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For One Man, Great American Smokeout Passes One Year

Written By Cicero on 11/17/14 | 11/17/14

“One year ago, Chris traded me his cigarettes for a basket of goodies and tools to quit smoking,” says C.J. Smith, the Program Coordinator for Reality Check & Tobacco Free Delaware, Otsego & Schoharie Counties. “And today we are celebrating and congratulating Chris on his tremendous accomplishment of being smoke-free.”

Mr. Tague is a lifelong Schoharie County resident, vice-chair of the Schoharie County GOP and a fulltime employee of Cobleskill Stone Products. Tobacco negatively impacted his life at a very young age because he was surrounded by family members that smoked; thus he began smoking at the age of 14. “I was nine years old when my father had his first heart attack, at the age of 37,” says Mr. Tague. “My mom quit smoking right after the event. My father continued to smoke after two triple bypass surgeries and two more heart attacks. He passed away in September 2001 at the young age of 59 as a result of the health issues caused by smoking.”

Tague today
Quitting was not an easy task for Chris. He smoked upwards of 3 packs of cigarettes per day; therefore he had a huge void to fill in his daily life. “I chewed a lot of gum and toothpicks, and unfortunately also ate a lot and gained some extra weight,” says Mr. Tague. “My blood pressure is consistently lower, my breathing is much better and less labored, I can walk better and I feel much better in general. Because of the weight gain, my diabetes has been more difficult to manage, but I am working on that.”

Of course there were also tremendous financial benefits also. Figuring he roughly spent $175 per week on cigarettes; which in one year equals over $9000. Chris was able to finish work on his flood damaged home and replace some items he lost in Hurricane Irene.

I asked Chris to share one message to people that are trying to quit. He said, “If they really want to quit, they can! I learned a lot about myself through this process and I am a stronger person because of it.” He says the first 3 months were the hardest. He taught himself to work through the cravings and realized that he really could do this. One year ago Chris said, “I hope to say one year from now at my family Thanksgiving dinner as we say Grace, ‘Thank God I am one year smoke-free’.” “Well Chris, you can certainly say that,” says C.J. Smith, “and our hats are off to you for your strength and perseverance. Congratulations!”
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