Ginny Lewis-McLaughlin

Ginny Lewis-McLaughlin, age 57 of Lebanon, Pa., struggled with quitting smoking numerous times over many years. She grew up with a father who smoked and started smoking herself at age 18. After several quit attempts, she finally quit at age 31. Eighteen years later, she decided to take a puff of a cigarette while out with friends and was soon hooked again. Ginny knew that she had to take hold of her habit because she didn’t want to smoke in front of her grandchildren. When Ginny and her childhood sweetheart were reunited after many years and were planning to marry, her goal was to quit before her wedding. She remained hopeful that if she could quit for 18 years, she could quit again for good.

Ginny found an ad in a local newspaper for the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking program and knew the time had come to quit for good. She felt reassured by the familiar location where the classes were held and took comfort in the supportive group environment the classes offered. Ginny and her fiancé, who was also a smoker, attended the classes together and were both finally successful in quitting for good. In the fall of that year, Ginny was married.

Less than a year later, Ginny experienced a traumatic car accident that reaffirmed her decision to quit smoking. The emotional and physical stress that she experienced was a trigger that made her vulnerable to smoking once again. However, the tools provided to her by the American Lung Association helped her through this difficult time and she was able to stay smoke free.

As an ex-smoker, Ginny says she doesn’t fear going back to smoking because she doesn’t want to have to quit again. She is proud of herself. When she sees other people smoking, she empathizes with them because they may have to face quitting one day. Ginny is now a Freedom from Smoking facilitator and says that she will continue to be one for years to come.

Ginny joined the Quitter in You campaign because helping others is her true passion. She knows how difficult it is to quit smoking and stay quit. She wants smokers to know that it does get easier and the urges do pass after quitting. Ginny also wants you to know that the American Lung Association is here to support you and give you the resources you need during every step of your quitting journey.