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Lawrence resident Melanie Birge, 42, said she had her last cigarette at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.
This morning, she stopped by a convenience store on Sixth Street to pick up some gum and orange juice to help her get through the day and the clerk recognized her from my story about today's Great American Smokeout.
The clerk said Birge’s story had motivated her to give up smoking as well, which provided a lot of inspiration for Birge.
“I’m hanging in there,” she said at 10:30 a.m. “I feel like I’m getting squeezed and I am thinking about them. I am allowing myself to think about them, but I am like, ‘No. I am not going to smoke one. You want to be healthy.’”
She said her children were happy for her this morning and providing encouragement.
“They really want me to succeed, but they know how I can fall off the wagon because that’s what I did before and they were disappointed,” she said.
I will be checking back with her around 5 p.m. to see how she is doing.
But, “so far, so good,” she said.
At 6:30 p.m., Birge still hadn’t picked up a cigarette.
She said the morning was tough. She went home about 12:15 p.m. and rested for 20 minutes.
“Just taking a little nap in the afternoon made me more relaxed,” she said.
Birge said the afternoon was easier than the morning. She is determined to quit.
“I really don’t want to have to go through this again, and I really want to stop. I don’t want to have to pick up another one — today, tonight or ever,” she said.