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The Straw That Broke The Camels Back Continued

Quit Smoking With Our Highly Recommended Non-Smokers Edge Program

From Scott...

Hi I've been coming here and reading a lot this week its been a big help to me. I just read some of the reasons others have quit and I'd like to tell my stories. My name is Scott I started smoking when I was 12 maybe 13, my Mom knew she had caught me dipping snuff and told me she wouldn't have that. I told her she smoked so what's different. She told me she'd rather me have a clean bad habit than a dirty one. Funny to think of that know 1 year to the day that she died of cancer,not lung but cancer of the Uterus. I guess the smoking helped. My mom is the second person I've lost to this killer that I was opening the door for every few minutes ( I smoked a pack to two packs a day). I lost my mother in law in 1996 to brain cancer that started in her lungs. Both of these women meant the world to me and I watch them die because they thought it would never happen to them. But still never quit myself. I guess what triggered me was my friend Harley. Harley is 4 years old and a good friends son. He follows me everywhere and does everything I do. He even calls me late at night when he feels bad and Mom and Dad just won't do. I couldn't love this child more if he were my very own. Well one evening while we were cooking out Harley walks up with one of my cigarette butts in his mouth and say's "Look Scott I'm just like you". I told Harley he'd never see me smoke another cigarette. I went to the Dr and got a script for wellbutrin (generic Zyban) and set a quit date. I quit for about 3 months. Last week Harley was playing outside and he got into my truck where he found my smokes. He came in the house and ask me if they were mine. I told him they were. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and told me he didn't want me to be sick like my Mom was. I threw them out that day 2/10/00 and have not nor will I smoke another. I started the pills 3 days after I quit the help some but I think drinking lots of juice helps the most and knowing that my little friend and I will have a lot more days to spend together helps most of all. I'd like to thank everyone who wrote about they're experience with smoking, my friend Harley and of course the Good Lord for helping me through this and giving me so much comfort and support.

from Vicky...

What was the last straw. The last straw for me was about 4 days ago. I felt like death itself. I have smoked for 12 years and attempted to give up once before. I think myself it was my father that made me stop, he has had 4 heart attacks and had a box fitted in his heart. Last week he and my sister went for a check up has she might have the same thing, has they say it may be genetic. He told me that me and my brothers had to go for a check as well because we might have this problem also. I was shocked because I knew this was coming but just put it out of my mind. I decided then to stop smoking and have not smoked for 4 days. It has been hard but I am determined this time. I am a regular drinker as well and in the last year seen my body deteriorate. I was out of breath all the time and woke every morning with headaches and a mouth like a ashtray. I refuse to feel like that anymore and choose to stop drinking and smoking and get healthy. I do meditate and relaxing techniques which has helped me greatly. I think if you have a positive mind you can achieve anything. I hope my letter helps.

from Tom...

Great Site! Support is important, and this site lets you know we're not alone. I'm on day 3 as a non-smoker. Many of you said it was the hardest day - oh well. One craving at a time.

The straw for me was several - like many of you. I was a closet smoker. My wife, co-workers, friends, and kids didn't know I smoked. I didn't have those usual triggers - on the phone, or places at home where I lit up - I only smoked while driving or outside when everyone was gone. I still managed to get a pack a day in though. My light - my realization that I was re-arranging my life so that I could be where I could smoke blew me away. I was not doing things with my family, because I wasn't able to get my cigs in if I went to a movie with them. If I didn't go, I had 2, maybe 3 hours to smoke! I realized how pitiful this was when I confided in a friend - support is crucial. I used to wonder if I smelled of smoke when I went places - I used mints by the pound and Handi-Wipes to try to hide my smoking. I was so embarrassed by it - I never smoked when anyone could see me. No when I go somewhere, I'm able to hold my head higher, not imprisoned by the shame and guilt of being a smoker. Proud of the commitment to my kids - maybe they'll have a dad who goes places with them. And to my true friend, my confidant: You don't know how much you help. I owe you - thanks.

from Sue...

