Kicking the habit: One smoker’s journey toward better health

NORWICH – Last month, millions of smokers nationwide took their final puff before kicking their smoking habit for good during the American Cancer Society’s 37th annual Great American Smokeout, a day when smokers are encouraged to make a plan to quit or plan in advance to stop smoking that day.

For Chenango County resident Stephanie Meek, the Great American Smokeout marked an 11-month milestone in her tobacco-free life. Meeks lit up her last cigarette in January and since, she said there has been no turning back.

“I used to enjoy smoking. I even looked forward to it. It was part of my routine,” she said, recalling her 15-year history of smoking one or more packs of cigarettes daily. “Smoking is the one thing in my life that I regret starting. Now that I have quit, I don’t have any real regrets.”

Meek’s story begins in January, when she said her six-year-old son returned from school, crying and telling her “You’re going to die.”

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