Messages from cold turkey ex-smokers who have quit smoking for at least 1 year
While almost all who successfully arrest their chemical dependence upon nicotine have done so by quitting cold turkey, none of us have ever seen any commercial or advertisement recommending cold turkey. Why?
Free cold turkey quitting generates zero profits, has no marketing budget, cannot buy political influence, donate millions to health non-profits, or demand and conduct intellectually honest quitting studies.
Cold turkey's champions are the hundreds of millions of worldwide ex-smokers who mastered one guiding principle ... no nicotine just one challenge and day at a time, to never take another puff, dip, vape or chew!
WhyQuit receives more than 2 million annual visitors. We invite you to share your victory message with those still in bondage if you quit smoking, vaping, or using smokeless tobacco by going cold turkey and have remained nicotine-free for at least one full year.
I smoked over a pack a day for nearly 15 years. In theory quitting should be easy as you literally have to do nothing to succeed... unfortunately in practice breaking the addiction is anything but easy. The hardest part for me was maintaining the motivation. The inspirational stories and informative articles on WhyQuit.com helped me maintain the motivation that ultimately broke my nicotine addiction. Today I celebrate 11 years without nicotine. I tried (and failed) to quit hundreds of times. But the greatest part about quitting is that it doesn't matter how many times you fail, you only need to succeed once.
I will be honest, I'm not sure of my actual date. I'm always bad about that, but it's been well over 2 years. I don't have cravings anymore, at all. Actually I have developed quite a disgust for cigarettes. When I see someone sucking one down, I say "Ugh, NASTY!!!" I am actually appalled by cigarettes now, I can't believe I ever even smoked. Anyone else feel this way? I think this mindset is what will keep me from EVER going back. I know 100%, no matter what happens, I will NEVER EVER smoke another nasty cigarette again, and I feel great about that. Cold Turkey is the only thing that ever worked for me.
I stopped smoking by going cold turkey at 2pm August 19th 2005! I still remember the exact time and date because I had my mind made up. I had smoked for 23 years, since I was 15 and I could not remember what it was like to be a non smoker. The first few days were the hardest, I'm not going to lie and say otherwise but eventually the cravings and the dreams waned until now I don't give them another thought. You too will be exactly like me. The rule is easy, never take another puff. That's it you're free... Forever. You can do it 👌
Quit 10/2/14. That first week was rough but I painted my house and got a LOT of crocheting done lol. Hang in there and be proud!
Keep it simple. Don't give in. Not one puff. It'll get easier. I promise.
15 years for me and doing wonderful! NTAP!!!
I read the free books from WhyQuit. It took several reads, but I quit cold turkey after over twenty years of what ended up turning into two packs a day. My five-year quit anniversary is this July. Because of what I learned from the books, I knew I couldn't even try it ever again.
My life is so much better now that nicotine doesn't control my day. It was hard, but it gets easier over time. The withdrawal symptoms will go away, and you will never regret quitting.
I quit cold turkey 11 years and 3 months ago after stumbling upon this website. I smoked for about 13 years around a pack a day. First year was hard! Now though I rarely if ever think about it-usually only around my anniversary or when I think about how happy I am that I made it through that time. Anyone can quit as long as you want to. Stick with it it gets easier every day.
I thought I could never quit smoking for good and quitting cold turkey never crossed my mind. I tried patches and gum and pills but I always ended up returning to cigarettes. After over 25 years of smoking and failing to quit numerous times I decided to try once again.
This time I searched the internet for the best ways to quit and among the information on nicotine replacements which I had already tried I found Whyquit.com. I started reading and learning about what happens when you stop putting nicotine in your body and how your body reacts. I learned about nicotine addiction and how it affects your brain and I read stories and experiences of others who had quit cold turkey and were able to remain nicotine free and why quitting cold turkey was the best way to go. It all made sense to me.
