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Turkey's Triumphs: Page 1

Messages from cold turkey ex-smokers who have quit smoking for at least 1 year

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Our turkey's triumph victory messages
20 - 02/16/05

After nearly 34 years of smoking a pack or more of cigarettes per day and a belief that I might never be able to quit, I quit smoking Cold Turkey on February 5, 2004! And guess what? ... It was free! I didn't have to spend any money at all to quit; I didn't have to gradually cut down on smoking to quit; and I didn't have to spend any length of time weaning myself off of nicotine in order to quit. As a matter of fact, cold turkey was a pretty fast way for me to be done with smoking!

Don't get me wrong. Quitting wasn't necessarily easy to do, but it wasn't overwhelmingly too difficult either. Yes it was challenging, but in less than two weeks the majority of all of the really hard work was done: the physical withdrawal in 3 to 4 days, and the initial part of recovery in another 7 to 10 days. Considering all my years of smoking, it was surprising to me that the first tough part was quickly over with and hadn't turned out to be some long drawn out affair. Make no mistake, there was still some serious work to do afterward, but the urges and thoughts to smoke that came my way grew less intense and became fewer and farther between as each day of my quit built on the one before it. Things got easier and better, and it wasn't long until the urges and thoughts disappeared altogether!

My life without smoking has brought to me an awesome freedom! No longer am I a slave to the demands of smoking dictated by a chemical need to feed nicotine to my brain. I have no more worries about when, where, and how often I would otherwise have to smoke. I have a deep sense of real comfort and am more relaxed and calm. I feel so much better about myself, and my renewed sense of worth is phenomenal. There are no more smoking related anxieties in my life of any kind, and I have absolutely no desire or want for a cigarette whatsoever (and this alone simply amazes me!). When I was smoking, I could only dream that my life could be this way. My cold turkey quit made it all come true, and a lot sooner than I thought would be possible.

Sacramento, California, USA

19 - 02/15/05

Hi, my name is Sandy and I am a "nicotine addict." That knowledge turned out to be very empowering. I learned it here, at WhyQuit.com. That sure explained why all of my previous attempts at quitting turned out to be failures. I quit smoking on June 11, 2002. I haven't had a single puff since, and I have never regretted quitting "Cold Turkey" with the help of this forum.

When I finally realized that I was addicted to nicotine, I was able to quit using it. I knew from previous life experiences that an addiction can be beaten - if you chose to never use again. Withdrawal lasts 72 hours. In the big picture, 72 hours is nothing. And I also knew that in 3 short months I could recondition my thinking. After 33 years of smoking and 10 of those years trying to quit, 3 months didn't seem like a very long time. WhyQuit gave me information that was so key in getting through the initial withdrawal period. I learned to limit my caffeine consumption. I learned how my blood sugars were affected. Wow, what eye opening info.

Combine the information available at WhyQuit with the invaluable support available on the boards, how could I fail? Was it Easy? No, not really - - - not in the beginning. But I learned here how very simple it is.

It really is a simple as "Never Taking Another Puff." And I hung onto the thought that I was promised that "It Would Get Better." 3 years and 8 months later . . . life is so much simpler and so much better without that monkey on my back.

Wisconsin, USA

183 - 02/15/05

My name is Jerry I am 64, a smoker for 38 years and I am proud to call myself a Turkey, a Cold Turkey that is. I quit without NRT after finding WhyQuit.Com and reading and reading and reading from their wonderful site. It made sense to me that using NRT would keep me actively addicted to nicotine and that quitting would be much more difficult than following Joel's admonition to NTAP. I was miserable when I went cold turkey on November 17, 2003 but that uncomfortable feeling did pass in time. Just like the olbies said it would. I must say that it was not easy for me in the beginning, but I wished to be free from tobacco and in control of my life. Freedom has helped me achieve that goal.

I never think of smoking anymore. I do think of how wonderful it is that I am not smoking anymore and I resolve to NTAP. Also, when I see people smoking I have a feeling of regret for them. I am also angry that big tobacco and other interest are strongly promoting NRT and implying that quitting cold turkey is "too hard." Unfortunately, those special interests know that people who use NRT will, in all likelihood, continue to fail and come back to smoking. Cold turkey may be difficult, but it is difficult to free yourself from tobacco. Cold turkey is doable. I did it and you can to.

Believe in yourself, participate in group support -- like I did at Freedom -- and take the wonderful advice and support you will receive from "members." So many helped me and they will help you. Take it a day at a time, be educated, be focused. You can be a quitter.