I've set my goal as next weekend to quit.  I have been watching my father slowly die for the past 3 years.  He's in a personal care home on 3 liters of oxygen, breathing treatments every 4 hours, a host of meds to prevent constipation, depression, anxiety, wearing depends, bound to a wheelchair, can barely feed himself and is presently in the hospital for the 12th time since Jan. 1999 this time with pneumonia.  He can feed himself but drops a lot of food and his talking is limited.  I don't want to be like that for my daughter and grandchildren.

from Matthew...

Last weekend, my wife and I managed to smoke our way through 200 cigarettes in three days. I made all sorts of excuses to myself - we were seeing relatives and friends, we went to a party, our children weren't around. We couldn't believe we had smoked that much, and when we got home I searched underneath the car seats to see if any of the packets had fallen out of our shopping and were lying there, unopened. No. We had smoked the lot.

That evening, we only had 4 cigarettes in a packet, so I went out at midnight, by car, to an all night garage to buy more. It was then that I realized how stupid it had all become.

Last week, in a whirlwind of activity, we sold our house and had an offer accepted on our next dream home. So I started to get things ready to pack for the move. I took down a picture from the sitting room wall, and had to hang it straight back up to hide what I had seen. My wallpaper was only 2 years old, and was white. Surrounding it was this yellow and brown stain that used to be white. If tobacco can do that to my wallpaper, I dread to think what my lungs look like.

I gave up smoking at 7.17am, Tuesday 2nd May, 2000 (Yesterday morning). I'm half-through day 2, on cold turkey. No patches, no substitutes. Feeling OK so far, but its going to be tough.

from Patricia...

I've been a smoker for almost 15 years, and have tried to quit many times, all of which ended with me scrambling to the store to buy a pack of cigarettes. "One more pack and then I'll quit". I would tell myself that every time. I've had many health problems that have been worsened by smoking like bronchitis and pneumonia. Laryngitis is my latest one. I was without my voice for almost six weeks! I had a sore throat but kept puffing away because I'm so addicted. The reasons why I want to quit? -there are way too many to list, but range from wanting to have kids to not wanting to wake up in the morning with a pasty, crusty mouth, yuck! If you smoke, you know what I'm talking about. So it isn't so much as the straw that broke the camel's back, but rather straws. Besides the ongoing laryngitis, I was tired of everything associated with smoking. I have actually avoided going outside to get the mail because I'd be out of breath due to smoking. Here's a sad one - sometimes the noise from my own wheezing keeps me up at night, I can hear the insides of my lungs and throat whistling and wheezing, and not always be able to clear it by coughing. Smoking is just not worth all that.  I've now been smoke free for one and a half days, using the patch. And yes, I'm having withdrawals, getting edgy, wanting to cry at times or snap at people, but check this out: After just one and a half days I can:

-clear my throat

-take a full deep breath

-smell and taste things better

-laugh without coughing so much - I hate coughing every time I laugh!

from Pat...

My wife and I each smoked approximately a pack and a half a day, or a carton a week. I would get paid every other Friday, so on payday, along with the bi-weekly grocery shopping, we would buy 4 cartons of cigarettes to last until next payday.

I got a new job in Nov. 1998. I went out and bought me a new pair of dress shoes for my new job. By the fall of 1999 my new shoes were looking a bit worn, but "I couldn't afford new ones". But I went out and spent $93 on four cartons of cigarettes to last me two weeks . . .

That was the last straw for me. I got tired of paying off Big Tobacco's lawsuits. I quit cold-turkey on 9/9/99, after having smoked a pack and a half for right at 20 years. Every time I had a nicotine fit or felt ill (yes, quitting made me physically ill quite frequently for the first three or four weeks), I just focused on who I was angry at . . . Big Tobacco. Every nicotine fit was their fault, not mine. Every weak stomach, every time I awoke in the middle of the night, everything quitting did to me was their fault, not mine. And I kept focused on why I was quitting; there was no "cheating". If I want a cigarette, I'll go get one . . . then find $50 to get enough to last me 'til next payday. Eventually the nicotine fits, the jitters, the weak stomachs, etc., DO go away.

