Quit Smoking Support
The Straw That Broke The Camels Back
This section contains a collection of comments that people have sent us. It was their "Last Straw" that gave them the will and desire to quit smoking. Please take the time to read them as it may help you in quitting smoking.
Hi. My name's Kelly and I was a smoker for the past 7 or 8 years. I'm now 31 years old and have been smoke-free for 2 weeks using the Nicoderm CQ Patch. I have tried several times in the past to quit smoking, but to no avail. I also tried the full-strength patch (21 mg), because I smoked about 25 cigarettes a day, but the full-strength patch gave me an overdose of nicotine. My heart raced and I felt dizzy. But two weeks ago, I decided to start with the 14 mg patch and didn't have a problem with it. I also decided to wear it for 16 hours instead of 24, for I also felt that taking a patch off, then immediately putting on another one may have caused the overdose as well.
I decided to use the 14 mg patch for just 2 weeks and just a few days ago stepped down to the 7 mg patch. So far, so good. I have not had a cigarette since January 19, 2004 at 3:30 a.m.
My last straw was my mom telling me that she didn't want to have to bury me due to an early death from smoking. Also, I was sick and tired of all the money that I was wasting on cigarettes. Every two weeks I would go to the nearest cigarette outlet and buy 2 cartons of cigarettes for about $35.00 (generics). Well, that was $70 a month that I could have been using for something else!
I was also tired of how cigarettes ruled my life. I don't smoke in the house on account of Mom so I had to go outside every time I wanted a smoke, no matter how hot, cold, or nasty it was outside. If I woke up in the middle of the night, which luckily wasn't that often, and I craved a cigarette, I would have to get up, no matter how much I tried to fight it, go outside, and fire one up. During a TV program or movie, I would crave one. Usually I waited until a commercial break to have a smoke. Even during church services sometimes a craving would hit me.
Well, so far, I haven't had a cigarette and it's been two weeks. I have been as low as a junkyard dog at times and about 3 times as mean! But I'm leaning on the Good Lord for strength. He has helped me in everything else in my life. Also, He helped my late grandmother quit a 2-pack a day habit decades before she died last year. If He helped her, He sure can help me!
When I read and see about all the horrible things that cigarettes do to a person, it makes me wonder why I began such a terrible habit to begin with! How can the tobacco companies live with themselves knowing that they are the leaders of a "Silent Holocaust" in this country? God will hold these murderers accountable someday for their greed and their disregard for their customers' welfare and health.
It is very hard to quit smoking! Don't let anyone tell you otherwise! It's a mental as well as a physical addiction. For me, the mental addiction seems tougher to kick than the physical, or at least as difficult. It's hard for me at work especially, when my colleagues go into the smoking lounge during breaks and I can't go in there with them to enjoy a good smoke or two. Yet, each day is getting easier and I see myself as eventually being free of this stupid habit.
I notice a difference even after 2 weeks of being smoke-free. I can breathe easier, taste and smell better, and my clothes and hair smell better. I noticed how smokers smell and I thought to myself, "Man, is that how I smelled to others all these years?" I couldn't believe that! Personally, I can't stand when someone stinks because they're too lazy to take a bath! But to think that I smelled like a bar for nearly 8 years! Hypocritical, isn't it?
Take my word for it, ladies and gentlemen! It's hard, but it's not impossible. It can be done! You can quit! Put your mind into it and ask God for help! Believe me, He will help you. Also, ask others for moral support and keep coming in to sites such as this one. Good Luck!
it came when I had the worst pain in my lung one night...I decided there and then to stop.,....I also bought a book called 'THE ONLY WAY TO STOP SMOKING' by Allen Carr...in it he tells what cravings actually are and why they aren't as bad as they seem,,,,you can kill that nicotine monster before it kills you!!...By the way, I've been smoke free for 3 months.
The last straw for me was watching my mom die from lung cancer at the age of 47. Her death was painful process to witness. Before she died, she asked me to quit smoking. After her death, it took me five years to quit. First, I cut down on my cigarettes. I went from a pack a day to ten, to seven, and to five. I also changed from camels to loose tobacco, so I rolled very thin cigarettes. I then decided to not bring my cigarettes outside the home, so I would go many hours without smoking. After awhile I tried to disassociate smoking from common triggers, for example, after meals, in the morning, and before bed time. I then gave up smoking completely. It took awhile, but my withdrawal was at a minimum, and I am pleased to announce that I have been smoke free and an extremely happy ex-smoker for two months! I WILL NEVER SMOKE AGAIN....NOT ONE PUFF! My back pains are gone, I HAVE LESS STRESS, I am regular, my skin looks beautiful, my eyes are bright and white, my teeth are bright and white, my breath is clean, my fingers are clean, I can zoom-up the San Francisco hills like a bullet, and my list can go on and on.... If you smoke, please quit! Quit by educating yourself and finding support. Initially, the withdrawal period is not fun, but that part is short lived and after that...you will reap the benefits and be so much happier and grateful that you are treating yourself as you should..with care and love! Thank you mom... though I miss you everyday, and you are no longer around to be a part of my life, your death is not in vein.
I'm 41 and a wife, mother,
sister, and daughter. I have been smoking for 23 years.
Anyway, I knew I would never heal from my gum surgery if I didn't quit. My surgery was on a Thursday and I was an ex-smoker by Monday. The doctor told me to try to quit and he told my husband that I had to quit smoking. Every time I inhaled, my gums would kill me. I said to myself, "What are you doing? This is ridiculous"! I knew they had to have surgery on the other half of my mouth and I would never make it if I didn't quit now.
My identical twin sister has none of the dental problems that I do. We both do everything the same, including smoking. The doctor's can figure it out. We both have the same dentist and it's a mystery why I have gum disease and she doesn't. Go figure!
My dad was scared stiff when they took an x-ray of his lungs and they didn't like they way they looked. He quit his pipe right then and there after he heard that. The x-ray came back as just scar tissue and not cancer. He was quite relieved and didn't pick up his pipe again. His open heart surgery went well. He was back home with my mom after 6 days. He enjoys me coming over and sitting outside with him and not blowing smoke into his face. He's proud of me and I'm proud of him. If he can do it, so can I.
