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Even More of Why & How Others
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Last Updated on April 2016

 

from Linda:

I have been a smoker for at least 42 years !!!!!!!!!!!  and a hairdresser for 25 or so , needless to say my lungs have had their share of chemicals,,, But thank God I'm not sick , may be a little cough , which has gotten a little worse since I quit , but I have been told that happens as your lungs start cleaning up is this true?

   I quit July 10, 2001  with wellbutrin it really helped me , 3,600, cig I haven't smoked ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,I can' t believe it my self , this week-end I skipped going to a nephews wedding because  I  knew I would be putting my self in a dangerous situation, too tempting to party drink and then just one cig.  So I didn't' go .  But that old nicotine demon caught me off guard , my husband and  I had a fight , guess who smoked ,  didn't taste good ,didn't solve problem, ......but I can't believe how far I feel like it set me back , it's like starting over,,,,,,,,,So don't think a cig is going to solve any prob its just a weak excuse at the moment. The argument is over and made up but guess what I'm fighting now?  A nicotine demon who is pretty strong , when you have had it with you for 40 years , But I'm not going to be defeated ,  I have too much to live for , and an example to set for a lot of people watching me , if  I can quit any one can, if they want to!   My grandson ask me everyday if I have smoked , he is so proud of me and is praying for me , he is 15 years old ,!  I'm so thankful!!!!!!   One thing I do, is where I set , I light a candle smells good plus I'm striking a match, instead of lighting  up  cig . But I can't believe how much one cig set me back........  and like Clinton I really didn't inhale it just puffed, so  this little saying has more meaning for me now , Hand tuff don't Puff ! !  If you want to use this you are welcome to.

 

from Sinead:

Please add my quit story as an inspiration to those who are planning to or in the process of giving up the cancer sticks!

I think it's very unusual to actually remember one of your very first cigarettes. I was 17 and sitting outside on the wall of a nightclub with my new boyfriend -somebody offered us a cigarette and I accepted one foolishly to look cool in front of my new fella. After some months I was a regular smoker inhaling between 10 and 15 cigarettes a day. In the first few years I really enjoyed them but as I got older I started to be more conscious of the effects, I hated my skin being dry, my hair reeked of cigarettes and my clothes were filthy with the smoke-it wasn't enough of an incentive however as even the day I got married I couldn't wait for the photographer to finish up as I was just dying to light up! Soon after I got pregnant and am now the proudest mother in the world of my beautiful daughter was is two years old. I suffered from morning sickness and spent most of my time running to the toilet but was that enough to quite the habit and damaging my baby's health before it was even born? you've guessed it no. -I have a fantastic non smoking husband and healthy child why am I continuing to jeopardize the health and happiness of my family. I also have found in the last few years most of my friends and neighbors are non smokers and have been feeling more and more guilty and self conscious all the time. Anyway a few months ago I went out with a friend after work-I had been smoking as usual all day taking plenty of fag breaks and then we went to a late bar afterwards to see a show. I must have smoked another 20 cigarettes that evening and went home. The next morning I could hardly breathe and had the most acute pain in my back exactly where my lungs are located. I was freaked out and terrified the pain was sharp and every breath was painful-I am only 27 years old and am the proper weight for my height but it felt like I was going to have a heart attack any second. Thankfully after a strong course of antibiotics and plenty of rest I made a full recovery but never smoked a cigarette since, I'm off them now 3 months and 1 week off and am so looking forward to the rest of my healthy life!

 

from Lisa:

My thoughts to why and How Others have Quit page. The first time I tasted a cigarette was when I was about 7 years old, my dad used to have a collection of cigarette butts in his ashtray when one day out of curiosity I picked up that Butt and puff on it and tasted it. For some reason I loved the taste of that cigarette butt which was not even lot. When I turn 18 was when I began smoking cigarettes. And today On October 28, 2002 I quit smoking.

 

from Fred:

The why and how of my quitting smoking. Much easier said than done.

I started thinking about my life. I'm 50 years old and just finished graduate school and joked all through the last 3 years that I just wanted to live long enough to pay off my student loans. It occurred to me that I probably wasn't going to make it. Probably the worst was the coughing. It was bad enough that I'd get light headed when I was coughing, and about 6 or 8 times, actually passed out from coughing. My head would bounce off the keyboard, and I knew what had happened, and my whole body felt really weird. It was pretty scary. The chronic wheezing and people telling me on the phone that they could hear me struggling for my next breath. Still, I told myself, I was OK!