I have been smoke-free for over four months, and now I don't even worry about it. My wife still smokes (she was wonderful for my first couple of months or so, not smoking around me, etc.), and I don't nag her. She'll quit when she's ready. Oh, and now I put $10 in my pocket every Friday just for me -- half of what smoking was costing me. The first thing I bought with my "quit smoking" money was a new pair of dress shoes!

from Anne...

The millennium seemed like a real good time to take the step. Am on smoke free day 5 feeling tearful, crabby, lethargic and generally miserable. My husband is also giving up so we will probably kill each other this week!

from Linda...

My last straw was on New Years Day - I was over at a friends house and we were both smoking and suddenly I couldn't breath (I have asthma). By the time the paramedics got there I had stopped breathing and my heart had stopped beating. When I woke up I was already at the hospital. The Doctor has informed me that they had basically given up but had given me one last "jump start" w/ the paddles only because my friend had snuck in and begged them "just one last time" - I'm fine now, but I'm still a little scared about coming that close (I'm only 35 yrs. old and not ready for that).

from Dan...

Hi my name is Dan and I've smoked for ten years. I'm 24 and I quit smoking cigarettes five weeks ago. A few times I've slipped up and I've had a cigar instead but now I don't want to do that any more either 'cause it just doesn't feel right.

I was told last year that I had developed an asthmatic cough but I just tried to carry on smoking anyway. I weighed 7 and 1/2 stone cause all I ever did was smoke and eating didn't seem to important.

The last straw for me happened 7 weeks ago. The asthma in my throat started to tear at me, it was scratching the throat off me. I just coughed and coughed. I couldn't stop coughing day and night. An inhaler I had just didn't have any effect on it. This went on for two weeks and I was still smoking!! Finally a doctor had to be called to visit me and I was put on steroids and an assortment of pills. This is what I was like at 24. What about when I'm 34? 44? My girlfriend quit with me and that has really helped. I really miss smoking but I love life and after all there's always coffee!!

QuitSmokingSupport helped me through one of the worst nights I had.

from Toni...

What finally did it for me?

Someone at work had tried quitting recently and after 12 days, relapsed.  Which is ok.  I, still smoking at the time, gave her a smile and let her know that at least she was 12 days stronger than she was  before.  My Turn.  All the advice that I gave her, all the smiles and words of encouragement suddenly looked me in the eye with roaring laughter and flew out the window with a vengence.

And I had a thought.   Driving in my car, contemplating on wheather I should quit or not, I thought about the countless number of people I knew that litterally did not smoke in their own home, but rain, sun, or heavy snow storm, would go outside to smoke. I just recently bought my first home with my husband, and remember telling him how we were not going to smoke indoors because I didn't want the smoke to get into everything we own and destroy it as it's destroyed and discolored our current place.  And that's when it hit me.  I could not believe that I had more respect for the objects I owned, than I had for myself and everyone else around me.  I seemed to care more for wheather or not the walls were going to go

yellow and about the thick brown film that would surrond my computer and tv screens than I did about my own life.   Aint that funny?  And so, I now know....that unless I am alive to enjoy these things....they have no value at all.  So there will be no going outside to smoke, because there is no more reason to do it.  It took the major expense of buying a home to realize this. Funny how when it come to money and work, we look at things a litte differently

 

from J. Norman...

After a total nine years of smoking, I have been off them for nearly three weeks. No, it's not long & I'm still having hideous cravings but the health benefits are already happening. I'm sleeping better, feeling more serene & have regained my schoolgirl complexion. My skin gets pinker & softer with each day of not smoking. I am also finding that I'm making better health decisions all round. When you're smoking, it's all maintenance. Any fruit you eat or vitamins you take may just help replace the nutrients lost by smoking. I'm not using any nicotine supplements. I stopped 'cold turkey' after a massive night out. Worse of all were day 4 & 5. I was full of rage (!) and bitterness (!) & was quite hard on my husband. But it passes & things get better & better. I had a pang last night at a restaurant when this girl
lit up next to me and I smelt fresh smoke wafting toward me. Then I clocked her complexion (sallow, little pucker lines around her mouth & her fine lines looked as though they were outlined in gray felt tip pen) and smelt her ashtray...ughhh.

