Cold turkey

Great American Smokeout, local businesses provide initiatives to quit tobacco


— George Barlow knows about cold turkey.

As the manager of Subway restaurants in Craig and Steamboat Springs, it's part of the territory.

But he also knows about the other kind of cold turkey. The kind he experienced when he quit chewing tobacco.

In honor of the 31st annual Great American Smokeout, Barlow hopes to give out plenty of cold turkey in the sandwich form to those trying to quit smoking or chewing tobacco. The Subway restaurants in Craig and Steamboat are offering free cold turkey sandwiches to would-be quitters.

But Barlow isn't the only one.

Heather Burchall, the Visiting Nurse Association Community Health educator, said getting people to help end tobacco use is a community-wide effort, evidenced by others standing behind would-be quitters, also providing incentives to kick the habit.

Among them, Carol Wilson, owner of Neolithics, will provide 10 free incense sticks to tobacco users trying to quit.

The reasons behind her offer are two-fold.

"Part of smoking is the stinky stuff," Wilson said. Hence the incense, which smokers can use to mask the lingering odor of cigarette smoke.

Secondly, people respond better to rewards than to "nagging," Wilson said. As a wife of a smoker, she said she knows the difficulty some tobacco users encounter when trying to quit.

The Northwest Colorado Dental Coalition also is pitching in during the Smokeout, offering free oral cancer screenings for individuals who express a desire to quit.

"Oral cancer is prevalent in people who chew," said Janet Pearcey, Executive Director of the Coalition.

By offering the screenings free of charge, the Coalition hopes to screen tobacco users who otherwise wouldn't seek the screenings.

Trapper Health Club will give a free day pass to quitting smokers and chewers and all homeopathic tobacco-quitting materials will be marked down 50 percent at Health Works.

Smokers and chewers can obtain kits from either the Visiting Nurse Association or from participating businesses.

The kits include a brochure about the Colorado QuitLine as well as sunflower seeds and toothpicks - items smokers and chewers can use to keep their mouths occupied.

If these aids aren't enough, tobacco users also can call the Colorado QuitLine to speak to a coach about kicking the habit and obtain nicotine patches and gum.

"Many coaches are former tobacco users," Burchall said. "They really know what (smokers and chewers) are going through."

For Barlow, quitting tobacco proved to be a case of mind over matter.

"It think it's more of a mindset," Barlow said. "People can do a lot of things if they put their mind to it."

Barlow doesn't remember how long he chewed, only that it was for "a very long time."

After making several quitting attempts, something clicked. Finally, he really wanted to quit.

Today, he joins other Craig businesses reaching out to would-be quitters - one sandwich at a time.

Bridget Manley can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 207, or


John_Polito 9 years, 4 months ago

Yes today is the 31st Smokeout. Do you remember the calm and quiet that resided inside your mind before nicotine became boss, day after day, never once needing to smoke? What would it be like to again reside inside that mind? This link is to eight pages of abrupt nicotine cessation quitting tips (in PDF format) that may make the journey home far less challenging than you think, as knowledge truly is power! Baby steps, just one hour and challenge at a time. There's only one rule that if followed provides a 100% guarantee of success to all ... no nicotine today. Yes you can!

John R. Polito Nicotine Cessation Educator


nativegirl 9 years, 4 months ago

I'm a thirty-year smoker who has tried just about everything to quit. Any smoker knows it can be like strolling through hades trying to quit. My best quitting time before trying this new medication was four days, a pretty lame track record. What works for some does not work for all. One of the best smoking cessation tools out today that is not a nicotine replacement therapy (all of which make me sick, ironically enough!) but is one I have used and I highly recommend it to anyone who has that nicotine monkey hanging on their back. Stop by your doctor's office and ask him/her about Chantix. It is a little pricey but not as much as forking over cash for several cartons of cigarettes per month.
I wasn't all that interested in quitting at the time but my better half was. So off we went to try it, and by gosh, it worked. I stopped smoking for over a month after two weeks using it. Due to other issues I had to take a break from using it, and I'm still struggling to get off of these darned coffin nails, but this stuff, taken religiously, really does work where a lot of others have failed.
As soon as I get the other problems worked out I'm going back on it and by the first part of next year I'm determined that I'm going to be a permanent ex-smoker. Good luck to anyone trying to quit, it can be done but you have to ask for help and have the support of family and friends! I don't want to come across as an advertisement, but this seems to be a well kept secret that people wanting to quit smoking should definitely explore!


Neal Harkner 9 years, 4 months ago

nativegirl, I'm not a smoker but both my folks are. Good for you taking steps to kick the habit. Chantix is in the news down here in Texas because it's been implicated in the bizarre shooting death of a Dallas musician by the name of Carter Albrecht. Apparently he was taking it, got drunk, had a psychotic break, and was killed by a homeowner when he tried to break into the guy's house. Have you tried Bupropion (either Wellbutrin or Zyban - same thing)? It's an anti-depressant that has had great success helping people stop smoking. It's readily available as a generic which means it's likely cheaper than Chantix.


nativegirl 9 years, 4 months ago

Harkner, I heard about that unfortunate incident. Knowing how Chantix works, I have a hard time believing that it had anything to do with Albrecht going over the deep end.

Bupropion is a different animal, it is an antidepressant med and doesn't directly address nicotine function in the brain. I know many people who have tried it. It does not seem to be effective and has a nasty side effect of causing siezures in some people.

Chantix works by blocking the receptors in the brain that respond to nicotine, effectively letting the smoker withdraw from the drug while still smoking. After a while, they lose the urge to smoke.

I'd hate to see Chantix get a bad rap when the guy in Texas had alcohol on board and had other mental issues. I know when I took it, there was absolutely no side effect that I could detect, and when taking it, I had no sense of any feeling at all from the drug. It seemed to just do what it was intended to do.


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