Daviess County TPC Names McCullough Tobacco Free Citizen

In Local News on January 20, 2009 at 8:19 am


Quitting for Micki McCullough was a matter of trusting in God’s power. It was the only way she could ever quit, she said, because tobacco had control of her life.

The Daviess County Tobacco Prevention and Cessation Coalition has named McCullough its Tobacco Free Citizen for the first quarter of 2009 for her success in quitting smoking and for her work at Washington’s Pregnancy Care Center, which includes helping young pregnant women quit smoking.

McCullough started smoking when she was 15 by sneaking her stepfather’s Chesterfields from the China cabinet. Smoking was a family tradition; her mother smoked for 50 years and died of lung cancer at 82.

At age 35, after 20 years of smoking, McCullough began serving the Lord after a period away from the church. During a revival, she said, she felt the Lord speaking to her very clearly, telling her she needed to give up her cigarettes.

“‘How’s this possible?'” she said she asked God. “He said, ‘I’ll help you.’ You pray, and you’ll know when God says, ‘Here’s the grace.’ His grace is sufficient, and it’s always available.”

Two years after McCullough quit cold turkey, the pressures of life seemed so overwhelming that she bought a pack and smoked half of it while driving around trying to figure things out. She felt so guilty, she threw the rest of the pack out the window. For the next five years, she would slip up once a year and smoke a pack. But on that fifth year, she couldn’t throw the pack away.

“It had ahold of me. The desire had overtaken me, and I couldn’t lay them down for six weeks,” she said. “When you go back dabbling in things you’ve been delivered from – you ought not to go there again.”

During this period, McCullough struggled because she knew she shouldn’t smoke, but she just couldn’t quit. Then one day, she felt moved to sing the hymn “Satan, You’re A Liar And I’m A Testifier.” She began to realize that she didn’t have to let the cigarettes control her life, and she didn’t have to rely on them to get through tough times. She decided to rely on God instead and has been free from cigarettes ever since.

“Every day is a choice,” she said. “God gives the peace, not the cigarettes. God will come when you invite Him to be part of the process. He’ll take you where you need to go.”

If you want to quit smoking but feel like it’s hopeless because you’ve relapsed during previous quit attempts, you can get back on track, just like McCullough did. Talk to your pastor and your doctor. You can get additional help from the Indiana Tobacco Quitline at 1-800-QUIT-NOW for free professional counseling and nicotine replacement therapy.


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