Best Wishes.

from Helen...

My very good friend, Anne was in a car-accident a few months ago. She hit her head really bad and fell into a coma. For a while it was uncertain if she was ever going to wake up and the doctor kept reminding us what she could be like if she acctually did wake up. Our heads are delicate things and lots of thinks can go wrong. Foor almost two weeks she was unreachable and I have never been so scared in my life.

Luckily, she came around and she is almost the same old Anne as before the accident but when I first visited her when she was out of the coma she cried and said:

Helen, I have lost my sence of smell... I can not ever again smell freshly baked bread, an autum forest, the ocean or even my new perfume!

This made me realise that I cant either! Smoking my pack a day I had also lost my sence of smell but the major difference was that I did i to myself deliberatly while Anne didnt have a choise.

I am now a non smoker and I love taking a walk in the morning. First I head to the bakery. Oh, that wonderfull smell! I buy some bread and head home to Anne for breakfast.

Anne is doing allright and the "only" thing she lost in the accident was the sence of smell. She cant smell the bread I bring but she loves the taste!

from Janet...

I am 44 years old: in the last 3 years I have watched the generation ahead of me die from smoking related illnesses: My mother, father, father-in-law not to mention aunts and uncles. Most of the non smoking ones are still alive and doing fine (that wasn't many).

Then we made a trip to Dallas and spent a week with our smoking friends, a group of them. They are now in their 50's and I spent the week listening to them cough and hack--when they would laugh they would break into a cough, their faces seemed to be a red color and they all (except one) looked of bad health.

After that I became a neurotic mess, because I was a smoker: smoking became a burden not a pleasure. I was noticing I was developng the dreaded smokers cough--wheezing at night. The great, climb up some stairs and couldn't breathe was happening. All of the symptoms of a smoker was starting to happen to me.

Then I found this bb, started reading the success stories, the failures, and the pleas from people that had to quit or had quit--then one day I thought if all these people can do it so can I--then with their support, I did it. I don't think it was one single event but a process that lead to my quit.

from Len...

For me, it was when I went to the dentist last week. I had been trying for about a month to quit, and not getting any farther than a few days. But when I was in the dentists chair, he was examining me to make sure I hadn't developed cancer in my mouth. That kinda shocked me. Sure I've always known about cancer and smoking. But no one has ever done a cancer check on me. It scared the hell out of me. It's been a very tough 5 days now. But I'm not looking back. My worst day was day 3. It is now day 5. Day 4 was ok. Today is a little easier. That's what happens. It gets easier. Just hang in there the first few days and the rest is down hill. Good luck....

from Dean...

I had just failed yet again using TWO patches when I heard that the actor JT Walsh had died of a heart attack at 54 (his age, not the disco). I did not (and still don't) know if smoking was a factor. But being a few months short of 49, and smoking 2+ packs a day, it slapped me in the face. It was the "straw" that a few months earlier Brian Wilson's death from lung cancer at 50-something was not. I put 2 patches back on and I've been smokefree since...6 months in a week from now.

Its the best thing you can ever do for yourself short of never having lit up the first one. Go for it.

from Eoin:

I have quit for two reasons:

1. I have done it before! Going through withdrawal twice is stupid. If you do it once, use the pain of withdrawal as a weapon against your addiction!

2. I recently had a medical fright that could turn out be bladder cancer - and I'm in my mid-twenties! See what the treatment is for bladder can at http://www.medicinenet.com/ and how smoking can double the risk and it might just convince you.

DO IT NOW!

from Bob...

Hi Sarah: Just for your info I have quit 5 months as of today. My reasons for quitting were very simple. IT WAS TO GET EVERY BODY OFF MY BACK ABOUT QUITTING. Now that I have that off my chest let me explain something. Smoking isn't my only addiction, and when I quit smoking people told me that I had to do it for myself. Well that comes, the important thing is that you quit. Even if you don't do it for yourself now you will not smokelater for yourself. If you do decide there are people on this BB who will help you. They did me. It ain't easy and it ain't fun but they say it is worth it. Good Luck

from Bill...

