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Ms. Belinda (56 year) - Nationality: German - September 30, 2002

"I'm 56 and have been smoking since age 18. My mother and several aunts and uncles smoked. I first tried a cigarette to impress a date. Unfornately, it became a habit. I've worked in the restaurant industry for many years and smoked even when I served food (second hand). For the past four years I been struggling with myself with the issue of smoking. I am strong-willed and couldn't imagine that nicotine was controlling me. My son was diagnosed with a lung disease that can be fatal (what type of example was I). Smokers fail to realize the extent to which they pollute the environment, let alone the drain they can be on medical resources (ssi., health care, etc.) I was hearing more and more accounts of women my age being diagnosed with lung cancer. I would often think about the pain I would be inflicting on my son if I continued to smoke and he had to witness my painful death. I became aware that the bouts I encountered with chronic bronchitis were because of smoking. Since I quit 14 months ago I've experienced none - not even a cold. The depression is worth the outcome. It's a great feeling to be smoke-free."

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Ms. Belinda