown away at the cost and how did you pay for -- -- Quit my day out just that against the allowing the you do is prioritize your money yes in cigarettes -- and it's important. But apparently. That's -- that's what I spend money and that time there about 350 -- if if it was on the lower side three dollars. And then I think it was it got to be about five dollars a pack up and -- management team that's fifty dollars a -- In and he smoked one carton a week and then four cartons a month. That's close some of them yeah act. So as a Latin there was a moment and you said OK I'm not going to do this anymore. Yeah actually. That there are few times where you know at one point I I quit for about eight mind I don't know what it wise that. Me me. Wanna stop then I think he's the patches to quit at that time. And something happened I think where something bad happened and ask I just want a cigarette and I just started smoking again and on continue to smoke and could never quake and then. Finally Airways. In B. -- Spraying are now yeah. In December actually 2011. My dad was Agnes went lymphoma. And down that was the moment whereas I was Allen -- my dad fight cancer and I knew that smoking caused cancer cell. I felt like to smokers is. Counterproductive to everything now is really wanting to -- Sit there and tell my dad to try to fight cancer when I was contributing to myself getting cancer and smoking or even. Coming around him at this malice smoking now was something that -- I felt convicted about town. I am I I decided then that I wasn't gonna do it anymore and so I used to it takes actually Tina. To help me stop and there are other things I also tried to use the electronic cigarette because that was an idea I had you know a lot of people get that idea using. By one thing I noticed is that was backed -- If I would do it -- did not smoke this airing ads. But then a minute -- come around somebody who was smoking it would be and I keep me cigarette -- cigarette he now I'd just never went away -- by. Which you can't aches when -- on the economy around and they were smoking packages relax. And it wouldn't be a big deal like that -- wasn't there so it is chanted kill or non. It's actually it's a prescription -- by your doctor and it won't prescribe deal on Italian doctor -- smoker. They want you to quit and he will be more than happy to write a prescription for tactics. So over how long were you luncheon objects to the last. Mom. Well you smoked -- -- bright seeking to entities Smith for about a week prior. And then when the last day comes you gradually wean yourself off of this cigarettes and then the last day comes you just don't want it anymore. And but he continued to take -- I think it's about four to six -- probably for months a year continue to take it and tell on that time where you pretty much. Broken I have a ten year term. No longer a smoker. Now it's as a beautiful -- no longer -- he don't to feel free I really -- out and I realized that. The time that you waste when you smoke cigarettes is is is pretty day it's. He spends so much time you think it's a stress reliever but when you go when you take a cigarette break what are you doing you're really just. Going out in your pop any new breed him really hard puffing cigarettes you're just thinking about the stress that you have by it. He knows or doesn't really help by. Weighing in her hand still in school aren't you working I'm now more -- -- By com. Sell them. I it's just that time adamant ally to play tennis now. I am yeah rundown you can breathe yeah -- one thing I did for them Mickey -- I actually ended up losing my dad to cancer and right around that time the American Cancer Society happened to you I'm present itself and property for me to -- half marathon. And I got here I -- fund raising and use my connections you know people who knew my dad got to raise money for that. And sign up for our half marathon and I ended up finishing. Probably thanks to you not smoking and bad. The healing my lungs -- able to do Wallace not. Smoking anymore so I don't know what this is called it's called victory yes you are wonderful to -- that's in news stay with -- we're gonna continue to talk about. You can do it you can quit. I'm Angela on that it anyway. But we just heard a wonderful story from Rachel -- on her run started smoking very young at twelve. And has now quit after ten years and has run her half marathon and it's just a great voice for people who make up their minds and again Rachel I heard it is in DC and you struggle and you start again but by golly you did it. And we have Larry on the phone Larry -- and they'll be used to smoke. Yeah I did Adam. Is a girl and well. In Vietnam. An apple. I just don't like putting your -- don't want to be betrayed America spoke out. Any game on I'm going to be a lot to -- -- into -- -- -- CP 78 years ago. But I'd side with Andre. People's. And that is on the way it. In a week ago. Indian ingested by department the right. Now. -- freedom. You know that is the words you just don't realize what being hooked and is one who was not say it again. How much that does dictate. Your life. Whether you know all my gosh I'm not a cigarettes I have to get up go out -- or -- can't smoke in this building had to go outside I mean. It really does. Over commune and and good for you and I really appreciate you calling Mary. And congratulations. And I'm very glad they mentioned the great American smoke because it is this Thursday and you see it inspired one person let me just try it on that day. Hopefully it will inspire others. Joining us is amber Stephenson who was the Louisiana State lead ambassador. For the American cancer action network. And polish -- the American Cancer Society. Community engagement specialist. Ladies it's tough to quit his. Theory it is and you because as one who did. Yes hi I am a former smoker I smoked for thirty years. I was one of the fortunate lines. And the