• Last modified 820 days ago (March 20, 2019)


How one smoker kicked the habit

A case of mind over matter

Staff writer

Sue Clough, 83, of Marion has been smoke free since 1975.

She said she started smoking when she started training to become a nurse.

“It was a social thing,” Clough said, “but after a while it became a habit.”

She smoked from a half to a whole pack of cigarettes a day.

Her father’s death in 1968 was a wake-up call. He was a smoker. After being hospitalized following a heart attack, he had to quit.

He died at 59 from congestive heart failure but not before giving Clough a tip on quitting smoking.

He advised her to make a list of when she smoked every day and eliminate one time every day for successive weeks. He said before long, she would be smoke free.

She followed his advice and got down to four cigarettes a day.

“I was really proud of myself,” she said. “I thought, I’m getting there.”

Clough was 45 years old when she needed foot surgery and was required to have an ECG. An abnormality in the T-wave was seen as over-stimulation by her doctor. He suggested her smoking could be the reason.

“It was enough to scare me,” she said. “I always thought if they could prove to me that cigarette smoking hurt me, I would quit.”

And she did.

“It wasn’t as hard as I thought because I realized it was for my health,” she said. “I didn’t want to let that little cigarette put me in a coffin.”

Her husband encouraged her and bought her little gifts from time to time.

“That helped,” she said. “I didn’t want to disappoint myself or him.”

When Clough was young, she liked the smell of cigarette smoke; now she can’t stand it.

“It almost gags me,” she said.

She described the effort to quit smoking as a case of mind over matter.

“People know they need to quit, but if they don’t really want to, they won’t,” she said. “They have to know they are doing it for their health. I’m so glad I could give it up.”

Last modified March 20, 2019