I have been nicotine free for 4 years. I was very upset, with several losses to smoking when I started this journey and didn't join up because I was so afraid I'd fail (but I spent many hours reading and reading, and posting when reached my first year). I'm 59 now, started the journey on 10 March 2007 being 55. Although time seemed to pass slowly at first, it zips by now and I find it difficult to believe I could have wasted so much money, time and effort poisoning myself.
My health improved quite early on, and I join in with activities instead of staying indoors smoking alone (even my smoking friends thought I smoked too much). I never think of wanting nicotine but often think of WhyQuit and Freedom and am so thankful I found you all. When this happens, if I'm on my own, I say out loud 'I'm not going to smoke today' and I smile a big smile!
It really does get better and better and sooner than you may have thought possible! Thanks again,
Yesterday, February 20th, made one year since I quit smoking. I smoked at least a pack a day for over eight years. Although that's a shorter duration than most folks, I honestly felt that I was one of those people who could not quit. For me it truly was the hardest thing I have ever done, and if it were not for the information here at whyquit.com I do not see how I could have made it. When I made that final logical connection between "I smoke because I'm addicted to nicotine" and "I'm a drug addict" I knew I didn't want this anymore.
None of my denial rationalizations were original, nothing I felt while going through withdrawal was unique. I still felt these things but hey, so did all the other recovering nicotine addicts. I would always make myself come to this website when I "just knew" that today was the day I go back to smoking. It never failed to give me what I needed to make it through that rough moment or day. The people who post on this site are a part of my life forever. Unfortunately, I did tend to fight my recovery most of the time, but what they say here is true: Whether you fight it or not, comfort WILL come as long as you don't put nicotine back in your body. I kicked and screamed, I cried and cried, I tried to convince myself it was not going to be worth it. But I didn't put nicotine back into my body and guess what? Comfort came just the same. I could never say thank you enough to Joel, John, and all the rest who contribute to this wonderful site.
When I realized I wanted freedom, that was it. It was not a "good" time to quit: my husband and I got married on Day #6 of my quit. I kept hearing Joel saying, "The best time to quit is NOW, no matter when now is." He is right, do it now. Not only did life go on without smoking, but it is better now than ever before! I passed a lot of the knowledge here on to my sister, who quit cold turkey five months after I did. One week later, her husband also quit cold turkey. (My husband had quit cold turkey 15 months before I did.) We are all nicotine free today and loving it. Sorry to ramble but I have been waiting to write this for an entire year. I just had no idea how interesting and fulfilling this journey would turn out to be. Thank you a million times to the people who make this site possible, for giving us the road map to freedom!! I thank God for all of you.
In 2005 I was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD). I should have seen it coming, but I didn't pay much attention to my health until it was too late. I smoked two to three packs of cigarettes a day almost constantly for 40 years.
When my doctor told me about COPD I was in shock. I didn't really know what to think. After a few days it soaked in and I knew what I had to do. But as you might guess, it didn't exactly work out that way. A few months went by and I went to see my doctor again. I told her that I didn't really know what COPD was and asked her to explain it to me. She said I had emphysema and that while there is no cure for it, quitting smoking would help some. I knew that I needed to quit for a few years, but this gave that thought some urgency.
I had heard that Nicotine Replacement Therapy (NRT) was useless and didn't work, so I went home and looked up "Cold Turkey" on my computer. I remember thinking at the time that all I would find was how to make a turkey sandwich. What I actually found was WhyQuit.com, and it changed my life. I started reading Joel's Library and the more I read the more I felt I could do it. Of all the information I read I picked three things to concentrate on.
I made the decision to quit smoking on February 10th, 2006. I wasn't sure I could really succeed the first time because of all the stories I've heard about how many times people have tried to quit. I quit at midnight on the day I had chosen as my quit day. I did what WhyQuit had suggested when that first craving hit and started thinking about something to distract myself from the craving and after three minutes it passed, just as he had said it would. When the next one came I did it again, and again it passed.
Since I quit at midnight and went to bed at about 8:00 AM later that morning (I worked nights all of my life...) I figured the first day was only a half day and the next day would be a little harder, but it wasn't. After the third day I told myself that I was now nicotine free and all I had to do was ignore any cravings. I am pleased to say that strategy worked for me.
I was surprised that I didn't really get that many cravings after those first three days. I thought that I would have them constantly but I didn't. About three months after I quit I had the ultimate test of my resolve. My wife had major surgery and I thought if anything would stress me out enough to make me start smoking again that would have been it. It didn't happen. In fact, I didn't even get a craving standing in front of the hospital where people were smoking.