South Texas, USA

17 - 02/15/05

Hi, my name is Mary, and I was a pack-a-day smoker for over 20 years. I started smoking at age 14 to be more like my friends, and by 18 I was rarely seen without a cig in my hand or mouth. I started lurking at whyquit.com around April of 2002, when my husband and I started talking about having kids. I quit on May 28, 2002.

Listen, there are too many reasons you've given yourself as to why YOU are unable to stop smoking. It doesn't matter what those reasons are. You're addicted to nicotine. It's not a pleasant thing to consider - "eek, I'm an addict" - but it's an important first step in the process of overcoming this addiction, and truly being free.

Educate yourself. Find out why you really smoke. What really happens with each puff? How are you really affected? Why can't you just stop smoking whenever you want? You may not like what you hear. Or, you may find that the answers aren't as terrifying as you thought. You may just find that, like thousands of other people who have come before you, you really can do this. It's not possible to be STRONGER than nicotine. But you can be smarter. Educate yourself!

Oh, and by the way Whyquit.com isn't going to drain your wallet or make guarantees. It's completely free. The purpose of this site is to educate you, the smoker, and help you to quit for yourself. It can be done. Ask any of my friends or family if they ever thought I'd be able to quit smoking. Not one of them will say they believed I'd do it. Not one. Not even me. Then I came to Whyquit.com, read articles until my eyes hurt, and found that, yes, I can do it. And I did. Almost three years later, I feel better at 37 than I did at 25. On November 4, 2003, I gave birth to my first child, and I never had to worry about the damage I was doing to myself or my baby by smoking during pregnancy or smoking around my baby. I honestly can't decide which accomplishment I'm more proud of, having and raising a child, or quitting smoking!

Give yourself a chance! You CAN do this!!

Sarasota, Florida, USA

16 - 02/15/05

I have been off nicotine, delivered by cigarettes for 1 year, 4 months, 2 weeks. I quit using cold turkey inspired by whyquit.com, where I learnt that all the excuses for my years and years of smoking were no more than a mask for my chemical addition to nicotine. And you know, once you learn these things, and thoroughly educate yourself - quitting really isn't that difficult.

As far as 16 months into my quit, let me tell all prospective quitters how good life is. I've taken up rugby again (at the grand old age of 42), and I go to the gym regularly - exercises I could not have done when forcing down 30 cigarettes a day. And just as importantly I don't have to go outside in the freezing cold or boiling heat to get an hourly fix, I don't have to time my trip home for the train to leave enough time to allow me to have a cigarette on route, I don't need to worry about flying because I couldn't smoke, or having to smoke two or three to stock up on nicotine in the smokers room before boarding the plane. I also don't smell - I never appreciated how much I must have smelled. It is so much easier not being a smoker. Oh and by the way, I am much less likely to get a crippling disease and die painfully and slowly.

As a current smoker you won't believe me when I say you will very quickly reach the comfort point, beyond which you will not crave cigarettes and will look with pity on those smokers stood on street corners, thinking they are being cool, or sociable, when if fact they are just drug addicts. If you are going to quit nicotine - you need to quit it, not deliver it via a different source. Cold turkey has a horrible ring to it, but as I said, when you understand the truths behind smoking, quitting can be easily achievable. The simple truth is - never take another puff.

My thanks to you John and Joel and all at whyquit.com, for literally saving my life. I am a "lurker" as I have never signed up for the forum, but you have inspired me. I know of two of my friends who have quit because of a referral to your site. Keep up the good work.

Gavin Leathem
London, England

15 - 02/15/05

I'm Mike, and I have smoked for over 25 years. Well, except for 11 months where I had stopped cold turkey, and then on a rather bad day, just had a puff. Well, within 2 weeks it was back to over a pack a day. And oh yeah, that annoying and embarrassing cough came right back. I couldn't believe it! I thought I had beat nicotine and was free. Like many others, I came across this site on the internet, and began reading and learning. If I had only known what I know now, I would have understood that you never beat or control nicotine: your only option is to banish it.

It took me a year to get up the nerve to stop again, but education has made me far better equipped to help me through the tough times. The really important point is that getting over the physical withdrawal of nicotine while certainly a major step, is really a short step. At worst, a couple of weeks. The most important part is building a nicotine free way of life which NRT products actively prevent. Once you've managed 72 hours, you can look back with pride at what you've accomplished and know that you now have the option of never having to go through that again. That thought really kept me going.

It's been over 14 months now, and even though I think of cigarettes from time to time with the fondness of remembering an old friend, I know I will never have another puff. I'm really feeling better than I have for years, and I guess I don't ever want to have to quit again.