I have many loved ones around me that smoke. They are: my husband, my twin sister, her boyfriend, and my mom. I'm constantly around one of them. I know I can't nag them to quit, that would never work. They have to want to quit in their own time. My husband is very supportive of my quitting. He said yesterday, my 4th day, that he was very proud of me trying to quit. I said, "What do you mean 'trying' to quit"? He paused and said, "I like your attitude, it's very becoming on you". He knew I was determined and strong to do this.
My teenage kids are very proud of me. They have been bugging me to quit for years now. They were always embarrassed to walk into school and smell like smoke. They got teased a lot because of the smoke. I went out and bought them air fresheners for their lockers. Like that did any good? How pitiful!! That was my smoker's way of thinking. Now they pat me on the back for every hour that I am smoke free. That helps me keep going.
My older sister said that she was proud of me. I told her how hard it was, but it was well worth it. After seeing me quit, she's after her husband and daughter to quit.
I do have to say that smoking and drinking go hand in hand. Try not to put yourself in a situation where drinking is involved. The NICO-demon is waiting for you to take that first drink so he can attack. Do not take even one puff. Don't do it. Stay strong and never give up.
My mom and dad are funny smokers. I mean funny because they hide from everyone when they smoke. When my dad was smoking his pipe, he would hide on the back porch. When my mom smokes, she hides in the bathroom. Everyone, including themselves, knows they smoke. They aren't hiding from anyone. I guess they think that if they are hiding that it's ok to smoke? Smoker's do some strange things.
I have a little trick that I
use to make myself stay smoke free. I put a rubber band on my wrist and look at it
constantly to remind me that I am an ex-smoker.
Well, we got the bad news about
my uncle. After his two week diagnosis of lung cancer and emphysema, he passed away
yesterday, 8/1/03. He didn't suffer long like my aunts and uncles did of cancer
caused from smoking. They suffered for years. He, thank God, didn't suffer
long. He's in a much better place now.
One of the keys to success is
this website. Thank you Blair for this wonderful site. All of the stories I
have read have given me hope. I come here everyday for a boost of encouragement for
the day. To know that I'm not alone sure means a lot to me. With the help from
loved ones, God, and your site, I can and will be an EX-smoker forever! I'm glad to
be part of the majority!
My name is Syl. (I'm a 50 yr old male, in Canada). I'd like to share this with you....
It was sometimes in early June of this year. I was at a local shopping mall, and I was on my way out, when I saw a bunch of books on a table at a '99 cents or less store'. The title 'How to stop smoking permanently' -by Alan Carr, caught my attention. And at 99 cents, what did I have to lose.
I started reading it whenever I had a chance. I took it in to work an read mainly during my lunch break, a chapter or so per day. After a couple weeks of this, it finally kicked in. This guy made sense, real sense. What he was saying was different. And it was good, And it was real. The I got a little scare thinking, what if I do stop, how can I live without cigarettes. The book covered this also, and I kept reading.
I quit on July 21, 2003 at 7:30 pm. It's been 147 days ! It's been 3523 cigarettes not smoked, and it's been $1410.00 not spend on cigarettes. And I had been smoking for 35 years.
Do I still crave cigarettes ? . Sometimes yes, a little. Nothing I can't control though. It's worth the effort. Do this for yourself. Believe me, you'll be glad you did. You deserve it !
The last straw for me was when I was still smoking when my husband and I were trying to get pregnant. Ultimately, I had a miscarriage. Whether the miscarriage was due to smoking or not was irrelevant. I feel that my miscarriage was the wake-up call I needed to get serious and quit. And I did. Cold turkey. It's been two months since I quit and I'm doing well. Some days are harder than others, but the end result is what matters--clear lungs, a happy heart and clean-smelling hair and clothes! And, I am happy with my decision to quit because the effort I have put forth has made me a better person.
My last straw was when my 4 year old says, "Mommy why do you want to die? All I want for my birthday is for you to stop smoking." So it's taken a week and a half but I quit today. I stayed in for lunch to stay away from the familiar of smoking on the way to lunch. I want to be here for my son's graduation, wedding, first born, etc. I need to be.
MY name is Connie. When you hear that your husband has lung cancer and even with Chemotherapy and Radiation will still only live for months, that is a final straw. We both smoked and for a few years said we wanted to quit but it was always that we will quit next week or after the carton is gone. On the day he was diagnosed with cancer we both quit. For anyone wanting a reason to quit...the thought of loosing your loved one and the heartbreaking pain of knowing their days are numbered is the best reason. Those who think it won't happen to me or mine is fooling themselves.
The reality is: It can happen to you and then there is nothing you can do about it.
The straw that broke the camels back you ask? For me there are many. Ive read almost all of the entries here, and have decided I need to add one. I want to add mine, so that I may come back here in a year or two and proudly say I challenged the craving and won. For myself I have many reasons, I've smoked so long I cant honestly remember the actual date or year I started. Ive smoked for somewhere between 26 and 28 years. Ive quit myself about 12 times. Absence ranged from 3 minutes to 6 months. My husband and I have quit together, and quit alone, failing each time to some logical excuse. However, this time Ive planned a lifestyle change. Ive reviewed the reasons I started. To be cool (it was back in the 70s when I started). To be in control of my own life (I was a teenager then). Through the years Ive concluded I need to smoke to reduce stress. After review of the reasons I determined, there is nothing cool about smoking (it costs my husband and I over $6,000 annually CA), not cool. In control, I dont want to go out to movies, dinner, have to go outside in the rain, snow, heat in most places to smoke anymore, I am an outcast. Family members are ill and have died from smoking. I cant see any part of control here. Reduce stress I say, pretty ridiculous. I can actually feel my heart rate increase after smoking. I could be 3 days behind, yet I would have to find an exit somewhere to smoke, many times a day, stress reduction, I dont think so. In any event, Im on day 4 today. I feel shockingly better. My energy level has soared. And this time, I know this: "Im addicted to nicotine, I can never smoke another cigarette again." For today, I challenge the craving!!!
from SusanThe day that I found out that a very good friend was diagnosed with lung cancer in both lungs was the day I knew I would quit smoking for good.
I have quit several times before, and I am a 45 year old woman. I was really scared by my friend's diagnosis, because she actually quit about ten years ago! She had been a very heavy smoker for almost almost 40 years.
