HAGERSTOWN, Md. (WDVM)– Life-long Hagerstown Resident Randolph Samu smoked cigarettes for nearly 30 years, until one day, when he says he decided to quit for good.
“As long as I was using nicotine, I was addicted to nicotine and I was always going to be addicted to nicotine.” said Samu. “Now five years a nonsmoker, I notice that I’m not coughing all the time and I sleep better.”
Promoted by the American Cancer society, the Great American Smoke-Out encourages individuals to stop smoking for at least one day. However, the G.A.S.O has a new challenge, the number of american citizens who vape continues to climb exponentially.
“Just focus on hourly, if I can just try but one hour at a time, every little bit makes a difference.” said Community Health Educator Paula Ernst.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, cigarette smoking is at an all time low, but there is still an estimated 35-million adults who smoke regularly on top of 41 million who vape.
“When I see someone smoking it just drives me nuts, I just want to take them aside and ask do you know what you’re doing?” said Samu. “They notice I’m in a wheelchair, they notice that I lost my legs but smoking was probably a good contributor to the reason I lost them.”
Samu describes his quitting experience as one of the hardest things he’s been through, but he said his life truly began after he quit smoking for good.
“The biggest thing I kept telling myself is you’re not going to die, cause you feel really miserable but you just keep telling yourself you’re not going to die, nobodys died from quitting smoking you’ll get through it.” said Samu. “The days will be easier, months, years go by and you’re smoke free.”
The Washington County Health Department recommends people who are wanting to quit on their own to take it day-by-day.