For me, quitting had been on my mind for a while too, but it was never the "right time."

Finally, I was in the middle of an argument with my daughter about how she treated her sister and she said she'd stop if I'd stop. I started to argue with her but realized what I was about to say was total bullshit, agreed in the heat of the moment, and followed through!

To me, getting it checked off the "to-do" list was another big benefit - if you know it needs to be done someday, after a while it becomes a big "rock" and it's pretty nice once it's gone!

from Zowie...

wow what a good question to ask. I enjoyed reading other's answer and see we all have different reasons but have all the same goal. I quit cause I had two bronchitis in a row, one that lasted one month. I was not able to climb stairs and was already gaining weight, so could not say as an excuse I was afraid to gain weight.
I decided I would take a week off to quit. However I was always postponing my quit date,saying there was to much work to take a vacation. I even wanted to postpone it 3 months later, on my next week off. My boyfriend made me realize I've been postponing for 3 years and I had to stop doing it. So I bought my last pack, found this site and smoked it while chatting in here.

from Bonnie...

Well, this is a terrific topic, loved reading everyone's determining factor in quiting. Mine was many things but really it was smoking in front of my teen-age kids. They are so impressionable & I feel so many of the personalities they like smoke, Leo and Winnona and I can't think of them all but they smoke in movie s in pictures of them in magazines etc. I felt like I was giving my seal of approval by smoking too. I loved cigaretts and it has been a struggle with my weight too, but i read somewhere you would have to gain something like 175 lbs. to even begin to do the damage to your heart cigs do(while you are skinny i might add ha ha) So, I am trying my damndest to stay off cigs. tonight was tough for me so this was a great topic! Hope you can start your own quit soon. This board helps tremndously!!! Here's hoping!

from Rob...

Hi Sarah!! WOW!! I just read all of the posts...to this point. I have to agree with Suzan...If there were a question of the week..that's it....VERY Interesting Reading. I think turning 47...did it for me, My father only made it to 45(lung cancer).I should have never started. I wasn't really planning on quitting and I loved smoking. It just happened...probably because my doctor got on my case and he gave me a prescription for Wellbutrin.I just got it filled,followed the instructions and I'm QUIT. GOOD LUCK!!

from Suzan...

What an interesting question and how interesting to read other people's answers. I hear reflections of some of my own feelings in most of them.

I think I would have quit long ago if I'd thought that I could. I became convinced that I couldn't. Also felt that I needed to. I was approaching my 47th birthday - I think this had been festering in my mind seriously for at least 5 years - or since around 40. I always thought I'd quit younger. But just couldn't seem to, so I'd stopped trying and even tried to not think about it, tried to convince  myself that eating well and exercise could compensate.

Then, 2 people I know who were "real smokers" quit using the patch. First one, then another. And a new hope was born in me, - that maybe now that there was an alternative to the only method I'd ever tried- cold turkey, maybe I could.  Still, it took time. To go to the doctor. To get the prescription. To build up the belief that I would and could. And like Trish said, a feeling that time was running out, like Michael said, a feeling that NOW is the time - sort of like knowing there was no real choice and it wouldn't ever get easier - and finally finding the thought of never quitting worse than the thought of quitting. All that combined to what I would call "making the patch work". It had reached the point where something HAD TO WORK.

from Libby...

The "fear" of quiting. I was so sick and tired of worry about the "fear". I decided it was time to face it. It was just the "fear" of doing it and going thru the craving and withdrawal. The "fear" is gone, along with cravings.

from Wayne...

In ’94 my youngest brother was having trouble with drugs: difficult to tell someone to end their addiction while doing nothing about your own, so that quit was for our mutual understanding (restarted over boredom on my hour commute).

Last year my mom who has emphysema had a heart attack and bypass, but changed her lifestyle not at all (smokin’, drinkin’, eatin’ bad, and not exercisin’). Last month, still not entirely recovered, she suffered another heart attack. Stepped up to show her I was with her on her quit, that it could be done, and for my own physical & mental health.

