Did you quit smoking (or chewing) nicotine cold turkey?
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This letter is long overdue and I will try to make it a short one, to keep you reading until the end. ;-)
I found whyquit.com in December, 2003 and quit on January 2nd, 2004. Sure, you get lots of testimonies and mine is probably no greater or much different than any other single one, but please humor me here, because I must write this letter for myself and also to tell you that your work is a phenomenal blessing to all who have been and will continue to be touched by it!!
Soon after my quit, I became my own worst (previous) nightmare: I became an Anti-Smoking advocate, became certified as a Smoking Cessation instructor by the American Lung Association and contributed to the successful passing of our new (Ohio) state smoking ban. I have shared your website with thousands of people (yes, really...one day, I shared it with two local radio personalities who were live on the radio, discussing their desire to quit, but feeling "not quite ready." I called them and recommended your website; not only did they feel newly-inspired, but the thousands who heard us talking on the radio that day probably caused a surge in hits on your site that day. :-))
Oddly enough (or not!), the other day, I met someone who said they were trying to quit smoking and said they had been using a website, which they heard about on the radio a while back (again, back to the day I was able to share your incredible website with a few thousand people at a single time!) and it was "the best thing ever!", per that individual.
The one thing I never fail to share with others about my own personal connection with your website is that, back in 2003, when I realized I really, really should quit, I feared failure because I wasn't "ready" (interpret however you wish - it's too subjective and people can pick it apart ad nauseum).....BUT, reading and revisiting your website took me those last few steps from not being ready to BEING READY. The sum of all of the education I received there was KEY. So, when people say "But, I LOVE to smoke" or "I'm just not ready - don't you really 'have to be ready' to quit?", I answer that I loved to smoke, also, and absolutely was not "ready" the day I committed to setting a quit date. You are born a non-smoker and you must return to thinking and acting like a non-smoker. The brilliant articles in Joel's Library gave me incredible insight and helped me to recognize the lies I'd created around my addiction.
One more consistent "excuse" I hear is "I'm going through too much right now....maybe later, when such-and-such is over or this or that is going right in my life...."...Well, let me share with you the story of my best friend, Janet, who quit smoking the day her sweet, beautiful mother passed away. This, she explained, was in tribute to her mother....an indescribable act of love and feat of strength!! Can you imagine? Who could have blamed her for smoking on that day, through the funeral and the entire mourning process?
The other thing Janet gave to me was her mantra: "It's not an option." Instead of the internal dialogue and the war being waged internally when feeling tempted, nip it in the bud right away by remembering that "It's NOT an option!" Do not entertain it. Close the door to any options. It's amazing how it worked/works, still, for me (yes, I still want my cigarettes). Just like NTAP, it reminds you that you cannot entertain those thoughts. It has helped me move right through countless weak moments.
Well, I knew I would type too long. I apologize. There's so much more I want to share, but that's it for now. Thank you for listening...but, more importantly, THANK YOU FOR WHAT YOU DO!!
Andrea S. Bihari
It may not be appropriate for me to post here again. I posted here last year after quitting 11-12-05 and I never joined freedom, so I have nowhere to shout out my accomplishment, but hey I'm proud of this accomplishment and everyone should be proud of every second they stay off nicotine.
I am a very low key person. I don't want a big deal made out of my birthday or anything else, but I have my wife(a never smoker) bake a cake for November 12th every year. I don't want to forget how difficult this was, and I want my kids to see how serious I am about not smoking. God forbid they ever try the poison. Not smoking now is not difficult, but now and then a magic moment comes along when I'm having a great time, and a friend stops to light a smoke, and I REMEMBER THAT FEELING, but the memory carries so little power.
Most of my friends are smoking drinking musicians, and being around them only makes me think smoking is just nasty. I hope everyone here stays vigillent forever. On a final note, a friends step mom tried quitting on the enchantrix?? or whatever junk. NO DICE. She was very quickly back to her usual consumption, so I am here to download the book for her and another friend who expressed interest in quitting.
Fight the good fight,
If only I could thank you enough! Yesterday me and my husband made one year without smoking thanks to this website.