14 - 02/14/05

I'm Madge and I am 1 year and 11 months nicotine free thanks to the help of Freedom. I quit cold turkey after smoking for 42 yrs. It's the HARDEST and SMARTEST thing I've ever done. Prior to joining Freedom, I'd used the patch and been hypnotized several times. Even tried acupuncture (ouch). The ONLY way to do it is cold turkey. I really loved smoking and got such pleasure from each and every nail I was putting in my coffin. Several things helped me - no one could beg, plead or bribe me. That only made me smoke more. I knew how much my husband and children hated my smoking. At the time I quit, I had a 2 year old granddaughter named after me. When I'd visit and go outside to smoke, she's look at me strangely. I knew that day was soon coming when she'd ask me why I smelled and my breath was bad. I dreaded that! What a wonderful example I was going to be!

My family was incredibly supportive but they never smoked and really couldn't relate to what I was going through. I only got that at Freedom. There I received support and education. I read and read and then read some more. My eyes would be blurry. Whenever I felt in trouble, I knew where to go and I had immediate responses. I learned to deal with my anger over having quit - it was making me miserable. I knew I was committed to this journey, but many times I wanted out. It became important for me to take Baby Steps and be happy when I got through an urge, pat myself on the back for each new nicotine free day. I know I'm an addict and, as such, can never take another puff. One of the phrases that helped me and became my mantra is: "This is doable".

On my one year anniversary, my 3 children (who live in 3 different states and we in a 4th) had a surprise party for me at my Daughter's house in Chicago. They are just soooo proud. And so, I urge those of you who are still smoking to find your own support group (you know what mine is) and quit the only way possible - cold turkey. I wish you well.

P.S. I lived through the horrible fear of 2 hurricanes and did not even think of smoking!!!!!

13 - 02/14/05

I quit MANY MANY MANY times but always started again after a few weeks. Once I found this website and read some of the stories, I stopped cold turkey. This June, 2005, I will be free of cigarettes for 3 years! It was the best thing I ever did and I owe it to your website. My sister has also quit and my husband too. Both of them will be free of cigarettes for 2 years. We are all much happier and have so much more MONEY!

Thanks for this website, it really saved me!


12 - 02/14/05

I smoked over two packs a day for more than forty-four (44) years. After many failed attempts, using NRT products, I resigned myself to being a smoker forever. My health was slipping and since failure is not an option for me personally, my self esteem sank deeper and deeper into an abyss with each failed attempt.

Then I was introduced to Freedom and WhyQuit - Day after day I read with an insatiable appetite for facts and logic. Being a person of reason how could I argue with logic? It hit me like a ton of bricks, there was only one way for me to quit - COLD TURKEY. Armed with education and knowledge gained at WhyQuit and Freedom, I smoked my last cigarette on Thanksgiving eve, November 26, 2003.

My health has improved greatly and my self esteem is completely off the charts. I now feel like I can accomplish anything. Yes! it was tough, Heck downright ugly, in the beginning but this journey to freedom of nicotine is very much doable and so very much worth it. My life has changed forever.

One final note - THERE ARE NO ADVOCATES FOR COLD TURKEY BECAUSE THERE IS NO MONEY TO BE MADE IN IT. Make no mistake, nicotine is a drug and it is a powerful and deadly addiction, but it can be beat by taking it one day at a time and staying committed to NTAP(Never take another puff).

Tom, 14+ months of glorious freedom.
Pennsylvania, USA

11 - 02/14/05

Greetings from Birmingham, Alabama. My story is much like most shared here; I realized my addiction to nicotine was ruining my health. I knew that I needed to quit but I was not sure at first if I could quit, let alone quit without help of some sort. After visiting Whyquit.com, I decided to try the educated cold turkey approach and I have not regretted it. Once I became educated to the fact that what I had was a true chemical dependency, I knew it was serious. I quit cold turkey on December 3rd 2003 at 8:00 a.m.

This is doable. You just have to tell yourself that you can NTAP. If you continue to smoke, you gain nothing; if you give this a try, you stand to gain so much.

Free and healing for 14 months and proud member of the Gold club!

10 - 02/13/05

I quit September 10, 2003, cold turkey after a diagnosis of early stage emphysema. I had smoked for 30 years, since I was 18, at least 20 a day, more sometimes, and could never ever leave my house without my cigarettes.

Quitting smoking is the best thing I ever did, and I have not been sick even one time since I quit, no bronchitis, pleurisy, not even a cold. I am able to walk four miles an hour now, and have joined curves and am working out 3 days a week for 30 minutes.

