For this month’s edition of Meet the Quitters, we spoke with local barber Fly Guy Almighty about how he was affected by tobacco growing up, what he’s learned on his journey to a smoke-free life and what advice he has for other Quitters trying kick the habit.
When did you start smoking and how were you introduced to the habit?
I started smoking throughout my high school years because of the environment I was in and to deal with things like stress and anxiety. When I was younger, I grew up in a house with smokers. It seemed like whatever they were doing, they were smoking.
I also saw a lot of different tobacco companies advertising in my neighborhood. When I look back at it, I definitely feel like companies target African American communities.
What was your experience like growing up in a household of smokers?
It was definitely an unpleasant feeling. You always had a funny smell on you. It would be hard to breathe. If we would be in a car, living room or another confined space, the smoke would fill the whole area. Watching my family spend a bunch of money on tobacco products definitely helped me see the addiction in the habit, for sure.
What lessons have you learned on your journey to quit smoking?
I’ve learned to stop and think first before smoking. You have to know the urge to smoke is a momentary thing. It’s not going to last forever. Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing you’re going through, you have to try to figure out how to ride your emotions. You want to be very even keeled throughout the whole situation.
What advice do you have for other people trying to quit?
Some of the advice I would give to people who are trying to stop smoking is to think about your health. That shows true wealth in life. To not be able to just be alive, but to have a good quality of life. Think about your loved ones too and how it might affect them.
Everything is a process, so it takes literally one step at a time. I know that’s cliché, but when you sit down and think about taking things one step at a time, you usually can have a plan for that. Just take your time. Don’t beat yourself up. Realize it’s a journey and not necessarily a destination.
If you’re interested in hearing more about Fly’s journey, check out his guest appearance on Smoke Break: Quitters Edition. If you would like more support to stop smoking, join our private Facebook Community, download our free app and sign up for the Smoke Break Challenge.