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Ruby's story

Hasn't used tobacco since: March 2010


“Don’t give up. If you never give up, you’ll see. You’ll succeed.”

— Ruby


When Ruby felt stressed out by her grandkids, she’d reach for her cigarettes and make a beeline for the front porch of her Mesquite, Texas, home. It was there she’d go for a moment of relaxation, a moment to breathe. These moments — and others throughout her day — added up. It was so subtle, in fact, that over the course of 30 years Ruby had worked her way up to a pack a day.

Throughout those three decades, Ruby had tried to quit smoking but to no avail.

“I would lie in bed so I could handle the withdrawals,” Ruby says. “If I got up, the withdrawals would overtake me. That’s what you run from, and that’s what you run to — the withdrawals.”

That changed when Ruby sought help from Baylor Tobacco Treatment Services, Texas A&M Health Science Center Baylor College of Dentistry’s tobacco cessation clinic.

Elain Benton, dental hygienist, public health sciences instructor and the clinic’s certified tobacco treatment counselor, recommended that Ruby try Chantix, a prescription medication designed to help adults quit smoking by reducing cravings.

“I believe when I started taking the pills it helped me to get control,” Ruby says. “The pills would take the hurt, the craving, of that withdrawal.”

After Benton and Ruby’s initial meeting, Benton was available for follow-up appointments and phone calls when needed. Like the hundreds of other patients seen at TAMHSC-BCD’s tobacco cessation clinic, the combination of counseling and prescription recommendations gave Ruby the push she needed to quit.

Nowadays, things for Ruby couldn’t be better.

It’s a July afternoon during this particular phone conversation when Ruby reveals she hasn’t touched a cigarette for more than a year and doesn’t plan on it. Her grandkids notice, too.

“My grandbabies are happier,” Ruby says. “It’s awesome, and I love the praise they give me.”

Before hanging up, Ruby offers some simple words of encouragement to smokers looking for ways to quit.

“Don’t give up,” Ruby says. “If you never give up, you’ll see. You’ll succeed.”



*Last name withheld to protect patient privacy