I particularly want to say thanks to Brian Lee Curtis and his family that were brave and generous enough to share their story. We decided to quit after seeing their pain. We did it for ourselves, but we dedicate this victory to them.
I counted the days to give my testimonial, and I finally did it! It feels so good!
If you're thinking about quiting just do it cold turkey! We did it, and so can you!
Thank you, thank you, thank you WhyQuit.com.
Maria from Portugal
Thanks WhyQuit people. From all posters to the managers, I quit 15 months ago cold turkey successfully because of this web site. Nowhere else did I find the positive reinforcement and education I needed so badly. Joel is an inspiration and all of you have my deepest heart felt thanks. My husband quit with me and has also continued to remain free of tobacco.
I never joined why quit because I was afraid I would somehow relapse and get kicked out but I find these days that I wish I had joined so I could help those coming up behind me as those who were here when I was lurking in the beginning helped me. Pay it forward, it's the best thing you can do. So I have helped a couple of people who asked me and really wanted to know how they could quit just how I managed to do so. They're both still quit, and one hits one year mark this coming weekend. Yea and hoorah! So I'll pay it forward best as I can out here on the ground.
The best message I got here was people saying you could quit sad and feel sorry for myself or quit and be happy and glad I was doing something good for myself - once I got my attitude adjusted by that - I was good to go. It became so painless it was scary.
Bless you all
Debra in Texas
I quit smoking after 55 years and did it COLD TURKEY and so did my wife. Neither of us has had a "butt" in 10 years, 7 mos, and 3 days but whose counting? WE ARE and dang proud of it also.
I smoked for 55 years and had "heart" surgery and my surgeon told me my lungs looked horrible! He showed us an x-ray [not sure if it was mine or not] and that did it.
We got our daughter to quit and she went cold turkey. Now you can add three more to your list of non-smokers.
Don & Mary Ann Aspinall & Dawn Razer
February 2008 will be 3 years smoke free, after 34 years of smoking an average of 1 pack+ per day. I finally got a reason to quit, I found out I was going to have a son (my first child). My life was needed for someone else and I wanted to at least try to prolong my life while my health is good and stick around for him. I don't want to miss a day of his life. So, if you don't do it for yourself, do it for someone else, they need you around. If I can do it, you can to!
I tried to join Freedom from Tobacco quite some time ago because I wanted to let everyone know that it saved my life. I wasn't able to join, however because there were too many people on the forum already.
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that I've just worked out that I've been nicotine free for 3 years, 4 months and 3 days and I owe it all to WhyQuit and the information on it. I've saved over $12,200 and haven't smoked a whopping 36,606 cigarettes. Those figures just blow me away.
I still have friends who smoke and as soon as they make any comment at all about wanting to stop smoking, I forward a link to the WhyQuit site.
So, although I can't join the forum, I just wanted YOU to know how much I owe to this site.
Thanks for everything!!
Exactly one year ago today, October 22, 2006, I smoked my last cigarette.
My name is Michele and I am a 45 year old female. I have been smoking on and off for about 25 years, and was plagued by the usual ailments of being a smoker: coughs, colds, weakened immune system, feelings of unwellness, fatigue, etc., I did not have these symptoms all of the time, and in fact, quite often, I did not have these symptoms at all. I just learned to deal with them when they did strike.
I had not been feeling well for weeks, and had been unsuccessfully juggling many things. During the previous week, I had been feeling a "general malaise" and was having heart palpitations and numbness in my shoulder and left arm. I chalked it up to a pinched nerve and lack of sleep.
On Sunday October 22, 2006, I had a particularly stressful day. After a heated discussion with my nephew, I did not feel well at all. I decided to lay down, hoping the feeling would subside. Unfortunately, it did not. This persisted for about 8 hours. I had all the classic symptoms of a heart attack. I had the nausea, the pain in the shoulder and numbness running down the left arm, sharp jabbing pains in the chest area, squeezing and tightening within my chest cavity, a racing heart and pain. I was terrified. I took myself to the hospital and calmly walked to the Triage Nurse and said "I think I'm having a heart attack". My blood pressure was taken and it was 203/142. I had a slight temperature. I was taken into a room immediately and hooked up to all sorts of things I had only seen in the movies. I thought I was going to die. My partner was with me and I told him "don't let me die in here". I know this sounds melodramatic, but this is exactly how scared I was. In the hours that followed, I thought about my children growing up without their mother, I thought about death and dying, I thought about all the things I would not get to do. I really believed I was going to die that night. I remember thinking of myself "if I make it through this, I will quit smoking, I promise".
