Ashley First Step HomeIs quitting smoking a New Year’s Resolution for you or another mom you know? If so, we bring you Ashley, a mother of four, who has quit smoking and remained smoke free for 79* days. We hope her story will serve as inspiration for any mom on the journey towards a smoke free life.

For Ashley, quitting was a gradual process – going from a pack a day, to ten, to five cigarettes, to none. Ashley is 28 year old patient of First Step Home, a residential and transitional living facility for pregnant women looking to overcome additions.  It’s focus lies in development programs with the purpose of building healthier, happier, and productive futures for women in recovery and their children.

Why did you decide to quit?

I quit for my health, for my baby’s health and to be a role model for my other three children. I remember standing outside when it was freezing cold and raining, then thinking to myself, ‘This is not that important’.”

How many times have you tried to quit smoking? What made this time different?

“I’ve never really considered quitting until I came to First Step Home. I’ve been a smoker since I was 14 and it’s been around me my whole life. A lot of my quitting success is because of the support I’ve received at First Step Home, given from staff and the other moms alike. The women at FSH meet twice a week for smoking cessation meetings and have the support of Miss Jeane [Cole, Maternal Services Coordinator], which really makes a difference.”

What is one specific thing you do to try and curb cravings?

“Occasionally I use mints and gum, but really, I used to get the urge to smoke when I was going through emotional moments. Now, I find it helpful to try and talk through those emotions instead. I figured out dwelling on my problems while on smoke breaks wasn’t going to solve anything.”

What about quitting makes you feel the most proud?

“I’m proud of being free of all substances; I’m proud of where I am right now.”

We love hearing smokefree success stories from local moms.. Quitting smoking is hard, but nothing is impossible with the right support systems, resources, and a drive to succeed!

What can you do today?

*As of January 27th2015