Even now, 36 days later, I am still trying to convince myself that I can smoke just one. I feel a need to prove to myself and the world that I can smoke just one and never smoke addictively ever again. I'm unique, it'll be different with me. It's the story I've heard countless alcoholics and drug addicts tell over the years. Just one, and I'll never drink/smoke/inject again as long as I live. The problem is that I remember the last 20 times I relapsed. I had given myself permission to smoke just one. But, somehow, the "just one" message was lost and in reality, I simply gave myself permission to smoke. It was all I needed to keep right on smoking! So, the struggle within goes on, and I suspect it will wage in my mind forever.

Following graduation, I was to go to a third world country, Nicaragua, and spend 10 days there helping the people and learning much about the country and the culture. For a couple of weeks before I left, I was planning. I had a 2 week supply of the big, full dose patches. I didn't want to haul 6 cartons of smokes with me, so I figured I'd not smoke, but I planned on smoking as soon as I hit the home country. I was actually tempted in the airport when I could have bought duty-free smokes for $14 per carton. On June 16, which would have been my 27th wedding anniversary, I thought all day, obsessed actually, about the 2 smokes I had left in my bag. I had left my wife 3 years before, so it seemed kinda fitting to make another major life change on that date. Anyway, when I returned back to the home where I was staying in San Martin, I smoked those last two cigarettes. I smoked them slowly, and enjoyed each drag, between the coughing. Then, when I got up the next morning, at 4:00 AM, I put on another patch. It was raining that morning. None of the rest of our team had shown up yet, so 2 of us were out digging in the rain at about 7:30 AM. The site of the patch was itching terribly. I ripped the patch off and said that's it. No more. I haven't smoked since.

I think about smoking all the time. I have the strongest urges, right out of the blue. I can go along for several hours without even thinking about smoking, and WHAM, from nowhere, something triggers something in my mind, and I'm hit with an incredibly strong and persistent desire to smoke. Other times, it just creeps up on me. At any rate, I've learned that the urge will pass, and I can wait it out. One some really stressful days, it's hard not to just light up, but I've managed so far to just say no. I've always said, if I can just get detoxed from the chemical, I CAN quit smoking. It's a choice. And it's working so far.

 

from Heidi:

I am still a very young person and here's my story. I had my first drag of a cigarette when I was 13 years old. HAAAATED IT! Started smoking regularly when I was a freshman in high school, age 15. My mom used to give me $3.00 a day for lunch and I had senior connections who would (for a small fee) take that lunch money and buy me two packs of cigarettes. I didn't smoke but maybe half a pack per week at the time. My friends and I would go have coffee late at night and smoke....because that was the "ADULT" thing to do.

Along with adult decisions, come adult consequences. I was also sexually active at this young of an age and was already seeing my gynecologist regularly for annual exams.

At age 16, I had my first irregular pap. I had what is known as dysphasia. This term means nothing more than, "irregular cervical cells". Of course my doctor knew right away that this isn't normal for a healthy young woman. So I fessed up, I told her I was a smoker. At age 17, after many tests and exams I go in for an outpatient surgical procedure to have these irregular cells removed from my body before they have the opportunity to become pre-cancerous. And I don't know how many people have had such experiences, but after a while you really start to feel it in your reproductive system every time you light up. You just know its doing something. Because I was not yet 18 the doctor had to call my Dad to approve this procedure. I could just hear the doc explaining the whole thing to my poor helpless Dad on the other end of the phone. I could just see my Dad cringing, as he knew nothing of my physical status up to that point.

The doc came in and also had a med student with him who was going to witness the whole thing. They injected my cervix with 27 shots of a local anesthetic steroid to make it numb, so that I wouldn't feel a thing...but I had to be awake!
I remember laughing a lot (drugs really affect me) but feeling extremely nauseated at seeing all the blood and when he cauterized my cervix when he was done I could smell the burning flesh. The whole experience should have been enough to make me quit, but it didn't. After all, today's smokers rationalize.

Three years have now passed and my husband and I want to have children. We want to be the best parents we can possibly be and we want to be the most responsible parents we can be. I've always known that I would not be able to smoke while pregnant no matter what. All of my friends smoked during their pregnancies and their children are fine, but to me, it's just not worth the risk. Plus, we want to be around to raise our children. This is my third attempt to quit and I am now eight days into this, cold turkey. I never thought that this would work, but so far it has seemed the most rewarding.

The first time I tried to quit I tried the gum alone. In just one week, that gum had stained my teeth worse than smoking had during those years. It tasted awful and didn't really appease my cravings.

Just about 8 months ago, I tried again. This time I enrolled in a smoking cessation class which provided one month supply of either the patch or gum. I tried the patch. It worked great! There is only one problem, however, with the patch. It's quite expensive to keep up with. You could roll change for cigarettes. Patches just aren't cheap. One the supply ran out, I lost my ambition and ran back to the cigarettes like a dog with his tail between his legs.

