There are now more former smokers than there are current smokers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Amanda can proudly say she is one of them. The young mom says she finally kicked the habit because she wanted to lead a healthier life for her and her children.

“I knew that I wanted to be a better influence on my kids," she says. "I didn’t want them to start smoking." 

Amanda says she was a full-blown smoker by eighth grade and gave birth to her first child two months early because she smoked throughout her pregnancy, yet she continued smoking for five more years. “My body was addicted to nicotine. It’s a very powerful substance,” she says.

Now smoke-free for five years and part of the CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers™ Campaign, Amanda offers advice to Chad, a single father who has been smoking for 25 years. When Chad first appeared on Dr. Phil, he committed to quitting and kept his promise for four months. But he says the intense cravings and friends and family who smoke triggered him to pick up cigarettes again.

“Quitting smoking is similar to riding a bike; you’re learning new skills, you’re learning new things about yourself, even if you fall off,” Amanda says to Chad. “I really would encourage you to get up and try again. I know you could do it.”

Dr. Phil points out that it’s important for Chad to acknowledge and recognize that he has the ability to quit, because he’s done it before. “That means it’s within your behavioral repertoire to not do it,” he says. “Quitting is hard but it’s definitely within reach … Never quit trying. Don’t do it for a month; do it until.”

If you or someone you know is looking for help to stop smoking, call 1-800-QUIT-NOW or go to CDC.gov/tips for information on how to quit.

Sponsored in part by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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