fact that I quit cold Turkey. Yet I watch my mother who was not so fortunate smoke until the week before she passed away from cancer. She was -- add to try to few pains. But they didn't have that change takes at the time for her to track but cold Turkey just one -- -- got fed up. I I just one day said this is enough to. I'm not doing seeking. In a way -- there is some good news that the them. Rate of smoking is down and that is significant. It's a little disconcerting in an article I read recently from the CDC. That kids are now going to hookers. And cigars movement and that perhaps their thinking that that is not as dangerous. I think so and I think that having a daughter morning team. And I think it's become socially acceptable for kid -- and it's fashionable you see all these hookah bars and you know cigarette lounges. On I think they think that's a way of utilizing tobacco but there's not that same level of addiction are severely that there is that cigarettes -- because they're not doing it every day like a cigarette they're only doing it a couple times a week on the week he ends. But as I said it seems to be fashionable it seems to be what everybody's doing and it's all the flavor to back so you know at 22. I don't think you think it's that severe but does it -- I -- you're only doing this once or twice a week. I think over time I think there is that there is an opportunity for that CB yeah I think it's as a teenager at the eight. Com are even you know in college. I think you do it once nineteen times three times and I speak over time you start using it more and more. And so yeah I think there is that opportunity for. I did not know that cigars had as many carcinogens -- cigarettes yes did not know that yes they -- And I think one of the misconceptions is that he knew I grew up in home -- my father smoked cigars. On but he was like well. You hear some individuals that they don't inhale the -- so there's not that level of severity. Com but they are and you see more and more people smoking cigars today as I said earlier this -- cigar bars of the cigar lounges. On women smoking cigars so you CEO a lot of that it's like replacing one for the other just fight that smokeless tobacco idea apart she used. On EC that a lot in the he's. Many many years ago we -- to show. On the talk show. I'm on oral cancers non telling him and takes half your face. And it happens you know one of the worst stories I have seen in my fourteen years at the American Cancer Society -- Was a young athletic trainer out of the Shreveport area he was probably. 3130 -- he was the father of -- young children. And on had been dealing chewing tobacco he was an athlete he played baseball in high school football. And as -- can't teach you to back and they cheap tobacco on the high school. And he went to the dentist is far routine check -- he stopped she -- a -- down a spot when he is on. And by the time they went through the whole procedure seeing doctors he had. The least he answer it spread it became head -- cancer. And we lost team a year later and says no he has two little girls -- never see their wedding day you'll never see him graduate. Com and say it was very shocking because he was young he was very athletic he is a runner he eat healthy. On but he -- back. You know -- com. Talk about the numbers in Louisiana. Actually. Tobacco is the number one cons prevented deaths yes. And it counts six. And -- 500. People in Louisiana. Last year and it cost to state one point seven billion dollars. In health care cost. That is just enormous. Enormous. And and our children are our schoolchildren. Our high school children. 21 point 8% of high school students in Louisiana -- than national average is only eighteen point one. We don't want to be high and that number no we do know what's behind that and the amount at that outset smoke in Louisiana is 25 points happened. And the national average is only 19%. We do not want to leave the troops here we do know that you know we need to do we need to hear another story and Freddie for Mississippi. You quit. But this thing in the way it worked for thirty years. And my daughter was then for eleven years ago. -- never smoked inside that never smoked in front of -- And one day I was outside smoking can mention is that what you do. And at that point I took the cigarette. And -- it out and I never picked up another. Just studies. Did you smoke a lot. A moderate amount but not enough did you -- that when you quit it. -- But -- just what if you say you know I want to bureau. To see her grow. -- -- -- You know you bring up such an important part there is a physical for for those of us -- Virginia smokers -- an absolute physical withdrawal without question. But it's the psychological part that is that really really tough part and at the habit I mean you were lucky to have that little girl looked down -- and she was your trigger who said I'm not gonna smoke anymore every time he looked better. But our guys are right are not as lucky and so it's breaking habits of this is a minor thing but when I was making my mind up to start to quit smoking. I'd gotten a new car which only got like every ten years so I'll never smoke in this car while I was driving the costly -- maple over on the side of the road. But I never spoken that cart then do another trip I'll never smoked while I'm on the phone they -- count me in those days on the phone a lot. What you do to break habits but you know what Larry Freddie you do it and you did it for all the right reasons. That's right that's right and you know I've never looked back you know to this day you know I've never degrading. To do it and it's -- Thank you very much for calling. And -- you had a call you were calling about question your hair and. Well there's there's no doubt the cigarettes -- ring fractured nowadays to do it there's no. You know shape that you can smoke -- regret in there at all. But armed or bring in