Rebecca never believed she'd be lacing up her running shoes and hitting the jogging path.
“For over three decades, I never exercised. My biggest workout was lifting a cigarette to my mouth," she said.
At age 16, she started smoking cigarettes. By the time she was 33, she was smoking more than a pack a day. Around the same time, she was diagnosed with depression.
"A lot of negative things were going on in my personal life which caused me to become depressed," she said. "Depression and smoking went hand-in-hand for me. I used cigarettes as a stress reliever. I thought they would make things better but in reality, they only made things worse."
Finally, Rebecca became determined to stop smoking.
She is now a participant in CDC’s "Tips From Former Smokers Campaign" and explains how she quit.
First, she sought help with her depression.
Then came the birth of her first grandson, in whom she saw inspiration. She would jog one block while pushing him in the stroller, and then walk a block.
"Six months after I quit smoking, I ran my first 5K," she said. “Something I never believed to be possible while I was still smoking.”
She also enlisted others to help her quit.
“I made friends who didn't smoke and I went back to therapy,” she said. “I quit and so can you.”
- Quitting smoking at any age has benefits.
- It’s never too late.
- Help and support are available.
- Visit cdc.gov/tips or call 1-800-QUITNOW for free help.