She has buried two of her closest friends to emphysema, eventually I will bury her to it. How do you spell addiction? Studies show almost all smokers love cigarettes -- they also show that almost all hate being addicted to them.

Admitting that is my fight.

from Moneca...

Mine was the financial thing. I know most people will probably say health, but I hate spending money on something that is doing it's best to try to kill me. And the fact that the price kept going up and I was dependant on this junk....well that was it for me.
I hope you find your straw soon. Good luck.

from Carol...

For me it was many factors and variables!

Being 38 years old in intensive care paralyzed, coming out of a coma and realizing that I narrowly escaped death due to smoking!!! It was killing me, worst of all it was killing my boys!

I didn't have that right and it was very selfish! What was worse is that both boys were smoking as well. I was so self absorbed into making sure my smokes were all accounted for that in the mean time the NICO DEMON was gaining power and control over the well being of my children.

That my dear is why I can openly say that I hate the hold that those rotten, evil, wicked, ugly, vendictive, destructive, negative, stupid gosh darn for saken stupid white things with brown tips that we call a friend has in our lives.

You don't need this kind of friend in your life....this friend never knows when to leave and this friend will stick around for as long as you let it!!!!! HE WILL MOVE IN AND DESTROY...and that pain is a lot more intense than the pain of the QUIT TO FREEDOM!!!!!!!!!!

All these names you see posted here are your friends just waiting for you!!!! SO OUT WITH THE OLD AND IN WITH NEW!!!!!!!

OUR FRIENDSHIP IS NOT EVIL AND DESTRUCTIVE "UN LIKE THE SILENT POWER OF YOUR OLD FRIEND" DUMP THE OLD FRIEND and come and HANG OUT WITH US!!!!

YOU CAN DO THIS ........

from Suzanne...

I had talked about quitting forever! I was tired of always having a cold.. the cough.. not being able to breathe.. but what really got me was that on my birthday this past summer I realized that at 28 years young.. I had been smoking for 12 years! I just felt that I had been smoking for too long for someone so young.

from Trish...

when I was in 8 th grade, my dad had a heart attack...he was only 48 years old. He lived and is now 82 and is in good health, walks everyday and watches what he eats. I don't know why I started to smoke, stress probably, but I always meant to quit before I had a heart attack, and then all of a sudden I was coming up on my 48 bithday and I was panicked that I had waited too long. I quit because I realized that I had never meant to smoke that long anyway, and all of a sudden I really feared for my life. It was fear of having a massive heart attack that made me quit, and just the fact that if you quit for 24 hours, the chance of a heart attack really deminishes, that got me thru the first day, and then the second day I didn't smoke because I wanted to keep the risk low, and so on and so on. I am so excited to get to two years...then the risk is almost normal...and that is why I exercise also, to help my heart. Good luck, if you are thinking about it, it is getting close to your time to quit. You have to do it for yourself, and it is worth every pain and craziness you go thru.

another reason...

Another reason I quit smoking was I looked at my parents, they are both in their 80's and good health, looked at my grandmothers, they lived to be in their 90's, no cancer on either side of the family, and I thought I have such good gene's what am I doing to myself...and I thought that if I ever had grandchildren, (and that is a big if) I would never have the energy to enjoy them, to have them stay overnite with us, and just show them the places I would like to show them. There just comes a time in your life, call it mid life crisis maybe, when you realize you are not going to live forever, but all of a sudden you WANT to...you want to do everything you always wanted and soon, you want to start living like you used to dream about when you were younger....travel, having energy to enjoy just the little things... and you just wake up to the fact that smoking is robbing you of so much of what you want to do...it snatches away dreams...and I decided not any more.

from Steve...

I found a car on the internet I wanted to buy. The car was about 200 miles away. I hitched a ride with a route drivers. I thought that I smoked a lot, this guy had two for each one I had. I thought the guy was in his mid to late sixtys his skin was severely wrinkled, eyes were dull and yellow, he coughed constantly. He told me he was 53 years old. Right there I decided that I didn't want to end up like him.

from Michael...

