Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, January 3 2013 at 4:14 PM, Updated: Thu, January 3 2013 at 4:38 PM
Whether it's due to a New Year's resolution, or new laws banning tobacco use on Oregon state property, many Oregonians are trying to kick the tobacco habit.
Klamath County Senior Community Health Nurse Kathy Devoss quit smoking 'cold turkey' 30 years ago for very personal reasons...
"I quit smoking because I had three miscarriages, and I wanted a baby."
There's more options for quitting tobacco today than there were 30 years ago. Nicotine patches, nicotine gum, prescription medications like 'Chantix', acupuncture, hypnosis, and even i-Phone apps.
However, Molly Jespersen of the Klamath County Health Department notes that there are also more ways to get hooked on tobacco...
"The thing that's most new and emerging are the different tobacco products that we're seeing out on the market. We're seeing electronic cigarettes, flavored tobacco, hookahs - the list goes on, and on, and on."
Devoss cautions that there's no specific product or method that's a 'silver bullet' for quitting...
"I think the first magic bullet is going to be the desire to want to quit in the first place."
And if you're serious about quitting, Jespersen notes that help is available: www.quitnow.net/oregon
"A great place to start is the Oregon quit line. Just call 1-800-QUIT-NOW."
Not everyone is successful at quitting the first time...but whether you go 'cold turkey', or have an assist, Devoss says quitting is worth it...
"There are absolutely no advantages to being a smoker."
It's estimated that about 1 in 4 adults in Klamath County are tobacco users...a factor that has led to Klamath County being listed as one of Oregon's 'unhealthiest' counties.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.