I am happy to report that I have been smoke-free for twenty years!
I started smoking when I was 12 years old and by 27 I had a 15-year pack-a-day dependency. The thought of quitting had been swirling around in my mind for several years but I told myself I wouldn't even try to quit unless it was forever (how convenient). At the time I lived in a tiny three-room apartment with my wife and 18-month old daughter.
One day, right after Christmas, when the windows were all closed, I noticed my little daughter running around the apartment with one of her toys. The smoke was so heavy and dense that it reached down to about a foot-and-a-half from the floor so that my daughter's head was literally in a cloud of smoke.
I was so ashamed and disgusted at my weakness of character that I vowed to quit cold turkey. I picked January 2nd because I didn't want it to be perceived as just another New Year's resolution doomed to failure.
Before I knew it, a month had gone by and I had broken my physical dependence without even realizing it! And the funny thing is, it wasn't really that hard. I didn't get the severe withdrawals and cravings everyone always talks about. I didn't gain any appreciable weight. I didn?t even get cranky.
I just kept telling myself that if I didn't have the strength of character to control the poisons I was putting into my own body, how could I ever hope to achieve anything of any value in my life? I never looked back.
At that time I was a high-school dropout who had spent the last 10 years working in a sweatshop. I am happy to report that I went back to school nights, earned an Associate's Degree in Computer Programming and here I am twenty years later, smoke-free, with a professional career in a good field with good pay. That daughter of mine is about to graduate from college in a few weeks.
Neither she nor my son shows the slightest interest in smoking. If there is nothing else you take away from my story let it be that quitting cold turkey will not only benefit you, but give you the opportunity to break the cycle and pass on a healthier tradition to you children.
This Sunday I hit one year quit!!!!!!!!!! I thought I'd have some sort of lengthy story of wisdom to share when it happened, but the reflection has been in every second and every day that I have not had a cigarette. The cravings turned into whims which turned into moments of silent reverie and absolute, unabashed joy for April 27, 2007, the day I quit smoking and claimed my freedom.
I never would have thought that would happen to me. One year ago, no one could have convinced me that those painful, aching, miserable, body and soul crushing moments of withdrawl would ever manifest into daily prayers (for lack of a better term) of thanks for my lungs, my moments, my ability to realize that I've actually had mild allergies all these years that were covered up by a nasty smoker's cough and that general feeling of malaise...
I didn't forget my quit date; in fact my brain would not let me. In the days leading up to it, I had some of the worst smoking dreams I've ever experienced. They were real, vivid, and left me feeling depressed because, inevitably, in every one I was smoking again. I celebrated on the date, though. Boy, did I ever celebrate.
I did exactly what I said I would do in my early quit diary. I took the money I saved from smoking and bought myself a horse. So I am now the proud, smoke-free owner of a gorgeous five year old American Cream Draft Horse named Houston. Every second that I am out on the trails enjoying this divine Spring weather (and the newfound allergies, for which I am surprisingly grateful), I celebrate my quit. Every single scrap and speck of withdrawl, depression, psychological upheaval and stress I had to undergo in the quit is worth just one second of sitting on the back of my own horse. Heck, it was worth it to feel like I am once again back in control of my self, and more importantly, that I am, once again, simply myself.
In reflection, just for kicks and giggles, my life is so much more rich than it ever was when I was a smoker. I still go outside at regular intervals to enjoy sunsets, or beautiful, private moments with nature, but when I do, I can breathe deeply and fully. I exercise; I can run two miles now without hardly breaking a sweat, and gasping for air is a thing of the past.
I have longer focus and stamina of mind, even if I do not think as quickly as I used to, I make fewer mistakes. I have more time to develop my interests. I read more. I live more. I took my ambitions and applied (and was accepted) to graduate school. I no longer feel ashamed or guilty about being a smoker. For the first time ever, I took a group of students on an extended field trip (three nights to Boston) without feeling insane, and without having to leave them to satisfy some stupid addiction. I am nicer. I am infinitely more patient. I am happier. By far, I am happier.
So congratulations to me! But more so, congratulations to every "Newbie" out there who is going through the rough times of an early quit. I promise the ends justify the means, and the means are more than worth it. I'm not even at the end, yet, just at one more milestone like a tattoo, but the beginning strife seems like small potatoes now, even though I remember how I felt like David, or even Sisophys at the beginning of this quit. Hang in there.
Life is good.
Katatatarina - Free and Healing for One Year, One Day, 18 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 25 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 7356 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,867.00.
