November 16, 2017 05:34 PM
After 52 years of smoking cigarettes, Sue Nielsson said it's never too late to quit.
She is 74 years old and gave up smoking 19 months ago.
"I can breathe. I don't smell like a dirty ash tray," Nielsson said. "I love not smoking."
The American Lung Association was making a push for the annual "Great American Smokeout" Thursday.
For Nielsson, the trick was getting a smoking coach at Essentia who she talked to every week about her progress. She also used the patch and lozenges.
"All those years, and I was a really big smoker," Nielsson said. "I didn't go out and have a cigarette. I went out and had three. And I smoked probably close to two packs a day."
But quitting was "way worth it," she said. It's even had a positive impact on her relationships.
"My husband's never smoked, so he loves it. He's way into it," Nielsson said. "Almost every day, 'Thanks for not smoking, Suze!' Buys me flowers -- 'That's for not smoking!'"
She also said she has saved thousands of dollars by not smoking.
The American Lung Association encourages people to try "mini-quit Mondays" to practice breaking the habit.
Pat McKone with ALA said that over half of smokers want to quit but many don't think they are able. Essentia Health has 44 quit coaches around northern Minnesota and Wisconsin, Jill Doberstein said.
Updated: November 16, 2017 05:34 PM
Created: November 16, 2017 04:29 PM
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