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Baldwinsville Woman Hopes to Inspire Many to Quit Smoking as New Year's Resolution

The New Year has just started and those whose new year’s resolutions include quitting smoking can draw inspiration from Sheila D. of Baldwinsville. She quit smoking after 40 years.

Experts at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Centersay people who wish to quit smoking should use all the available resources. Health Behavior Department Chair Andrew Hyland says quitting cigarette smoking is challenging but with support of the New State Smokers Quitline, it can be done. 

“Nicotine, your brain liked that nicotine and if you give it a little taste of it even after you have been smoke free for a while, it can set you back, it can create a relapse. I would say, a lot of it is just managing expectation. It’s hard. Quitting smoking is hard. The benefit though is tremendous,” said Highland.

These benefits include guarding yourself from lung cancer. Other diseases related to cigarette smoking include heart attacks, colorectal cancer and emphysema. Sheila grew up in a smokers household, liked the taste of a cigarette at age 11 and was smoking regularly by 15.  She found using the word ‘delay’ allowed her to fight cravings and habits.

 “I just needed to get the habit part out. It’s a habit, it’s the hint. It’s when you finish a project and you go oh I have a cigarette. It’s those things that you have to use the trigger that remind you so that’s why I use that word delay,” said Sheila.

She got help from the Upstate Cancer Center, where counseling, medication and some visual deterrents were important.   And once she quit, she had a variety of benefits.

“My outlook on everything was more of a healthy look on everything. You gain the power that you didn’t have and I grabbed it and held on to it and to see my family just happy that I’m not smoking,” said Shiela.

The Smokers Helpline also helped, with advice and also calling to see how she was doing.  Hyland says even long-time smokers can quit if they use doctors’ advice, medication and counseling.

“Certainly how long you have smoked and how much you have smoked which are markers of how dependent you are on nicotine and cigarette. That makes it tougher but there are still millions of smokers out there that have quite that have smoked for a long time. So it’s never too late to quit and the sooner you do the more health benefit one will have,” said Highland. 

In New York State, about 25,000 people die annually from cigarette smoking and 30 Percent of Cancer deaths are related to cigarettes smoking. More resources and information on the smoker’s quitline are at:

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.