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Your Healthy Family: Giving up smoking or vaping is a huge step for heart health

Posted at 10:20 AM, Feb 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-21 12:20:28-05

COLORADO SPRINGS – All through February Your Healthy Family is focusing on heart health, as part of Heart Month.  We are also about six weeks into 2019 when many people have given up on their New Year’s Resolutions.  This story relates to both topics because not smoking, or quitting smoking is one of the best things you can do for your heart and if you have given up, it might be time to be inspired and try and again.

Chris Demers works in our production department here at KOAA News 5, and is one of the many people who helps make our early morning newscast happen.  However, none of us on the News5 Today crew knew that for many months Chris had been dealing with health issues.

Chris explains, “I was going to the doctor a lot for abdominal pain, chest pain, back pain, head aches, and they could never find anything wrong.”

Chris says for almost twenty-three years he smoked cigarettes and knew it was something he wanted to change, “I have been wanting to quit smoking for four years, because I started vaping to quit smoking, about four years ago.”

As he continued to visit to the doctor to try and get to the bottom of his health problems, Chris says finally his doctors came up with something.  “Through one of my tests they found an uncalcified nodule in one of my lungs. It’s only about two millimeters big, so it’s not life threating, but that made me really steer to quitting.”

It’s now been almost three months since Chris says he last vaped.  “I feel great. My head is clear, I feel more energetic, I can go up and down the stairs without being out of breath, overall I really just feel normal again.”

Giving up a nearly thirty year tobacco habit is a monumental achievement, that all of us who work with him are excited about.

Chris says quitting has changed more than just his life, and if someone out there is thinking about quitting he has this advice.  “It would be a life changing event, not just for them but for the people in their family, and who love them. It’s the right step and you have to be dedicated to it and if your dedicated, you can do it.”

In our next story Chris will share how the Colorado QuitLine helped him finally kick his habit.