When Nancy DePalma found herself driving to the store over icy roads to buy cigarettes, or smoking butts she found in her ashtrays, she realized she had a problem. She was “sick and tired” of being held captive by her cigarette addiction and embarrassed when her patients and friends smelled cigarette smoke on her.
Glenn Hair started smoking when he was 12 years old and smoked up to two packs of cigarettes every day. He tried to quit smoking numerous times but always found an excuse for why it was not the right time. He told himself he would quit later, but when he received his cancer diagnosis, he realized that, “One of these days, later isn’t going to come.”
Lauren Ryan (Chapel Hill Transit) started smoking socially in college and continued to smoke after graduation. Soon, Lauren married, and she and her husband planned to become pregnant. She quit smoking until her son was 17 months old.
Andy Colon decided to quit his tobacco addiction and went all out to create a healthier lifestyle for himself. He changed the way he ate, exercised more and, of course, stopped smoking. A friend told him about the Wellness@Work Tobacco Cessation program and Andy loved the idea of getting the support to quit, as well as the convenience of meeting at his workplace. It gave him the “backbone for change.” The free medications and the incentive of $100 for remaining tobacco free for 6 months encouraged him to reach his goal.
Matt Lawrence came to the Wellness@Work Program dipping a can of tobacco every day, having made multiple “practice attempts” without sustaining abstinence. He hated the control that tobacco exerted over him. In his position as Deputy Fire Chief, he wanted to be a good role model and had become weary of hiding his tobacco use.
May 2, 2017 will mark two years of Susan Hinson’s quitting cigarettes, and is also the due date for her first grandchild! She feels excited about the baby’s arrival and also pleased that she doesn’t have to worry about her smoking affecting the child.
Erin Barringer, a nursing assistant in the Neurosciences Hospital, began smoking socially in 10th grade, and over the years she increased her smoking to one-half pack of cigarettes a day. She continued at this level until 2010 when she found out she was pregnant. She remained tobacco free through her pregnancy and breastfeeding until her daughter, Jalliyah, was about 6 months old. At that time, she returned to smoking socially — and also did so to help deal with stress.
Lana Simons, a Chapel Hill Transit employee, has been tobacco free for 2½ years! She says it’s a “nicer way to live,” not having cigarettes as part of her life, and she is proud of herself for doing it.
Howard Sutton, clinical support technician in the Department of Anesthesia, enrolled in the Tobacco Free Tar Heels program three years ago. Today he is tobacco free. When Howard Sutton enrolled in the Tobacco Free Tar Heels (TFTH) program three years ago, stress in his life seemed to be the biggest barrier to quitting smoking. After trying different strategies for dealing with stress, he always found himself turning back to smoking for relief.
When nursing assistant Rebecca Langham enrolled in UNC Health Care System’s Tobacco Free Tar Heels (TFTH) program, she had been smoking a pack of cigarettes daily since she was 16 years old. Today, thanks to TFTH and her own personal dedication, she’s tobacco free.
Robb English, the Aquatics Supervisor in Chapel Hill’s Parks and Recreation Department, dipped almost a can of tobacco a day when he came to the Wellness at Work Tobacco Free Employee Program. As a teenager who played sports, Robb says that dipping tobacco was part of the culture, less overt and obvious than smoking cigarettes. But now Robb wanted to give himself the best chance for living a healthy life, so he took the first step: enrolling in a program that offered support and medications to help him achieve his goal.
Smoking on and off since I was thirteen, I’d tried every trick in the book to stop. Every attempt ended in failure, whether it was stopping cold turkey or gradually with the help of medication. I became, as the old joke goes, an expert on quitting. After all, I’d done it so many times. But, with the help of the Nicotine Dependence Program it seems to be working. Not only am I smoke-free, but I don’t really think much about smoking any more. I knew when I chose to stop that I needed help to do it. I was looking for a program that would provide structure and accountability without sermons or judgment. This program does that and more.
After smoking for more than 40 years, with a brief three-year smoke-free period, Joe Manginelli, a Patient Business Associate at UNC Hospitals Spine and Imaging Center, had his last cigarette on September 22, 2011. What made you decide to quit smoking? A few things made me quit. Mostly I did it for my wife. But … Continued
When Robert Jenkins came into UNC Health Care System’s Tobacco Free Tar Heels (TFTH) program, he had been smoking since he was 15 years old (“too long,” he said). Like many teens, it was the “cool factor” that led him to smoke. He shared that he was so sick of smoking and had always wanted to quit. He knew in his mind he was ready to quit, but still had to deal with his daily triggers for smoking: morning coffee, after meals, and stress. A co-worker told him she had quit with the support of the TFTH program and suggested that he give it a try.
Tyron Edwards, or T.Y., as he is known, entered the Wellness @ Work Tobacco Free Employee Program soon after it begin in fall 2011. He smoked between 1–2 packs of cigarettes per day, and had been smoking since he was 16 years old. He reported being “just tired of smoking.” Even with his readiness, he said that it was hard to do and he needed to put in the effort so he wouldn’t backslide.
Bob Pendergraph, an HVAC Mechanic who works in Plant Engineering, is a family man who enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, biking, and fishing. He realized that his smoking was preventing him from being active with his grandchildren. He also noticed that many people and places in his life were becoming smoke free and he did … Continued
Claudia Sibila, a medical interpreter in the Interpreter Services Department, did not realize how much her friends and family truly influenced her every day. “The people that surround you become a part of you,” she said. “A positive influence is important.” Her three pregnancies provided Sibila with motivation for being tobacco free. Yet, she found … Continued
Ebony joined the Tobacco Free Tar Heels program nearly two years ago. At that time, she had cut down on her smoking from more than a pack a day to just a few cigarettes, but she couldn’t seem to quit those last few. Her boyfriend was allergic to cigarette smoke and really didn’t like her … Continued
Paul Moss, Fire Captain, joined the Wellness at Work Tobacco Cessation Program in June, 2012, and was able to quit smoking shortly thereafter. At the time, he was smoking a pack a day and had been doing so since he was 18 years old. When asked why he wanted to quit smoking, he replied that … Continued
If you are a smoker or are close to someone who is, you may have found that smoking can impact relationships. Martha Killough, an outpatient coordinator in the N.C. Cancer Hospital, discovered this. After being married to a non-smoker for two years, she became depressed about the distance smoking put between her and her husband. … Continued