Crossing the 72 hour hurdle was very difficult for me but everytime I felt like I was struggling I would read some articles on WhyQuit or find something to keep me busy and the craving would pass. I got to rely on this to help get me through. Just knowing that what I was going through was temporary was a big thing for me. Instead of worrying about quitting for good I learned to just focus on getting through one crave at a time and NTAP was always on my mind. I knew that if I took one puff of a cigarette I would have to start all over again and I was determined not to let that happen.
It got easier over time and I thought about smoking less and less. I have been nicotine free for over 11 years now and I don't even think about smoking cigarettes anymore. Thanks to the knowledge I received from WhyQuit I was able to quit cold Turkey and quit for good.
10 yrs and 3 months already. To help me, I translated in Italian Joel's "NTAP" and shared it on newsgroups. Still in contact with some of the friends of that period. Great!
Just wanted to let you know that I quit cigarettes 9 years ago in July and I wouldn’t have done it without WhyQuit. I was just thinking about this and realized I’ve never let you at the site know about my success. I spent at least an hour on the site every day in my first 1-2 months, reading and rereading every single article. I do not believe I would’ve made it through those afternoons without you. After I quit, my husband was able to as well. My family thanks you!
I was a teen in the late 60s and the early 70s. YOU know the years I’m talking about. Man, we were weird! We did some crazy STUFF; we listened to great music – (Bohemian Rhapsody was a fabulous movie); we wore bell bottoms and Navy P-Coats.…and Paisley Shirts (I have a granddaughter named Paisley, she is fabulous!); we had long hair; we drank Annie Green Springs and Mogen David and we tried really hard to buy Everclear; and Roller Rinks!! I spent so dang much time at the Skating Rink. We liked big cars! I loved my 59 Ford Country Sedan. We had a revolution, a fabulous revolution! (kind of like today’s teenagers) And…many of us smoked….young! Most quit as the years went by - I didn’t.
Today, March 19, 2019 - 1 Year; 12 Months; 365 Days; a whole bunch of minutes or seconds; Back to March 19, 2018 – the day I woke up and decided to quit smoking (after about 47 years –shhh…don’t say anything). COLD TURKEY – No gum, no pills, no patches…just me. I MADE IT – 1 year surprises me. I’m surprised because I never once had a nicotine fit and never had withdrawals. It didn’t bother me when I was in a place that allowed smoking…like a casino! I did have a desire to eat …ya…EAT! I didn’t gain (much) weight because I didn’t allow myself to indulge in my desires. But, oh man, I could have eaten an entire chocolate factory!
One Year - Many more to come!
My friend and I gave up 27 years ago cold turkey. BEST THING EVER. Hard but Worth it.
June and Kay
There's nothing fishy about being a quitter! I'm 2.5 years as a smart turkey after nearly 30 years addicted. Woohooo! I love how awesome I smell. It makes me hug my loved ones more. I'm no longer that stinky mom/sister/friend. Kudos to all you newbies. It is NOT easy. But, it does get easier. There are ups and downs, a lot! And then, one day, you realize you haven't thought about a cigarette in X days, and then XXXX days, and then you give yourself a nod and say, "Look at me go. I got this." Because you do.
When you want to cry, when you want to cave, when you swear the nicotine addiction is too much to overcome...fight back. You will and can win. When the wave of desire hits you, just steel yourself and say over and over, "Never Take Another Puff." Within moments the urge will pass, you'll be free, and you'll be winning another day. Just keep swimming!
You got this.
I will not smoke with you today. WE got this together. Kudos to you!
Hi WhyQuit! Today is my 16th anniversary from quitting smoking cold turkey, with the help of this site and Freedom board (not sure if it still exists). 16 years!
Because of this site I stopped craving cigarettes within a couple of weeks. Before in previous quits the cravings never went away.
I usually forget my quit anniversary, but I finally put the reminder into my phone. I barely remember smoking. Thank god for this site. Thank you!
It's pleasent to scratch a mosquito bite because the itching stops. Unfortunatley just for a short time. To really stop the itch you have to quit scratching entierly. Reduce the amount of scatching and the itch will continue. It's the same with smoking: Replace the itching with the craving to smoke, the scratching with the act of smoking a cigarette and the mosquito bite with your smoking addiction. The difference is, that the mosquito bite will dissapear after some time, but the addiction will stay. Luckily it won't itch anymore, as long as you never scratch again.