My husband and I used to order cigs off the Internet - cartons at a time. Our shipment had just come in the day before - 10 cartons of cigarettes (2 of which were mine, 8 were my husband's).
I suggested that we smoke those cigarettes, and when they were gone, we quit. If I ran out first, I'd smoke his until they were gone, then we'd quit together when the last one was smoked.
Well, that coincided with my 45th birthday. The day before my 45th birthday, I ran out of my brand. I had to bum husband's. He was not yet ready to quit. I was.
So, cold turkey, on my 45th birthday, I quit. It was hard. I had insomnia something terrible. I craved. But after 3 days it got much better.
Now, I can breath better. I sleep better, my skin looks much better with much better color! I can taste and smell. I have started a diet and exercise program, and it feels terrific!
I am so proud and happy with myself. I will never, never smoke another cigarette again.
Two weeks, four days, 10 hours, 27 minutes and 25 seconds. 276 cigarettes not smoked, saving $76.05. Life saved: 23 hours, 0 minutes.
I am 42 years old, a health care professional with asthma and even though I saw what the damage can do to your lungs, the one thing that stopped me was just 4 weeks ago when I was under anesthesia for almost 6 hours for a major back operation, I woke up feeling as if I couldn't breathe. No more! I have 2 beautiful daughters and a grandson to live for. What a horrible thing we got into. Also, my daughters godmother is dying of lung cancer right now and isn't even old enough to retire. This makes me so sad.
I began the year 2000 with a vow to get in shape . . . and perhaps quit smoking. I joined the gym and struggled to do the basic levels on the stepping machine and bikes. The aerobics classes were a whole other story! Basically, my heart rate was too high because I was a smoker. I vowed to quit but I just needed the will power. I purchased a box of nicotine patches and put them in my dresser drawer until I was ready.
My last straw occurred on a normal lunch hour. I was running across the street to purchase my lunch when I saw a young mother holding a baby in one arm while smoking with her other hand. I quit the next day. I am not a mother, however, I do not want to be a mother who is selfish enough to jeopardize my children's health for the sake of my own habit.
The nicotine patch definitely worked for me. The main key to my success is my own rewards program. I quit at 3:00pm on February 10, 2000. For a month I did something nice for myself at 3:00pm each day. For example, I would purchase my favorite coffee on break or use my break to go for a nice walk away from the smoking area. I had little celebrations for each monthly anniversary. For example, I would buy myself an article of clothing as a present to myself or I would make a date to go out for lunch or dinner with a friend. My one year present to myself was a trip to the Dominican Republic. If you like presents, this is the way to go my friends!
p.s. I reached my target heart rate after one month smoke free!
I am 41, hope to live to 82 or beyond. As I enter the second half of my life, I look at some numbers.
I hope to live another 15,000 days. At a rate of a pack a day, I would smoke another 300,000 cigarettes. That's nuts! Of course I'd never make it to 82,
but if I do, as a non-smoker (using the 12 lost minutes per smoke rule) I will save 3,600,000 minutes of my life, or 6.85 years. Isn't that incredible?
I have been smoke free for 9 days using a nicotine patch. I, like so many of you, have tried quitting so many times. So, I can recall many straws that
broke the camels back. I would have to say that seeing my father die on a ventilator recently is without a doubt my motivation this time.
I want to climb more mountains, build a log cabin in the woods, see my son grow up and maybe have some grandchildren someday. There are so many reasons to live, to quit smoking, and enjoy the freedom so many have sacrificed and fought for and continue to fight for today.
Cigarettes are like Osama bin Laden - they just want to kill you for no rational reason. We must not allow these things to happen. We must do
everything we can to protect ourselves, and then we must be prepared to do it again.
I could go on forever about cigarettes, the tobacco companies, the advertising agencies (the original Marlboro man died from lung cancer), the megabucks spent to keep the packs of death readily available wherever you may be. The political puppets who get bought out time and time again. The 350,000 Americans alone, who die miserable deaths each year as a direct result from smoking, what's wrong with us? It is up to each one of us to do our part to reverse the terrible tide and it starts with me not picking up another cigarette as long as I live. Join with all of us who have made the effort in the past and continue to make the effort today, united we stand! I pray for all who are trying to quit. Please, pray for me too.
I realized this morning, It was the right time.
I had to stop. So I have not gone for 7 hours, after 7 years, but it's a start!
I am only 24 years old and today, I am short of breath and wheezing (and I don't have asthma)- I am so appalled about how I sound, and how I feel I quit today. That was what spurred me to STOP ONCE AND FOR ALL.(i pray)
I had tried before, and lasted 2 months. I was very proud and decided while on holiday to have "just the one" as a "treat"........What a mistake and now I have learned. THAT IS IT.
(By the way, Day 3, Week 3 and month 3 are the hardest and you tend to see smokers as lucky, and you feel robbed of something. Let me tell you- you are the lucky one.Pity them)
One word of advice though- DO NOT EVEN HAVE ONE- JUST STOP. It is not worth it
Think of the money, your lungs, your skin, the way you smell etc.........
We can all do this.
GOOD LUCK EVERYONE and make sure you save the money and buy yourself a treat, whether it's a massage, a trip to a restaurant or save for a holiday- it's worth it!
My last straw came when I realized that at 29 years old, I was already having pains in my chest, and was short of breath after one flight of steps.I had difficulty sleeping through the night without a cigarette, and it seemed that almost everything in my life was in one way or another tied to smoking. Cup of coffee, cigarette. Driving my car, cigarette. Finish section of work, cigarette. Nothing to do, cigarette!!. I am on the end of my third day,(New Years Resolution) and I feel terrible. Every time I try to quit, I get sick, sneezing and coughing with no sleep (kind of like withdrawal from other drugs I have read about) In the past, after one day of this and I found an excuse to break down and buy a pack and was about to go when I stopped by this site and read some of the "Last Straws" in a last ditch effort to beat this addiction. I feel like I can make it now, knowing that there are people who doubted themselves as much as I doubt myself. People who have been strong enough to quit, to keep trying no matter how hard it is. A quote I hypocritically always used is " anything worthwhile does not come easy" and I know that this is the last time I will ever feel like this again!