Well, since I made it through the night and was released the next day, I decided to make some changes once and for all. Once home from the hospital, the first thing I did was to throw my cigarettes in the garbage. I have never looked back.
I was off one week from work on medical leave. I did a lot of thinking during this time. To reduce the temptation of lighting up, I gave up all caffeinated beverages, including soda drinks, alcohol, tea and coffee. I had enjoyed coffee and/or tea almost daily for all of my adult life, but on this day, I decided that enough was enough. I immediately started researching out how to quit smoking and found www.WhyQuit.com.
The first three days were a little rough. Certainly nothing like I expected though and nowhere near as bad as what I had experienced in the past when I had quit.
Within weeks, food tasted and smelled better. Most of the withdrawal symptoms went away. I had some wicked nightmares. I battled insomnia. I was very tired but learned this was absolutely normal.
Within about three months, the smell of a cigarette made me quite sick. I had a few cravings, mostly within the first few weeks and months, but I am happy to report my last actual craving for a cigarette was in February, 2007. I have thought about smoking and have seen people with a coffee and cigarette and thought about the image and about how much they are enjoying that coffee and cigarette, and often times I remembered when I too used to enjoy that coffee and cigarette. Then reality kicked in and I remember laying in that hospital bed thinking that I was going to die. All of sudden that coffee and cigarettes did not look too wonderful.
I'm not going to lie to anyone here. I felt very depressed for about six weeks. I felt like I had lost my best friend, though that sounds ridiculous now as I write this. When I told one of my friends that I had quit smoking "cold turkey" and that I had also given up caffeinated beverages and alcohol, their response was "what's the point to life?".
Every time I felt even the slightest bit of temptation and thought I could reason with myself that "one won't hurt, then I will quit again", I thought about my overnight stay in the hospital. I also visited this website. I had many late nights.
Over the next couple of months, I was in and out of the hospital. I learned that I had a mild heart attack. I also learned through testing that I have heart disease. My blood pressure continued to skyrocket and one afternoon, about two months after I had quit smoking, I had to leave work because my blood pressure was 242/156. I was put on medication for high blood pressure and referred to a cardiologist. My doctor told me that had I continued to smoke, in all likelihood I would have suffered a stroke.
I have now been on medication for 10 months but the great news is that my medication was recently reduced because my blood pressure was actually too low! Just the other day it was 99/56. (I have a home machine).
Being on this medication has meant that I have had to endure weekly blood tests, countless medical appointments, and hospital visits. The blood tests are necessary because my medication is hard on your kidneys and liver and also it depletes the body of potassium and sodium and you can actually die if your levels are too low. I was shocked when I learned this. So, not only am I on medication, probably for the rest of my life, but I have also been referred to a nutritionist so that she can ensure that I am getting the proper levels of potassium and sodium in my diet. The dietary changes have been hard to embrace, but I'm used to it now.
Some of the tests I have had have been uncomfortable. Every time I have them though, I think about what put me there in the first place and how I will NEVER EVER smoke again. I have told my children about what I have been though. I have told my friends and family. It is not worth it.
When I was in the hospital recently for one of my tests, I was sitting out in the hallway waiting to be called in. I started chatting up a woman who was sitting a few chairs down. I was absolutely stunned to learn that she was the same age as me. I say this because she too had been a life-long smoker. She had recently quit when she realized she could not get rid of a nasty cold that had been lingering for weeks. She was told she has early stages of Emphysema. She was on oxygen. She said she wished she had never ever taken that first cigarette. That woman's face will be forever imprinted in my brain. I think of her often, wondering how she is doing.
I have since resumed drinking alcohol but was never a big drinker to begin with. I have the occasional cup of tea or coffee, but apparently it raises your blood pressure so I try not to have more than one or two cups per week (vs. two to three cups per day).