When I quit smoking a bit more than 4 years ago, I didn't know about the law of addiction. I thought that after a while of abstinence I would be able to enjoy an occasional cigarette. Thanks to this website and Joel Spitzer's book I soon knew better and never relapsed. Thank you very much!
It will be 15 years I quit smoking on March 22. I was a 2 1/2 pack a day smoker for over 30 years. Joel Spitzer and WhyQuit educated me and saved me. All it took was a sense of knowledge, a kick of willpower and the determination to quit cold turkey. Cold Turkey is the only way.
I too suffered at about 4 days of withdrawals and I mean brutal ... but I kept on going because after 4 days, your body is on its way to healing. Best thing I ever did. I'd like to share with you a post I keep on my wall to remind me of my Victory. It is powerful and strong and makes me very proud of myself. Good luck to you all who have quit and to those who are trying to quit. You can do it! Just NTAP! Today, I choose life!
Yesterday, I chose to be a slave to a disgusting, filthy, self-destructive addiction.
Today, I choose freedom!
Yesterday, I chose to be controlled by that addiction.
Today, I choose self-control!
Yesterday, I chose disease and sickness, because it was easier to remain a slave to my addiction than it was to break free.
Today, I choose health!
Yesterday, I chose weakness, because if I was too weak to break the chains of my addiction, no one could blame me for remaining bound.
Today, I choose strength!
Yesterday, I chose to suck multiple poisonous substances into my already severely damaged lungs because I "needed" one of those poisons to feed my addiction.
Today, I choose not to smoke!
Yesterday, I chose death.
Today, I choose life!
Happy New Year everybody!! Today marks 1 year cigarette free and I have the biggest smile on my face writing this. Never really thought I’d make it this far but I’m here and happier than ever! Good luck to every one starting out, it may seem tough but the end result is so worth it, so just keep fighting through!!
Yesterday marked 4 years, seven months for me and my quit. I couldn't be happier. I remember how "normal" it used to seem to smoke cigarettes. Now it seems so UNnatural. I watch smokers these days, and if it wasn't so pathetic, dangerous and tragic, I would have to laugh. The behavior is comic, but addiction is no comedy... unless it ends in a permanent quit.
A time will come when you won't think about it very often, and if you do, it won't be a craving. Don't ever throw away what you have worked so hard to achieve. NTAP. It's that simple.
Thanks John and Joel ...…. GOLD X 5 on 1-1-19
5 Years and Counting !!!!!!
NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF …… NTAP works!!!!!
Thanks whyquit.com for helping me stop smoking 5+ years ago. I was a heavy 30 year smoker. I actually don't remember the exact date because I had stopped and started so many times. I would read over and over on WhyQuit the stories of people who died as the result of smoking. I've now given this site to an old friend that smoked that first cig with me at the age of 16. She says she's ready and I'm rooting for her and all of you!
One year for me was Christmas Day. I am so proud but somehow I was let down thinking it was some magical date to mark never wanting to smoke again. I will NTAP but a couple of times during the Day I had to breathe extra deep to convince myself I am an ex-smoker. Do not become complacent. Even though most days I never give cigs a thought, there will be times, I guess, when I'll want one. Dang that addiction! Again NTAP!!!
Last Christmas, for the first time, I gave myself a gift. I tend to get so overwhelmed with making sure everyone's gifts are accounted for, that I'm usually the last person on my mind. However, last Christmas I gave myself the gift to be done with alcohol and nicotine for good.
I began smoking at 14, up to 3 packs a day sometimes, all the way down to 1 pack minimum. At 21 years old, I was able to quit. I remember thinking it was the hardest thing I had ever done, and I felt a great boost in self esteem for such accomplishment. Seven years later I fell for the "I'll just have ONE cigarette. I quit before, it'll be ok" trick.