As time went by I had no desire to smoke at all. In fact I now avoid places where people smoke, not because of any temptations to smoke because I really don't have any, but because of the smell. Today I went to one of the local tribal casinos and my first thought after walking in the door was that it been at least five years since I have been there because the last time I didn't notice that horrible smell. So obviously I still smoked at the time.
Now that it has been five years I would once again like to say thank you to WhyQuit and Joel Spitzer for his most excellent library. I still read it quite often.
There ya go... Thanks!
Wow I can't believe another year has gone by already. 02/10/2011 will be 6 years that my wife and I have been quit. Together we have not smoked about 87,600 cancer sticks. We have not spent about $12,480.00.
Let me encourage anyone that has quit to hang in there. When it seems that everything is going wrong just hang in there. It can be done!! Throw those death sticks in the garbage and never look back!! On 02/01/2011 my mom has been quit for 2 years after smoking 40+ years. It can been done. Hang in there.
I've returned to celebrate my three years and 30 days of freedom. I was one of those smokers labeled as a "lifer". Look at me now though... I am so happy. Now people are astounded to hear that I was a nicotine addict for 24 years before I quit on 1/20/2008. It is a beautiful life, this smokeless, nicotineless days and it was all possible thanks to this great forum. I have received tremendous help and support here. Thank you Joel and everyone who keeps this forum happening!
NTAPF - Never Take Another Puff Forever
I hope you are all well--I know you are better for sticking to your quit! My [two year]anniversary is this Thursday, January 27th. I'm writing today, though, because after a long time away from this forum I came back this morning looking for information that might inspire a group of new quitters. I've been asked to speak at a smoking cessation class this morning! It's very exciting to know I might be able to help others quit---and I believe I could not have done it without this website, Joel, John and all of YOU who have quit before me. Thank you so very, very much. I will spread your good words today. And trust me, I'll be wearing gold on Thursday!
Have absolutely no desire to smoke. Just want to tell you newbies that my life has actually been absolutely a mess during this time. If I can do this you can. I have never had so much stress in my life and I still managed to quit.
I recommend this site for anyone wanting to quit. I remember being on here daily, it was like I had a massive amount of best buds to help me. When I quit my dad was very ill. He passed away 4 months after I quit. Then there has been a lot of selfishness among my family and it is still getting worse and worse. I am learning to live with it, tried counseling, but it is something I will never get over. I also have two teenagers who were hurt by this, even my hubby. They stay away from my family as much as possible.
I also lost my best friend because there was too much drama to deal with, and I guess she thought I should just let it go, and she also is single so she didn't like the time I spent with my kids, being involved in their activities.
Speaking of teens, they are driving me nuts. I know this has all affected them. They are such good kids, but trying to get them to be aware of things and not be nieve is driving me nuts. They think I am butting in their business. And I still havent had a smoke. I actually cannot stand the smell.
I can now work out and breathe too. I could never do that. It has taken a long time, I know, but it has gone fast. I did gain thirty pounds. I have now lost ten since November. and when I lose ten more I will be much happier.Really need to lose like fifty, but one step at a time, just like quitting smoking. You all can do this, trust me.
You will not believe how good you will breathe, how you can just sleep better, function better. What I love the most is that I used to panic if i had only one cigarette left and couldnt get to store till morning or didnt have any money. You all know you do this, right? Oh and get this... It has been since May 15, 2009. So only 20 months. My kids don't even remember me smoking, and they complained about it all the time. My husband never smoked, hates it and he never even says much at all about my quitting. never has. So have done this for myself. You can too.
It was an absolute joy having a physical and filling out papers saying I do NOT smoke!!! You will feel better, I promise. I just hope that you do not have the stress that I did and still do. I will do my best to help you all! Use this website. It is a gift from God. Everyday gets better, I promise. Thanks WhyQuit!! You are probably one of the best things that has happened to me in my life, after my kids and husband.
Today marks my fifth anniversary of finally putting down those cigarettes - thank you WhyQuit and Freedom for the support, the humour, the feedback, the knowledge, the sharing of stories - this all kept me informed, entertained, and strong on the bad days and it was a joy to be able to post and participate in others' stories too.
Although five years seems a lot to a newbie, it's just a number. Like the 3 years v 3 days post explains. The minute you stop using nicotine you are a success - the rest is just pages on the calendar.
I'm going to Cuba for a week on the 16th - the 4 hour flight will not be marred by needing to smoke. I'm going to be visiting a lot of old friends there I haven't seen in 4 years - so I'll be hugging them and kissing them and not worrying about breath mints or stale cigarette smell in my hair. It's going to be great.