My last straw was when I debated on whether to watch my 8 month old grand daughter! I would rather smoke than play with my precious sweetie pie! what a terrible Grammy i was. that is why i gave it up cold turkey. I don't regret it and I never turn a day down with my baby because of those stinky, and deadly cigarettes!
Okay, so I'm sitting at a bar one night with my friends and I realize that I'm lighting up a cigarette every 5 minutes. None of them smoke, so obviously I am the annoying girl that always stinks and blows smoke in their faces and can't go anywhere without sitting in the smoking section, etc. etc. etc. That just really makes you feel like crap, you know? My friends love me dearly enough that they take it without ever saying anything, but just imagining what they were thinking and how much they were probably worrying about me killed me. I woke up the next day and said, "I'm done." Obviously I've had slips but I just got sick of having to have a cigarette in my hand all the time. I started to wonder, "Who am I without a cigarette?" And then I realized that it was stupid for me to even have to question that. The cigarettes are not me, they are an addiction that I must -and I mean MUST - get over. I am 22 years old and married and hope to have kids in the next 3-4 years...and I kept telling myself that I'd definitely quit when I get pregnant. But who's to say that I won't slip then, too? It makes more sense for me to do it now when I have time to make mistakes and stumble than when I'm trying to nurture a healthy baby. My dad smoked and I hated it. I worried about him constantly. I don't want my kids someday to have to worry about me the way I did about him.
Anyway, that's my last straw story...a culmination of a lot of random thoughts that prompted me to quit now...but more than that I was just sick and tired of being slave to a stupid 5 inch long stick of toxins that was slowly killing me...
So wish me luck. I am trying to keep myself going...
from AnonymousMy scenario falls into both categories. One day while at work, which my 16 year old son works also, I was outside taking my usual "smoke break" and one of the other employees there said,"I see your son has picked up that nasty habit now too?" You could have pushed me right over. Of course his response was"oops, I thought you already knew?" Well, of course I didn't. I already have had problems and still do with my oldest son, who went AWOL twice and has been arrested too many times to count. But this son, and my 12 year old daughter, They have never given me any reason to worry. My son was always badgering me to throw then away,"you don't need those Mom" was his usual response. Now I find out he's smoking too? My heart fell to my stomach. It wasn't so much the fact I thought at the time that he was smoking, I was the deception of sneaking. When I asked him of how he always scolded me
I was talking with my father via the Internet, and I stated, "well if I was a good Mom, I would stop" (I have smoked a pack a day for about 22 years) Well, of course my dad capitalized on that. He had quit smoking about 7 years ago. We chatted back and forth for quite a while. I had the "usual" procrastination tactics, I have 3 packs left, I just wont buy anymore, or how about if I just cut back on them? Or a real show stopper, "how about if I just don't smoke around him?" (Isn't that sneaking just the same as he was doing?) Well, still contemplating with my dad, I said I have three packs of em left, He said "tear them up" Tear them up? I would never waste that kind of money! I told him besides I don't have the guts to do that! His response, "Get Amanda to do it! (that's my 12 year old daughter) well with that, My computer went pzzzt, and logged me off, shut down and re started itself. With total disbelief, I said Ok God, I got the message. I immediately got my daughter Amanda, told her what I was
Later on that evening, I heard him speaking with his girlfriend on the phone. "guess what my Mom and I are doing? So you have to quit too" he said to her. He told all his friends of our intentions. (neither of us would want to do something that would start the other back smoking again). He even asked his friends for support. They once tackled him on the ground plummeting him in the arm when he stated he was craving one. (Those are good friends).
I am using the aid of the patch and the gum if I really need it. Oh yea and lots of sweets at first. But also asking God to get me through this without blowing it.
So far so good. Both my son and I are smoke free. We both have noticed those urges are not as strong. And best of all... I now really do feel like a GOOD MOMMY!
A little over a year ago I was sitting with my 76 year old father in the oncologists office when he was told he had cancer of his tongue. He had been a heavy smoker who had quit 20 years earlier. I listened (hoping the oncologist couldn't smell the smoke on my clothes) while he told my dad that 98% of head and neck cancers are due to "daily abuse of the mouth" ie: smoking and/or drinking. A week later I was done smoking.
For the last few months of his life he was unable to swallow, speak or eat. He became emaciated, disoriented and his face was terribly disfigured from the radiation and swelling. My father died a sad and very painful death one year after diagnosis. In addition, 6 months after my last cigarette, I was diagnosed with breast cancer (at age 46). I underwent a mastectomy, 6 months of chemotherapy and am currently having radiation treatments....how stupid is smoking???
Very good topic... My last straw was the fact that the price of cigs are getting higher and higher, and I am no longer willing to line the pockets of tobacco company execs. They have gotten rich off the backs of millions of addicts and I find that repulsive. So, cold turkey for me, and I'm very happy about it. I can already smell the difference in our house and my clothes, and I can taste the difference in my orange juice! This is day 4 for my husband and I, we're doing pretty good. The short-temper was something I expected but I had no clue how bad! But I've never been more sure of anything; this is it for me. This site is terrific for daily support and inspiration. NO MORE CANCER STICKS FOR ME!
Was when I was cleaning the walls in the house, the rags looked terrible and I figured that stuff was lining my lungs too. It just got to me and I went to the drug store and got the Wellbutrin. My actual quit day is next Sat, but I think it may happen even before that with the help of the meds....wish me luck!
For the last 24 1/2 years I have smoked..I got to a point where I was sick and tired of doing it..I could go all day at work not smoking then come home and it was a whole another story..that point made me realize that mine may be more out of habit than addiction..Then an ezine posted links in a mailer..I looked at one in particular..I showed it to hubby he said no matter the cost order it..I did..the day I ordered it I cut way back..My last two weeks smoking i used only 5 packs..I have one unopened pack in the freezer..The product I ordered said should be smokefree in 7 days..Well read this..I was smokefree in 3!! I'm on day 6 of the program and day 3 of smokefree..No cravings no nothing and believe me I have had a lot go wrong that normally would have made me smoke more for instance a kid I have been raising decided to tell us she's pregnant and I didn't run and smoke..I plan on staying smoke free I love my new world:)
Hi again...My name is Gina and my first last straw actually appears on page 3. I wanted to report back on my progress of being smoke free. I am happy to say that as of October 22, 2001, I've gone 1year, 4 months, 2 weeks, 5 days 58 minutes and about 36 seconds. I am still smoke free and have not looked back after a 22 year smoking habit. After I quit, I downloaded a quite-a-meter at www.silkquit.org <http://www.silkquit.org> . This tells me daily how I've progressed, how much money I saved and how many cigs I haven't smoked. Based on my pack a day habit, I would have smoked 10,139, or almost 507 packs of cigarettes! I've saved about $1,926.43 which every dime has gone into my 403-B plan.