That one cigarette lasted for 10 years. During those 10 years the desire to quit again grew to uncomfortable levels. I desperately wanted to quit, but felt incapable. So trust me when I say that I felt quite uneasy as my quit date of 12/25/17 approached, but I did a good job at keeping those thoughts at bay. I kept telling myself over and over "I accept my new reality, there are no more cigarettes on planet earth. I am no longer a smoker. I accept my new reality". And I really connected to the words I spoke. I don't know if that's the sole reason why it felt effortless 90% of the time, but it did.
Today, one year later I feel so grateful! I can't hardly believe I am at the one year mark. Feels amazing to be able to take full breaths painlessly, and as a bonus, not have a hang over.
I wish all of you reading this a marvelous Christmas day, or which ever wonderful holiday you celebrate. May we all know love, may we all know peace, may we all NTAP.
Whoosh!! I missed my November quit date again! This one was a big one...15 years clean 💕
A lot has happened in my life that could easily have thrown me back, but I have kept Bryan Curtis forever close in my heart, as it was his story on Whyquit.com that literally saved my life 15 years ago. I will be forever grateful to his family for sharing his story as it gave me a clean life to help my husband through his battle with lung cancer (how ironic as he was a never smoker), help my girls through their grief, watch them grow to be outrageously phenomenal, strong women, and live to (hopefully) see my 55th birthday this coming July.
To all “new quits”, that are struggling, please know that there is most definitely life after nicotine. Be smarter than your brain when it nudges you that you “need it”. You. Don’t.
Breathe Deep. It will pass, I promise!
Your future awaits and I wish each and every one of you a long and healthy life! On to year 16! ❤
Laurey Bollero Goldsworthy
Good day from South Africa. Today marks 12 nicotine-free years. I know you and Mr Spitzer have a "no credit, no blame" policy. However I was hooked for three long decades. After trying every gimmick - patches, hypnosis, etc - without success, eventually I gave up even trying to quit.
Then a friend steered me to your website. The everyday-English explanations of why the craving manifests and how to outlast it, did what no product could do: it gave me the know-how to quit smoking. Twelve years on and I've stayed quit. Literally never touched it again. To the WhyQuit team, thank you for twelve nicotine free years, with many more expected to follow.
Like many people, I was convinced that I could not stop smoking without some kind of aid. I was hypnotized, stapled, went to smoke-enders and finally tried Chantix. Chantix scared the hell out of me with recurring, frightening nightmares so I threw them out. What did it for me? The support of Whyquit.com counselors and members. February 16, 2014; I told myself I would never smoke again. It wasn't easy but after 50 years of smoking; when you have had enough, you have had enough. I am looking forward to my 5th anniversary! Thanks to the people and staff of Whyquit.com!
I watched Joel’s videos 10 years ago when I quit cold turkey and visited the website daily ... Not one puff in 10.
Mike A Beamer
2 years today! 2 years ago, I was determined and ready to move on from a life that included smoking. To all the newbies: keep your quit protected, one day at a time and never take another puff - it's that simple.
14 years for me! I was a 2 1/2 pack a day smoker for over 30 years. Joel Spitzer is a wonderful teacher. He is my mentor and he saved my life by educating me. His website is stocked filled with knowledge and reason to quit smoking and the effects it has on you. His website also teaches you to see cigarettes for the way they are ... Demon sticks that are slowly killing you. Demon sticks that people pay to buy to continue their filthy addiction. What they do not realize is they are paying to die. That woke me up! He brought me to my senses and I won! Like Joel's How to Quit Smoking video ... he says the withdrawal is for real and can be painful but the results are a winner. I will NTAP!!!
18 years smoke-free. Back in the day, I never thought I could succeed, but I did. Thank you for the wonderful gift Joel!
A year ago, I couldn't imagine a life without a smoke. Over 12 months later, and I'm very much confirmed as an ex-smoker.
Saved myself £2.5k in that year, so went out and bought myself a piano last week with the money I didn't spend on cigarettes :)
To anyone starting out - it's not easy in the first couple of days, but you should quickly realise that it's simple to not take another puff for the next hour. Then it's the hour after that, and so on.
