Reformed smoker advises people not to take up smoking

Frank Gale
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Norma Marche and her three-year-old daughter Skylor participated in World No Tobacco Day activities at the Family Resource Centre in Stephenville on Wednesday.

After smoking most of her adult life, Norma Marche is hoping now that she doesn’t smoke to be a role model for her three-year-old daughter Skylor.

In fact, Marche quit the smoking habit when she found out she was pregnant with her daughter, who she said is so precious to her.

“It’s four years this past February since I gave it up and I don’t miss it at all,” she said on Wednesday during a celebration of World No Tobacco Day at the Family Resource Centre in Stephenville, where she frequently brings Skylor to play with other kids.

Marche said she started off smoking occasionally and by the time she reached 18 years of age she was at it full time. She said when she finally gave it up she was amazed at how well she could taste and smell things.

Her two decades plus of smoking has taken some toll on her health, with damage to her lungs and breathing problems that resulted in her having to use a puffer frequently. She said she was told by a physician it would take about three years for the damage from smoking to heal.

“I still use a puffer, but now it’s for emergency purposes and seems to be only when I get a cold, so things are improving,” Marche said.

She tried many times to give up smoking before she finally did when she got pregnant. She always thought she should give it up but thinks now that at that time she really didn’t want to.

Marche said when she found out she was pregnant the first thing out of her mouth was “but I smoke” and she knew that was a defining moment.

“I thought I’d use Nicorette, but my doctor told me no nicotine at all is better and I just quit,” she said.

She admits there was a little bit of a struggle after her daughter was born and she even tried to take it up again but this time around she couldn’t stomach it and hated everything about it.

Marche said now that she doesn’t smoke, she doesn’t see much of it taking place.

“I guess I’m just not around people who smoke and I don’t want my daughter to ever start. I won’t harp on her, but as she gets older I’ll show her the consequences of it and how it’s not healthy for anyone,” she said.

Marche said a good part of why she started was peer pressure and trying to fit in with the crowd when she was younger and she realizes that’s likely still taking place today.

“It’s hard when you have that peer pressure, but my message is just don’t do it. Smoking is nasty,” she said.

Organizations: Family Resource Centre

Geographic location: Stephenville

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