I can run a full mile now, my
hair, fingernails and skin are both healthier, my apartment no longer smells like a bar,
and I feel so much healthier. I no longer look like I'm 41and my son, who's now married
tells me I look 31! What a compliment!! I encourage all of you...please continue your
endeavor on quitting. Sometimes you may back slide, but don't use that as an excuse to not
quit! Keep at it. It took me many attempts to quit but I never gave up. When I first
started out, I visited Blair's page daily for inspiration and this has helped me
enormously!! I still get the weekly newsletters and read them. I encourage you to read
Blair's page for further inspiration. Here's my cliché again...If I can do it, so can
I had been thinking about quitting for some time, so while sitting at work one day, I came across your site, and a "last straw" post that I myself had done maybe a year or two ago. The fact that I had been sure enough to make that statement and then conveniently forgot about it and continued to smoke scared me. I thank the person/people who recommended Allen Carr's books because they helped immensely and I am now twenty-five days out and I'll NEVER going back. I can laugh without coughing. Aerobic exercise isn't a study in pain anymore. I don't leave my friends in the middle of a conversation or a movie to go outside and do the dirty deed. My teeth are returning to a color that teeth usually are. I'll never have cigarette burns in my new(to me) car. On top of all that, I live in southern California where the price of a pack of smokes hovers between $3.80 and $5.00. I've saved between $87.50 and $125.00!!!! The life of a nonsmoker is sweet. Thanks!
As of tomorrow, I have been a non-smoker for a month. I AM SO PROUD OF MYSELF!!!! I have the patch on and it has worked wonders. I haven't even cheated, not one cigarette, not one puff! I have been a pack a day smoker for about 10 years, But let me tell you, you NEED TO BE MENTALLY READY, in order to quit! About 2 months ago my fiancée, my daughter and myself were out to dinner at restaurant and I ran into an old neighbor of mine that I haven't seen in years. When she came up to me she said "do you remember me, I'm Jennifer and Nicole's mom"? I said "of course I remember you, how are you?" No big deal right, but what I failed to mention is she had to hold up a little black box to her throat in order to stimulate her voice box to talk. She has always been a smoker, throughout my whole childhood. Right then and there I looked at my fiancée and I was so petrified. I want to be alive for my daughter, I said. I want to be there for her. I don't want to die and I don't want to get throat cancer, mouth cancer, etc. My fiancée said ok so now are you ready to quit! Well the next day and for about 2-3 weeks after that I cut down! Can you believe it! I still didn't quit. Then about a month ago, I started feeling a lump in my throat. I mean an awful lump in my throat that would never go away for about 4 days straight! I was convinced I had developed throat cancer. One day at work I smoked my last cigarette. I was so FED UP with the habit, I was so sick and tired of this white stick controlling me and my life. I was so tired of constantly worrying about dying or getting a terminal disease. So I grabbed my purse flew out the door and drove to Walgreens, bought the patch (full strength of course) and have had it on ever since! Never looked back. Now I'm not saying that ever single day has been easy, there are urges and I mean urges, but I just think about the clear conscious I have now, that I am healthy. I saw my doctor and he told me that the lump was due to stress. But that was all the scare I needed. I couldn't bare to imagine not living long enough to be there for my daughter and future children. Good luck to you all! Just remember, the urges are temporary!!!!!
I recently quit smoking - 3 weeks ago tomorrow. I'm 38 and had been smoking since I was 13th. I stopped smoking once before and didn't make it. I lasted 3 weeks that time but this time I have a different attitude. My last straw was watching my father (a 2-pack a day smoker) almost die from a heart attack that couldn't be stopped because of blocked arteries in both of his legs. His heart attack lasted over 18 hours an he now suffers from Congestive Heart Failure. I've had some terrible cravings - a week ago, I actually broke down and had a cigarette - in fact, I had 3. The next day, I could feel the tightness in my chest - I didn't like it. Then, I thought of all of the other benefits that I had experienced and it turned me off of smoking. Since then, every time I have a craving, I remember that feeling in my chest and it reminds me of my father - I don't want to end up like him.
My last straw came when I purposely went into a lung cancer website to see damaged lungs from cigarette smoke. I am 32 years old and have smoked since I was 12, yes, that's right 12. I realized that I've smoked more than half my life! I cut down from a pack a day to about 5 cigs per day when I got married (my husband hates smoke). I quit during my pregnancy, but started again when my daughter was three months old, duh! I just kept making excuses over the past three years. Maybe tomorrow, maybe after this pack. It became ridiculous. I woke up on a Monday morning and said "This is it, no more!" I've been smoke-free for a few days now and it's really difficult. Each day that goes by, I can say "I did it again, one more day." It feels good knowing that I'm making a healthy decision for my future. My husband is elated, of course. Hopefully, when I'm faced with a "trigger," such as a glass of wine, I will be able to get through that craving. That hasn't happened yet. That will be the real test. I'm praying that I can continue to do this.
I started smoking
(playing around with the idea) in 1988. In 1990 I started a new job and my immediate
supervisor was a heavy smoker. I was with him 10 hours a day for a long time. I started
asking him if I could light his cigarettes for him, as I thought it was a cool thing. Soon
enough, when I would light them, I started taking puffs. Then I eventually went to
sharing' one with him, then boom, I bought my first pack. It has gone downhill ever since.
I have had three babies in the past 4 years, and I was able (for them) to cut back in the
beginning and quit altogether (unless I was VERY stressed and would have 1) during the
pregnancies. But it didn't take long after each birth that I would have one of my husbands
(whom is a heavy smoker as well) cigarettes, and eventually start back up full fledge
My last straw was when I truly realized this could really kill me and I envisioned my children crying about losing their mother. How selfish that would be to commit a slow suicide and to leave my kids without a mother! I finally realized it was time for me to grow up and learn how to deal with life without cigs. I felt like I was playing Russian Roulette with my life. I realized that the pleasures of smoking were not worth the suffering that could become of it. I weighed the pros and cons and was not scared to feel the pain of quitting because I knew the pain of lung cancer or emphysema would be way more painful.
