SPOKANE, Wash. – Former smoker, Shawn Wright of Spokane, picked up his first cigarette as a teenager without thinking of the consequences, like so many others. He quit after 30 years of smoking and dedicated his life to exposing the ugly truth about smoking on national television.
“When you have a hole in your neck, don’t face the shower head,” Wright said in the Tips From Former Smokers ad campaign being run by the Centers for Disease Control. The campaign began running on national airways in July. It was designed to get people’s attention.
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“I know the commercials are shocking, but if that’s what it takes to get the United States off cigarettes, I’m all good with that,” Wright said.
Wright’s smoking habit gave him throat cancer. But even through 37 radiation treatments, he continued to smoke. It wasn’t until doctors removed his larynx six years ago that he was ready to quit.
“Looking back, I wish I would’ve quit a lot sooner,” Wright said. “Probably would’ve saved my voice box. What I really want is for people to not go through what I went through.”
Wright said he wants smokers to call the quit line, where former smokers are on the other end: 1-800-QUIT-NOW. For more information, visit the Smoke Free Washington website here.