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Paige Bentley, How I Quit Smoking

Paige Bentley: How I Quit Smoking

“That cigarette after you eat, that cigarette after the first cup of coffee, that cigarette when you feel a little ticked off – I loved it,” says Paige Bentley, a life coach.

Bentley tried her first cigarette when she was invited to a slumber party by “the coolest girl in sixth grade.” She gradually picked up the habit in middle school and continued through high school and into adulthood. “I was doing all of these other healthy things and leading a different lifestyle, but smoking was still there.”

Years passed until Bentley finally decided to attend a group tobacco cessation class provided by her local health department. “I know there was an addiction,” she says. “Those people who say, ‘You know, I can just put them down,’ well, that’s great for you, but that didn’t work for me. I knew that I was going to need additional help.”

Bentley says that the class was instrumental in helping her to quit, but even more important was the support she received from family and friends. “I had such amazing support. People really care about you, and you know smoking has lost some of its coolness, and I had a ton of people behind me and cheering me on, and that makes all the difference in the world.”

One of the things the group counseling taught her, Bentley says, is to “have your why. For some people it is health, for some people it’s, ‘I want to quit because I want to be there for my grandchildren.’ Everyone has their reason.”

Now, there’s no longer a voice in the back of her head telling Bentley, “How many cigarettes do I have left? Do I need to go to the store? Do I have enough? Do I need to stop? It feels great just not to be tied to that anymore.”

foundation_logo2013This KET content is part of the 2017 Smoking and Health Initiative, funded in part by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.

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