Butting out pays off big time

Kicking any habit is a test of will power, commitment and crushing desire.

Smoking is widely regarded as one of the most difficult habits to butt-out. But Brad Quinn of GORF Manufacturing kicked the habit a year ago and is currently reaping the rewards, both in his lifestyle and in his wallet.

“We have held a competition like this one before,” said Mark Norkum Jr., GORF general manager. “It is just a way for us to encourage our employees to live healthily, both in the workplace and in their personal lives.”

GORF handed Quinn a $1,000 cheque for going one year without smoking. The company is prepared to hand out even more for every participating employee that achieves the same milestone.

“We’ve got a few of the guys still working on making the one year mark,” said Norkum Jr. “The way we see it, is that it is a small price to pay to encourage our employees to be healthy.”

The year-long journey wasn’t an easy one for Quinn, but he is happy with the result.

“There were times when it was really tough, basically the first couple of months,” he said. “But over all it wasn’t that hard. I just avoided a lot of the situations that I would normally find my self smoking during.”

Quinn spent the entire year taking as few breaks a possible.

“I just avoided taking the breaks that I would usually stop to take a smoke during,” he said. “But even then, there is something about the smell of a freshly lit smoke that still makes me antsy.”

For Norkum Jr. the reaction from his staff has been an encouraging one.

“A lot of the guys were on board right from the beginning, which probably has a lot to do with the money involved,” he said. “Some didn’t make it, but a surprising amount of the guys pushed through and are working towards their one-year mark as well.”

As for what comes next for Quinn, he isn’t quite sure if he’ll return to his former life as a smoker.

“I’ve thought a lot about what I’d do when and if I made it,” he said. “Part of me wants to go back to smoking, but part of me also wants to put it behind for good.”

“I guess we’ll have to wait and see what happens in the end.”