Barrita: When quitters win

Tuesday, June 27, 2017 By EDDIE O. BARRITA SMALL BITES MOTIVATIONAL speakers and gurus remind us of this line from American football player, coach and executive Vince Lombardi, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” As head coach of the Green Bay Packers in the 1960s, Lombardi led the team to three straight and five National Football League (NFL) Championships in seven years. He won the first two Super Bowls after the 1966 and 1967 NFL seasons. The NFL’s Super Bowl trophy is named in his honor.

But do quitters ever win? They do, especially the smokers, according to Emer Rojas, an anti-tobacco advocate. “If they don’t quit, then they take the risk and may end up as victims, like me, or even worse, die,” Rojas, a former smoker and a laryngeal cancer survivor, said. Rojas, president of the New Vois Association of the Philippines (NVAP), might as well say that in smoking, winners quit and quitters win.

But many people find it hard to kick the smoking habit. David Hockney, an English artist, now 79, said, “Smoking calms me down. It’s enjoyable. I don’t want politicians deciding what is exciting in my life.” Many still smoke despite the overwhelming statistics against smoking. As American actor Matthew Gray Gubler noted, “I found out that smoking is the leading cause of statistics.” But American humorist Mark Twain found it easy to give up smoking. “Giving up smoking,” he said,” is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.”

The difficulty in giving up smoking has prompted the Department of Health to launch the “Quit Line” smoking cessation program. They even used the word cessation instead of the easier and shorter stop. Quit Line is a hotline—165364—that smokers can call to receive real-time counseling and support through the phone. Smokers may text ‘STOPSMOKE’ to (29290)165364 so they will be provided with text messages of support and guidance to quit smoking.

Published in the SunStar Cebu newspaper on June 28, 2017.

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