Feel so much better, healthier and cleaner! Thanks to everyone on the site for their support, which was really, really important in the first few days.
One year ago today,I made one of the most important decisions of my life. I quit smoking after 38 years. Cold Turkey all the way! 1 year free, I'm happy as could be !😀
Lynda G. Johnson
13 years now for me, a 35 a day smoker from age 12 - 41. All thanks to www.whyquit.com You saved me!!! Never thought I could do it till I got your support, thanks again and a thousand times more thanks ♥
I recommend this site almost every day. With your help, 19 months quit after 48 years.
Today I am one Year nicotine free. A gold turkey thanks to the support and encouragement of the people at Turkeyville and Joels videos. A year ago today I was in the hospital, again, with breathing issues. Smoking was definitely not helping with COPD and other lung issues. When I got discharged 3 days later, I of course wanted a smoke but my hubby encouraged me to continue to stay stopped. I found Turkeyville not too long thereafter. I can honestly say my health is better. I still have occasional breathing issues, which would be worse if i kept on puffing.
Thank you admins and everyone here i couldn’t do it without you 🙏😊
One year ago I quit! I couldn't have done it without this page. In New Zealand they promote nicotine replacement therapy. I would "quit" for the 3 months I was on patches and then relapse. When I found this page it was such a revelation, I watched all the videos, found out what I was going through was normal and worked my way through it.
I smoked for 30+ years, tried dozens of time to stop and I have finally done it. A big thank you to you all for helping me, my son thanks you also. To all of you that have just started your quit, stay strong, it does get easier, you will not be constantly thinking about them
Double gold turkey today!! Two years as a Quitter!!! To all those starting this journey, know that it is worth it. I turn 50 years old this year. I smoked a pack plus a day for 25+ years. It is hard to quit. You will cry. You will feel like you've lost your best friend. You will doubt your strength. Stay strong. Trust me - It will get better. Just keep chanting: Never Take Another Puff.
This is me a month ago - Jumping for joy on vacation exploring the Salt Flats in Bolivia. I am a single mom with a full-time job. But yet, in the past two years I've traversed cliffs in Bolivia, wined and dined in Paris, lounged by the sea in Curacao, cruised for a week in the Caribbean, toasted marshmallows over a volcano in Guatemala, biked around Montreal, celebrated the new year in Toronto, and rode horses in Texas.
Because I'm not wasting my money on cigarettes anymore.
It's amazing what's out there beyond the smoke cloud. Stick with your quit. You'll see. It's freaking awesome.
- feeling proud.
I joined a stop smoking support site about 2 months after quitting in 2008. At the time, I spent A LOT of my spare time there giving and receiving support during the first year of this quit. I don't remember the details but based on some of my blog posts, it was a rough and rocky ride to say the least.
Fast forward to 10 years later. I can't remember the last time I had even the slightest craving for a cigarette. These days, the smell of second and third hand smoke is completely beyond repulsive to me. I love the freedom that comes from no longer having that ball and chain attached, and that dictated what I did every waking moment.
For anyone out there who is struggling, I want you to know that this addiction is beatable!
I am from Australia. This has been a great help to quitting and I am so happy to be 1 year nicotine free. Joel and his teachings have been an enormous help in achieving this, so too the many posts from others going through similar withdrawals. I will continue the “mantra” and direct anyone who do to wishes to be free from the addiction. A grateful and huge thank you.
John, I am in the UK and I am coming up to 3 years free. I never stop to pass on your site and ebook or any information if asked about quitting. From the experience I gained what was most revealing to me was the simple fact, that by facing up to the truth and admitting back then I was an addict, it became easy to adjust to the fact that the only person or thing preventing me was me.
What you and Joel have done will never be forgotten and as you were an admitted addict to the cigarette trade in your previous life this makes the fight and continuation to help people claim back their lives all the more commendable. Thank you for your input and may you enjoy man ymore years of happiness free from the slavery of tobacco.
Paul in the UK