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What it Takes to “Quit Like a ChampionTM”

Every 3rd Thursday in November the American Cancer Society sponsors the Great American Smokeout to increase awareness of the dangers of smoking and to encourage smokers to quit once and for all. Three Combined Insurance employees share their stories about kicking the habit.

This year’s theme is “Quit Like a Champion.™”

Quitting smoking is no easy task, and this year we’re taking the opportunity to celebrate our employees who have risen to the challenge and are already champions.

We hope their stories will help inspire you to kick the habit of smoking or to work on some other health-related goal and get on the road to a healthier life!

Sherri Jonas, Retention Manager - Success through support

Sherri was a smoker for 30 years, but in January 2014, she had the sudden realization that the habit may kill her and rob her of precious years with her children and grandchildren.

Sherri turned to a program offered by the company to get the support she needed to quit smoking. Through the program she spoke to a coach weekly, who offered her encouragement and tips.

She was also fortunate enough to get the support from her co-worker, Karla Brissett, who encouraged her along the way and helps her when she is feeling tempted.

Sherri continues to be smoke-free and is enjoying better health!

Jill Bradley, Claims Approval - Success with medication

On November 8th, 2014 Jill made a conscious decision to quit smoking. She had been a smoker most of her adult life, but with a new grandbaby on the way, she knew it was time to make a change.

Her doctor recommended she try an anti-smoking medication, and it worked for her. She notes, “It was one of the best things that I have done for myself in my life. I feel better physically, and I have more energy. Since quitting, I haven’t had nearly as many health issues, and have been working on losing weight.”

Jill’s goal is to continue to improve her health so that as she grows older she will be a strong, vibrant grandma.

She has become a source of encouragement and support for her friends who are also trying to quit, and she says, if she can do it, anyone can do it!

Antoinette Royston, TeleClaims Rep - Success through little steps

After 28 years of smoking, Antoinette decided to make a change. She wanted to set a good example for her adult children, and get on the road to a healthier life.

The first time she tried to quit smoking, she went cold turkey, but when she got stressed or upset she went right back to smoking.

The second time she tried to quit, she tried a different, unique approach: Every day she pushed her first cigarette back just a little.

On the first day, instead of reaching for her cigarette as she woke up, she made herself wait until after her shower. On the second day she waited until she was walking to the

train, and on the third day, her first cigarette was at her first break at work.

She continued to push her first cigarette back for four weeks, until finally her first -and only -cigarette wasn’t until 9:00 at night. When she felt cravings during the day, gum and mints helped.

Once she got down to one cigarette a day, she knew she could take the next step and be totally smoke-free.

Her last day of smoking was incredibly empowering for her, and she flushed her remaining 13 cigarettes down the toilet, and she’s never looked back. She’s been smoke-free for 12 years.

What habit will you kick?

Thanks to Sherri, Antoinette, and Jill for sharing their success stories with us. The key for each one was to find a method that worked for them. No matter what bad habit you are trying to kick, don’t give up until you find a method that works for you!

To learn more, visit link opens in a new window or call the American Cancer Society at 1-800-227-2345.