Freedom for Smoking: Seven Weeks Later

Freedom for Smoking: Seven Weeks Later
By: Wendy Ray

Seven weeks ago a group of people from Southeast Missouri met for the first time, vowing to quit smoking. W

e introduced you to Bruce Maxwell, a member of the group. Bruce said he was kicking the habit for good. Seven weeks later,Bruce is doing very well. He hasn't had a cigarette in weeks. Bruce says the Freedom from Smoking program he joined was successful. The group had it's final meeting Tuesday night, so now Bruce is on his own.
Wednesday was Bruce's first day without his Freedom from Smoking group, but it's been a while since his last cigarette. "January 13th at 10 PM," Bruce says. When we first met Bruce in January it was in a group setting, the way the Freedom from Smoking program operates. Bruce hoped it would help him kick his one pack a day addiction. The program, created by the American Lung Association, makes smokers focus on two things; do they want to quit for themselves and do they have support in their decision to be smoke free. Bruce says group support did help. "They've gone through the same thing you have, they're not an 800 number," Bruce says. "You deal with them for seven weeks, they have the same hang ups, same addictions as you do."

Bruce, who's the general manager at a local restaurant, says there are people around him who smoke, but he's confident he will not start smoking again. He says the program opened his eyes that cigarettes are a habit and an addiction he can overcome. "It made me aware of the fact that there are things that can control your life, little things, and cigarettes have controlled me."

Bruce says the group may meet months down the road to see if everyone's stayed smoke free.