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The Straw That Broke The Camels Back Continued

Quit Smoking With Our Highly Recommended Non-Smokers Edge Program


from Lindy...

I was recently told I have MS. I am 46 years old and have smoked since I was 15. I've decided that I have enough problems without adding to them by smoking. Right now I feel pretty helpless about the MS, but there is certainly nothing stopping me from smoking except me. Today is my first day without smoking and I AM OK.

from Susan...

As a letter carrier I get to know a lot of people along my route.  We talk about gardens, pets, the weather etc.  Nikki had two beautiful Spaniels, two cats, a nice man, a great home, a crazy garden and a healthy vibrant appearance.  On May 1, 2000 her neighbor told me she had died the night before of lung cancer, just 3 weeks after being diagnosed.  She was 49.  I had my last cigarette on May 1.  I have to keep the shock and fear of what cigarettes do close at hand always to keep me from giving in - so I think of Nikki and all that she lost - We all have to stay close to the truth about this one.  

from Carol...

Well...the final straw for me...feeling like shit when I wake up in the morning, coughing my guts out, a sore throat, headache, fatigue. That nasty smell all over my house, my car, my clothes, my KIDS! The latest sinus infection my non-smoking husband is battling. Feeling out of control! Anger at the tobacco companies, and more anger at myself, for being angry at them for what I have done to myself! All the money I've burned and flipped on my lap, the floor, the furniture, into my food!

All these things and many more were the final straw for me, but the reason most foremost in my heart is the desire to see my grandchildren grow up! I don't have any yet, but I will someday and I want that! I Knew none of my grandparents, none of them. So, to sum this up, It's all for me!

from Cat...

My boyfriend and I were always saying 'we should give up', 'imagine all the money we'd save.. etc etc. One day we promised to smoke less than 5 in one day. As soon as one person broke it, the other gave up too and the whole thing was promptly forgotten. The other day we had to go buy another pack of cigarettes because we'd been through over 3 packets together during drinks the previous night. I grumbled and this time he said " Right, Monday, we're giving up". (We waited until after the weekend of partying). Its day 3 now. During the Day its fine when I'm busy at work., free time is harder. One thing is for sure, if I didn't have a quitting partner I would have succumbed by now. We email each other or phone when temptation hits. I can't have one and let him beat me! but at the same time if either of us slip this time we're not forgetting the whole thing. I feel the dizzy withdrawals but I also feel more energetic. I can't believe it. I've just realized what I've been missing out on. I don't mean reading 'why you should give up things' and going 'yeah, yeah' I mean I have REALLY realized. Get yourself a quit partner or two. (And pray for me!!)

from Diedre...

I don't think I've ever been as disgusted with smoking as I am right now. I'm still a smoker, but I'm really going to try and quit this time. I'm 24 and I started when I was 19, a sophomore in college, looking for something to ease the pressure. Five years later, I smoke a pack a day, to the point where I just included that money in my monthly budget.

My last straw came this morning. I've been sick with a cold for three days, and I've smoked almost a pack a day straight through. Now all the symptoms are gone, but I have this disgusting dry, hacking cough. I can feel the phlegm rattling around in my lungs, I'm short of breath, I'm starting to wheeze, I cough every time I inhale, and I still want to smoke. It's absolutely ridiculous. I am a non-conformist by nature--most of my friends were NOT smoking when I started--and the idea of being in bondage to cigarettes even when I really don't want to smoke drives me crazy.

So wish me luck. I'm going to buy the patches, because I'm not sure I can resist the craving in the beginning. I'm a little worried because I buy by the carton (to save money) and I've got six packs left. But I want to have kids one day. In the meantime, I want to get back on the pill. There are so many things that I want to do, and everyday, I find another way that cigarettes obstruct my goals.

The truth is, I'm afraid of quitting. I have a lot on my plate, right now. I'm taking on some of the biggest battles of my life right now, and I've trained myself to believe that I can't cope without a smoke. I'm also afraid of trying to do too much, too soon--afraid that all these spinning plates will come crashing down. Third, I've become accustomed to the image of myself as a "smoker." It's the whole GenX thing--cigarettes just seem to complete the image I've designed of myself, and it's difficult to imagine myself as a non-smoker. But I know better. I know that I'm stronger than stress, and I'm certainly stronger than these little three-inch crutches. My e-mail signature includes the famous FDR quote "We have nothing to fear, but fear itself." The fear is much more difficult to overcome than the addiction (I hope). So one foot in front of the other, I'm walking towards a cigarette-free lifestyle.

