Dwaine Caraway Will Guilt Into Quitting the Smokes. Or SMU Will Pay You. Your Choice.

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Joking happily about how he's already told you to pull up your pants and quit the K2, Mayor Pro Tem Dwaine Caraway hosted a press conference this afternoon in the Flag Room at City Hall to get all up in your personal business some more with his "Quit Smoking Dallas!" campaign, just in time for the Great American Smokeout tomorrow.

After holding up a list of names of friends who've died from smoking-related diseases, Caraway told the small crowd that quitting smoking is all about giving your smoker friends "encouragement." For example, do as Dwaine does and ask them how many cigarettes they've smoked in a day and playfully threaten to steal their packs from them. 'Cause hey, smokers, nothing out there makes you want to put out the fire like a little gleeful, incessant nagging, right?

The take-home: Dwaine Caraway knows better, and he knows you have a right to ignore the fact that he knows better, but seriously, you should listen to Dwaine Caraway because he knows better. And let's be honest. You probably know better too.

No doubt an unfortunate city employee and pack-a-day smoker named Teresa wishes she'd known better than to show up to the conference, because Caraway hustled her up to the podium unannounced to give "this beautiful girl" a beautifully paternalistic lecture on how great she'll be when she finally quits smoking and you are going to quit smoking, aren't you, Teresa? Awkward.

Y'all may have heard somewhere along the line that smoking is terribly bad for you. You probably know that it is likely to kill you. And if it doesn't kill you, it might kill someone you know if you smoke around them. But quitting is about a lot more than being nagged into submission by an overzealous city council member, and Caraway was joined at the podium by American Cancer Society reps and medical experts.

SMU's Dr. Jasper Smits, whose Dr. Chase-esque good looks could inspire just about anyone to flush their cancer sticks, augmented Caraway's "encouragement" speech with a far more effective-sounding call for research participants for SMU's cessation program. There, they combine stress relief techniques, nicotine substitution and diet and exercise programs to help folks quit. Oh, yeah, and they'll pay you to hang out with them and not smoke for 15 weeks.

It's worth a try. You've got nothing to lose and a personal thumbs-up from the mayor pro tem to gain!

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