I honestly don't remember what it was about January 2, 2006 that decided my quit. I do remember that I had about 6 cigarettes left in the package that I crushed and drowned in the toilet when I made the decision. And that was a first - I always before finished that last cigarette in the pack before quitting. I'm just really grateful that I tried. And that this site was there for me.
And now I can say:
Susan - Five Glorious Years of Freedom!
On the 20th Dec. was my 1 year anniversary of quitting. I stopped cold turkey, from smoking 2 packs a day since I was 16 years old ( I am 57) and I was a total addict! Smoking controlled every moment of my life. So today, on my Quit Counter it says...
I am 1 year and 8 days and 23 hrs and 25 second as a non smoker!I have not smoked 14959 cigs, which has saved me $6456.34 !!I have saved 51 days 22 hours and 35 min of my life! Now how is that for pretty darn special!
I can also say that I never think of smoking unless there is some sort of nerve jarring event. Even then it it just a reflex. I do not crave them at all any more, nor do I want to smoke. I can sit next to smokers and it does not make me want to smoke. I can honestly say that everything is nicer as a non smoker, food tastes better, the air smells better, everything is cleaner such as the car and the house.
There is no way I will ever smoke again. It is like being free for the first time in my life, free of those smokes that ruled my life. I am FREE! Best of luck to all those quitting, remember that you can do it, and take it one moment at a time. Before you know it, you will be 1 year quite too!
December 27th marked my 7th year of quitting by NTAP. I make a mental note to come to WhyQuit.com as a reinforcement to never think I can just take a puff. I know I had quit several times before I knew about this support forum and would always have 'just one' cigarette.
I never think about smoking - that's been a thing of the past since I was 6-12 months quit, however I realize that I can never become complacent so a few times a year I stop by to read a few articles and that has worked perfectly for me. And of course it is with the utmost thanks and gratitude that you and the other volunteers are there to provide this forum for us. It's the only thing I know that has worked for me.
Again, thanks to all of you - past and present volunteers -
(TerryLynn888 - 33,255 cigarettes not smoked / $17,347 saved)
One year ago today it was December 26th. I was a smoker. On my heaviest days nearly two packs.. light days a half pack. My chest was heavy with smoke and a deep breath would likely come with a cough. Physically I felt drained a fair share of the time. It seemed as though I never had any energy. My feelings toward smoking included helplessness, degradation and humiliation. Looking at it now I clearly see that I wasn't participating in this periodic 'dosing' by choice. There was certainly a time that I did 'light-up' by choice.. but without question at some point along the way I had given up that choice. When I look at it now.. today.. one year later the presence of addiction is very clear.
It is around 9:00pm now and it was just before that time one year ago that I stumbled onto the WhyQuit website and began reading. I read and I actually smoked as I read. Head in my hands. Those that have embarked on this journey with me know the feeling. The 'this needs to end right now' feeling. At 11:40pm that night I had smoked my last. The next three days were tough but far from impossible...
I will not take part in active nicotine addiction ever again. Never.. I say that with absolute confidence. At this point in time it is very easy and extremely simple.
NEWBIES: Here the inside scoop. Accept that you have given up nothing and taken up living. By quitting you are not making any great sacrifice. Any duration of time without nicotine is a gift.. not a sacrifice. Once your mind set switches from 'quitting' to 'having quit' the challenge lightens. There is a difference between being in the process of quitting and having quit. A year ago I would never have thought it possible to go a year without.. heck I was worried about getting through the first morning. Today it honestly takes no effort at all. I don't remember the last anything I would call a crave. There is light at the end of the tunnel and it is different for everyone.. but the constant in this equation is that it is possible to live your life nicotine free.
So now I enter into my second year as an EX-smoker.
e Smart.. Be Strong.. BE FREE!!
As of tomorrow, I'm two weeks longer than one year smoke-free and feeling great. While there is still a lot of upward hill ahead, i finally feel like i can look back and say i've done some serious climbing.
As long as I have breath in my lungs, I will tell everyone how thankful I am NOT to be a smoker. I will, and have, told them where to go for help.
Talk about a great home comming. Being here, where I learned that I am an addict, and how to arrest my addiction. In a few days I will be at 4 years, over 36,174 cigs not smoked, 7,682.55 not spent. Thanks! Not a better web site.
Thank GOD !