It's wonderful to be free, no more slavery, no more worrying about where I can and can't go, no more feeling terrible because I am setting a bad example for my kids.

If you would have told me I could quit, I'd have told you no way, but I did, and it's marvelous.

Best wishes,

09 - 02/13/05

If you are reading here at whyquit.com you are already ahead of where I was when I finally figured out two simple truths:

1) I did not smoke because I enjoyed smoking - I smoked because I was addicted to nicotine

2) Smoking has no benefits

Having accepted those two concepts as true I was completely miserable because I had no idea how to quit. Changing the form of the drug (NRT) didn't seem sensible nor had it worked for anyone I knew. I did what I always do when I need information; I surfed. Eventually, after I'd already quit, and time was moving in that odd slow motion way that only non-using addicts know about, I found whyquit.com and information that made sense began to seep into my nicotine deprived brain.

As an active nicotine addict I'd religiously avoided looking at images of smoke damaged bodies or reading the stories of nicotine victims. I had my own dead relatives, my own loved ones suffering from the effects of smoking and still I refused to look at my own addiction. What will it take to make you willing to look at your addiction? I can't answer that for you, but what ever it was, it must have happened because you're here.

There is life without smoking. Information is the key that opens the door to comfort. Will it happen for you? Yes! When? Sooner than you think. Only you can put the information available here into practice. Spend some time here, sign up for nicotine addiction 101. Quitting is not depriving yourself of anything. Quitting is giving yourself a wonderful gift that you get to open every day.

Free from nicotine for 3+ years

08 - 02/12/05

As I sit here now over 4 1/2 years nicotine free I wonder where I would have been if I had not found Freedom. I had tried every method available to stop my addiction to nicotine. I was hooked for 46 years and really thought I was just a loser when it came to quitting my lifelong addiction. A chance meeting and finding Freedom changed my life. I now believe that anyone with the desire to quit can quit, with the right support and information. You handed me the tools to change my life....THANK YOU FREEDOM!

Four years, five months, three weeks, six days, 3 hours, 41,028 cigarettes not smoked, saving $8,718.83. Life saved: 20 weeks, 2 days, 11 hours

07 - 02/12/05

My name is Roger. On December 30, 2001, just after midnight, I quit using cigarettes. My method of quitting was Cold Turkey. To many, this method makes potential quitters tremble with fear, as it also did me. So you may ask why this approach. Well, I can break it down with two simple reasons.

1. This was the last method I never have tried. You see, I tried every device on the market as well as going to a hypnotist. I once went to a religious ceremony where they tried to exorcise my addiction (demons) from my mind. May have worked for some but all it got me was a bunch of free packs of cigarettes from the garbage can tossed there earlier by the hopeful.

2. I found this web site and began reading. The graphics placed here were nothing new to me. I had seen many of them before. I have always been able convinced myself none of that (disease) would ever happen to me. What did penetrate my brain was the realization I had to treat my "Smoking" as an "Addiction" rather than a "Habit." The next 3 + years are now water under the bridge.

This particular quit actually began on the 29th of December and quickly burst into flames hours later, just as so many of my "Ceremonial New Years Quit Resolutions" did. It ended on a street corner begging a cigarette from a fellow addict, followed by the anger and humiliation of failure once again. I tucked my tail between my legs and grudgingly made my way home, to once again tell my wife of yet another failed attempt. I asked myself if quitting was worth all the metal anguish as well as the disappointed eyes my wife would reveal. She just smiled and said " It's only one, start fresh from right now"

That evening I had one more bout with potential failure. I was inches away from digging a butt of mine out of our garbage dumpster and asked myself what I was doing. I made a pledge to myself to go 24 hours without nicotine. That was something my body and mind had never experienced in over 35 years. Obviously I succeeded and my recovery evolved to what it is today. Total comfort without nicotine! My last trigger for nicotine was a fleeting thought over 2 years ago and very easily managed. What's important to know is the symptoms of withdrawal, physiological or psychological are just temporary. They don't last for ever and are manageable.

If you are reading my message or some of the other testimonials, you obviously have the dream to quit or have already quit and are looking for support. I want you to know you can do this. "Cold Turkey" is easier than many have led you to believe. I was just as dependent on nicotine as you possibly are or maybe I was more dependent. But I did it and you can too.

Washington State, USA

06 - 02/11/05

I managed to escape the nicotine trap cold turkey and I have been quit for nearly two years. I got addicted to nicotine chewing gum as well as cigarettes so i really was a nicotine addict but in different shapes and forms. It is a great pleasure to have that monkey off my back and i reckon that if you quit cold turkey you are cutting the cord and setting yourself free. Using NRT prolongs the agony and that need to scratch the itch.