Good luck to all of you.

from anonymous...

I have recently quit smoking. Thank God! My last straw came when my 5 year old daughter said to me, "Mommy, smoking will kill you and I don't want you to die because I need you". That did it! I knew it would be hard as hell, but I didn't care because I was bound and determined NOT to have this disgusting, expensive, filthy, dirty, life-threatening, unsociable, addiction in my life anymore. To make it easier on myself, I quit drinking at the same time as I've always associated drinking with smoking. It was miserable for the first few days, but the nicotine gum helped tremendously.

So did drinking gallons of water. To help me STAY quit, I gave my daughter a job, which I think she appreciated as she felt a part of my healing process. Every time I began to crave a cigarette and thought I'd never make it, she was to say to me, "Mommy, I need you. Please don't smoke and die," followed by a hug. To see those big, blue, innocent eyes pleading with me broke my heart. I refuse to allow cigarettes a position of importance in my life over my child.

from John...

My name is John and I am 47 years old. On May 13th 2000 last month I developed Bronchitis for the 3rd time in 12 months. I was sick of being sick!! Quit smoking June 2nd . 9 days now! Not easy but my health is already improving,

I can breathe easier and my wheezing and coughing are just about gone!!

I had started smoking at age 14 and was smoking 2 1/2 packs a day.

Stopped in the nick of time!

from Kristie...

First things first, I am so glad I found this site. I thought that most of my symptoms were all in my mind. But, I guess everyone feels this way when

they are quitting. I had decided to quit 2 days ago, and so far, it has been complete hell. I thought about quitting a while ago when I found out that my 3 year old nephew had leukemia. But, strangely enough, that wasn't enough to make me quit.

My straw was my sister. We made a deal a while ago that if she would drop her fear of failure and go to get her driver's license (she's 25 and mom still drives her everywhere) that I would quit smoking. Well, last Friday, she called me at work to tell me that she got her beginners. So that night while I was on my way home, I lit a smoke, and contemplated quitting. (How bizarre does that sound) I rolled into town, right past my house to the drugstore where I picked up a pack of patches. I had to start on step two because of my weight, and I swore up and down that they weren't strong enough. Wrong again. I ended up in the hospital on the first day with a nicotine overdose. Anyone going to get the patch, PLEASE see a doctor first. The overdose symptoms are close to withdrawal symptoms, but much more violent.

Today, I cry at stupid things, I get angry, violent, I can't think straight, my jaw hurts because I've chewed 7 packs of gum in the last two days. Most of my symptoms I thought that were all in my head, but thanks to this site, I know it is from those damn things and that in a few weeks,

I will be back to normal. Thanks again to this site and the support that it gives. I will likely be back a few times a day just for motivational purposes.



from Pamela...

It will be six months on the 19th of July since I have been smoke-free and it doesn't get any easier.  I had been a smoker for 41 years and it was definitely a great part of my life.  My husband and children only knew me as a smoker.  I decided on my birthday, Jan. 2000 that I wanted a healthier lifestyle and set a goal date to quite.
My family and friends are very proud of me and keep sending me notes, flowers and words of encouragement.  On "bad" days  I do wish that no one knew so I could go back to my former habit.  I have gained 30 lbs. and do not feel very good about myself.  It is a struggle to keep positive but I do think of  the darker side of smoking, ie., health wise, addiction, cleaner house and air and a release of the burden.
On the brighter side - my youngest daughter and husband have quit smoking also.  It has been 2 months for them.  This gives me the confidence to continue smoke-free for their sake and the rest of my family.
My doctor prescribed Zyban to help eliminate the cravings.  That has been accomplished but now it is the habit to overcome.
I must say that I do miss the cigarette with my morning coffee, after meals, writing out payment for bills, talking on the phone, after a shopping spree and any stressful situation.  But enough is enough!  Each day is a beginning to a better life and definitely a healthier one.
Good Luck everyone who is on this mission to improve their lifestyle!  If anyone has some words of wisdom, please pass it on!

from Gina...

I hope my last straw can convince someone else out there to quit. I am into my 5th day and a half without cigarettes and I can't say how wonderful I'm beginning to really feel inside. I started smoking at age 16 which was basically puffing (I didn't inhale!). Anyway, after I had my son at age 17, I picked up the actual habit of being a habitual smoker and puffed on those demons for almost 22 years, the age of my son. Sure, in the past I tried to kick the habit, but my excuse was "oh woe is me, I'm a single parent and I'm struggling and blah, blah, blah". Well in 1985, my father, who at the age of 13 smoked rolled cigarettes, moved on to Pall Mall's, Raleigh's then Salems, was diagnosed with in-operable lung cancer. He was only 62 years young! I watched him go through the chemotherapy treatments and then the cancer sort of went into remission for about a year and a half. Afterwards, the cancer returned spread like wild fire to his bones, his muscles and finally his brain. My father suffered during this time. That's when the Drs. decided that radiation would stop the spread, but it didn't. It only made him sicker. He went from 160lbs to about 90lb when he passed away. You would have thought that I would have quit smoking by then. But I didn't. Cigarettes were my comfort zone in dealing with his death. Like I said before, I have tried numerous times to quit since the death of my father but it was for the wrong reasons-meaning my mother said I should quit, my sisters saying how bad it was for my health, my son also telling me the reasons to quit. So finally, on the 13th year of my father's death-I did it! The reason? For me. I wanted to do it...I needed to do it. I am so happy that I have come to the realization that I needed to quit smoking for my health's sake. Of course my smoking friends say that they will hold my spot and lighter for me. They seem to think that I'll be back! To them I say "don't hold you breath cause it ain't happening". I mentally quit smoking in January 2000, but physically I quit 5.5 days ago. That's about 120 cigarettes that I have not smoked!! There are different ways of quitting as I'm sure you all know, but I chose the nicoderm transdermal patch. It calms my craving for nicotine and will be an easier process for me to stay cigarette free. When I decided to quit, I wasn't sick, I didn't have chest pains, was never out of breath when going to my third floor apartment and my only health issue was high cholesterol and every 3 or 4 years bouts with bronchitis. Other than that I'm in good health and I intend to stay that way. I started back to power walking daily as well as jogging. I'm drinking lot's more water and juice and have re-started needlepoint projects to keep my hands busy. I am glad that I will not be going into my 40th birthday which is 27 days from today as a smoker. To the folks out there who are thinking of quitting-go for it! Try the patch, the gum, cold turkey whatever it takes. Cigarettes will cause you health problems in the end. I don't want to continue the cliché that if "I can do it, you can do it" but I did do it and so can you. It's been 5.5 days and my son is proud of me, so are my mother, sister and most important my husband who followed me and quit for good also. Cigarettes were a very important daily aspect of my life like eating, and drinking. Not any more.

from Lance...

The following is an email I sent to the woman I love:

I am so sick of smoking. I have to get this off my chest, so forgive me for ranting to you about this, but I know you'll listen and try to understand. My habit has increased steadily over the years from just 1 or 2 cigarettes a day, to about a pack and a half currently. I feel crappy all the time, can't taste food, can't smell anything. I get sick frequently, and the illnesses last longer than they should. I feel lethargic much of the time. Today, for example, I felt so crappy after class and my lungs were hurting, so instead of staying at school and studying I just came home. I'm really tired of it. I don't like knowing that when you hug me, I smell like a campfire. I don't like you (or anyone) seeing me with a cigarette in my hand. It makes me feel ashamed. I'm feeling this way because last night and this morning, when I breathe in and out I make a wheezing sound. I'm still wheezing. My lungs hurt and I cough all the time. I've even heard my neighbors complaining about my cough, once when I had my window open. One of the worst moments for me was one afternoon, when you were over here at my place, and you looked at me and said "You're killing yourself. Lance, I don't want you to die." I haven't stopped thinking about that since you said it. I cannot take smoking anymore; this is the last straw.

I love you, Lance

from Amy...

I just read every letter on these two pages and I am feeling very motivated. I have decided to quit today. I just brought my NicoDerm CQ patches home and have read the instructions and listened to the tape...and I am ready to quit. I decided to go online to get more motivation before I slap on the first patch and make the commitment. I am 26 years old and have been smoking regularly since I was 21....5 years! I can't even believe it has been that long. I started because I had just broken up with my boyfriend after a relationship that lasted 4 years. I was living with a girl who's boyfriend smoked...and he was always over smoking on our porch. It was something to do to keep me from thinking about my failed relationship and it was exciting and fun to do something so BAD...you know how it is when you're 21.GOD...if I could only turn back the clock and not take that first cigarette!

The thing that is especially stupid about me smoking is that I have asthma. I thought I was the only idiot on earth that had asthma and smoked, but after reading all these letters I found that the addition of cigarettes does not pass over those of us with asthma. We fall pray to the addition just as often and as hard as everyone else. The "straw" for me is that I know I am still young enough to quit and possibly avoid any long term physical scars from smoking...at 26 I still have a good 50 years of life left for my lungs to repair.I have been married for a little over one year and my husband smokes also. We both want to quit. We want to start a family in the next few years and we want to be a healthy happy young family. We want to feel good about giving our unborn children and ourselves the gift of many many years of happiness to share with each other. I don't want to die young. I have so much more left to do on this earth, children to create and raise, a husband to love, a home to buy, a career to build. I want to do it all and smoking WILL KILL ME.

I am only kidding myself if I rationalize to myself that maybe I'll be one of the lucky people who smoke and don't die from a smoking related problem. I hate the way my clothes smell, the way my taste buds are dead, the way my mouth feels, the way I feel like I can't face the day without taking that first cigarette early in the morning and then feeling gross and tired after I smoke it. Today, Feb. 15, 2000 is my quit day. My husband and I both quit for 3 months about a year ago, but stress drove us back to smoking. This time we are going to do it. We are strong enough to take control and from this day forward will take pride and enjoyment from the physical and emotional freedom of not smoking.I hope my thoughts have helped someone else decide to quit. I know it will be hard, but I love myself, my husband, and my future more than I love smoking.

from Jason...

At the end of January I set my quit date – 14th Feb, Valentines Day – Heart Day! I’m 29 and been a regular smoker since I was 22. Started with a few socially and has built up to a packet a day in the last few months. Never tried to quit before, always said I’d quit before I was 30 so cutting it fine, with just 1 week to go before the big 30. I loved smoking but hated the image of me in 20 years time still smoking, coughing, wheezing and with god knows what kind of diseases lurking in my body.

A friend of mine had given up a month ago. He told me that it was difficult at times but not the non-stop nico-craving hell he had thought it would be, and that he felt marvelous for it. That’s when I decided my time had come. Stop putting it off, give up, endure the few difficult weeks it takes ‘now’ in order to kick the habit of a lifetime.

I’m only on day 3. Yesterday was tough, almost caved in last night. You know what kept me going? Nico sweets, my ‘reasons to quit’ list, faith in myself and reading the letters on this page. Result, I have woken up this morning to day 3 of being a non-smoker, and not day 1 again. Of course I eat more, can be grumpy, depressed and irritable, but I know that those feelings will fade. My friends have been very supportive, all have wished me good luck, but the best encouragement came from my 30 a day pal, she said ‘I know you will do it’. Her confidence in me has given me confidence in myself. I hope that my quitting will encourage others around me to stop thinking about it and just do it, now. I have been dreading being 30. But you know what, I’m actually looking forward to it, because in my 30’s I will actually be fitter and healthier than I was in my 20’s. As I’m writing this I want a cigarette, I think about lighting up a lot. What do I do, I look at my ‘quit list’. Here’s mine, I’ll share it with you – I update it regularly.

 Reasons to Stop Smoking – It’s just not worth it!

1. Cancer, mainly lungs and throat, but many other organs too

2. Shortness of breath, wheeziness, emphysema

3. Circulatory problems, heart disease, could lose limbs

4. Ages skin

5. Yellows teeth

6. Cough & sore throat

7. Stress inducing, Stroke

8. Smell

9. Cost - £116pm, £1,500pa

10. You will feel much better, live longer, be healthier & better off.

Other people you know have done it. They have often been harder smokers with habits longer than yours. They all say how wonderful it is no longer to be a smoker. All found it difficult at times but have succeeded. You too can kick the habit. It will be difficult for the first few weeks, there will be moments when you really want a cigarette or situations where the urge is triggered. These moments don’t last very long so resist them and the urge will pass – with time these urges will fade away and non-smoking will be as natural as smoking once was.

Friends who have given up smoking:

Eric & Callum ,Babette & Stephen, Mel, Paoula & Abdel, Corrine & Dominique, Saidia, Nick

Friends who are cutting down with a view to quitting:

Nicky ‘Marlborough Light Queen’



from Chanii...

Unlke many of the smokers on the site, I've only been at it for a year. I'm in college, and everybody smokes. That's how I picked it up, it wasn't peer pressure, or anything that easy to explain--it was more like one day I didn't smoke, and the next thing I know, I'm at the gas station buying a carton. My last straw was today. I've always been a moderately active person. Last year, I biked the two miles to school every day with no problem, well I haven't had to bike at all in about two months. For some reason today I felt the need to bike, so I smoked a cigarette, put on some shorts, and started making my way to school.

About one and three quarter miles into it, I could no longer breathe.  My vision began to blur and I felt like I was having a heart attack.  There is nothing between my house and school except a four lane road, so there I was off my bike sitting on the shoulder of the road trying not to pass out. I finally made it to school, and the first thing I did after getting off the bike was smoke another cigarette. I threw the pack away. I always looked at it and said "After this pack is done, I'll quit." I never did. This time I went ahead and threw it away. I hope I'll never smoke another cigarette.

from Tayhaymill...

Its day 38 for me, but whose counting? I planned on quitting January 1, 2000 and needless to say it was a piece of cake for the first time. I think the fact that I was taking an antibiotic for bronchitis, along with an inhaler, really helped a bit. But there are 3 things that brought about my wanting to quite, once and for all. #1. Most important was my two beautiful daughters, need I go on, #2. My sisters boyfriend who is 2 years younger than myself, was recently diagnosed with throat cancer, and #3. I was scheduled to have a series of tests down on my stomach, that has been bothering me for 10 years now, and really reached its peak this past year. Since I have quit I am amazed at how wonderful I feel. I can actually eat things that I couldn't before, without them making me ill! Not to mention that I have saved about $420.00 in just 38 days. I'm hoping to bring a few special people, who smoke, on this lovely "smoke free" voyage of mine. It really is Awesome!

No matter how much I ate, I could not gain weight. It may sound crazy to some of you, but being a size 4 is something I never dreamed could ever happen to me nor is it anything that I ever wanted to happen. It was not one bit appealing! I felt so self conscious and hated looking at myself in the mirror! My stomach had been a mess for the last 10 years and I blamed it on everything else but smoking.

I cant tell you how many Doctors I've seen and the endless test that have been done on me! I have been smoke-free for 38 days now and I love what I see! I have gained 8 lbs! Please don't think of this as a set-back or a reason not to quit! This is something that I wanted to happen. Of course, now, I will have to watch what I eat from this point on, but at least I can eat now and not have to run for the bathroom after!

A week before I quit, I went to a Gastro. Doctor and after explaining my medical history to her, she scheduled me to have a series of test done, to check for colitis, Crones, or whatever. After 2 weeks of not smoking, I felt confident enough to cancel these test! My stomach has not bothered me since the last day I had a cigarette! I still do not know for sure if I really do have colitis or not, but feeling this good by not smoking is good enough for me! My thoughts are with any one of you that are trying to quit! Stick with it, because the results are more rewarding than anything you have ever been given before!!

from Sue...

Lets see.... I can honestly say that quitting smoking was a decision that was made over some time, not like I woke up one day and decided this is it. I talked about quitting constantly and was actually getting tired of hearing myself say I have to quit! I'm 35 years old both my parents had heart disease from smoking, dad died from artherialsclorosis, and mom died of cancer. I was having intermittent wheezing symptoms, only once in a while while taking a deep breath id here a whistling sound in my chest, now this would come and go and id say "I really need to stop smoking" but never did. thinking it will go away if I ignored it. well it became an every day occurrence eventually, to the point where I was getting chest pains too which scared the hell out of me, and of course thinking I probably have emphysema.

My husband doesn't smoke and never did and needless to say he hates it. My 3 boys complain every day and beg me to quit, my middle son came home one day from school and said that his friends all knew that I smoked because they could smell it on him when he walked into school in the morning. I guess you could say that was the last straw for me. Its only been 5 days for me so far, and 5 of the hardest days in my life I must say, but I think I've had enough now, I want to see my grandkids get married. Why give those nicotine companies any more of your money...for what? they're only getting more expensive and nothing they give you in return is good for you! when they come out with a smokeless cigarette that isn't harmful, ill be the first in line, till then......who needs them!

from Bonnie...

Morning Cough and cough and cough!!

from Dee...

Two weeks ago, I watched one of my closest friends die from Small Cell Primary Lung Cancer. To make a long story short, On November 30th, we were partying in Nashville and my friend appeared to be happy and healthy other than some arthritis. But she had a touch of bronchitis and went to the doctor. They did a chest x-ray, found a spot, called her back in for a CT scan and the results were unbelievable. She had a very rapid growing cancer that is directly caused by cigarettes. It is nicknamed "oat cell" because it can just crop up anywhere in the body. Anyway, my friend was diagnosed with the cancer and they found it in her lungs, liver, pelvis, spine, and brain. The doctor told her she probably hadn't had it more than six weeks, that's how fast it grows. We lost her on January 11th. In six short weeks, she went from a lovely middle aged lady to someone who looked like they had just come out of a nazi concentration camp. I cry as I write this. It is part of my grief. I feel like she slipped through my fingers like running water and there was no way to turn the water off. As for me, I am an asthmatic who has smoked for 33 years. I have not had a cigarette in 12 days.

During all of this with my friend, I got bronchitis and went into what my doctor called an asthma "siege". My doctor tried all of my usual meds that he uses during the five times per year that I get bronchitis but none of them worked....so he put me on breathing treatments at home every four hours. The treatments have albuteral, lidocaine, cortisone, and something else in them. They have helped me so much. I feel like my lungs are being cleansed. The cravings are not real bad because I'm taking Zyban. It really helps. So you ask for the last straw....my friends death and my own health were the last straw. I have been told that if you have smoked over 30 years that you cannot diminish your chances of getting lung cancer by quitting. That may be true but I want to feel good while I'm here. And emotionally, I need to do it for my friend as a sign of solidarity. Best to you all.

from Laura...

I wanted to share my story with others as this site helped me so much when I quit ONE YEAR AGO, I am hoping I may be able to help someone else like I was helped in the first few days, weeks and months. I quit smoking on 23rd January 1998. It was a New Year Resolution to quit but I never actually bucked up the courage and readied myself mentally until the 23rd. I smoked for 11 years (and I am only 24). I never thought I would get addicted - just one more wouldn't hurt.

When I think of all the money I have spent and all the damage I have done to my body I wonder how I could have been so stupid. I finally realized smoking ruled my life, I could not enjoy going to the movies, traveling or working as my body was permanently demanding a smoke, I smelled terrible (I did not realize it then), I did not socialize with my workmates as they did not smoke so were the enemy, and I had pretty low self esteem as I could not quit this habit (I tried a few times). The last straw for me was asthma, allergies and a sore wheezy chest, I began feeling the effects smoking was having on my body. I already new I no longer exercised as I got to wheezy. I went out and bought a packet of Nicorette (does not put nicotine into your body, just provides things to help relax you and take some of the stress away), this really helped. I was still miserable I cried, I fidgeted, I got headaches and got really grumpy to people and I felt awful, but I began exercising and keeping myself busy and each day got a little easier.

I have now quit for a year and will never look back. I truly believe if I have done it anyone else can (you definitely have to really want it though). You will be so proud, clean, rich and respected, and you may even inspire other smokers. My soon to be husband still smokes (even though his father died of smoking related cancer six years ago, and suffered terribly) which in reality is pretty hard to understand, but this is the smokers logic. Your whole mindset changes when you quit and you really see how the NICOTINE DEVIL takes away all common sense and reasoning. Just be kind to yourself, get as much support as you can, visit this site often, and bear with it, you will go through some hard times, but it is DEFINITELY worth it in the end. Just remember you can do something about it now. You don't want to be lying on your deathbed dying slowly and painfully wishing that you had just quit all those years ago. I think it must be easier to quit than die of emphysema! Anyway I have rambled on and on, I just feel really strongly on this subject!!! Goodluck and best wishes.


(One year - 369 days quit - NZ$3,168 saved, almost 10,000 cigs not smoked

(and I couldn't be happier) :-)

from Shelia...

One thing that really made me crazy and I said, "That's it! I am done with this disgusting and deadly habit." I dropped the fire on the floor of our brand new car putting several holes in it. I was so mad, I said that's it. But it took me a few weeks later before I truly quit.

from Jean...

I never thought I would be putting this into words. But after reading all of the inspirational responses to this topic, it gave me the courage to put my "Last Straw " in writing. About a year ago a wonderful woman I worked with (58 yrs old ) found out she had lung cancer. I felt so bad for her and her family and it got me to thinking I really should quit. Well that lasted about 3 weeks and then I got the stupid idea that I could be a "social smoker". HA! We all know how that story goes.