if there's tobacco itself. Is there any form of moderation in research because. The people that data in this chart it. Used tobacco all part of their religious servers at all in which shall prevail we did maybe in a war to more or whatever. And they actually used it -- you know like all of and it toxic interpret what it is an aerial support -- And I mean -- is that. It is safe way to construe to back on the order here. I'm looking to shake your head at me now and not that I am aware that there is news safe on level. About rolling up the tobacco right literally rolling up -- -- yeah I think. And I don't know if this -- answers your question but I once heard a palm and colleges give a talk about quitting smoking in. The lady said well you know I only smoke one cigarette a day or a couple every week. You know -- small levels of tobacco and he said. It's like saying I'm gonna burn your house down but I'm only gonna burn one room. -- -- That that the goal is that I'm so gonna burn your house down it's just gonna take a lot longer but the ultimate goal is still going to be listening. I'm not a -- well you know I will spark -- -- occasionally from drinking but that the portrait I think maybe -- put out to people is. Bet there are -- -- shape. But it may be paper than that figure were cigarettes that are manufactured by the -- producers in americorps there on the course they have. These tobacco. Issues that have all tobacco -- a sugar can change. All that most gatekeeper here what is considered actual tobacco. The rest is the -- the ground there in the paper that they should have been tried in the laughter rhapsody which. And they all the chemicals -- at church says there are places that have tobacco that is all actual under which are quarter quotes say. But it has to be safer than that got the terrible. You know in all the bombing Iraq fracture. We really appreciate you calling him very very much and I'll just think about that one room burning. I now I know when you burn any gains that act of burning. Even if it is an all natural. On to back relief it's still a carcinogen and that -- your lungs when you're inhaling and that is the cancer causing. The fact of com. And that to stay with -- we're gonna continue -- we can do it we can quit smoking an activist. The great American smoke out is this Thursday if you've ever thought about. Giving them up perhaps that's the day you can do it were listening to stories of people who have quit and Gerald. -- I'm good. A little bit how small -- HD. -- -- -- -- -- -- -- Our house vote you. We're now trying to act out and get. This could. Cigarettes. And you know. It right -- -- vote. No I don't Cooper into. -- And cigarette. Yet. They -- sure. That is incredible. And for you. Bit. -- Like when it. -- -- -- Gerald I appreciate this call very very much and congratulations to you. Let's talk about methods of quitting smoking. -- but no I'm I'm I'm sorry journalists talking to these two other women. Actually I guess mine was the easiest -- 'cause I do it's quit cold Turkey. But I did substitute. Hot air -- -- and yes instead and hot air so you wouldn't put the pounds on with a butter. Instead of reaching for that cigarette handles. High near popcorn -- around -- -- and -- it was tantamount. Do you issues there. And nothing is nasty year -- stale high near pop -- the other day and a -- -- a well. And you know I think she said the great American smoke out coming coming up this weekend he knew the main purpose of a snake out. -- is really it's a brain to heighten the awareness insists help people who are still smokers that he can't quit it is that one day. I think the biggest thing. You have to have that personal reason that that -- high that awakening moment it has to be about you and that personal goal. And I think you know the other thing is that -- you have to develop a plane. And you have to realize as we said earlier you know for someone he smoked three packs today. That's that's a large habit you've been doing that over and over and over again all day long. And says you. It's a lifestyle changed as amber was saying a little while ago if you're not gonna smoke what are you going to replace that with it what happened are you going to take up are you going to. Start walking are you going to start playing tennis or whatever it may be. A lot of individuals downfall is that. Yeah I'm gonna stop smoking but yet I'm still gonna hang out with all the people that I hung out with the smoke deck. I'm so gonna go to the bar. I'm so that he instilled in my life is going to change I'm just taking cigarettes out. If you don't replace it with something else. Eat your creature of habit you're gonna go right back to the cigarettes. On so it's really you know setting a plan how are you gonna change the activity and really the biggest thing is small weakens. You know I hear people all the time I have an individual landed -- quit smoking while she was pregnant. Does that get out as soon as the baby was born on to sort of back smoking again and she was like -- it's inevitable I'm gonna smoke. And the union yeah you're gonna fall down in your tennis star smoking may begin that you have to think about I was successful for nine months -- I was successful for five days -- You may be getting quick completely banned smoking five cigarettes less than what I know when I was doing before and so it's really those small we unions. And and I guess for individuals who want to quit he knew they can contact our 1800 number I mean it's 1800 TT 7345. Now we have a variety of resources. When they call that number can find information about our quit line and we have a mobile app that you can download that says quit now. -- -- a mobile app for everything I'm counting how she set plans and goals to be able to quit as just a variety of resources. I will say T the other thing. Is that you have to have a buddy -- -- you have to have a support network. And you have to have people around you that are gonna motivate you. That are gonna help you DH ET do it alone as I said earlier keep continue to hang around with the same people that are smoking. In announcing wanting to gravitate back towards that day here on C -- You have to have that social support think it helped the day with this we're gonna quit smoking right -- this. The issue is not smoking it's about saving your life and it's about. You hate to put these terms were really thinking millions if not billions of dollars in health care costs it is something we can control and and that is a very important word control whether your individual desire to say I'm not going to be controlled by cigarettes. And it is where other things in your life may not have control the issue to. Legislatively. We're always trying to get taxes up because. What does a pack of cigarettes is going to be three force of his tax. Yes actually. The tax and we easy and it then the state tax is. Only 36. Cents so yes we are. I believe -- at the second lowest in the country. That solid -- so you'll go before the legislature when -- broke when it's appropriate asking for a tax increase yes. And -- the American Cancer Society cancer action network we work in partnership with policy makers. To ensure that tobacco use is addressed through comprehensive. Approached including raising taxes have to pack Oprah takes. Implementing comprehensive smoke policies. And fully fund game. And sustaining. Evidence based state tobacco prevention and cessation program and -- but for the taxes. You know. -- gone before our state legislature and they've turned down oh yes we go every other year every at a Disco week every other years if fiscal year when we can ask for an increase in taxes. In fact last year we had to fight TU. Keep a tax and I don't know where it yes so this is it tobacco. Lawsuit that's -- fighting tobacco -- other states still don't buckle. Sound is some downs. We are really oh this state is pretty -- we are. We were fortunate that we do have smoke free workplaces and restaurants yes we're still trying to again act. The bars and casinos on board with us there are states that have done and we're so proud of them and -- -- -- to stop. But we do have one accomplishment. ACS can. And it's. Being able to get the city of Alexandria. -- 100%. It's meant for me well. Does any of -- to host city and we are not going to stop just with that one state. We're trying to excuse me what that one city where going to continue to. To do it to slow process but don't -- up I lost to the violent -- very quickly Sherman and toppled looses. German. I'm approaching duke -- birthday so I'm -- -- -- of the spectrum of sports. The right experience cigarette smoking but -- smoke drifting. You can I'd just be cool to kids -- older. Six locals and all of them spoke. Our former grip on the spot of the struggle and from -- the same and as a result all of our local quit smoking. -- so -- plan to quit smoking from our fortieth birthday in my wife and -- quit or mark's fortieth birthday it was a team effort. We did really well we purchased brand new vehicles we -- we have our mail for the first term that we -- and those -- What -- they have on cigarettes unfortunately. My wife only -- the year after -- water and of course she as a result of -- years of smoking. Was irreversible 44. So it's it's it's you know it's been several years for me and I feel like regenerate. Her -- until we run like an Indian. Much air as clean mark -- -- clean really appreciate it every day that the that the deploy excuse me there. I think this is I'm very sorry about the loss of your life but I can't thank you enough for calling and tremendous tremendous impact thank you so much Sherman. Get ready coming up shortly we'll announce the code word in the 1000 dollar nationwide holiday cash contest on WW well. Well we're talking about quitting smoking and nobody says it's -- And Rachel from can admit to that it was not -- now and think he gave a lot of thought to it them. I actually accepted tally of how many cigarettes had a little -- paper in my pocket and every day island. Right how many cigarettes. I had smoking in and each day if I had is done one last thing now is happy about -- and but it really. I had to want to do it and I. I would just think about all the reasons why cigarette smoking was was not something that I wanted to be doing and didn't want to control what I. What I was doing I didn't want if I didn't wanna go get cigarettes and I eight didn't want to have to go get him -- so that was announced did you stop -- -- I don't want this to control my life and an attitude your friend's mountain. I'm yes all pretty much all my friends that my sister smoked in. Did they do they try to sound just like. Ali act it there's some friends where you know in the beginning I was afraid to go around them because they're really wanted to not smoking and so I think I did have bike Paula saying he -- you have to change he hang out with the little bank and you have debt. Keep your distance for a little while especially in the beginning you don't wanna. Which is ominous situation re going to be tempted if you really want to quake and you really want to keep yourself from. From lighting up. You know a couple people said to me I hadn't told anybody I quit. And the cup and it was weird people is Kenneth G your -- looking so good. And what it was was -- the clock and nicotine and the little things like that and then you know your -- doesn't smell bad. Your your home doesn't smell -- your cup. Those are the little ones that you continue to I cannot thank all of you Rachel from amber Stevens Paula. Chancy for coming on this is a very important topic and to all the callers out there who called and told their stories congratulations. And good luck to anybody who was starting but that's the bottom line just try it it's this thirst. OK ladies and gentlemen.