Quitters, INC.

By Stephen King


In the big city of New York, a man named Dick Morrison goes to a mysterious corporation to help him with his smoking problem. After being referred to Quitters, INC. by an old friend at the airport and having his doctor talk to him about quitting smoking he decides to check it out. Quitters, INC. is a mysterious corporation that keeps everything highly confidential. Mr. Morrison doesn't realize what he's getting into until he's in too deep. Quitters, INC. takes some drastic measures to make sure that Mr. Morrison quits smoking. The internal conflict of quitting smoking soon becomes an external conflict of keeping his family alive.


The theme of this short story is family. Family is shown throughout the story as being the most important thing. Mr. Morrison has to quit smoking cold turkey after not being able to normally go without a cigarette for longer than a 5 to 10 min period. He had to cope with the strong withdrawal symptoms to keep his family safe thought the story. The terrible symptoms and the frequency and that he had to battle them, proves his dedication to his family. The fact that Mr. Morrison was able to do many tough things to protect his family shows how much he cares for his family.

Main Conflict

The main conflict of Quitters, INC. is Dick trying to beat his smoking addiction. This is mostly an internal conflict between him and himself. This is the major underlaying conflict but once he singes up for Quitters, INC. the conflict starts to become an external conflict between him and the corporation. But the major underlaying conflict throughout the story is Dick beating his addiction. This issue matters a lot to Dick because his health is becoming fragile due to his smoking. If he doesn't stop his doctor told him it will kill him. This is shown in this quote: "the doc told me I had an incipient ulcer. He told me to quit smoking" (1). This shows you the severity of Mr. Morrison's case. The other important reason this is the issue is because his family will be tortured if he ever smokes agin. Being a family man this is very important it doesn't happen to him.

Plot Line

The exposition of the story is when Dick meets his friend at the airport. This is followed by the rising action where his friend tells him about Quitters, INC. this starts the anticipation about the corporation. The Climax of the story is when his wife gets shocked and they realize that they are going to get through the addiction together. The falling action is when Dick is eating right and staying active on the road to a healthier life. Next comes the Resolution this is when Dick gets the bill and looks back at everything,

Literary Device

A great literary device in this story is a metaphor comparing drugs and love. "Love is the most pernicious drug of all" (4). The metaphor has good imagery and compares Dick's love for family with his nicotine drug addiction. This metaphor is a powerful point in the story where Dick realizes what is important to him.

Why You Should Read this Story

This short story battles the string question of morals for the reader. The most compelling aspect is that you are not sure if you agree with the ways of dealing with the smoking habit but you do know it worked and saved the Morrison family. An interesting question to ask yourself is: Would you give the Quitters, INC. card out to a friend or family member that had a smoking problem?