As I sit here on my sixth anniversary of my quit date, I become a little nostalgic. This feeling will soon pass as this has been quite a miserable day.
We've just within the last week moved from Florida to Tennessee to be close to our daughter, who by the way is expecting our first grandchild in July (hence the move). I've had a bad cold (has anyone ever had a good cold?) since before we left, and now I have a toothache. I spent part of my birthday at the dentist's office being informed I must have a root canal.
Through the pain and misery I'm trying to get unpacked and listen to the wife (who I married 32 (I think) years ago today) complain about the brand new washing machine that doesn't work. And did I mention it sleeted just after we got here last week. From Florida.
Now I tell you all this not to digress or to burden the board with personal issues or any of that forbidden stuff. I tell you all this as usual to give you hope. Hope for the new quitter who at three days or three weeks just doesn't think he can make it.
At six years, I can tell you that this most miserable day is infinitely better than my absolute best day while I was smoking. I didn't realize it then, but there was no such thing as a good day while I was smoking. There were just different degrees of bad.
At three days or three weeks, I know you're hurting. But I promise you, life does go on after smoking. It's not all a bed of roses, because life just isn't like that. But your worst day smoke free will always be better than your best day smoking. Trust me when I tell you, it does get better. It gets a lot better.
So now on my 56th birthday and my 32nd anniversary and my sixth smoke free anniversary I'm going to take a pain pill and go sit down. Not in a nice restaurant with my bride like you'd expect, but still it will be a good day. It will be a great day because I won't have to smoke. Not even one puff.
My thanks to this site, the managers and all the members new and old. To call this forum a life-saver would be an injustice. I thank you, one and all.
I don't smoke and I don't chew and I don't go with the girls that do. Six years today.
I can hardly believe it ? but, according to my quit counter ? I have been quit for OVER 1 year and forgot to celebrate.
I just plain DO NOT think about smoking anymore!
Imagine ? ME!! I was still having troubling thoughts in my 5 and even 6th month of my quit, and then POOF ? I just stopped thinking about it.
If you are still struggling, maybe this could happen to you too ? hang in there, eventually, you will stop thinking about smoking.
Free and clean for 1 Year, 1 Week, 5 Days, 18 hours and 57 minutes (378 days). I have saved $569.69 by not smoking 3,030 cigarettes. I have saved 1 Week, 3 Days, 12 hours and 30 minutes of my life. My Quit Date: 4/2/2007 8:00 PM
My name is Ismael Orenstein, I am Brazilian and live in Rio de Janeiro. Yesterday I celebrated one year free of nicotine, after smoking for 34 years, 20/30 cigarettes/day.
Quitting smoking was a hard struggle for me and I am sure I should not have succeed without the precious knowledge and the good words from all the people who participate in the WhyQuit.com. Thank you very much: you saved me ! ! !
I will never take another puff !
A great hug !
4 years 7 months and 5 days ago I chose to stop smoking. (I still have my "quit counter" running on my computer which is now just a reminder!)
I gave up at age 39 after watching my elderly mother successfully quit and deciding some years later that I could finally do it too. At 70, she had walked out of the doctor's office, thrown her cigarette pack in the rubbish bin and never smoked again.
She didn't find it easy for the first week or so but had made up her mind and never went back on that choice. This was after more than 50 years of smoking. That I have also managed the task is a tribute to her, my own resolve and this web site.
We lost mum last year. If she had not stopped smoking when she did, the years between would have been far, far fewer. In one year, our family fiction of having "good genes" and thus no ill effects from smoking, ended suddenly.
We lost our mum young. In my family, non smokers die in their 90's . In 2006 - a year before my mother's death from emphysema - she and dad had their 50th wedding anniversary. Attending that party was mum's 93 year old aunt and 91 year old uncle. My mum died at 77 soon after her uncle. Mum's aunt is still with us at 95.
Mum died on the 9th April 2007 with her husband and children there until the end. (My brother - who we never thought would quit - gave up the next day and a year later has not had a cigarette). Seven months after mum's death we were again seeing a parent die from smoking. Dad developed lung cancer which spread rapidly through his body. He was lost without his wife and never really recovered from watching her die. Despite this and his own illness, he was insistent about wanting to smoke (his "gaspers") until only weeks before his death when he was too ill to move from his bed.
I look at the cigarettes in the shops and wonder how many more mothers and fathers the makers of these drugs will kill in the coming years. However, the sad truth is that while they sell the stuff, we choose every day whether to buy it or see it for what it is. Smoking is not a treat, is not a reward and brings no true comfort to you.
