CONTINGENCY OPERATING SITE MAREZ-EAST, Iraq - Several Soldiers from the 18th Combat Sustainment Support Battalion here have a determination to quit smoking before redeploying this summer.

Staff Sgt. Payten Redfearn, a native of Thomasville, Ga., and the 18th CSSB Chaplain's assistant noncommissioned officer in charge said, "A few weeks back I was approached by Pfc. Christine Wells from Manilla, Ind., about the possibility of her quitting smoking. I knew that this was something that a lot of people in the company were thinking about doing, so we invited others to join the "Smoke Out!" group."

"The reason I quit smoking is because I decided it was time to start making healthier choices in my life, so I began to eat healthy and do more PT (physical training). I figured while I was at it, I might as well quit smoking too," he said.
It was something that Redfearn's wife, Alaina, had been asking him to do for a long time. He figured since it was going to be difficult, he might as well do it now.

The class teaches Soldiers the utilization of cessation techniques, medication such as Zyban, nicotine patches and gum, while facilitating the transition from the high levels of nicotine intake to lowering the levels in the body.

"My last cigarette was 14 December 2008 at 2359 hours. With the help of the gum, the Chaplain, and a lot of will power, I have been smoke free since," said Redfearn.

The COS Marez-East physicians and other healthcare workers have relied primarily on counseling to treat tobacco addiction. However, combining counseling with pharmaco therapy has achieved the highest cessation rates with Soldiers.

Wells comments that she wants to quit smoking after five years, "because she is tired of the smell and she wants to run two miles without thinking she is going to pass out."