Believe it or not, for me it was one day at the pharmacy picking up meds, I happened to glance up behind the counter and saw Nicotrol patches on sale. At that moment it came to me that it was MY TIME. There are different schools of thought on quitting. Some say to keep on trying til you get it right. Others like me believe in only the smoker knowing when he/she is ready.

Read this board, Blair's page, and whatever other info you can gather. Before you know it, you'll be proud to be an ex-smoker!!! :-))

from Sydney...

I am 34, married with two kids. I 've tried to quit many times but fail after a few days (the longest time was two weeks). I don't smoke around the kids, not in the car and not even in the
house. However, I always have to make excuses to go outside for a cig. I try to sneak out but my oldest daughter, who is 3 today, always tries to follow me wherever I go. One day, I was seating, smoking and reading. I looked up and I saw my daughter imitating my every action. I lifted the cig up to my mouth, she lifted her fingers up to her mouth. I took a deep drag, she took a deep drag. I flicked the ash, she did the same. I was so ..ashamed. The last thing I want to see is my daughters growing up to be smokers.

from Matthew...

I've been a smoker since I was 20. I started late. I took it up when I started playing in a rock band. When quitting became fashionable I imagined I'd give it away when I was 35. But I've turned 46. 45 was my last cut off date and I'd missed that. I was feeling sorry for myself the last year, busted-up with the girlfriend, and on a sort of self-destruct. Although I said I'd give up at 45, it didn't matter any more. What did I have to live for? The crunch came for me in the last month when I got this nasty flu. Although I was so snuffed up and hated the irritation I still couldn't get by without my morning cigarette. And once I'd had one, oh well, have more. Finally I realised the breathlessness I experienced with this heavy flu was perhaps what emphesema might be like. That was it. To get through the next morning and the next night without a cigarette. I did. It's only been a week. The flu is mending. I mean to hold my resolve to remain a non-smoker. It's cracking that start point. Cold turkey I've read is the toughest but most effective way to quit. It is.

Geelong, Australia

from Louis...

I`m 35 years old and have been smoking for the past 20 years at the rate of one and half pack a day. I had tried quiting several times in the past but lasted a couple of days each time. But this time I am quiting for good. I have been smoke free for two weeks and I feel just great. What made me quit is my uncle`s recent death. He died of pancreatic cancer. He smoked 2 packs a day. Smoking might not be the reason for his cancer but it has been proven that smoking can cause that type of cancer. He was only 59. My father (my uncle`s brother) passed away at age 49 of brain cancer. He was also a heavy smoker. Another reason for my quiting is when I saw what smoker`s lungs look like. It`s incredible!! The lungs are black in color because of the smoking!!!!!! What helped me was making a list of reasons why I should stop smoking and I carried the list with me at all times showing it to others. Here it is: Health, cancer, dying, my father, my uncle, wasting lots of money, stinking, clothes that stinks, house that stinks, car that stinks, breath that stinks, coughing, dependance, live to smoke, smoke when happy, smoke when sad. Another way of helping myself was to put the amount of money for cigarettes in a jar everyday and watch it grow. In the first week I saved $70.00 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Isn`t that something????

Those were all the reasons that made me quit that filthy habit. Put your mind into it everyday. Take it one day at a time. You must be ready to let it go. It will work. Keep faith. Thank you and good luck to all.

from Penny...

I got sick of waiting to quit.But mostly I realized that I was an addict who consistently suffered when my social smoking friends smoked all of my cigs the night before leaving me dirty and desperate to replenish, and then turn around with a look of disgust when Ilit up.The fear of believing that I would'nt be able to give up during pregnancy.(I could persuade myself under ANY circumstances to smoke). The inability to give my partner an honest answer as to when I would give up. The sickening excuses I made to myself and everyone around me to continue smoking. The fact that I was thirty and was not looking forward to how I would look or feel in 5yrs.Making excuses that I did'nt care how I would look and feel in 5yrs.At least I could smoke. I just got sick of waiting.

from Alison...

