The Herald Bulletin

Morning Update

Local Education

January 13, 2014

Up in smoke

Madison County has one of the highest smoker rates in state and nation

(Continued)

But he is still smoking.

“I think about quitting all the time,” Davidson said. “I don’t know. I should just throw them down and quit and I want to — I just haven’t been able to stop.”

Paul Magner, 60, of Anderson, said he has tried to quit smoking several times.

“I started smoking when I went into the Army,” he said. “I was 20.”

A cancer survivor, Magner said he will continue to smoke although doctors told him he cannot be a candidate for chemotherapy again.

“No one ever told me to stop smoking until I talked to a pain therapist,” he said. “But when I told him everyone in my house smoked, he said there was no reason to stop.”

Both of Magner’s parents died from cancer and his twin sister is also a smoker.

“I’ve tried the patches and the gum — that stuff just don’t work,” said Pauline Magner, Paul Magner’s twin. “It’s putrid.”

Pauline Magner, who started smoking when she was 15, said the first time she smoked a cigarette it gave her a terrible headache.

“I did it to be with the in crowd,” she said. “I learned to like it.”

Michael Hawkins, 23, Anderson, said if cigarettes were nastier to smoke it might be easier to give them up.

“If they tasted like black licorice that might make more people quit,” he said. “I’m trying, slowly, but I’m trying.”

Hawkins said that when he was in middle school he attended classes on drug abuse and swore he would never smoke cigarettes.

He picked up his first cigarette when he was 15.

“I don’t know, I just did it to fit in,” he said. “It’s a hard habit to kick.”

Davidson said government regulations on the health and risks of smoking are confusing.

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