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A Thankful Quitter

Ministry of Health, Senior Policy Advisor Joel Francis enjoys his fourth month of no smoking as he celebrates  World No Tobacco Day.

This World No Tobacco Day, Ministry of Health Senior Policy Advisor Joel Francis is celebrating four months of no smoking - a decision that was - and still is - difficult, but certainly one he does not regret.

"I will admit to still getting the occasional craving, but it is a wonderful feeling no longer being bound by an addiction anymore. What's more, having quit, I now realise just how nasty a habit smoking is," says Joel.

Ironically, his mother, Myrna Francis, was an ardent and vocal anti-smoker. While working for Radio Cayman in the 1980s, she passionately petitioned the Governor and Chief Secretary to Secretary to eliminate smoking at Radio Cayman long before there was any legislation. And in another ironic twist, while still a smoker, Joel was tapped to serve on the policy team that developed Cayman's Tobacco Law and Regulations last year.

That history, combined with the legislation development exercise and the ever-present cajoling from his three children, finally empowered Joel to make the leap to become a non-smoker.

"It was just time, really," he says, but admits to not making his attempt alone. "I visited my physician, and together we worked out a plan for me to quit. I also have the support of those who are close to me and that is very important.

"These days, I view myself as a non-smoker and it feels good to do so," he concludes.

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver