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The Straw That Broke The Camels Back Continued

Quit Smoking With Our Highly Recommended Non-Smokers Edge Program

from anonymous...

I am 42 and have been switching between cigarettes and smokeless (chewing) tobacco from the age of 18. In the recent years the anti-tobacco messages had started staring me in face wherever I went and whatever I did. In India there are posters , slogans, advertisements in newspapers, magazines , TV programs etc which describe the evils of tobacco use in great details..

Everytime I received such a message I felt guilty. At the same time I started rationalizing that people have been smoking for few centuries , why make so much fuss about it ? It's the modern life and stress that kills people and not smoking. I am a teetotaler , vegetarian and I walk 5-6 kms a day. Knowing fully well that all these things are being done by me as a compensation for my smoking. My wife , my mother had been after me to stop smoking, but I got irritated and angry with them. I could not imagine how I would survive those few moments when a tobacco hit was almost mandatory ! First cigarette after waking up in the morning , cigarette after breakfast , lunch and dinner ! What a joy, what bliss !!!

I had quit using tobacco four times in the past , everytime I felt that now I am free , there is no harm if I start using it occasionally. And then the nightmare started again. These experiences convinced my that a person who has tasted tobacco and liked it can never be totally free, he will have to be on guard for the life.

I did everything to ensure that I remained healthy, except giving up tobacco , as I felt that, it was my only vice. Also my health is otherwise excellent. I have not lost even a single working day due to any kind of illness in last 10 years.

However, last week, father of my daughter's friend died. He was of my age. He was obese and a heavy smoker. He died of heart attack on the spot without even a chance for treatment in the hospital. He just toppled and was no more. My daughter told me this. She didn't say anything else, she just looked at me. The fear and insecurity in her eyes were glaring at me. My wife who was sitting nearby did not even look at me, but I could sense her anxiety and fear like a red beacon with a siren. All my favorite rationalizations such as he was fat anyway , I am slim etc died on my lips.

Next day I just stopped smoking. This is my fourth day. It has been absolute hell. But I am sticking to it. Like the boy who asked God , "why haven't you put vitamins in Ice creams and burgers instead of spinach" , I have asked him often in past four days "why have you made nicotine which is so enjoyable, so harmful ?". That is the kind of hold nicotine had on me. This time I believe that I am not going to repeat my past mistakes. I am convinced , now that I have quit , it will be safe to take that occasional puff or that cigarette only after I die

from Deb Ann...

I can't really pin point just one thing. I started smoking when I was 14 and Jan 26th of this year I will be 35 years old. This is my 7th quit in the last 6 years,but for some reason I know this is my last quit. I just have a new feeling of confidence( after looking at sites that show you exactly what it is like to live with lung problems, not something I want to do) and a stronger faith in God.

In starting to answer this question many things come to mind: like smoking through my pregnancies even though I was very ill, promising my kids when they were little and asked me to quit cause it would kill me,that I would and then forgetting the promise, watching my 15 year old daughter start smoking, watching her smoke during her pregnancy even though she was sick,getting pneumonia or pleurisy ever year for the last 5 years, not being able to exercise anymore, not being able to breath anymore etc.

When I look at my 6 month old Grandbaby all I can think is how much he and his mom and his uncle and his grandfather need me. I know that I will not see him grow up if I don't quit now and then who would be his babysitter? Who would help my daughter when she called and needed her mom if her mom was dead? Who would hold my hubby when he needs comfort if I am gone? Who will tell my son why women are so..... if his mom is absent. Thoughts like these are constantly running through my head and I guess that is what you could call my last straw.

What I have realized in all the attempts to quit is that we do have a higher power and if ever we need to lean on him it is when we are trying to quit smoking,

from William...

I am so happy that this web site is here.  I have read the "LAST STRAWS" and feel that  I must add mine. I have been a smoker for many years. I started when I was 14, 15,16. I cannot  remember.  I have been on the patches for 8 weeks now. This is my seventh attempt to quit. I have recently received news from my allergist that nicotine and cigarette smoke is a high allergen for me. THAT WAS MY STRAW THAT BROKE THE CAMELS BACK. I am so intent to quit that I have a hard time being around close, close friends that still smoke .  I cannot stand to smell the smoke anymore. I bowl and the bowling alley has a so-called policy for smoking at certain areas. I have talked to a close friend who works at the local Health Department about the new laws. He said that there is so much legal stuff involved that it may take awhile longer to get total non-smoking into affect. I await the day.   I feel that your web-site is giving me a GREAT DEAL OF SUPPORT.

Thank you again and keep those news letters coming

from Jeri...

I should start from the top. My husband was away for one year (without us)and we decided when he got back we would quit smoking. Well, that didn't happen and all of a sudden another year had passed and we were still smoking. We had tried to quit about 3 times between. We had a scare that my husband was going to have to go away again for 6 months and I had a biopsy done to see if I had cancer. Things just weren't going our way and I was smoking more than ever. On Jan 31, 2001 I was standing outside at work smoking. I started thinking. Here I am, afraid of loosing my husband for 6 months, afraid of having cancer and not being able to see my daughter and son grow up, but yet I'm killing myself every hour by coming out here and smoking. This just doesn't make sense! I walked upstairs to my office and wrote this on a piece of paper. I can do this! I need to do this! My daughter wants me to live, my son wants me to live and my husband wants me to live. I don't want to get cancer, and I am already at high risk. I stink like smoke, my teeth are yellow, my kids tell me my breath stinks. I run out of breath when I walk up 6 stairs! I get sick more often. I stay sick longer. Less time is spent with my family due to me smoking since I don't smoke in my house I go outside to smoke. In a 12 hour day I smoke every hour. Each trip out smoking is 10 minutes. TWO HOURS of every day is spent with a cig in my  mouth and away from my kids. I'm ready to kick butt! I have this posted in my office, copied and posted on my mirror to look at each morning and posted on my fridge. I'm ready!

from Sgill...

I was tired of waking up and not being able to take a deep breath of air without my lungs hurting. I smoked about a 1/2 pack a day, mostly at work. My wife did not allow it in the house so I smoked in the garage. I think the biggest thing about smoking is the adverse effects are gradual, when I was 20yrs old my lungs did not hurt and I was able to run 2miles or more. Now at 32 its a different story. I quit drinking 3yrs ago. I focused on negative things I did when drinking and have been able to stay sober. I am using the same principle to quit smoking. Choosing one big negative thing (lungs hurting) and focusing on that when I have an urge to light up.

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 Robin...

The price. That's what did it for me. I knew I wanted to quit. Had to really. I was only 25 but had been smoking for 13 years. So, I told myself that, beyond the health reasons, it was just too damned expensive. I looked over my bank statements and realized that it was more than $3.75 a pack. It was $20 plus whatever ATM fees I had to pay. Why $20? Well, that's what I usually had to withdraw from the ATM in order to by the $3.75 pack of cigarettes. Almost Daily. Because, of course, I would never save any of that $20. Nope, that was lunch or dinner or both. A snack maybe.  $100 a week on cigarettes. $5200 a year. Too expensive. I could go to school with that money. I could buy a new car with that as a down-payment. I could do a lot of things. It took 5 days before I saw the financial benefits and I haven't looked back since. It's been almost 2 years. I've bought that new car. I'm in school. I look better. My taste buds are happy. My clothes smell better. My house smells better. I get a better rate on car insurance. And, of course, I have that $5200.

from Moxy...

I am 27 years old and have been smoking a pack or more a day since I was 17. I am getting married in five months. A couple of weeks ago, I went to the doctor and my "pap" came back abnormal (ladies, you know what I'm talking about.) Before any further tests were even done I got on the net to do some research and seriously realized that I may have cervical cancer. So what does that have to do with smoking? Well, I'll admit that it surprised even me to learn that smokers are at a higher risk for cervical cancer then nonsmokers. And then I really got to thinking about it....what the hell was I doing?? I was at a higher risk for literally EVERYTHING because of smoking. Did I really enjoy it that much? Was it worth my life? I quit three days ago - after having this little realization. I began working out every night (something else I didn't do because of smoking) and already I'm feeling better. Still don't know for sure about the cervical cancer, but there's one thing I do know for sure - I am done - finished - finito - with that disgusting life-robbing habit.

 

from Thomas...

I've no idea if you still take these submissions anymore, but if you do, here's mine. I had bronchitis for three months in the spring and summer of 2000. I could not walk more than 20 paces without feeling like I was about to drown. I'd awake at night after 20 minutes of sleep wheezing and grasping for air. I would get no more than an hour's sleep a night, because breathing became so difficult, I had to be awake to do it. After a month of bronchitis, I stopped smoking. I suffered for two more months, but every day, I could feel myself healing. I got better, and started right back in - a pack, pack and a half a day. This summer, I can feel where the bronchitis was, and that can only mean one thing, I think - emphysema, bronchitis' meaner older brother. So I'm quitting, because I'm scared. Scared in a way that feeling as though I was drowning didn't communicate the first time, but all that phlegm this morning, and the memory of last summer, have finally proven enough.

from Jenna...

 My last straw came to me, today will be 5 days, ago. I went to the doctor for basically a check up and he asked if anything had been bothering me. I have had trouble breathing, getting that deep breath that feels so good, for about 2 years off and on. This past month it had been really bad, I didn't feel like I was getting enough air, I would kinda lean over to breath deep, etc... So, he tested me for asthma, and low and behold I have it. I am 21 and smoked for 7 years, quitting for maybe one week in that time. I smoked a pack or more per day, and loved it! Also, May 7th my grandpa died. He had lymphoma and multiple melanoma(sp). He smoked alot... Staying with him the last 3 nights of his life listening to his breathing, which was gasping and raspy and rattle-like in his lungs, made me pray that I never got cancer. I decided I wanted to be healthy and quit smelling like an ashtray and also save some money... Also, having an inhaler is scary - it helps me, but I don't want to depend on it, and my doctor said I could definitely get better, if I quit smoking, and I decided to listen. It has been 5 days without even one drag off of one, and it is hard but easier than what I had thought. I have not gone out with my friends to the bars or just hung out with them for fear I may not be strong enough to resist yet, but man it feels great to breathe and not have a cigarette attached to my hand - it's very powerful feeling knowing that I don't have to buy them or smoke them any longer, and that I have a choice to be healthy, just like it was my choice to start! Good luck to anyone who is going to try, really give it an effort - don't let it control you any longer than it has. And anyone who reads this, I need support - I thought it was easier to not talk about it, but I feel great when people support me, or congratulate me, it helps lift the weight - and I'm not one to ask for help, but this time I ask everyone especially God, cuz I know I can't do it alone!

Thanks, Jenna

from Debbie...

I'm 27 and have been a smoker since I was 12. I am the person that everyone says, "oh my god I can't believe you smoke, you look so healthy." I'd just smile and continue to whiten my teeth and put on my wrinkle cream around my lips and eyes every night. But, slowly over time I realized that my complexion was getting worse as I got older not better, I was short of breath sometimes, and I tuckered out when all my non-smoking friends could keep going. My dad, my sister, and my best friend quit, I was one of the last holdouts. When I was 25 my husband left me, smoking was part of it. While I've always been the kind of girl who could get any guy she wanted, all of the sudden I realized when thrown back into the dating scene, my choices were now limited because some guys just would not date a smoker. I couldn't believe it, it had never been that way before! There wasn't any real straw that broke the camels back though, all these things built up over time. I have no children and no husband. I have no one to be responsible for or owe my life to. I did this for me, I think that's a greater reward than any. I'm on day 3 and can't believe that I had the will power to do this. I know I still have a long row to hoe, but if I can manage two weeks without, I think I'll have it licked.

 

from Phil

I’VE SMOKED A HALF PACK OR LESS FOR THE LAST 30 YEARS.  I’VE PRETTY MUCH BEEN A CLOSET SMOKER,  SMOKING BEFORE  AND AFTER WORK, HIDING MY SECRET FROM MY FRIENDS AND CO-WORKERS.  I ALWAYS RATIONALIZED THAT BEING A LIGHT SMOKER WAS NOT AS BAD AS SOMEONE WHO SMOKED 2-3 PACKS A DAY.  I GOT TO WHERE I PLANNED ALL MY ACTIVITIES OF THE DAY AROUND THOSE 10 CIGARETTES.  IT SEEMED LIKE ALMOST EVERYTHING I DID AND EVERY PLACE I WENT WERE ARRANGED SO I COULD SNEAK IN A COUPLE OF CIGARETTES.  AT 52 I AM TIRED OF THE HASSEL.  I KNEW THAT SOONER OR LATER I WOULD QUIT BUT I ALWAYS FIGURED I HAD MORE TIME.  WHEN MY FATHER DIED RECENTLY I DECIDED I COULD NOT STAND LIVING THIS HYPOCRITICAL LIFE ANY MORE.  TODAY MAKES 5 DAYS WITHOUT A CIGARETTE.  THIS IS MY FOURTH QUIT.  MY FIRST LASTED 2 YEARS AND 8 MONTHS.  I CAN’T BELIEVE I STARTED AGAIN.  THAT WAS 20 YEARS AGO.  MY NEXT TWO LASTED 1 YEAR, AND THEN 1 MONTH.  I FEEL MY SUCCESS WILL CENTER AROUND REPLACING SMOKING WITH SOMETHING.  SOMETHING LIKE READING, A HOBBY, GOLF, WORKING AROUND THE HOUSE/YARD, CENTERING MY LIFE AROUND SOMETHING BESIDES GETTING A CHANCE TO HAVE ANOTHER SMOKE. 

IN THE MID-SIXTIES WE WERE ALL AWARE THAT SMOKING WAS BAD( HEART DISEASE, CANCER, EMPHYSEMA, ETC.) BUT I DON’T REMEMBER ANYONE TALKING ABOUT ITS ADDICTIVENESS.  ALL SMOKERS WOULD LIKE TO QUIT, BUT ITS SO TOUGH.   

IT’S ABOUT 10:30 PM AND I’M GOING TO PICK MY DAUGHTER UP AT CHURCH.  THIS USED TO BE A PERFECT OPPORTUNITY TO SMOKE.   LIKE THEY SAY “GET A LIFE.”

 

from Bryan

I am a 52 year old man and have always been in good health for a smoker.  The last straw for me was when I noticed that I really didn't feel healthy anymore and I was constantly coughing but the very last straw was when one of my young grandsons asked me, "Grandpa, why do you smoke?"  With all of the ads about how unhealthy and bad smoking is, there was just no reasonable answer that I could give my grandson.  So, I quietly thought to myself, 'Geez, what kind of a message am I sending my grand kids?'   I realized that I am too old to continue negligently abusing my body and putting on a charade that smoking is not hurting my body and there is nothing wrong with it  So I just told my grandson that I know it is unhealthy and not a good thing to do so that I am going to quit. 

I have now been 7 weeks, smoke free.  Even though I have smoked a pack to a pack and a half for approximately 30 years, my coughing stopped just 2 days after my last cigarette and I haven't coughed since.  That is amazing to me because I always coughed every morning when I woke up, every night before I went to bed and quite often throughout the day.  Also, it seems that I have a bit more energy and motivation, not to mention a bit better sense of taste to some foods.  I hope I can continue this quest.  I have been using the patch and am presently on step 2.  I can tell you that the patch will definitely help diminish if not completely do away with your physical urge to smoke.   It really seems to be working for me.  However, for me, these last 2 weeks of not smoking  have been harder to resist a cigarette than any other previous week.   After asking a friend why that would be the case, he suggested that  it was probably a bit easier for me to resist during
I hope that these comments might encourage other quitting smokers who are struggling to hang in there and not give into an urge.  I will submit an update in another month.   So hang in there all my fellow quitting smokers and God bless you!

 

from Chuck

Hello, my name is Chuck and I'm 55 years old. I started smoking when I was 12 and was a daily smoker from that time forward. During the last 15 years of my smoking I averaged over 2 packs a day. I quit smoking 4 months ago after numerous half hearted attempts over the past 15 years. This is the longest I've went with out a cigarette that I can remember. I am not entirely nicotine free, I'm still wearing a patch but am planning on weaning myself off of those within the next 6 months. I know, I know, we are not supposed to use them that long but they've been very effective for me so I'm not about to rush it.

What made me quit? You know, I really don't know. Why was I successful this time and not the numerous times before? Again I don't know. I have been hypnotized, scrutinized and homogenized; all with out success. Four months ago I stepped out of my smoke filled office, started my smoke filled car and thought, "This is nuts". I stopped by the local grocery store and instead of buying a carton of Marlboros bought a box of patches and a box of nicotine gum. The rest is history.

I'm also a recovering alcoholic. I quit drinking September 2nd, 1985. Believe me quitting drinking was a cake walk in comparison to stopping smoking. I used my AA program and substituted "nicotine" for "alcohol". That worked for me but I don't know if it would work for anyone else.

Since I've quit smoking I haven't found that I'm any smarter or any better looking (believe me I could use help in both departments) but I have found that I breathe easier. My clothes smell better and I'm not ashamed to have someone step into my office or ride in my car. Also I've found that my relationship with my wife is better. Let me explain.

I noticed that my wife of 35 years became more affectionate and wanted to spend more time with me a couple of months after I had quit. I finally got up the nerve to ask her why the change in attitude. (I didn't want to jinx a good thing!) She told me that while I was smoking she was sure that I was going to die an early death and was upset with me because I didn't value our relationship more. "After all", she said, "I love you and want to spend many years with you. I couldn't understand why you didn't love me the same way". Man, talk about bringing tears to my eyes, that did it.

I would be foolish to believe that all of those years of smoking has not harmed me in some way, although at this time I appear to be healthy. I know that I've probably taken several years off of my life by smoking. So, you ask, why quit? Well, for several reasons. (1) I'm saving close to $3,000 per year on cigarettes alone by not smoking. (2) I'm not setting a bad example for my grand kids (although Idid to my children) and (3) I'm no longer a slave to the tobacco companies. For me those are reasons enough.

If you are trying to quit smoking I will guarantee you two things. One, It will be the hardest thing you've ever done. Two, you will never regret giving it up. Good Luck.

 

from Debbie

I just wanted to add my two cents worth. I started smoking when I was 34 (when my marriage of 16 years was ending) and I am 39 now. One would think that since I've only been smoking 5 years quitting would be easy. I have tried four times, but this time I feel like I will be successful. I still consider myself relatively young, but since I started smoking I have noticed alot more wrinkles around my eyes. At age 34, I looked 24 - now at 39, I look 39. It is very depressing!! Also, I have had chronic health problems since I started smoking. I have had bronchitis once or twice every year, which lead to asthma. I never had asthma in my life until I started smoking. I also have gastritis (the kind that bleeds), recurrent kidney infections, and severe tooth decay. I had none of this before I started smoking. I believe smoking affects all areas of  your body, not just your lungs. I'm only on day 5, but I feel strong and confident that I will be able to quit for good this time. Why should I spend $10 a day on something that is digging my grave???? Plus it STINKS!! I wish all of you the best in your efforts to quit smoking. If you need someone to commiserate with, I'm here!!

 

from Jim

This is hopefully my last straw or else it will be my last straw as I was just diagnosed with a lymphomatic cancer. Was hospitalized, went through the first 5 day chemo session. Was released (for about 2 weeks), until my next round of chemo in about a week. Part of the treatment requires I go back to the hospital for blood tests 3X per week. I just had a "This is what I look like to other people" vision, and the vision (which was true and the behavior actually happened yesterday) was of me standing outside the hospital hanging onto my IV tube, no jacket in 40 degree weather, smoking and coughing. This will be tough, but I HAVE to quit. I'm up to 4 packs a day, and today I'm starting to quit. Looking at this site for all sorts of ideas on how to cope with the craving. Figure I can't go cold turkey, so I'll gradually cut so that when I go for my next chemo 5 day continuous treatment in the hospital, I will effectively be quitting.

Thanks for listening to this rant, and for visualizing the most ridiculous example of this most habit forming behavior pattern.

 

from Erin

What was the last straw? I realized one day when I met a guy but wasn't attracted to him because he smoked. It bothered me that he wasted his money, smelled gross, wasn't healthy etc. I felt I had these standards and expectations of men but it occurred to me that I had lowered expectations of myself. What I desired in others I didn't have the self respect to give to myself.

And you know what, some days are bad and you want a cigarette, but by far they are not as good as the days where you feel that sense of accomplishment and self pride.

 

from Michael

I am noticing that a lot of people are quitting due to another's death, etc, but no one ever goes further in depth. The straw that broke my camel's back was the fact that one day I realized how important my life really is. I was sitting with a group of friends after spending another rawkus Friday evening boozing and smoking up a storm. At the time, I had no real money, so I was kind of floating for the evening. I was bumming smokes from a friend, when a girl that I had met previously in the evening came up, snatched the smoke out of my mouth and broke it! I let it slide, but scolded her as to what a waste it was to do that..blah blah blah. The evening proceeds.... An hour later, the same thing happens!! At this point, I'm getting annoyed, but then realize. What is the point fighting her. If I smoke the cigarette, am I not being just as wasteful as her? No, I am being more wasteful. Not only am I smoking a cig which costs in excess of $.25 per, I am slowly chipping my own personal existence at the same time!! This girl just saved what, 12 minutes of my life?? She doesn't even know me, yet she has more respect for my life than I do??? Needless to say, after that night I locked myself in my apartment for the remainder of the weekend and had a serious discussion with my heart about the importance of my own life. It is so easy to take for granted. I always scoffed when someone would tell me that they quit, simply because they told themselves "I will never smoke again". But now that I am in the process myself, I find that is all I really need to handle the urges. A love for my own life and a slogan to remind me what I am doing. I truly will never smoke another nicotine cigarette for the rest of my life. And You know what? I'm not going to miss it at all. Love yourself first before you decide to quit. Until you truly respect your own life, every attempt will fail.

RAS

Four days, 14 hours, 59 minutes and 23 seconds. 69 cigarettes not smoked, saving $17.34. Life saved: 5 hours, 45 minutes.


from Shuia

Hi, I've read everyone else's 'last straws' and I'm rather ashamed at mine. I also experienced the pain in my chest, it was so bad that I couldn't move. Everyone who came to see me in my bed (lying in one position, because moving hurt too much), would say: "It's the smoking! It's the smoking!" But as soon as I could move again, I smoked a cigarette! So, that wasn't my last straw! Today, I looked in the mirror and saw that my normally pink and healthy looking lips were stained! I vowed to quit there and then. And I have, it's been a week now, and even if I try to smoke, the thoughts in my head are "Your lips, your lips!"

So, my last straw was my vanity. Disgusting but true. I won't be smoking again.

 

from TheHCat

My "Last Straw" story is less moving than those from folks motivated by their love for their spouse or children, or their grief at losing a loved one to smoking, or a crisis in their own health. Of course, as a smoker for 29 years, I am fully aware of the health issues involved. But I have been lucky, so far, and except for an occasional coughing fit I have not suffered physically from smoking. The anxiety from knowing damn well that damage is being done to my heart and lungs, even if I can't feel it, has not quite been enough to successfully motivate me to leave the cigarettes behind. However, it has been enough to keep quitting on my "wish list" for a long time now, and even that is useful.

My decision to quit came last month, when I was looking at a piece of land in Vermont. I love camping and being in the country, and this was a beautiful piece of land, with lovely views and a nice brook. I could afford the downpayment, but the monthly payment of slightly over $300 seemed out of reach. I am on a tight budget, and I don't have $300 a month in spare change. On my way home from Vermont, I stopped and bought my usual brand of cigarettes. All smokers have noticed the price of cigarettes going through the roof, especially over the last few years. My brand is at $5.25 - $5.40 a pack, depending on where I buy them. I smoke two packs a day. Now for some reason, even though I grumbled at the rising prices, I never analyzed the money side of the equation. For the first time, at that gas station outside of Bellows Falls, I did some calculating. I was startled to discover that quitting the cigarettes would pay, in full, for the piece of land. At that moment, I said "I am quitting", and I meant it. It is hard at times, but everything worthwhile is hard at times. Whatever it takes to motivate you, health, money, the love of a nonsmoker, latch on to that and don't let go. I quit, and so can you.

 

from Wennerstrom

My last straw was when my co-worker, who quit smoking over 15 years ago, was diagnosed with emphysema and also had a cancerous tumor on her lung. She has lost her all of her hair and lost so much weight from the chemotherapy and radiation treatments. After having surgery to remove the tumor the Doctors are not sure if they removed all of the cancer. I realized then just how harmful smoking was and have not smoked since that day. As of today I have been smoke free for 169 days and have never felt better. To stop smoking was the best decision I have made in my life. Smoking is deadly & even after 15 years it is still harming our bodies.

 

from Dondi

Just two months before my 22nd birthday I found myself in the emergency room with a pneumothorax (collapsed lung). After almost ten years of smoking, I wanted a cigarette more than anything else that day - collapsed lung or not

- because I was frightened, scared, and addicted. When the doctor checked me in he asked if I had any health complications so I told him I was a smoker. His reply was, "not anymore."

They had to insert a chest tube and perform surgery to tack my lung open so it would not collapse again (it was a recurring problem no doctor had diagnosed before). After a week in the hospital, smoke free, I decided it was time to quit. Starting again would only hinder my recovery and I had been trying to quit for years. After almost three months (in 6 days!) I'm proud to say that the doctor was right, I'm not a smoker anymore.

 

from Todd

The last straw for me came when I was clubhopping in New York City with some friends this summer and as was want to happen I'd run out of smokes. I'd seriously begun psyching myself up mentally and emotionally to break free from the bondage of the addiction for the better part of a month anyway. Too many morning afters of violent, oxygen deprived hacking and loathing myself for my weakness at becoming a corporate tool. Fit only to be slowly poisoned by what I'd generally come to think of as an 'evil' product. So when I went to get some more of the hateful little things in mid town Manhattan and found that they were obscenely priced at $7.00 a pack the then and there decision was made for me. Going on four months now of being blessedly smoke free, and the thing that amazes me the most about it is that I didn't think enough of myself to do it sooner.

 

from Marie

When two people I work with, that have NEVER smoked, got cancer. Recovered, and got it again.

I thought to myself, THEY never smoked. WHY am I putting MY life at risk? YES, I enjoy it, but do I want to take the chance? Do I want to see my children grow and get married?

THAT DID IT FOR ME!

 

from Suzanne

I started smoking again after 3 YEARS of quitting.  I can't say why I started back up.  I really don't know, but I decided that I would not smoke around my 4 year old son.  I was putting him to bed one night and he grabbed his nose and said, "Mom, you smell different."  That really got me.  He holds his nose almost everynight for his goodnight kiss because my breath is "stinky".  After only smoking for 2 months, my lungs feel full of liquid and I cough.  I guess I had forgotten about those nasty side effects, or at least deceived myself about their inevitability of recurring.  I will quit again. I have to because I really love those goodnight kisses.

 

from Brooke

I am 22 years old and have been smoking for 6 years. I noticed that I was having harsh chest pains and I couldn't walk around the block without getting winded. I used to sing and dance when I was a kid. For my 21st birthday my parents played a video of me when I was a kid. I had a wonderful voice, I had great blonde hair and beautiful skin. Now I have straw like hair, leathery like skin and when I sing . . . let's just say the dogs howl. But believe it or not that was still not the final thing that urged me to quit. My uncle died at 52 years old from lung cancer, that didn't do it, my best friend's father cannot go to his own daughter's wedding because his oxygen tanks can't come along, that still wasn't it, even when I thought that I may be pregnant, that still wasn't enough. Let's face it . . . I was severely hooked.

I am now in the process of trying to quit. After several unsuccessful attempts, I have decided that for me cutting back first is the best bet. I have gone from a pack and a half per day to only 4 cigarettes per day and still cutting back.

My last straw finally hit only a few weeks ago. I woke up and when I had the typical smokers morning cough, my 5 year old niece came downstairs with orange juice for me because she thought I was very sick. Trying to explain that I was fine would not cut it for a 5 year old and when I told her why I was coughing she looked me in the eye and said, "Auntie Brooke, if you don't have to smoke, but you do smoke, then you get sick . . . isn't that kinda dumb?" That was all it took. A five year old had more sense than me. My message to all of you is when you try to quit keep it simple. You don't HAVE to smoke . . . but you CHOOSE to smoke . . . then you get sick . . . she was right it is kinda dumb.

 

from Myrna

My last straw was a recent huge tax increase on cigarettes. I determined (unlike many others) that I would give the government no more of my tax money from cigarettes for them to waste. Whatever works! Today is day three and I'm more determined than ever that I will never smoke another cigarette. This website has been a huge help particularly the stories from others. While the initial straw was the tax, having read the articles here I find I am now doing it for me. Good luck to all of you still trying and congratulations to those who have succeeded.

 

from Bob

I watched my precious wife and Mother of our four daughters die from Lung Cancer. I couldn't bring a cigarette to my lips after Sarah told me she had Cancer. But after three months I started again.

A few months ago my doctor was convinced that I too had Cancer after viewing the chest x-rays he requested. I was sick at heart that I was about to leave our children without a parent. How gruel can God be. I quit smoking of course, until I heard the great news. The tests were false positive. I was to live. I could smoke again.

Last night I dreamed of blood coming from my mouth and terrible ugly diseased lungs. And this morning I wonder..is it God who is gruel, or is it me. For I am the one who allows addiction to hurt the people I love.

I have not smoked for 12 hours. Wish me luck. My children need it.

 

from Joanie

I'm 51 years old and had been smoking since I was 16..the straw that broke the camel's back was when I woke up on wed.morning and just walk to the kitchen and was out of breath.I was like that all day just a few steps.I didn't smoke any but I did do a lot of thinking while trying to breath and decide that I would stop smoking and take control of my body..I am finishing my 3rd day and it is very hard but I know I will make it. This web site is great just reading other people's stories is a big help..Thanks!

 

 

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