I gained about 20 lbs as a result of quitting smoking and was overweight to begin with, so I joined a weight control program so I am hoping this will help me deal with that problem. So far, I've lost 35 lbs.
My body is still healing. In the beginning, I was coughing up quite a bit of phlegm. It was nasty. I am happy to report though that I have not had a cold or flu or anything this year. Many of the office staff where I work was ill with something or another and I managed to dodge the bullet.
I was at a party last night surrounded by smokers. I was offered a cigarette and said "thank you no, I don't smoke". One of the guests at the party asked me why I wasn't smoking to which I replied "actually I quit last October". There was a hush in the room, but only for a second or two. Of course the questions came asking me why I quit and how I quit, so I told them all. I was amazed at my strength of being surrounded by 8 smokers and not once wanting to indulge.
Yes, the smell bothers me. Yes, it smells like a barn. Yes, it's bad for your health and it's expensive. Heck, as I write this, I have not smoked 4,377 cigarettes at a savings of over $1,700.00. That's 175 packs of cigarettes !!! By not smoking, not only can I expect to live a healthier and longer life, but I'm saving approximately $11.00 per day!
I feel amazing. I will never ever smoke again. I will continue to try to educate those who I care and love about the truths of smoking.
Every single time I draw a deep breath into my lungs I feel empowered that I took what I believe to be the single most important step in my life. The doctor advises me that it will take years before my lung capacity reaches any kind of "normal" function. Every single time I see my doctor, he congratulates me! I continue to do breathing exercises every day. I remember one year ago, I could not walk up a flight of stairs without being winded. Now I can run up those same stairs.
Since I have quit smoking, I know or know of at least five people who have been diagnosed with some form of cancer and two of them have died.
I sincerely hope that my story inspires at least one person to think about what they are doing before lighting up that next cigarette. I thank you for reading and remember, never take another puff!
I started smoking at the age of 12, and by the age of 14 I was buying my own packs and smoking on a regular basis. For 18 years I smoked a pack-a-day or more of cigarettes.
It has been over a year now since I quit smoking. Your site was instrumental in helping me quit. Like you said, education is key. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!
After 45 years of smoking, I have now been smoke free for over a year, having quit the day before Mother?s Day 2006.
This major miracle was made possible only because of the explanations on what addiction is, and how to beat it, that I found at whyquit.com.
The importance of this life change was just brought home to me again two days ago, as I lay on the operating table of the Order of Saint Francis Heart Hospital. If I only survived to be able to come back and tell you this, then my life purpose is fulfilled.
It is "never" too late to quit...
Please don't wait another day, you may not get another chance.
Thank God for whyquit.com.
Well, I have gone a year without smoking! (September 25th) I have gone through some tough times in that year, (brain surgeries, not related to smoking) and I have held tight through out all that! I am so proud of myself! Never did I give in to the addiction.
I owe it all to WhyQuit.com and to all the stories posted; Bryan's, Noni, Kim, and lastly Deborah, and all the numerous articles and stories. WhyQuit has opened my eyes and I agree, it's an addiction! Although it was one comment from Isisvision (Katy) that had me open my eyes:
"I think how hard it is to be a parent and then imagine being a parent dying of a smoking related illness. I think about sitting down with my beautiful children and think how I would explain to them that I put my addiction before them and now they will have to watch me die! I imagine my eldest, Mr Practical, with tears streaming down his eyes saying 'but mummy who will look after us once your gone'?"
Thank you WhyQuit!
Hello All. I was smoke-free for one year on Sept. 14 2007. I owe it to all of the FREE information given on the WhyQuit website. I had been praying to God to put someone in my life to help me quit smoking. I'm a 35 plus years of smoking 2-3 packs of smokes a day. The logical and no nonsence approach of the people on the WhyQuit website appealed to me. While I was quitting I used the website to get my nicotine deprived brain back together and to control my detoxifying body. I even had a fight with some people when I tried to join the message boards. My thoughts were so out of control, I guess they didn't think I was serious about quitting. LOL (Of course I didn't read all of the information required to join) Things were too complicated for me back then. What a difference a year makes. I can breath, I don't have the smoker's cough, my circulation is getting better, I can sleep, I have increased my hours at work, I saved enough money to buy a super computer and get dsl, and I gave all of those steroid inhalers to a friend of mine who still smokes. Don't know how long I will be on this earth but as long as I'm here I want to breath.
