Jeff, Burlington

Throughout college I smoked cigarettes and used smokeless tobacco, or ‘dip.’ I never considered myself a real smoker, more of a social smoker, or one of those ‘I only smoke when I drink’ people. But there I was, smoking after every meal, in the car, and basically chain-smoking when I went out. The moment of truth came after I left college, and starting working. I would come home, sit in front of the TV and either smoke or dip. I started to feel anxious, worthless and unhealthy. I decided to take up running as a way to get in shape and feel happier. I tried being a ‘running smoker’ but it just didn’t work. Eventually, the smoking became an obstacle, so I gave it up. It helped to replace the time I spent smoking with something I really enjoyed doing and made me feel good. I realized that I could either be healthy or a smoker, not both.