By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great local journalism.
Smokers urged to kick habit
National ‘Smokeout’ scheduled Thursday
Participants in Northside Hospital-Forsyth's smoking cessation program sign contracts from the American Lung Association, like this one, to encourage themselves to stop smoking. - photo by Jennifer Sami

For more information on the Great American Smokeout or resources for smokers, call the Georgia Quit Line at (877) 270-STOP or go online at,, or
Beverly Anglin smoked her first cigarette at 15 years old. It may have taken her 42 years to quit, but the Forsyth County resident hasn’t lit up since Jan. 5.

“Everything smells so good,” she said. “I’m not as short of breath.”

A month before her last cigarette, Anglin admits she had no desire to kick the habit. But when her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer, she knew it was time to give it up cold turkey.

“I go with him to chemo ... and to see the people in the condition that they get in, it’s a very sad situation,” she said. “It’s enough to make you want to quit.”

Both Anglin and her husband stopped smoking on their own. But for others who need help, Anglin said the Great American Smokeout on Thursday is “an awesome idea.”

The national American Cancer Society event challenges the nation’s smokers to kick the habit for at least one day. It touts statewide hotlines, resources for smokers and counseling to encourage a healthier lifestyle.

In Georgia, about 19.5 percent of adults are smokers, spending an average of $4.29 per pack.

For Forsyth County resident Stanley Redd, that meant more than $1,500 a year for his pack-a-day habit. Redd hopes he smoked his last cigarette Monday.

It was the cost — both of the cigarettes and his health insurance company’s fine for being a smoker — which led him to seek help.

“I’ve cut back before, but I never really tried to quit,” he said. “This is probably the first time ever to give it an effort.”

Through word of mouth, Redd learned about the Northside Hospital-Forsyth smoking cessation program, headed by Amanda Collins.

Every three months a new 8-week program begins, offering a personal action plan to “help them find ways to deal with the stress instead of smoking,” Collins said.

“We also do pack tracks with them where they track their cigarettes, what time they smoke and why they’re smoking — if they’re stressed, if they’re happy or bored — and we give them a list of things they can do besides smoking.”

The program offers the cold turkey method, but provides a plan of action during the first three meetings.

While nicotine is addictive, Collins said the habit itself is much harder to kick. By the fourth meeting, or “quit day,” Collins said the group is ready.

Redd smoked his last cigarette before the meeting.

“It’s just a habit. I can’t really say there’s anything about it I really enjoy,” he said, noting his parents and siblings were smokers. “I’ll probably have some of the Nicorette gum, but that’ll be just to help me just in case.”

Collins said the Great American Smokeout is encouragement for those who could use the extra push.

“There is power in numbers and if you feel like it’s a movement, maybe they will be more inclined to quit,” she said.

For Anglin, who said she always went back after quitting, it’s about finding motivation.

“I think it’s all in your mind,” she said. “You have to want to quit. You have to have a reason to quit, and it has to be for yourself or for your loved ones.”