Skip to Main Content

Ken Kurtz, How I Quit Smoking

Ken Kurtz: How I Quit Smoking

“My main triggers were, I think, probably eating, driving, and breathing,” former smoker Ken Kurtz says with a laugh. “And that last one’s kind of difficult to work around.”

Kurtz began smoking at age 33. He was driving a taxi at the time and on occasion smoked cigars without inhaling just for enjoyment. He soon gave up cigars and switched to regular cigarette smoking as a way to pass the time while waiting on a fare.

When Kurtz decided to stop, at first he couldn’t go much past a week before lighting up. “”There’s all these sorts of things you do – drinking coffee, sitting out on the porch in the morning with your coffee, and all of those things it seems like you can’t do without your little friend with you,” he says.

Last February, Kurtz was leaving his doctor’s office when he saw a pamphlet for a smoking cessation class. Kurtz enrolled in the Freedom From Smoking program, a multi-session program that holds two classes before its participants are asked to quit.

“We just talked and learned about nicotine addiction, different tools that we can use to stop,” he says. “There were many that I had tried, but one I had never heard about was a nicotine inhaler.”

Kurtz has been playing with the band Judge Angus for over eight years. He played a gig with the band around a week after he quit smoking, and was upfront with his band mates and fans that he couldn’t join them for a cigarette break. “You have to protect yourself,” he says. “You got to know, and you got to help yourself, because sometimes you’re helpless.

“It feels awesome to have the monkey off my back,” he adds. Kurtz recalls how his day was managed in a sense by cigarette smoking, which would give him a boost to get through the next hour, over and over again. “Now, your day can just flow.”

Sponsored by:

TV Schedules


No upcoming airdates


No recent airdates

Explore KET