I’m addicted- I know I am’

by Ashley Pitkin

Sophomore Darrin Gregory knows what it’s like to be addicted toa deadly drug. She smokes cigarettes, almost a pack a day, and hasbeen doing so since a friend introduced her to them when she wasjust 15 years old.

“I know smoking is bad for me and that I should quit but Ican’t,” Gregory said. “I’m addicted – I know I am.”

Gregory isn’t the only person on campus who smokes. Many Simpsonstudents, faculty and staff share the dangerous habit.

In fact, nicotine addiction has become one of the leadingkillers in the United States. While many U.S. citizens are addictedto other products such as chewing tobacco, Gregory said she noticescigarette smokers most on campus.

“A lot of my friends smoke and I see people doing it all overcampus,” Gregory said. “They’re hooked on it too.”

Gregory said she realizes smoking endangers not only her healthbut also the health of those around her. This is why she’s tried toquit. However, her efforts to kick the habit were unsuccessful.

“A few years ago, when I was a senior in high school, one of myfriends and I got the idea to quit,” Gregory said. “I tried, butcouldn’t do it.”

Although her first attempt to shake the habit failed, Gregoryhopes to give it another try. In fact, she hopes to have smokingtotally out of her life by the end of this year.

“I plan on having kids some day and I don’t want to be smokingthen, so I’m slowly going to try to stop,” Gregory said. “I’ll keeplessening the amounts of cigarettes I have each day ’till I havenone.”

Rose Moiarty, a registered nurse at the Mercy IndianolaJefferson Clinic, sympathizes with Gregory – she knows all too wellthe challenges people face when they try to quit smoking.

“It’s possible to quit smoking cold turkey because I did it, butthere are so many more options out there today I’d rather recommendto those who are wanting to stop,” Moiarty said.

Moiarty has been a registered nurse for 30 years, and for 25 ofthose years she was a smoker. She quit recently due to an episodeof heart failure – one that almost cost Moiarty her life.

“[Heart failure] scared me to death – so much, in fact, I quitsmoking right then and there,” Moiarty said.

Quitting cold turkey is extremely difficult, according toMoiarty, and isn’t a good option for everyone. That’s why sherecommends people who want to quit explore all of their options andget outside help.

“There’s lots of help out there for those who want to quit,”Moiarty said. “Today, classes, videos, medications and peer groupsall exist for those who are addicted to smoking and need helpquitting.”

Moiarty hopes all smokers realize what they’re doing to theirbody. According to her, smoking ages all parts of the body.

It causes discoloration and wrinkling of the skin and it alsodecreases the life span of organs vital to life, such as the heartand lungs.

These are just a few of the destructive side effects ofsmoking.

“Just stay away from smoking,” Moiarty said, “The sooner peopleget away from it, the sooner their lives will be better.”