I smoked for a pack a day for 22 years and always said that I would not be a smoker for life. I am 35 years old. Three weeks ago I was wheezing, could not make it up a flight of stairs, could not run or do any form of strenuous activity. Coughing and smoking were a morning routine. I spent a year and a half surrounded by cancer and death - family, friends and acquaintances. I had been doing a lot of thinking about congruency. I always say that we have to live for today - and I had been feeling like such a hypocrite, slowly committing suicide every day that I smoked.
The final straw?
Waking up at 4 AM to find myself standing in my bedroom smoking a cigarette. Sleep
smoking. That day I read a lot on quitting smoking. The next morning I got up, starting
reading about smoking again, started writing down all my reasons to quit and how I was
going to live without cigarettes. I called up the Canadian Cancer Society to see if they
had a quit smoking hotline. They did and the woman asked me when I was quitting.
Impulsively, I told her 8 pm that night. I did a ritual to say good-bye to cigarettes and
to welcome my new life as a non-smoker. By 10 pm or so, I was proudly wearing the patch,
determined not to smoke. In three weeks, I have only tried a cigarette once to see what
would happen. I lit it up and had two drags. That was enough to know that I never want to
stick that garbage into my body again. My body is worth more than garbage. The emotional
roller coaster that I am on from becoming a non-smoker is a bit rough. But I know that
these are emotions and that, in time, they will pass. Emotions are better than cigarettes,
cigarettes will kill me. I can already breathe better. I can smell things and taste food.
My cheeks are rosy. And I can ride my bicycle once again. It is worth quitting smoking.
I read your
newsletter on smoking and women quitting. It was helpful and stimulated some helpful
I am 36 years old and have been smoking since I was 14. Although I was never a heavy smoker (about half a pack of Lights a day, more when I drank alcohol), I've always known that this habit was certainly doing me no good (duh!). I haven't experienced any noticeable physical side effects from my smoking, but a recent TV show scared me into quitting. It was a rerun of "ER". A patient played by the actor Miguel Ferrer had come into the ER complaining of chest pain and coughing up blood. The female doctor (sorry, don't know the actress' name) reviewed his x-ray with him and showed him a mass she had found. She asked if he smoked. He replied "Yeah, a couple packs a day".
After a brief consultation as to what the mass could be, he pressed her for an immediate diagnosis. "How long have I got, doc?" At first she was hesitant to give a time frame. But he pressed her. "Six months, maybe ten" as her unwilling reply. "Well, guess I don't have to quit now." was his somber response. Very scary stuff. I never want to hear that from my doctor. I imagine that the worst part of being a smoker diagnosed with lung cancer is knowing you did it to yourself. I am saving my own life by quitting, and I feel great about it.
I had no intention of quitting
smoking. To paraphrase Samuel Clemens: "Quitting smoking is easy, Ive done it
thousands of times". Sure, my lungs felt as if they were sandpaper oversure, my
clothes smelled like a fumigation tankbut quit? No way.
As with some others, there were
several straws that broke my camels back. I was a smoker for 15 years and recently
turned 30 but not until this year did I really think about quitting. I was tired of being
an addict, depending on those nicotine sticks, held and bound to them heart
and soul. I also kept getting these little reminderslike last spring when I almost
died of an asthma attack and nothing, not even my inhaler would calm it. I promised God
Id quit and still I didnt. I saw a man walking down the street who looked like
Death and I promised Id quit. But still
So I started trying, going
one week or a few days at a time without cigarettes and finally, after many stops and
starts Ive finally quit and have been nicotine-free for two weeks. What did
it this time? Going to yoga, realizing that I was blocked spiritually (and thus in every
other way), that I was allowing myself to be chained to this addiction as if I had no say
in the matter and after intellectually understanding the dangers, being completely
saddened by the Wall of Remembrance on the American Lung Association web-site as well as
totally inspired by the heroes whove written to this site. Now I dont even
want to smoke though Im feeling a certain loss and sadness, which I know will pass.
Its like you awake with your lover gone but you know with time youll get used
to it. Good luck to all of you who are on the path to quitting. It gets better everyday
and just think of the fact that youre taking the power back. I use my imagination,
too, which helps. I know it sounds morbid but I picture a skull smoking (presumably it is
what used to be me) and also, started composing my obituary (as fantastic as possible
which makes it all the more effective) in my mind when I had my first craving. Prayer and
meditation are also wonderful
and to counter the initial depression, St. Johns
Wort is useful. Thanks to Blair for this terrific site.
I have been trying to quit smoking for about 15 years. I missed my target of quitting at 30 by 10 years. Next May I will be 40 and now I am beginning to feel the affects of smoking. Shortness of breath, chest pains, coughing in the morning until I gag and a constant supply of phlegm I have to clear from my throat all day. My father-in-law is now in the hospital for the rest of his life. He has emphysema and lung cancer. He can not talk without gasping for breath. All his energy is spent just breathing. I know we all have to go sometime, but you DO NOT want to go like this. I hope you young, invincible people realize the tobacco companies need you to smoke and get hooked to replace the people who die every day from their product. Chances are, if they don't get you hooked in your teens they won't get you.
I bought my last pack of cigarettes two days ago. They cost $4.07. I am going to make it this time. This seems crazy after two days when you have been trying for years; but something's different this time. My father-in-law's suffering and his inevitable death, my new grand baby coming in late August, the cost, the health problems and being too tired to drag these chains around any longer. I am finally going to be free.
Smoking is like being in love with someone very much and finding out that someone is trying to kill you. It will kill you. It is the enemy and wants to take away your breath of life. Don't let it. I pulled up the American Lung Association's "Wall of Remembrance" and printed it out for some inspirational material; it was 158 pages. I wept. Since you might get weepy anyway from withdrawal, I strongly recommend it as a positive reminder of why you are weeping.
"And God breathed into him the breath of life and man became a living soul". Pray for me and I will pray for you.
