How This Couple Ditched Tobacco
Candace and Chase love doing things together. Exercising, playing soccer with their daughters, going on family hikes and refreshing trips…
Candace and Chase love doing things together. Exercising, playing soccer with their daughters, going on family hikes and refreshing trips to the splashpad.
How does one family have this much energy?
The truth is, it hasn’t always been there. Candace and Chase were both smokers for over 12 years — and tried to quit multiple times.
It wasn’t until their first daughter turned two when reality hit: they needed to be there for their family. They needed to quit smoking, and this time for good.
Together, they made the commitment to quit smoking — and together they reached out to the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. The result? This dynamic Oklahoma duo conquered tobacco — together.
We asked Candace and Chase about their experience quitting together and to share tips on how others can successfully quit.
What made you decide to quit?
It wasn’t so much of a “want to.” It became a real need.
I have a two-year-old, and I’m struggling now. I want to be there for my wife and for my daughter. If we’re going to be a family and have children and have a happy, healthy life, we have to do this.
I was battling constant respiratory infections. Anytime I got ill, it would linger. We had these horrible coughs that would never go away.
My personal goal was for my daughter to never remember her parents as cigarette smokers — and she doesn’t.
We just wanted to find a better way to get healthy for our family.
How did the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline help you quit?
In addition to the patches, the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline also provided text message support, which was very valuable. There would be days that you would be feeling down or vulnerable, and you would get a supportive text, and it would be exactly what you needed on that day.
The Quit Coaches are absolutely sympathetic and not judgmental. They understand you’re in a moment of struggle, and they help you through it. That’s exactly what they’re there for.
It felt like someone was on your team, that you weren’t alone, that in your moment of weakness, you had somebody to pick you back up and tell you that you can keep going.
The fact that the Helpline is free is amazing because quitting smoking can be expensive. The patches helped so much — being able to step down how much nicotine your body was taking in. You just slap it on, you forget it’s there.
How did you set your quit date?
We chose our wedding anniversary because it was a day that we would always cherish. It’s such a special day for us because it’s not only the day that we got married, but it’s a day that we enjoy every year and look forward to one more year of being tobacco free.
How does being a nonsmoker make you feel?
I brag about being a nonsmoker. Other than being a parent, that’s my biggest achievement. It’s up there in my top five of all-time hardest things I’ve ever done, and so I brag about it.
I’m unbelievably thrilled that we were successful with quitting smoking. It is the most rewarding thing that we’ve ever done. I am most proud about quitting smoking because my children will never remember us as smokers.
What can you do now that you are smokefree?
I wake up every morning and do 30 minutes of yoga or go for a run or both. I go on regular bike rides with my daughter and still have plenty of energy when we get back. I coached my daughter’s soccer team, and I never even played soccer. These were things I just never would have done had I still smoked cigarettes.
I’ve enjoyed hiking, spending time outside, even taking the kids to the splash pad. When you’re a cigarette smoker, you can’t do that. You’re huffing and puffing. You’re coughing your head off.
We have the money now to actually put away for savings. We can plan for family vacations and things like that. We never had extra money before because it all went to cigarettes.
What was the hardest part about quitting?
Being around friends who smoked, being around coworkers who smoked, a lot of my personal anxieties. Little things like habits. You’d always have a smoke after dinner and when you finish a big meal. Driving to and from work. It was always really hard to not fall back. It was always so much easier to just be like, “I’m just going to have one.” You know?
How important was it to be role models for your two girls? Not just in quitting, but in living a healthier life?
You only get to enjoy your children’s childhood once — and smoking cigarettes was standing in the way of that.
It’s important to us to get healthier as a family, for our family. We wanted to make sure that our children grow up healthy.
Smoking made me feel separated from my own family. I didn’t like having to take five minutes away to go deal with a craving instead of just being present in the moment.
The Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline
Thinking about quitting? Here’s the good news: Your tobacco-free journey starts right where Candace and Chase began theirs. For FREE tools, resources and support, call the Oklahoma Tobacco Helpline. It’s proven to help people just like you.