1. I made a date to quit and quit.
Somehow, one day at a time, I quit smoking. Thanks to all the people in my life who made this possible. If I can quit, anyone can quit. Are you ready? Do you want to be free from nicotine addiction? Today I have the freedom to choose weather I smoke or not. I choose to not smoke today. How great is that? You can start walking the road to freedom for yourself. Just remember NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF.
Stay stronge and determined. See you on the Broad Highway. Best to all,
October 10, 2004, was the day I smoked my last cigarette. Three years smoke free ... WOW ! Life only gets better. My mother was forced to quit smoking due to her "Touch of emphysema". She has been smoke free for 1 year. Her breathing has improved a great deal. I am so happy for my mom, and for me too!
Wow, when I first began my journey on August 16th, 2006, I used to wonder how those people who were "gold" [at Freedom] did it. They amazed me and yet again, they helped me tremendously to where I am today.
Thank you...thank you! You made this journey easier than I thought possible; but it was never so easy that it wasn't on my mind constantly. Another thing that really helped was the little poster I put up on my fridge "Staying smoke free is as simple as always remembering to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!!!
My rewards after this first year of being a non-smoker are numerous. I am no longer on high cholesterol meds, I lowered my blood pressure medication from 20 mg to 10 mg, my peripheral arterial test came back normal this year (last year there was a problem), I can sing in church without being breathless, I can ride my bike without getting winded, I smell good, (so does my car), we have more money to spend, etc., etc., etc!!
One of my biggest fears prior to quitting was how much weight I would gain. Well, in one year and 22 days, I have only gained 5 pounds and I think that may be because I was dx'd with an underactive thyroid in February of this year and weight gain is one of the more prominent side effects of that disease. Who knows, without the problem of having an underactive thyroid, I probably would have lost weight!!
So to all of you who are new on this journey...please have faith! This CAN be done. Prior to August 16th of 2006, I had NEVER tried to quit. I had smoked 37 years at a little over one pack per day. This site was a godsend. And I'm also stubborn!!!! My husband always says that I can do anything that I put my mind to and he was right!! And all I know is that I am FREE and what a great feeling.
Thanks again to all of you who post here trying to help all of us, whether we are newbies, green, bronze and yes, even gold!
Jill - Free and Healing for One Year, Twenty Two Days, 19 Hours and 18 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 33 Days and 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 9695 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $1,871.74.
I quit smoking July 17, 2005. Cold Turkey! Your website was the only tool I used. I smoked for 11 years and had tried nicotine replacements. Before seeing your site I never lasted an entire day without a cigarette. I downloaded one of the free counters, made the decision and quit. During the first week I imagine I accessed your website a hundred times. I have recommended it to every doctor I've met since then and every one of my smoker friends that express a desire to quit.
Your message might not be received by everyone, but it made the difference in my life. So from the bottom of my heart. Thank you.
I took my last cigarette on January 11, 2006 and chewed my last piece of nicotine gum on January 18, 2006. I decided the gum wasn't doing me much good and that if I was going to quit, I'd be better off to do it all at once, so I did. Thanks to WhyQuit, the Live Journal quitsmokingnow2 community, and my wonderful husband, I went from 33 years of smoking 1.5 to 2 packs a day to nothing. It's not always been easy but I keep reminding myself that I smoked for a long time, it's not going to get better all at once either. I still want one, very occasionally, when there's a triggering event that I didn?t expect or plan for, but it?s easy to say "no" now and gets easier every day.
The best news of all is that my Mom also quit, after smoking for 45 years. She's got about eight months under her belt now, and I'm so proud of her. I knew it was going to stick with her when she admitted that she "hated the smell" when my aunt and uncle smoked around her.
If I can do it, anyone can do it! Thanks, whyquit.
Folks, I haven't been around for a very long time but figured my accomplishment noted a line or two. A week ago I celebrated ONE YEAR nicotine free and just can't wrap my head around how I've done it and the enormity of not smoking after being addicted for 40 years. It is astounding. So, all the newbies out there, stick to it. There were definitely days those first two weeks when I thought, what the heck, I'm going to smoke anyway sooner or later, but I just really clung to that 3 minute rule and I did NOT smoke.