I am 37 years old and have been a pack a day smoker since I was 20. My last straw came a couple of months ago. For the last 2 years I have noticed a steady decline in my general health. During the winter months I was experiencing frequent nasal congestion and frequency of laryngitis and a sore throat. I also noted I was beginning to develop the characteristic smokers dry yellowish skin. My health problems got so bad that at one point earlier this year I literally could not speak at the end of the day, but still, I continued to smoke.
Every day for the last few years I would promise myself that in the morning I would not smoke. And every morning the first thing that would pop into my head would be that powerful urge to get up and smoke once more. Intellectually, I knew that smoking was devastating my life and my health. As many smokers often do I was not eating right, not exercising and drinking to much coffee etc. I work in the medical field and often deal with sick individuals and I felt like a hypocrite giving them advise and direction when I, myself could not follow it. Finally a couple of months ago I decided the pain of smoking was greater than the pain of quitting. I began to use the patch and since that time have managed to reduce my smoking almost to nothing. I still fight a daily battle with it. One of your previous writers noted that when you have gone 2 years smoke free you have beaten it. I don't agree. A smoker is only one pack away from being a full addict again. Perhaps at the 2 year point you are a at a significantly reduced risk of relapse but ex smokers will always have to be vigilant and (must never try one again) Perhaps the smokers number one self falsehood is that (just one cigarette this time) will not do any harm. It almost always does.
Perhaps the best wisdom and advice I can impart to anyone attempting to quit smoking is never quite trying. Do not get down on your self when you smoke the cig at the bar. just resolve again not to smoke again. When you get knocked down just get up again...as that song goes. Quitting smoking is a learned practice and with every day we go smoke free we develop our coping skills. Studies show that people who successfully quit smoking have tried to quit many times before. Rare is the individual who quit smoking on the first attempt. I was the type of person who could not forgive myself if I gave in just once. This resulted in extreme frustration and failure. Now, I take it in stride. Each few days I succeed is a victory with points on the board. When I relapse momentarily, I just get right back up and continue putting points on the board. I know I will eventually get were I want to be and I know everybody out there can also. Stay well everybody.
What a great, helpful site, and what encouraging stories!
My final straw should have come a couple of years ago when I emptied the ashtray in my office at home and went out in the garden. Some minutes later I heard a weird cracking sound, thought it was the neighbor welding something, then saw clouds of smoke coming out my office. The wastepaper bin had caught fire from one still glowing-cigarette the result was total destruction of my office computer, printer, phones, the air conditioner, most of my books and CDs (thank God, not the family photo albums).
And yet this wasnt enough to make me quit.Then, last Friday, I visited a girlfriend who was a real nicotine fiend like me, and was amazed to see she wasnt puffing. Shed started using Nicorette and was really doing well. As soon as I left her, I bought some and have now reached day 3. Recently Id been smoking like that proverbial chimney the car stank, my office stank, my hair/clothes everything. Id started buying all sorts of devices to hide the smell, sprayed perfume in the car, cleaned the car with wipes at red lights, to get rid of the ash. It was just too much.
So, at the age of 53, having smoked since 18 years old, I really really hope this is it. Everyones messages and stories are so very helpful. Good luck to us all!
I read Larry's "Last Straw" and was happy to see that the "airport cure" had worked for someone else, too.
My husband and I were flying from Baltimore to Phoenix to visit our grandchildren and we had to change planes in St. Louis. Of course, as soon as we left the plane we started looking for that designated smoking area. When I saw the little glassed-in room, yellow-gray with smoke, and those wrinkled up, sickly people hunched over their cigarette, I just couldn't go in there. I told my husband that I would meet him at the bookstore. I went that entire flight without a cigarette and I couldn't stop thinking about that room. It totally blew my fantasy about myself. I thought, "Oh,no, I'm not one of those people. I'm Ann Bancroft in the black, slinky dress, sitting at the bar, looking sexy and cool and totally in control. That's the kind of smoker I am - not this wrinkled up old hag in the airport."
As soon as we returned home, I went and bought Nicorette and quit on December 7th, 1997. I am so happy that I am no longer controlled by my smoking habit. My first thought in the morning was, "Do I have enough cigarettes to last until I leave for work?" and my last thought in the evening was "Is there a cigarette for morning, or do I have to go out tonight?"
It's over. Thank God. Thank you, Nicorette. Curse you, Phillip Morris.
My last straw was that me and my girlfriend were about to live together in our own home. As a non-smoker herself, she wanted me to quit ever since she knew me, and I wanted her to loss weight because she's a little too big. So living together in our house was the start for both of us to become 'the better you', and I quit smoking and she started to loose weight.
We benefit from the Carr method (I quit cold turkey and found it quite easy and liberating, and she has the Carr method for weight loss. I'd seriously advise anybody to read it, because it's the best method I've ever seen or heard of). In combination with the Carr book, there's actually only one thing you'll need to quit: pick it up and read it. By the time you're through, you'll probably be a non-smoker already.
Well I know what the final straw for me was. That this pathetic little cigarette was in control of my life. I would need it with certain things like coffee, alcohol, after diner mint, it was then at any time it beckoned for me to suck it. well i realized that i wanted the control of my life back so i stopped. it is a great feeling knowing that you can and have accomplished such a demanding task.
Many times in the past 26 years (yes, I'm only 40) I've either tried to quit or thought about it. But every time, I just couldn't last. Although in the past year, I was using nicorette gum alot, especially when I traveled and that helped me realize that I could live longer than one hour without a smoke.
Another website said that quitting smoking is a lot like a three legged stool. Many smokers have addictive personalities and often times drink hard, abuse other substances or generally just get out of control. A friend of mine said, "Someday you'll just quit. You'll get to a certain point in your life, something with happen and you'll say enough."
Well, 8 days ago that happened to me. I was truly out of control. I smoked two packs in 6 hours while drinking way too many drinks and then gambling money I didn't have. That night, sick as I was, I realized that was it. Enough was enough. The next day, I did not smoke or drink and decided that was it for both alcohol and nicotine. After all cigarettes and booze do seem to go hand in hand. So it's been 8 days and the past 6 haven't been bad but yesterday and today have been awful. I've been working out and jogging and that seems to be helping. But I appreciate the posts about depression. It is a factor.