This time, I'm running on sheer willpower alone. I know I really want it now, more than ever, because I am willing to endure all of the withdrawal and my family and co-workers are being extremely supportive this time. Come to find out, I'm not orally fixated after all. The only thing I'm fighting, as far as cravings go, this time is me. And really, I think that's all I've been fighting all along.
Just as an extra helpful hint: This time, before I quit smoking, I had also quit caffeine. For some reason, it has been much more bearable without caffeine also being in my body. Maybe it has something to do with the way I started. Maybe not. But if you quit caffeine too, make sure you do it willingly. I had to quit caffeine because I had e-coli and the drugs I was on prohibited it. I was on the drugs for one month because the first drug didn't work.

Sometimes its easier to quit things when you have to.

from Gwen:

I'd like to share my story with everyone. I hope it helps others as much as reading everyone else's stories on QuitSmokingSupport helped me. The first time I was smoked I was 10 years old sneaking a friend's father's cigarette and smoking it out of the window of her bedroom. When I was 12 I was ridiculed by teenaged smokers for not inhaling, not REALLY smoking. By the time I was 13, I was inhaling so much smoke that I couldn't hide it from my mother. By the time I was 14, I was smoking more than a pack a day.

But during the past 5 or 6 years something had changed. I started wishing that I could quit and starting experimenting with delaying smokes. I got so tense and upset when I couldn't smoke and then so tense and upset that I was smoking way too much. I used to carry a few pieces of nicotine gum in my purse because I worried that I wouldn't be able to handle it if I was stuck in a nonsmoking place for too long. I got extremely anxious when I ran low on cigarettes. I hated myself for smoking even when I had a bad chest cold or bronchitis. I always promised myself and others that I would quit if I got pregnant, but that never happened and so I kept on smoking until 3 months ago on my 31st birthday. Shortly before I made the decision to quit on my birthday, my mother had to have a quadruple coronary artery bypass -- I knew that my cholesterol was above 200 and I knew that I was headed for serious trouble. I got the highest strength nicotine patch and prayed. I read as many how to quit articles on the web as I could find. I set a quit date and stuck to it. I joined a weekly support group at a hospital and later I joined Nicotine Anonymous. I admitted that I needed help. I admitted that I am an addict.

I know that I have to work on staying quit every day. I have not had a cigarette in 91 days and I have been completely nicotine free for 51 days. I chew sugar free gum all the time and I have cravings a few times a day, but I am surviving. I tell myself that I don't smoke anymore. I remind myself that cravings go away in a few seconds or minutes and that smoking is never an option. If I can do it, so can you!

 

from Valerie:

Hi, I'm only 29 years old and my dentist has just told me that my teeth may well fall out. I have advanced periodontal disease which is where the bone and gums in your mouth are eaten away by bacteria, many studies have shown that smoking is a cause of periodontal disease. Luckily I had stopped smoking 3 weeks before I went to the dentist. I now have to put a metal spike with a brush on it which I have to put up between my gums and teeth every day to clear the bacteria out - you can imagine how much this hurts.

Please stop smoking, I never knew it could cause this problem and I don't want you to get it!

 

from Anonymous:

I started smoking at 13.  I started because all the "cool" kids did..that sounds so cliche but it's the truth.  No matter how many times I got caught and punished by my parents..it didn't stop me..Now, I'm 30, so young to feel like crap.  I decided to quit for several reasons.  Mainly because I would wake up in the morning and cough my lungs up, but for so long..I would light up another cigarette. I hated the way I smelled, the way I felt, everything.  I want to start my family now..I don't want to smoke while pregnant. I don't want my kids to see me smoking and think its okay.  I want to be able to laugh without coughing.  My husband (a non-smoker) has been real supportive, but he still don't understand the addiction. Good for him.  It's hard, but  I'm going to do it this time.  I quit once before for 3 years.  Stress and personal problems brought me back...I can kick myself.  But, I also gained 60 lbs.  This time I'm quitting for good...and I'm taking up several hobbies so I wont gain the weight.  ( I have to say, I constantly clean...lol, it keeps my busy).  And the another reason I've decided to quit is because it's way to expensive now.  I live in NYC and there up to $6.00 a pack and going up again in the summer.  So now I'll be healthy, and have money. I'm only a few days into it.  But, I'll stay this way forever, thanks to this sight. So pray me, and I'll pray for you...thanks    : )

 

from Volonte:

I smoked a pack a day. For 13 years. I have quit for 6 months now and I am so happy, I never crave cigarettes anymore. I started like many out of rebellion, stupidity, during my teenage years. I was, like every single smoker: addicted. The biggest myth is: smoking is a habit. Wrong: it's a genuine addiction. Wanting to quit is not the key, you will always keep craving if you use sheer willpower. I never wanted to smoke but I still did for 13 years. People want to stop but they won't even if they get seriously ill. The mind/nicotine addiction plays tricks to keep you from stopping or to make you start again or to keep craving. Wanting to stop is only a beginning. Nicorette doesn't help, you are only learning your body and mind that nicotine is something valuable/something you can't live without. Nonsense!! You don't need it at all - non smokers are happy people, you were happy before you started right? I thought you would cut off my arm, and I would always crave cigarettes. This is all nonsense. What made me stop? I was sick of the prison. I was sick of the monkey on my back, the money it cost me, the lines in my face.
How did I stop? The first few days I accepted the nicotine fits, which were minor physically and pretty aggressive mentally -moods, bad concentration. I realized I used to fill a hole and feed a little monster everytime I lit a cigarette. That same cigarette would create another  hole which I needed to fill with the next and so on. Non-smokers don't have this. I don't have this (anymore). I thought if something bad happened (an emotional disaster) I would start smoking again. I realized
how ridiculous this is: cigarettes don't help whatsoever. We assign so many positive things to such a terrible, filthy thing that costs us our money, our freedom, our self respect and our health. All these positive things are myths, created by the media, and the true nicotine monster inside our head.
Any tips? Read Allen Carr (you can get his books on amazon.com) would be a smart thing to do. He saved my life and made it easy for me, he showed me that willpower is not the key, knowledge about the addiction and positive attitude is. I can write on forever but it is not going to make you stop. Read the book! Be happy you will be freed! If I, a true ex-heavy smoker can stop, anybody can stop. You are no different!!

 

from Ann:

My name is Ann and I am 51 years old. I began smoking at the age of 31. Yes, that is later than most people begin but I  am addicted.  I was very anti-smoking all of my life due to my father's habit of smoking two packs of non-filtered camels per day. I hated the smell in the car, house and on the suits he would wear each Sunday morning. My father died at age 57 of lung cancer. I hated the idea of smoking until my life made a complete turn. In 1982 my childhood sweetheart and I divorced leaving me with two young children to raise. I did not want to become addicted to nerve pills so I chose cigarettes. This was crazy. I felt I had to have that cigarette because it was just for me and it made me feel better. It became my best friend. I drove with it, I read late at night with it, I socialized with it and best of all it helped me stay awake in order to grade papers or other items I needed to do into the wee hours of the morning. This was my time alone with my best friend, the cigarette. In my mind I always thought when I felt my life was complete again I could quit. I was wrong.It is now 15 years later I  have a loving husband that does not smoke but has tolerated my habit. My children are grown and I have a beautiful grandchild. I have quit on occasion but I was not successful. I did try when I was diagnosed with unterine cancer. It was found during the earliest stages. I soon forgot about this scare and began smoking again. Last summer my oldest brother died of lung cancer at the age of 65. I thought about it but I did not quit. The one incident that has made me think about quitting is seeing my sister fight lymphoma during the past ten months. She has been a fighter and according to all results she has overcome this horrible cancer. I watched her hair come out, listened to her cry from the pain of chemo and heard her prayers begging to overcome this horrible sickness. She is only 53 years old. She did smoke but was never a habit smoker. She could take it or leave it. She would only average maybe five cigarettes per week. I am getting scared. I want to quit and my inner voice keeps telling me I can do it. This is my 8th day of not smoking. I want to be successful but I am so afraid I might fail when stressful situations may arise. I am taking one day at a time. I have enjoyed reading all of the other responses on this page. It seems we all have a different story with the same moral. Thank you for this opportunity to share may story.

 

from Michelle:

One of the things that I'd learned about myself after many previous (unsuccessful) attempts to quit smoking, is that cigarettes functioned as a way to escape the chaos of difficult social situations.  Living in a culture where you have to "step outside" to smoke a cigarette, meant that I got a chance for silence and almost a meditation in the middle of a party where I was anxious, or the crazy scene of my kid dominated household after dinner.  So, this time when I quit, I made sure that as soon as I feel that anxiety rising inside me during a social situation, I just step outside...without the cigarette.  I spend ten minutes, which as all smokers know is how long a smoke lasts, just looking at the sky or drinking a cup of coffee and breathing the night air.  Then I step back inside, and I'm all better.  I was smoking because I needed breaks from people, and I have a right to take breaks any time I want, without smoking!

 

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