Everyone dies. This is a truth I can understand and accept with much more peace now. However we should not die before it is our true time. My mum and dad never saw their grandson finish school, become an adult nor see him now go into the world on his adventures.
Please don't smoke anymore.
Perth Western Australia
It actually happened on April 1st. Not that I forgot, how could I forget??
So I'm 2 years smoke free - who would've taught? Not me, for sure. My addiction was so strong I couldn't imagine a life without smoking. But surprisingly enough life does go on without cigarettes and it's even better! So all you newbies hang in there - this is the best thing you'll ever do for yourselves.
Free and Healing for Two Years, Five Days, 10 Hours and 8 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 63 Days and 22 Hours, by avoiding the use of 18411 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $7,212.08.
365 days today! Thanks for the site .. great resource. Has been very helpful in breaking my addiction to cigarettes.
I just want newbies to know that there is life after quitting, and it is fabulous. I do everything I did as a smoker, only so much better. The truth is, I get up everyday and go through my life without a nanosecond of attention to smoking. It's as if I never smoked.
Every few months I get an urge, not a crave because there is no nicotine in my blood to crave, but a fleeting thought of what it was like to smoke. I then laugh, and think how awesome it is to not have to smoke.
Read everything you can here. If I can do this, anyone can. Thanx to everyone who made this site happen.
Big hugs, Jacqui
Two years, two days, 23 hours, 38 minutes and 23 seconds, 29,359 cigarettes not smoked, saving $8,073.83. Life saved: 14 weeks, 3 days, 22 hours, 35 minutes.
I reach GOLD today at 5:35 pm. I never joined your organaization and therefore never posted. However, I poured through every bit of information, more than once, on your web site. Just had to write and thank you for the support.
I smoked off and on for more than 25 years. In my younger days, I could lay them down easily and without a second thought. As I got older, I was hooked and tried to quit many, many times unsuccessfully. As you well know, with each failed attempt comes the overwhelming feeling of frustration and lack of self worth. It's been an interesting year with many bumps along the way, but I made it.
One year ago, I placed an entry in my palm pilot that simply says "NTAP" and each day for a year now, I hear an alarm at 7 AM every morning as a reminder that I don't need to smoke today. I know now that NTAP is the only way to go. I realize that I can NTAP because I'm a nicotine addict and it's too hard to quit! I feel much better and enjoy life much more now. Not real sure how I ever had time to smoke. I work out 30 minutes to 1 hour 5 to 6 days every week and have learned how to handle my very stressful life without smoking.
Thanks for all your help! My message to the new quiters, trust me -- NTAP, it's worth it! GOLD at age 50! Life is good!
Only way to go. COLD TURKEY! A little over a year ago I had a stroke I ended up in Hospital lucky to be a live, YES.
Well I have given myself a second chance at a much better way of life by GIVING UP, what may have been the reason for the stroke in the first place. Hey I know that I will never be one hundred percent again, but I do know that I feel, breathe, smell and can taste things much better than before, plus I AM NO LONGER ON THE OUTSIDE LOOKING IN.
Hello All @ Whyquit,
I found your website about a month ago and have been in total awe of the stories about other peoples' success in kicking their nicotine addiction. John, Joel and all the other people that keep the web site going and fight the difficult battle to educate folks about the dangers of tobacco use and how to quit the addiction are to be commended and admired.
I, too, have a success story that I wish to share with you concerning the addiction to tobacco and the damage caused by that use.
Like many others I started smoking cigarettes in my youth. The addiction grew to the point over the years that I became a three pack-a-day user. Every thing I did revolved around smoking. In the middle of the night I would wake up and have to have a nicotine fix. After many years and bouts with various illnesses caused by my addiction to nicotine, in 1980, I quit smoking "cold turkey" out of pure disgust with myself for having allowed tobacco to take control of my life.
However, tobacco, and the dangerous effects of its use, was not through with me. Three years after I quit smoking I came down with lung cancer. On December 19, 1983 my left lung was completely removed due to my smoking dependency.
With the grace of God, a good woman's love and lots of patience and persistence I have beaten cancer and survived 28 years. It is often said "that which does not kill you makes you stronger". I have come to believe that there is some truth in that saying. Even though I still have to take medications that help make up for the loss of that lung I am grateful to be here and be able to share my story with others.
Thank you for letting me share some of my story. A more in depth story about my addiction and triumph can be found at my web site QuittersCanBeWinners.
Keep up the good fight and stay quit.