Well of course before long I was back to my same old smoking routine. Well that same lady I talked about earlier went through the hell of chemo and radiation and did come back to work with a glowing report that her cancer was in remission and all was going well. Her desk is about 6 feet away from mine and the week before Christmas she started acting really goofy and all of a sudden she had a grand mal seizure. I had to sit with her (scared sh...less) until the ambulance came.

Now they say she has brain cancer and the prognosis is not good. I had been thinking about quitting again for quite a while but that really did it. I set my quit date for Jan 1st, got some patches and I did it. I'm on day 19 and know I can never take another puff. I just found this site and must say I might have to stick around for awhile. Thanks for sharing all of your stories to help keep me motivated.

from Molly...

I am 22 years old and I am only on day 2 of nonsmoking. I started when I was  16. I smoked for 6 years and it never seemed that long to me. Confession  #1: I have been dancing ballet for 17 years now, and I thought people were  crazy when they said,"I didn't think dancers smoked!" Please. You'd be  surprised at the number that DO.

People always asked,"Doesn't smoking affect  your performance?" I always denied it until I gagged as soon as the curtain  went down after one show. My throat felt like it was so constricted that the  sides of it were sticking together. It was the grossest feeling, yet when I  started coughing I still blamed the "dry air" or "dusty air", or "I've just  got something stuck in my throat".  Like I didn't know that it was bad for me. I did a project for the   science fair when I was in the 8th grade, on smoking. It was a very good   project if I may say so myself! I took 2 one-liter soda bottles and took the   labels off, stuffed them about 3/4 full with white cotton balls, ran a   plastic tube into each bottle and connected those into one tube going   straight up, and a short tube at a 90 degree angle from that tube. This   configuration represented the respiratory system. I had a manual pump that was connected to the "mouthpiece" tube, in which a cigarette was lit, as I pumped, the mannequin "smoked" the cigarette. The mannequin smoked about ONLY a pack and a half that day and the once-white cotton balls were (no lie) the tannish-color of a caramel and the most disgusting thing was the tar, DRIPPING onto the cotton balls! It looked like molasses...and this was only after 1 and a half packs!

I've smoked that every day and sometimes much more if I was out at a bar (and since I'm 22 and in college that was pretty often).If that didn't scare me, you would think that this would. I have been dating my boyfriend for 4 years now. He is 24. His father passed away almost 2 and a half years ago, in his early 60s. He had lung cancer, emphysema, you name it. The sad thing is that he had one-third of his lung removed about 16 years ago. The doctors gave him 6 months to live. He smoked Marlboro reds from when he was probably about 15 up until that point, when he switched to "Lights", as if that would make such a huge difference. During the last few months that he was alive he gradually wasted away to practically nothing, literally. Apparently he wasn't getting enough oxygen to his brain, so he started acting crazy. It had nothing to do w/ Alzheimer's or anything like that. He also became violent, luckily he had no strength and had gotten down below 100 pounds, because my boyfriend had to protect his mother and himself. It was such a crazy situation. All of this because of some stupid burning paper with chopped-up leaves inside. You would think that would be enough to make me quit. But no, what happened? I went to pick my boyfriend up from his house that next morning. He got in the car and finally after several minutes he says that his father died a few hours earlier. Listen to how stupid this sounds: We both start crying and I take out my pack of cigarettes, light one for myself and one for him. This was our comfort? Our consolation? What the hell were we thinking? I was all uptight before the memorial service so I chain-smoked. After it was over, I finished the pack.

So finally, there really was no "straw", just that I finally embarrassed myself enough by barely being able to dance without coughing up a lung afterwards, not to mention being winded after running up a short flight of stairs. So I spent the ENTIRE first day of nonsmoking washing my entire wardrobe, hanging coats on the clothesline, AND using an ENTIRE roll of paper towels and about half a bottle of Windex on the inside of my car windows (after having them open ALL day long).Hopefully I'll start remembering that I don't need to roll the window down a little as SOON as a get in my car every time, or that I really CAN do other things when I'm stressed, like grab a blow-pop instead when the person in front of me is going 5 miles below the speed limit IN the left lane when I'm still 10 miles from work and have exactly one minute and 34 seconds to get there.

I can't wait to start feeling better!!!!!!!!!!


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