I was one of those smokers who LOVED everything about smoking...I liked the taste, I liked the effect, I liked that it allowed me to nip outside for a break every once in a while while I was at work, I liked that it helped control my weight -- truly, I was an ardent fan. 

Just over a year ago, however, my father was diagnosed with lung cancer.  He had quit smoking fifteen years earlier, but he had smoked for about 45 years prior to that.  My father had looked after my very ill mother until her death the previous year -- he looked forward to living the rest of his life, to travelling the world, to visiting with his friends and family.   I spent the next few months watching my father slowly and painfully waste away, I watched him endure radiation treatments, I sat with him as the doctor told him that there was nothing more they could do.  My brothers and I buried him only five months after his diagnosis. 

So, now I DON'T love smoking anymore -- I smoked for 20 years and have only recently quit, but I will always remember my father's face when they told him he had lung cancer and his life disappeared right before his eyes.  He was robbed, his children and grandchildren were robbed, and it was cigarettes and smoking that did the robbing. 

Think about it -- we don't need to make the tobacco companies any wealthier -- all they've done for us is take away people we love.  I quit...you CAN quit.  Don't wait for a lesson this harsh to prove to you that you should. 

from Clare...

I quit smoking six days ago... god, it feels great to type those words.  I have smoked eight years, and this is not my first attempt.  In September '97 I quit for 2 months and learned one very important lesson - after you quit, you CANNOT have "just one, for old times sake".  That one cigarette will lead to another and another and another.  Within 2 days I was back up to a pack a day, despite how wonderful I had felt as a non-smoker.

Ever since I returned to smoking, I  felt guilty and disappointed about my failed attempt.  As a 23 year old smoker, I was  inactive, unmotivated, coughing, phlegmy.  I had a constant bad taste in my mouth and a horrid smell on my fingers, hair, clothes....  I kept saying, "I'll quit again", but kept putting it off.

Then on New Year's Eve '99 I caught the flu.  My throat was raw and sore, I had a severe cough and my head ached.  I decided that I just couldn't smoke when I felt this way.  This was unusual for me because in the past, I'd simply numb my throat with cough drops before smoking.  New Years day passed and I hadn't had a smoke all day, and that was it.  I said to myself - "No more."  My cold has gone away faster than any cold I've ever had.  I'm drinking water constantly and I feel okay.  I've just gone through a tough day and a half of irritablility and constantly feeling ready to cry, but today seems better.  This time I'm going to do it and not fall back into the old habit.  This time I won't be tempted to have "Just one drag" or "Just one cigarette".  I am a nonsmoker now and will be for the rest of
my now-longer life.

I have a few suggestions for others ready to make the same move:

*  If you have not done so already, stop smoking inside your apartment or house a few months before.  This is where you spend a lot of time, so not only do you break a pattern, but when you finally quit, your home becomes a safe space of sorts where you've become used to not smoking.

*  I found it best not to tell my smoking friends that I've quit.  I have told my non-smoking friends one-at-a-time and asked them to keep it secret for now.  Why haven't I told them? I used to be a smoker and remember how I
felt and things I said when someone else quit. Misery loves company!  I still go out with them, and so far no-one has even noticed, or just aren't saying anything if they have.

So my final motivating factor was getting sick, but really I think it was just the right time.  I'd had enough.  I no longer wanted to smoke.  And this time, I'm going to make it last.

Thanks for letting me share.  Good luck to all those who are trying to quit and congratulations and further good luck to all those who have.

Clare.

from Dale...

When my wife and I heard that her father had died we were depressed, of course.   After the funeral we had to go through all of his stuff.  My wife's father had died from lung failure.  And here was a box of nicotine patches, over the counter kind.  And only one was missing.  I took those patches home and I sat them on my desk.  I looked at them for a week.  I decided that the worst thing that could happen was that I would take it off and start puffing again.  Six months later I have never taken that puff.  This was like my 41 st attempt at quitting, and the patches really helped.  But what helped more as I weaned myself from those patches was how he died.  Lying on a floor, all the blood rushed to his face, gasping for a breath that his black lungs could not take, and dying alone, unprepared.

 

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