Best Regards to All,
Almost forgot to post my aniversary celebration. As of 11 pm on the 17th I have been nicotine free for 4 years. That's how comfortable not smoking has become in my life. Hardly even think of the aniversary date anymore, whereas I used to tell anyone who would listen on a daily basis. I smoked for 50 years, and thought I would probably smoke for life as I had tried to quit and failed several times. Until my daughter introduced me to WhyQuit and Freedom. That turned my life around, as it can for all of you. I know, that sounds easy coming from someone no longer struggling to get through the next minute, hour or day. But I know you can, it's not always easy, but it sure is simple. You made a promise to yourself to NTAP, keep that promise! It gets easier as time goes on. Believe me. It does. So, always be true to yourself, take it one day at a time and NTAP.
Free and Healing for Four Years, One Day, 10 Hours and 11 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 126 Days and 22 Hours, by avoiding the use of 36,561 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $12,431.57.
Thank you for having a web site that provided the support I needed to quit smoking cigarettes. It has been 3 years and almost a month, although at this stage I am no longer counting months, weeks, or days, since I quit. I could not have done it without your website. I believed that nicotine was stronger than my own will. I believed I couldn't quit without some form of nicotine replacement. I needed only your website. And I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I started smoking at age 15. Quit at age 52. I have never felt so free. Thank you a million times over.
Today, March 10th, marks the 5th year anniversary of my mom's quit date. I remember that day like it was yesterday. She was so proud of herself! She struggled through the first 72 hours then even more proud, signed onto your site. She remained an active user of your site through the first year and was thrilled to go through each stage to finally make it to Gold. We celebrated her one year mark in style ? all of her kids flew in from their homes around the country to celebrate her first complete year of being smoke free. We were all so very proud of her. She finally did it ? and couldn't have done it without whyquit.com. The support she found here was invaluable and because it was so readily available to her, she was able to communicate with others who truly understood her struggle.
I'm writing to you instead of her because she passed away last December. She was still young, 68, and her death was sudden from a respiratory virus that lead to pneumonia. Being a lifetime smoker certainly didn?t help her outcome. Still, I celebrate today because I have to believe that because she was brave enough to stop smoking after 42 years, she was able to stay with us for an extra 4 ? smoke free.
So I thank you for establishing this site, managing it and making it work so well for those who need it. Today, I will forward your address to my family and friends who still struggle with smoking in the hopes that they will find success that so many others on your site have found, including my mom.
Daughter of Madeleine (Madge) Heppler
Dear All @ Whyquit & Freedom,
I have been a lurker, non posting member/ whatever & a Nicotine Addict in recovery, Cold Turkey quitter for 1 year today. I have been committed to your teaching because i recognize the truth when I see it. I have to say that after following the advice (to newbies) to read, read, read, I was armed with all the information I needed to become a very happy ex smoker. I have worked hard, developed patience, to achieve my comfort but I know without you all I would not be at this stage, thank you so much, keep up the good work and success to us all. NTAP.
I'm probably just passing my three year mark before I remembered to thank the bunch that helped me quit! Better late than never though, so thank you soooooooooooooo much for that site, and the counters, articles! Etc. I read every article posted during my quit. It took months.. LOL
This was around my 11th try and using cold turkey instead of gadgets and crap hypnosis. Honestly, I did not know about what happens (medically speaking) when you would take a puff a cig, and why it hurts so danged bad when you suddenly DON?T take a puff. Once I understood, I made it past. The counters helped me stay quit and eventually self preservation kicked in with a bigger voice than the dying addiction had.
Thank you! I will continue to send every smoker I know to your site for help. Do know that you are helpful and appreciated.
I wonder if anyone ever forgets the date they stopped taking nicotine in one form or another? Not many I should think, certainly 6th March 2006 is as memorable to me as 25th December and my children's birthdates!
Now two years later my only regret is that I waited 42 years to find out that I could become such a contented ex-smoker!
Free for Two Years, 5 Hours and 43 Minutes (after 42 years not), while extending my life expectancy 50 Days and 18 Hours, by avoiding the use of 14625 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me £2,818.69. In fact I've probably saved more than that as the price of cigarettes has gone up a lot in two years.
I quit smoking cold turkey on 5/2/2006. Tomorrow will be 22 months nicotine free!
Hard to believe 3 years have passed and this once pack+ a day smoker for 27 years is now free of all cravings and desire to smoke. I am so thankful for this site and promote it regularly as the reason I'm comfortably quit forever.
I know it's forever because I will NEVER take another puff - !!
Newbies - keep up your fantastic quits ... you'll never look back!