The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

January 5, 2013

Culture of tobacco: Prevention, education key to curtail cigarette smoking


Last hugs

 Jeff Rust, of Enid, commented about his 54-year-old mother, Carol, a longtime smoker. After being placed on a list, Mrs. Rust received a lung transplant and now is recovering in an Oklahoma City hospital.

Finally, after finding a perfect match, Rust said his mother’s body is trying to reject the lung, and has been in the hospital since Dec. 16. During the surgery, Mrs. Rust died three times and doctors and nurses saved her, breaking three ribs in their attempts. She was scheduled to be moved to a rehabilitation area, but blood tests showed her body trying to attack the new lung, and physicians are taking steps to counter that.

“It’s all from smoking. Right now, there’s a nurse in there and mom is preaching to her that she should quit smoking,” Rust said. He said the long-term effect of smoking is traumatic and is very hard on family members.

“I wish everyone would get the word. We’ll be in Oklahoma City several months. If anyone has any questions, they can come here and look at her,” he said. Rust urged people to make a good decision and not smoke.

“If you want to see before and after picture of the long-term effect, we have proof ... start a new year off good: Quit smoking,” he said.

In favor of breathing

Diana Karbs, of Okeene, could not breathe and stopped smoking. Karbs started smoking at age 18 and puffed for 34 years at a rate of about a pack a day. She started smoking to be cool, and had friends who smoked. She became ill with asthma Memorial Day weekend and had difficulty breathing. She tried electronic cigarettes, and they did not work. At that point, Karbs said she put the cigarettes down and quit. She has now been off cigarettes for six months.

“I laid them down and walked away in favor of breathing,” she said. “Every time I tried to smoke, I would cough. I have an overwhelming need to breathe,” Karbs said.

She said cigarettes relaxed her and put her in what she called the “habitual zone.” Even now, the times she wants a cigarette most are moments when she would habitually have been smoking in the past — talking on the telephone, getting in a car — times she normally would have had a cigarette.

“I miss inhaling, I don’t know what that is, but that is what I miss the most,” Karbs said.

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