Florida Presbyterian Homes is pleased to recognize Tony Arce as the Employee Wellness Star for the second quarter of 2019. Tony was chosen based on his efforts to quit smoking. While he has proudly been smoke free since February, his journey hasn’t been easy.
Over the years, Tony has tried to quit smoking more than 10 times. He stopped two years ago, but stress caused him to pick it up again. Then recent events made him reconsider quitting, including a close family member who had quadruple by-pass surgery and a trip to the hospital when Tony thought he was having a heart attack. Thankfully it was only muscle spasms.
Six months ago, Tony decided to quit — for good. He now knows the importance of changing his daily routine in order to make it stick, so he replaces his early morning cigarette with a full glass of water. After lunch, he immediately occupies himself to get his mind off of his cravings. And when he’s around others or in a social setting, Tony says everyone is respectful and makes an effort to avoid smoking around him, which really helps.
Tony says he’s getting a lot of support from his family. Plus, he’s enrolled in a smoking cessation class that gives him tools to be successful. For example, in difficult moments when he feels the urge, Tony turns to deep breathing techniques or finds humor in the moment to avoid lighting up.
“I’ve found three added benefits to quitting,” said Tony. “I don’t smell like smoke, I save money and food tastes better.” When asked what advice he would give to help others to go smoke free, Tony said, “Keep trying to quit. One of those times will be the exact time that everything will align and you won’t pick up those cigarettes again.”
Congratulations to the Q2 Employee Wellness Star. Tony, we’re proud of your commitment to be smoke free.
Note: Tony agreed to publicly share his story with FPH in an effort to help others.