My last straw? Realizing I was out of control and needed to get back in control. Life is so much simpler now.
from Michael (Ohio),
Just got out of the hospital...again. The very first thing I did when I got back home was to hit the internet and look for ANYTHING that will help me quit smoking. I have asthma and have been in and out of the hospital countless times. Yes, I must be insane. Yet I keep finding reasons to continue to smoke. However, I think this time I may have actually become motivated enough to quit. I have smoked for 22 years. I have become the King of Rationalization. Tomorrow is my favorite word.
But this hospital visit changed everything. I simply COULD NOT BREATHE. Hold your hand over your nose and mouth until you can't stand it any longer and that is what it felt like. AND THERE WAS NOTHING I COULD DO. I thought I was dying because nothing that they were giving me at the ER helped. FINALLY, after what seemed like an eternity I started to breathe a little easier. And over the next few days I began to feel better. Now I feel pretty good. I think I have a pretty good idea of what it feels like to have emphysema or lung cancer.
And now I am so angry.....because I realize that all those big tobacco companies KNOW that they are killing you and me...and for what? TO MAKE A BUCK!? How insane is that? How do they live with themselves?
Anyway, It's been about three days now and I have a few cravings but not too much. I really felt like I dodged THE BIG ONE there. I know I can do this. Thanks for all your help.
Ah...what the hell: FIGHT THE POWER!
Still Kicking In Ohio
from Ian (UK),
I have been
smoking since I was 17 (I'm now 23) . Started off as a bit of a laugh with my
mates, and gradually progressed until I was on 20 a a day. Well I've been with my
girlfriend for 3 years and in July of this year we are having our first baby. Ever since
we found out we were pregnant, I was put under unbearable pressure to quit. I always said
"I'll start next week".
I'm 25. I started
smoking at 16 and quit 2 weeks ago. I'm young, and don't have children, so things like
lung cancer and birth defects didn't scare me. I always said that I'd quit when I
decided to have kids, long before smoking took a toll on my health. What I wasn't
realizing is that it already had. In the last six months I've had the flu twice and just
recently got over strep throat. Strep stopped me for a few days, but before I could even
speak normally again I was lighting up, and the pain of inhaling was incredible. This made
me realize a couple of things. A) I was a pathetic addict. (duh) B) even though cancer and
having to breathe through a tube in your throat are horrible, don't think smoking isn't
affecting your health just because you're not that bad yet. I was spending large chucks of
my 20's sick as a dog or just feeling crappy. Not fully enjoying something I'll never have
again. Finally, I was scared and I quit. In the last two weeks, I've actually felt 25. I
didn't even realize before how old smoking was making me feel. Yes, it's hard, most of my
friends smoke, and I don't care what anyone says- it does look cool. (Watch movies from
the forties if you don't believe me) If I tried to tell myself I didn't enjoy it ,
I'd fail, because my quitting would be based on a lie. The things I got from smoking just
don't make up for what it was taking from me- my youth.
My final straw was that I was Just SICK and TIRED of being sick and tired of smoking. I really have not enjoyed smoking these last few years but it was my "Friend" and I could not fathom giving them up..nor did I have the strength or will power to quit. I have been puffing away since I was 14 years old and although I have stated that I wanted to quit a various points in my life, I just didn't. I am approaching my 34th birthday and I did not want to celebrate another year still being weak and having my whole life ruled by cigarettes. Also my Mother was diagnosed with colon cancer last year and seeing the the struggle her and my father went through really made me afraid of my own future. By the way, both of my parents are smokers..actually most of my family smokes, and unfortunately Mom still does, but I hope I can convince her to quit.
What I am very grateful for are sites like this that inspired me enough to actually look at a calendar, pick a date and go through with it. April 15th 1999 was my day and I am currently on day 8 and Counting..The night before my quit, I prayed like I never prayed before that God would help me through my journey and to give me the Courage and the Strength I would need to do it. He has done that for me and I am so happy I tear up every time I think of the progress I am making. No more trying to schedule smoking into your day, or standing out in the cold puffing away, no more coughing up phlegm, chest pains or being lethargic..No more smelling like a disgusting ashtray or being sick longer than the average nonsmoker when flu/cold season comes around and last but not least..
Being FREE from being enslaved by the Nicodemon. My journey has been the Hardest thing I have ever done before..by days 3 and 4, I was in tears and a nervous wreck but I refused to give in to it because then I would have to start all over again and it's not worth it. So get your Nic gum, Patches or whatever will get you through.. I have also started exercising my body and I can feel the difference in the way I feel already, besides the fact that my boyfriend Darren, says it's even sweeter to kiss me now that I don't have to disinfect myself anymore when I want to get close. So for anyone who is thinking about it or is in the process of doing it..You will not regret it. I plan to stay inspired and strong as the days go by and I hope that if you are reading this..you Will to....Day 8..Smokefree and Loving It :)
I am 27, I had my
first cigarette at 13 (didn't start "serious" smoking till about sixteen
though), and have quit I don't know how many times. I am a freelance writer too, and I
just finished a book called "Nicotine and Cigarettes" for Chelsea House
Publishers in Pennsylvania. It will be released sometime in 1999. Sometimes I quit
for months on end, with no patches or gum or anything. Sometimes I couldn't quit for a
I am glad to have
found this page. My last straw is looking at my children and hoping desperately that
I will be around to see them marry and have children. My mother died at 56 of lung
cancer. I witnessed first hand every step of this grim disease take her life.
I was with her when she took her last breath. Lung cancer, I can tell you, is
something that no one should ever have to witness, much less go through and experience
first hand. It is degrading, terrifying, painful and heartbreaking. This was
about 9 yrs ago and I promised her on her death bed that I would stop when she died.
I am almost 34, a heavy smoker with an 11 yr old boy and 11 month old girl. I have a
perfect husband who I am madly in love with and a future, if I was going to be around to
see it. I am only on day 2. This is the longest I have gone and I have smoked
for 15 years now. I think it is important to tell others trying that my mom did not
stop smoking when she was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. She was very strong
willed and filled with dignity. I remember her saying to me often during her last
days (with tears in her eyes) "Camille, I just want to live" "All I
want is to live" She was so desperate and swollen from the drugs and
disoriented from the pain medication. I miss her and I don't want my kids to
experience what I did with my mom.
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Updated August 2018