"No one smokes here."

11/16/2017  By HealthNews

November 16, 2017 

This year's Great American Smokeout falls on November 16.

Using Facebook Messenger, we recently interviewed a former Kittitas County resident, now living in Colorado, about her journey from chain smoker to bubble lover.

You took Chantix, right? What was that like?

Yes, Chantix. Twice. First time, I quit on my own accord. I always remember driving over the pass to see my family and having a smoke on Highway 18 and then I'd roll the windows down... like that helped. Then I would hug my mom and lie. Like she couldn't smell.

And now, living in Aspen, no one smokes. I literally ran in the street last night to pass a smoker.

No one smokes here. I love my bubble.

So, I took Chantix once; it was fine. I quit for some time but then relapsed. After moving to a new home, I tried Chantix again. Chantix for me was essentially just really crazy dreams and excessive busyness for a month or two and then BAM!, non-smoker.

What differences did you notice once you quit?

I'm not sure that I notice better taste or smell. Surely, there is a difference. Mostly, especially in my lovely bubble, I am now offended by cigarette smell.

I do remember living in Kentucky after Washington enacted the smoking ban and we weren't able to smoke in the bars. Having a cigarette hangover (from the smoke-friendly KY bars) was way worse than just a hangover (from the no-smoke WA bars).

Running with a friend on a 9 mile loop, topping near 13,000 feet at Lost Man Pass (Aspen).

What are your favorite ways to work out your lungs these days?

I ran my first ultra marathon at altitude last year (10,000-13,000 feet over 42 miles). And now that I'm not buying cigarettes, I have piles of money (well, not huge piles...but enough).

What advice would you give to someone trying to quit?

Know your goal. Make the decision. Wholeheartedly own that "I do not want cigarettes anymore." Quitting under any other pretense will not work. It has to be selfishly your idea. Yes, I imagine that you could make the decision "for your family, etc.," but in the end, you are doing it for you - to be there for your family.

Managed by Kittitas Valley Healthcare, HealthNews does not provide medical advice. For medical advice, please see your healthcare provider. This article is not an endorsement of Chantix or any particular smoking cessation aid.