Stuttgart community pledges to quit smoking at Great American Smokeout

Simona Fischer-Bixler (Left) and Floyd Bixler, retired Air Force hold the pledge to quit smoking, Nov. 16, 2017 at the Panzer Exchange. Both made the decision to quit smoking together in September 2016. Photo Courtesy of the Stuttgart Health Clinic

By Holly DeCarlo-White
USAG Stuttgart Public Affairs

Stuttgart military community members participated in the annual Great American Smokeout in November. The campaign encouraged community members to quit smoking, one day at a time.

This year, the Stuttgart Health Clinic, Army Public Health received 10 pledges at the Panzer Main Exchange, Nov. 16, to stop smoking for 24 hours. In addition to soliciting pledges, they also setup a display providing information about smoking to community members to give to their family and friends.

Floyd Bixler, retired Air Force, and his wife Simona Fischer-Bixler made the decision to quit smoking together in September 2016. Both had been regular smokers for more than 25 years.

“We both started coughing and hacking more than usual,” said Bixler.

Also, “we have cats, the house stinks…there were several items that led us to the decision.”

“It was surprisingly easy. We just quit.”

The Bixler’s credit their success to stop smoking to each other, stating they couldn’t have done it if one decided to quit and not the other.

They gave the following advice to fellow smokers:

“It’s a crutch,” Bixler said. “It’s not easy at the beginning but the longer you go, the easier it gets.”

“You have to be ready, you have to convince yourself that now I am going to quit – it makes it a lot easier when you are convinced that you have to stop.”

Tricare and the Stuttgart Health Clinic provide assistance to those wanting to quit smoking. Read more below about support options and smoke-free milestones, courtesy of Tricare.

One Day is Just the Beginning

One day. That is all you need to begin your commitment to finally give up smoking cigarettes. It’s time to change your life by setting your quit day.

Whether you have struggled through multiple quit attempts or just decided it’s finally time to make it happen, the Great American Smokeout is the perfect day to take that step toward a healthier, tobacco-free life. Get through one day smoke free and you’ll quickly improve your health, save money and make your friends and family proud. If you can get through one day, you’ll get through two days, then three days, and so on. It will be tough, but you are tougher.

Keep these smoke-free milestones in mind:

  • Day One: Your body begins to heal! Heart rate and oxygen levels return to normal.
  • Day Two: Your risk of heart attack decreases.
  • Week Two: Your lungs are working better. You will have increased endurance and stamina during physical activity.
  • Month Two: You are looking good! Your gums, teeth and skin look healthier without exposure to tobacco.

If you need more motivation, find out how much money you’ll save when you quit. Did you know that the average smoker spends over $1,900 per year on cigarettes? Check out our Savings Calculator to see exactly just how much you will save in your tobacco-free life.

Sign up for SmokefreeMIL text message support by texting MIL to 47848. Quit Tobacco – UCanQuit2 also has tools and information to help you quit smoking. You can Live Chat with tobacco cessation coaches and create a quit plan using Ready2Quit.

TRICARE beneficiaries can also take advantage of the Freedom Quit line Program (1-844-I-AM-FREE), a telephone quit line that also provides free nicotine replacement therapy over the phone. Click here to see if you are eligible for this program.

The Great American Smokeout is just the beginning. Grab a quit buddy or two and commit to quitting tobacco today!