Optimism is high for Stephanie’s butt-kicking

She’s halfway there!

In just her second week in her highly publicized effort to stop smoking, North Brooklyn’s top parks official Stephanie Thayer has hammered about half as many coffin nails as she did when she was smoking two packs a day.

And one day this week, she was down to just six nicotine sticks — putting her well on the way towards her goal of a complete smoking cessation before the mayor’s ban on public puffing begins on May 23.

Thayer spends nearly every waking hour of her day in Greenpoint and Williamsburg parks — making her habit cumbersome, let alone soon to be illegal. As part of her effort to kick butt before the ban kicks in, Thayer has allowed us unprecedented access every step of the way — resulting in our award-nominated “Great Stephanie Smokeout” coverage.

So Thayer’s not alone on her long road to better health — she has us, her friends, and the prescription drug, Chantix. She also has the encouragement of Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D–Greenpoint) and his staff, Councilman Steve Levin (D–Williamsburg) and Borough President Markowitz.

Markowitz, a former smoker himself, told Thayer, “All of Brooklyn has your back.”

“Only a former smoker knows just how difficult it is to quit, but I can say that every day it will get easier and easier,” said Markowitz. “Stephanie, with your Brooklyn attitude, I know you can do it.”

It’ll take more than attitude.

So far, Thayer has run into the usual hazards: She’s increased her intake of junk food, and gotten the jitters.

But she balanced the extra cupcakes with a workshop at a neighborhood yoga studio and the no-smoking pill.

It’s been difficult.

“Imagine something that’s been with you every hour of your life for decades on end and that’s taken away, and you feel some sort of loss,” said Thayer. “You have to change your entire life, otherwise it’s a void.”