Never really had health problems (thank heavens for that and why not, I don't know) but now I am so full of energy and free of all the unpleasant hassles of smoking that life is so much better. I can't tell you the times I've thought as I'm power walking or swimming that I say to myself, Thank God you quit smoking. Just in the nick of time. Also, it is such a relief not to have to constantly check and see if I have enough cigs for the day and night, and moving the smokes and matches and lighters around and emptying ashtrays in places where that awful smell didn't permeate everything. It is just so much easier. And that smell!!!! YUCK, I always hated it and would spray and scrub and delude myself that I didn't smoke THAT much (oh right, ms pack and a half a day) so I didn't have that awful odor around my body. Just crazy how stupid I was, and for 40 years. DUH!
So now, I smell so good, my house, my car just everything is clean and fresh. I suppose I was just fed up with smoking and was lucky enough to quit but only because of the help from Joel and all the other supportive people at this site. Hang in there you beginners. You will be healthier, happier and oh yea, RICHER in just a year. Take care all and good luck and thanks again to WHYQUIT for the many lives you save. Love to everyone,
My name is Milca. I wanted to take the time to thank you for your website. Today is my 2 year nicotine free anniversary. I would not have been able to do it without the support of my family, friends in Nicotine Anonymous, God, and a website such as WhyQuit. Thank you for dedicating your time to this very important cause.
I have emailed your website link to all of my friends (who I can no longer spend time with due to second hand smoke) who are still smoking. I hope that one day they too will find the courage to be free.
It has been one year and seven days since I last smoked a cigarette. I give thanks and credit to Joel and John for this as the education I received from the WhyQuit.com site, I believe; saved my life. Of course I give thanksgiving and credit to God and even myself as well for finally waking up to the cold hard facts.
I had been a two (plus) pack per day user since 1961, yes, that?s forty-five years of poisoning my body and mind. It scares me to do the math. I will not recant all of the horrid experiences I have subjected myself too, they frighten even me. Suffice to say that here I am, sixty-six years of age living with, or dying from ? emphysema, sleep apnea and restless leg syndrome. The medications change, the symptoms come and go, worsen, or ease up a bit from time to time.
I will never deny the fact that if I smoke even ONE cigarette ? NO, change that, if I take EVEN ONE DRAG from a cigarette; it will be for me as if I have never quit at all. I will be; figuratively speaking, opening my casket and hopping right in, coughing, gasping for breath, wheezing, spitting and suffering seizures all the way.
I take it: ONE DAY AT A TIME
You courageous folks on the site are doing the daily battle of overcoming your addiction so I salute you and wish you Godspeed on your journey to recovery of your health. I think that if I have a message for anyone, it is to those lurkers out there or those who are ?just looking.?
I am not here to make new friends so I feel free to tell you the total unvarnished truth about WHAT YOU ARE DOING TO YOUR BODY by smoking, chewing, snorting or eating tobacco like a silly old cow. YOU WILL EVENTUALLY KILL YOURSELF friend and you can take that to the bank. The odds are stacked against you so go take a look in the mirror and decide right now if you are worth saving. Are you worth being a daddy or mommy? Are you worth being a credit to yourself and the world as well? Are you willing to waste your time, money and health ? all the while stinking up your body, house, car and clothes? Measure the pros and cons, consider your weaknesses and strengths then fill out the form to join this site and do yourself the biggest favor you can ever do.
STOP KILLING YOURSELF WITH TOBACCO PRODUCTS.
I wish you all what I wish for myself; good health, happiness and successes beyond measure.
God bless you
Hi guys, just wanted to give you the good news of my 2 year quit last week Aug 6th. The second year has even been easier than the first. No counting of days, weeks or months etc, just Total Freedom. It's wonderful.
To everyone on their way to Gold, hang in there, it's most definitely worth it!
Best wishes from the UK,
PS: I like Joel's vidoes and if I wouldn't have quit already I would watch them every day!
Below are links to other victory messages arranged in groups of twenty