1 year 11 months 2 days happily nicotine free.

05 - 02/11/05

My name is Bob and I quit smoking Cold Turkey on July 6, 2003. I started in my sophomore year of high school (1977) and for the next 26 years averaged between 1 and 1.5 packs a day. I had two failed attempts at quitting (both using NRT). I had basically given up any hope of ever quitting.

I started surfing the web and by chance came across WhyQuit's website. I had been reading through the vast amount of information on the site and while I was amazed at the information, I still continued to smoke. Then I became sick with a very bad case of strep throat that was misdiagnosed. To make a long story short, by the time I started to feel better I realized that nicotine use had stopped for 5 days.

I had gotten through the 1st 72 hours and then some and have not had one single puff since. Some of you might say this was the easy way out. Believe me, it was never easy. It is simple though. If you are armed with information, an educated cold turkey quit is the most successful way to gain freedom.

Bob Bartosh
New York, New York, USA

04 - 02/11/05

I was a two-pack a day smoker for 23 years. I tried to quit smoking by using the patch and gum a few times. It never lasted very long, and I was miserable the entire time. I didn't understand at the time that I was actually causing my quit to be more unpleasant by injesting small amounts of nicotine just frequently enough to leave me in a state of constant withdrawal.

Two years and four months ago, I found my way to this site and began to educate myself about nicotine addiction. I began to treat my nicotine addiction just like you would treat any addiction--complete abstinence from that substance one day at a time. My system was a little stunned the first three days, but then it began to gradually adjust.

Unbelievably, I felt better during the first three days of my cold turkey quit than I had ever felt weeks into an attempt using the NRTs. My physical withdrawal symptoms were actually minor compared to how I suffered when I used the NRTs. That is the reason I believe my cold turkey quit worked when the others did not. I simply felt better sooner. Now when I see someone trying to quit using the NRTs, it breaks my heart. I know they think it will help. I thought it would help me, too.

Texas, USA

03 - 02/11/05

Hi my name is Rick And Quit cold turkey on 2-4-2003. By that time I had had enough of smoking. I had no idea of how or what I should do to quit. I just knew it was time and I'd had enough. My addiction had gotten to 4 packs a day. At 3.99 a pack I had to find a way to quit. So I put quit smoking in a search engine.

I found many sites dictated to N.R.T. But only found one that was cold turkey.I brought up Whyquit.com and found a treasure! I read how to join and didn't know how I was going to make it 72 hours without a smoke! So I started reading Joel's library. What a wake up call!

I told my wife on a Friday night that when she came home that night to please throw away all my smoking things, lighters ashtrays and any and all smokes she could find. Being the never smoker that she was she was more than happy to do this. When I woke up it was all gone! I went right to whyquit.com and read for 1 more day then I joined Freedom's boards. I can't begin to tell you how much it helped to chat with real quitters.

And one time I was really panicking and wrote to Joel himself and guess what, he wrote me back! I can't thank all the wonderful people at Freedom and whyquit.com enough for MY Freedom. Today I hardly even think of smoking anymore except when I'm in a restaurant or a airport. I see people always trying to find a ways to smoke and I'm so grateful that I don't have to anymore! Thank You

Rick Bailey
Washington State, USA

02 - 02/10/05

I have been a nonsmoker for one year, five months and an odd assortment of days. The thing I like is that the actual number of that "odd assortment of days" isn't so crucial any more. I've had, maybe, 2 cravings - maximum! for nicotine in the last 6 months and they weren't very hard to toss aside. I feel great and the sense that I can actually do something that has always seemed so hard has let me try and succeed in other areas of my life. This site was and is a big motivator and inspiration to me. The greatest thing is really the sense of being free - not to have to smoke and to finally do what I knew was good for me. Thank you.

Perth, West Australia

01 - 02/10/05

I am 74 years old and I quit smoking at 5 PM on June 17, 1964. How do I remember the date? It was the day before my 9th wedding anniversary. I quit almost cold turkey just using four of the old time Bantron tablets. They made the cigarettes taste like horse manure. Now I tell people the only way to quit is like I did. I tell them it is a sure fire way of quitting. A 100% success rate. That is an individual just does not light up another cigarette. If a person does not light up the the end of a cigarette it can't burn nor can they inhale. End of story. I had smoked for 14 years and had tried to quit 3 or 4 times before. By the way, I just finished walking 4 miles today.

Dennis Reuss

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Created 02/11/05 and updated 06/19/18 by John R. Polito