I quit smoking cold turkey 28 years ago after many unsuccessful attempts. What really got to me was a story I read in Readers digest about a surgeon who smoked most of his life and was dying of lung cancer. During the interview from his hospital bed he more or less talked about his successful career, his happy family, and all of the blessings he had throughout his life and of course, about his addiction to cigarettes. At the end of the interview, the surgeon was asked if he had any regrets. His reply, the statement that got to me after reading his life story was, "My only regret is that I didn't quit smoking twenty years ago."
I did not want that to be a regret of mine.
Greetings from Johannesburg, South Africa. Today four years ago I quit. Since then I've been through a lot. I'm going to get a little dramatic here but there's a reason; one that can be of benefit to anyone starting a quit.
Eight months into my quit I was involved in a fairly serious motorcycle accident. Lying on the ground, bleeding and in pain, I remember my riding companions covering me against the August chill (remember, that's our winter). One serial quitter, knowing I had quit months before, lit up and asked me if I wanted one. I declined.
What gave me the clarity to do so? Something in John R Polito?s Tip Sheet that really hit home: No matter what you're going through, smoking won?t make it easier.
So I went through a crash, surgery and recuperation? without lighting up.
I got married, a nerve racking affair? without lighting up.
I've relocated my business, a traumatic experience? without lighting up.
And I've held on by my fingernails through this grinding recession? without lighting up.
Every day I allow myself a pat on the back. And every time I smell a smoker I shake my head in disbelief that I too once smelled like that. My message to anyone starting a quit: study that tip sheet and pick out the ones that stand out. For me, it was the one above.
Season's greetings, may 2011 be easier for us all than 2010 was, and expect my half-decade anniversary mail twelve months hence.
I still have such a vivid memory of the moment I quit on Thursday 30th November 2000 at precisely 6pm. I was sitting in my office having just completed a fairly tense telephone conversation with a client, so I did what I always did in those circumstances. I looked at my watch, took a cigarette out of the pack on my desk, put it in my mouth, clicked my lighter and moved it to the cigarette ..... and quite suddenly the thought came into my mind that I really didn't want to smoke ever again.
And that was it. The almost full pack went into the bin with the lighter, and I went home.
It's been a fascinating and wonderful journey since then. I found this website some weeks later and my quit was secured by what seemed like endless hours of reading and listening and discussing.
I still love being a quitter. They say that the purpose of winter is to make us better appreciate summer. We quitters can get such a kick out of something that never-smokers just take for granted, like not coughing when we breathe in, or being able to relax at the dinner table after a meal. I guess after ten years I've become pretty much used to all that, but I still fondly remember the early years of my quit ... and smile
I'm now one year off (actually 1 year and 4 days) smoking!
Hello to all! It's been another year of freedom for me, and I'm back to toot my horn! Eight years ago I found this site and it literally saved me.
I have stayed clean through many of lifes ups and downs, most notably, my husbands death from lung cancer. How ironic, as he was a never-smoker. I live with the thought every day, did I contribute to his illness with my second hand smoke? Did my addiction ultimately cause me to lose one of the most important people in my life?
I know without a doubt that I will never EVER take another puff. It still pops up every now and again, that little nicotine voice that says "just one". But now, I just shake my head and say "Never again!"
Once again, I must thank Bryan Curtis and his family for posting his story. It was the story that got me to finally say "Enough!"
To any newbies who may read this, just know that you are stronger than this addiction and you too can find the freedom from nicotine. Stay strong and be forever free!
Free for 8 years, 87,000 plus cigs not smoked (yikes!), over 21,000 dollars saved and 9 months of my life saved (which I would trade in a second to have a moment with my Christopher again). Don't Ever give up~ you can do this! :)
I very seldom get to this website any longer but I just wanted to stop and read some of the posts. It has been 4 years and 4 months since my husband and I my the life changing decision to quit nicotine. It has been the best decision we ever made and I'm so glad we have stuck it out. Honestly, I cannot imagine ever going back to being nicotine dependent.
To all the newbies on this website...hangin in there...it does get so very much better and one day you will be able to look back and see how far you have come. Nicotine is not your friend, but your enemy. It will rob you of your life. Take one day at a time and just remember NTAP.
Blessings to all!
My name is Debbie and I have been nicotine free since July 13, 2006 (4 years and 4 months).
Just writing to you to let you know that today - October 22, 2010 - I am celebrating my four year anniversary as a non-smoker. I am also happy to report that I am now off of all my blood pressure/heart medications and have lost 70 lbs in the past year. I have never felt healthier. To date, I have not smoked 17,533 cigarettes at a cost saving of $7,013.31. Your site continues to be the best support group out there and I thank you so much for your continued support.