Breaking the nicotine addiction 01.03

Written by David Green.


After the first six months have passed, it gets easier. That’s what a Morenci resident named Doug was told about breaking the addiction to nicotine.

Don’t believe it, he now says, because it isn’t true.

“It was better than day one,” Doug said, “but it wasn’t easy.”

Doug had the satisfaction last August of making it to his fifth smoke-free anniversary. He thinks he has nicotine licked, but this wasn’t the first time he quit.

“I quit once for six months,” he said. “I guess I wasn’t ready.”

Doug used a nicotine patch the first time he tried to give it up. That was back in the mid-1990s, and after the six months passed, he went another seven or eight years—laying out a lot of cash to keep the habit going.

The cost of smoking was an annoyance, but not so much to force him to quit. Doug went through the price increase routine that many smokers follow.

“When it gets to $2 a pack, I’ll quit,” he remembers saying.

But he never did, at least not until Aug. 1, 2002, when an increase in the Michigan tobacco tax would push the price of a pack to $5.

That wasn’t the only factor. His wife said she wanted him to be around for a long time and she wished he would consider quitting.

“I think I had three cigarettes that day,” Doug said, and he hasn’t had one since.

No patch, no support class, nothing but will power and a true desire to quit. He knows that’s what was missing before.

“This time I made up my mind that I was all done,” Doug said. “I went one day at a time and it’s stretched into five and a half years. I’ll bet it was three years before my hand stopped going to my shirt pocket after lunch for the cigarette that was no longer there.”


  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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