Movement's winners are the quitters

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Deputy Lymon Simmons smoked his last Kool 100 cigarette walking a beat on Broad Street. The next day, during the Great American Smokeout, he quit. Twenty years later, it is something he said he still works on.

"I pray every day," said Deputy Simmons, 60, a bailiff for the Richmond County courts. Thursday marked the 32nd Annual Great American Smokeout. The American Cancer Society, which sponsors the event, urges smokers to quit for the day in hopes they can continue.

"Do it for a day," he said. "If you can quit for a day, then you can take the next day as it comes."

Deputy Simmons helped motivate himself to continue by putting aside the $2 he would have spent on cigarettes into a savings jar.

"Seeing my money," he said, laughing, was a reason to keep going. It helps to have a plan going into it.

"You have to prepare," he said. "And I did that in 1988. And I haven't had one since."

Many smokers are afraid to try to quit because they have failed in the past, but many who quit do so after several attempts, said Patrick Reynolds, grandson of tobacco magnate R.J. Reynolds. who spoke Thursday in Augusta.

Mr. Reynolds helped University Hospital kick off its tobacco-free campus initiative that bars tobacco from the grounds.

University is one of 26 hospitals in Georgia that ban smoking from the grounds, which is 15 percent of Georgia hospitals, said Mr. Reynolds, who divested himself of company stock about 30 years ago. But in noting that 24 states now ban smoking in restaurants and bars, most within the last six years, he feels the momentum is on his side.

"One day we're going to have a tobacco-free society," he told a gathering at University. "It's coming, and it's coming because of you."

Reach Tom Corwin at (706) 823-3213 or tom.corwin@augustachronicle.com.

FEELING THE EFFECTS

Nearly 40 percent of current smokers say they have tried to quit at least once, according to the American Cancer Society.

For those who quit, here are the health benefits they can expect after:

12 HOURS Carbon monoxide levels in the blood are normal

2 WEEKS - 3 MONTHS Both lung function and blood circulation improve

1-9 MONTHS The tiny, hair-like cilia in the lungs regain the normal ability to remove mucus, which increases the ability to clean and reduces the risk of infection. Coughing and shortness of breath improve

1 YEAR The increased risk of heart disease from smoking is cut in half.

Source: The American Cancer Society; U.S. Surgeon General Reports; the journal Hypertension.

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Tujeez
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Tujeez 11/21/08 - 03:28 am
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With Air pollution at an All

With Air pollution at an All Time High, Quitting Smoking is the only thing you CAN do to improve your quality of life. Keep choking at the fly and swallowing the Camel.

patriciathomas
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patriciathomas 11/21/08 - 07:54 am
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When I was addicted, I never

When I was addicted, I never liked the first cigarette of the day. When I quit, I would just think of that first cigarette and it curbed my craving. 35 years later, I'm still glad I made the effort.

politicallyNcorrect1
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politicallyNcorrect1 11/21/08 - 08:12 am
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Good, I'm glad more people

Good, I'm glad more people are quiting. Now I will not have to worry about the stores running out of cigarettes:)

Riverman1
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Riverman1 11/21/08 - 09:52 am
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I quit many years ago. Keep

I quit many years ago. Keep gum where you used to keep your cigs because you will feel yourself reaching often. It gets easier and easier with time. Tobacco truly does cause heart disease in addtion to cancer and lung diseases.

KingJames
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KingJames 11/21/08 - 11:11 am
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The hardest thing about

The hardest thing about quitting was finding something else to do with my time. I never smoked inside a building so now instead of going outside to smoke, I post on the Augusta Chronicle Online.

1trugent
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1trugent 11/21/08 - 11:52 am
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Great job Deputy Simmons.

Great job Deputy Simmons. Keep up the good work and remember through Christ, we can accomplish about anything.

Son of God
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Son of God 11/22/08 - 03:54 am
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Deputy Simmons, super job!

Deputy Simmons, super job! There is a spirit of Christ and goodness in your heart anyway. You are destined for greatness. Many people have known you for many years and you have helped so many people on and off your job. Knowing the SPIRIT AND AGAPE' LOVE that you have, you probably will donate that money that you saved to someone else who is in need. it could be a stranger. To the person who lacks wisdom and said that he doesn't have to worry about the stores running out of cigarettes, please seek God and ask for help. There is no wfere in the bible that says smoking cigarettes will get you in hell but it does say that your BODY IS THE TEMPLE OF THE HOLY GHOST AND CHRIST LIVES IN US.Now, does Christ smoke cigarettes? The book of Leviticus tells us what we should eat or put in our bodies. I challenge everybody to read and meditate on it.my DEAR AND LOVELY MOTHER died in 1999 partially because of habitual smoking. Sometimes she went up to 2-3 packs per day.She will be in HEAVEN because she was a saved and born again Christian. Romans 10:9,10.Her smoking just harmed her body and she died sooner than I wanted her to. There are many days that I wished she was here but HER SPIRIT LIVES!

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