Showing People a Better Way of Life

He has tried for several years, without success. Increasingly, though, he has realized that he was burning his future. Now, in desperation, he searches for an organization which specializes in helping people kick the habit. Arising, he thumbs through the Yellow Pages. An advertisement for a Smoker's Dial halts his search. "Call ME 2-2430 for a stop-smoking hint," advises the ad. . .

-student at Walla Walla College, is editor of The Collegian, the student newspaper at the time this article was written

4:00 A.M. He lies awake.

Barely past 30 and a brilliant engineer employed for a leading Seattle firm, he faces, for once, a problem he cannot solve.

He can't quit smoking.

He has tried for several years, without success. Increasingly, though, he has realized that he was burning his future. Now, in desperation, he searches for an organization which specializes in helping people kick the habit. Arising, he thumbs through the Yellow Pages. An advertisement for a Smoker's Dial halts his search. "Call ME 2-2430 for a stop-smoking hint," advises the ad.

He listens intently to the voice. The unknown benefactor on the recording is prescribing that smokers use a friction rub in place of the traditional cigarette immediately after getting up in the morning. He claims that a friction rub with a cold washcloth, applied until the skin turns pink, can help a person to feel wide awake and stimulated, eliminating the desire for a smoke. The recording ends on a personal note with an invitation to call a man by the name of Jack Hubbs at ME 2-5862. Though his watch indicates 6:45 A.M., he calls anyway.

Jack Hubbs rolls out at 4:30 A.M. His job as the Washington Conference temperance secretary demands that he arrive at work early. Hubbs knows the habits of heavy smokers and drug users. Many lie sleepless in the early-morning hours and tend to call his office early. By six-thirty Hubbs is sitting at his desk in the conference office in Seattle.

In the quiet of the morning, he reflects on the immense task that he and other anti-drug crusaders face. In Seattle alone, he knows that four thousand heroin addicts must support a $100-a-day habit, mostly through theft.

Opening the Bible lying on his desk to the book of Matthew, he reads of a conversation between Christ and His people at the Second Advent.

"I was hungry and you fed me; I was thirsty and you gave me water; I was a stranger and you invited me into your homes; naked and you clothed me; sick and in prison and you visited me," says Jesus.

God's people reply, "Sir, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and . . ." (Matt. 25:35-40, T.L.B.).*

The ringing of the phone cuts through the stillness of his office. "Hello. Jack Hubbs."

"Hello. I'm a local engineer. My smoking is ruining my capacity to work effectively. Can you help me?"

"We have a five-day program. . ."

Since the introduction of the first five-day program 11 years ago by a Seventh-day Adventist physician and minister, the program has helped over 2 million Americans stop smoking. In the Washington Conference, the Stop- Smoking Clinics have met particular success under the direction of Hubbs.

In the Seattle area, the Five-Day Plan is the only free service of its kind, although a number of commercial organizations, which apparently borrowed heavily from the concepts of the Five-Day Plan, exist with fees ranging from $10 to $325.

Of those who attend the clinics, 78 per cent quit smoking. This figure drops to 52 per cent by the end of the first year and begins to stabilize at about 47 per cent at the end of three years.

During the first half of 1973, ministers and laymen conducted more than 45 clinics in western Washington. Hubbs directed 22 of these, which brought to 177 the total number of clinics he had conducted over an eight-year period. He receives great satisfaction from knowing that he is helping people free themselves from self-destruction. "Smoking is really no different than suicide," he says.

While some members of the church may take a provincial view of the meaning of temperance— no drinking, no smoking, no drugs —Hubbs holds a wider view of that misused word.

"Temperance," says Hubbs, "is living a better way of life. That's what the gospel—the good news— is all about. Showing people a better way of life. "You know what really keeps me going?" he asks, and continues without really expecting an answer. "It is a statement from the prophet Ellen White that says, 'No subject which is presented to the inhabitants should command as large an interest as that which concerns physical health.' "— Temperance, p. 196.

Hubbs sees temperance as one of the prongs of the multiheaded spear of evangelism. As a result of the Five-Day Plans in western Washington, Hubbs has seen more than seventy baptisms.

"In my work I find that every one wants happiness," says Hubbs. "Some try to find it through drugs, but that's synthetic happiness." Though Hubbs realizes that discovering Christ can end the search for happiness, he does not push religion when counseling persons who are at tempting to free themselves from their drug dependency.

What force propelled Hubbs into the position where he now works tirelessly and in which he believes intensely?

For seventeen years prior to taking his present position, he was the administrator of the Walla Walla General Hospital, also volunteering for part-time chaplain's duties at the Washington State Penitentiary for eleven of those years. In these positions he ob served, with increasing concern, numerous cases of drug depend ency. At the invitation of the Washington Conference, Hubbs organized the temperance department eight years ago.

In addition to the Five-Day Plan, he coordinates weight-control clinics and nutrition clinics and teaches numerous drug education classes in high schools in the Seattle area.

In his usual straightforward manner, Jack Hubbs warns thousands of students each year of the dangers of drug abuse. His no-punches-pulled technique, which portrays graphically through films and pamphlets the effects of drug use, is apparently well received by students and administrators alike, as evidenced by more requests to teach and speak in assemblies than he can fill. On the wall of his office hangs a simple plaque, a recent gift from the Seattle Public School System that expresses appreciation for his work in drug education.

Pastor Hubbs was a backstage organizer of the drive by the Citizens United for Responsible Legislation (CURL), which recently secured more than enough petitions to put Washington State's lower-the-drinking-age law to a vote of the people. The law would have allowed 19-year-olds to be served alcoholic beverages as of 12:01 A.M. last June 7. However, CURL delivered 75,023 signatures, far more than the 58,902 required, to the secretary of State's office three days before the law was to take effect.

Though Lloyd Tremain, the principal of the Lawton Elementary School in Seattle, was singled out as the leader of the drive and hung in effigy, Hubbs notes that CURL would not have obtained sufficient signatures without Adventist help.

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer quoted one tavern owner as saying that he and other tavern owners would "get up a campaign like you wouldn't believe." However, Tremain, a Methodist, says that when Adventists got behind CURL the liquor interests "got scared."

Though Jack Hubbs assumed a low-level posture during the petition gathering, he states that to counteract the massive campaign that liquor dealers are almost certain to mount next November, he plans to appear on television and radio in order to inform voters of the dangers of lowering the legal drinking age.

"We can beat 'em," he says. Pastor Hubbs was the only church representative of any denomination present in Olympia to oppose the passage of the age-lowering law. Hubbs notes with concern that the legislature passed and the governor signed the bill in spite of the knowledge that a large majority of the State's citizens are opposed to a lowered drinking age.

Hubbs answers the ringing phone, perhaps the tenth personal call from someone in need of help. In the corner the Smoker's Dial machine hums, busily sending out its recorded message for the fiftieth time during the day.

His day in the office nearly over, he arranges in a semi-orderly fashion on his desk the slips of paper on which are written the names and phone numbers of the individuals he counsels. He picks up his coat and turns out his office light, knowing with renewed conviction the answer to the question in his morning devotion.

"When you did it to these my brothers you were doing it to me!"

From the North Pacific Union Cleaner, July 16, 1973. Reprinted by permission.

* From The Living Bible, Paraphrased (Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, 1971). Used by permission.

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-student at Walla Walla College, is editor of The Collegian, the student newspaper at the time this article was written

May 1974

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