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WhyQuit.com banner. Want to quit smoking cigarettes or stop using e-cigarettes (e-cigs), bidis, kreteks, hookah, a pipe, cigars, dip, chew, snuff, snus, smokeless, chewing tobacco, or the nicotine gum, patch, lozenge, inhaler or spray?  Then you're in the right place!

Turkey's Triumphs: Page 21

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
#420 - 01/05/12

Thanks to WhyQuit.com I am now quit 7 years as of Jan. 2, 2005 at 11:30 p.m. I found you by typing "How to quit smoking". I smoked over 20 years and would go out into a blizzard at 3 a.m. if I ran out.

I still find it hard to believe that I have not had a smoke in all that time. And I don't want one. It just is not a part of life anymore.

I dreamt I smoked a cigarette 3 times early on, and even in my dream I was disgusted with myself for doing that. I was so happy to wake up and realize those were dreams.

One of the best things on your site that helped me, was your reminding us that the urge only lasts a few seconds, and that it would go away until the next one. Anyone can wait a couple seconds. And just as you said, the urges became farther apart. It wasn't bad at all.

Thank you so much. What you do here is lifesaving. Since I quit, 2 family members have died from smoking.


Paula Mazur

#419 - 01/04/12

5 years 18:02 hours smoke-free, 40,186 cigarettes not smoked, $12,055.80 saved, 4 months 2 weeks 4 days spent doing something other than poisoning myself.

40,186 not smoked - - oh my! Where did it all begin? With the very first cigarette skipped - Yup, that very first one snowballed into over 40k. I was scared and nervous but reading/learning and watching Joel's videos truly made the difference. As they say, Education is the key. It afforded me the ability to take back my life and thereby my Freedom to live life as it was meant to be.

This is one New Year's resolution that lasted and hope all those new comers take advantage of the opportunity that lays before them - - this is it - this is your shot - take full advantage of it. Apply what you learn and believe in yourself.

To that special group of people who helped encourage me along the way - - you have forever changed my path, and my health, for the better. You helped me focus on the positives of quitting which in turn made me feel a sense of accomplishment with each passing moment. Long Long ago... comfort without nicotine happened just as you promised it would. I love this place and will forever hold it sacred.


#418 - 01/02/12

1 year ago I quit smoking and it was because of you and your book as I call it. Thank you so much . I smoked for 20 years! You saved my life!!! Thank you!!!! What a genius you are!!!

Julie Noss

#417 - 12/31/11

Five years now. Must be scary, I must be an alien for you newbies lurking day and night here just like me in the beginning.

Don't worry, I was once where you are now, looking up to all these people who had quit for 1,2,5,7 and so on years. This lurking, absorbing information, getting support from all people here with the same focus has brought me where I am now.

Five years clean and no thoughts, no desire, no dreams, nothing that makes me remember of my smoking past. It hasn't been easy, but it's a lot easier than recovering from a lung-removal operation. Thank you all; and for you struggling in your first weeks: it will get better every day, just NTAP

Frits - 5 years clean.

#416 - 12/18/11

Dear John and all the helping hands and minds involved with the great work you do. This is, so far, a success story that lasts, as of today, for 805 consecutive days. It started after having been a nicotine addict for over 6,570 days before I stumbled across your website.

The simple explanation about how nicotine affects the dopamine level and the 'wisdom' that only my intelligence can 'beat my brain' or shall I say keep it under control, was enough to make me stop there and then. I ripped up the fags (that's how we call them in Scotland), threw away the lighter and broke the ashtray into bits and pieces.

I was angry that I hadn't found your page before; I wasn't even looking or searching for it to be honest, thinking that I could do it myself, alone with 'willpower.' And it worked, once for 6 weeks, 3 months then another time 3 months but it didn't last. My brain tricked me, told me how good it felt with smoking, how exhilarated it would feel if I just had another puff and so I did.

I started puffing again and again. It felt wrong though, the last time I had started feeding my 'nicotine receptors' again lasted only a few days. I felt so guilty about what I was doing to my body and mind that I just had to do something about it, once and for all!

Finding the answers to questions never asked felt liberating. Finally I knew why it was so damn hard to stop. Although the will was there, the knowledge about 'the way it all works' had been missing.

I cannot look into the future, but I am confident that I am not going to be taking another puff. I thank you very much for enlightening me, without your help I would not be able to write this, I am sure..

All the best to all of you....

Marc Lubke

#415 - 12/01/11

Hello my fellow quitters. Today I realized that my 4 year anniversary had passed on Saturday. Quitting smoking is the best thing I have done for myself, and Whyquit was instrumental in my success, especially early on. If you are just beginning your journey, welcome, it does get so much easier. The best advice I can give is to seriously take it one day at a time, and sometimes one crave at a time if necessary. The days blur into weeks, into months, into years, and soon you never even think about a cigarette. It will happen, be patient!


Day 1465

#414 - 11/28/11

3:30am on 11/26/11 passed with zero fanfare. Exactly one year earlier I had been forcing myself to stay awake and keep smoking, knowing that when I finally went to bed, I would wake up to a world (I hoped) without cigarettes. I had no plan beyond that. I had no education regarding why it was that I smoked (I thought I liked it and that it calmed me), no idea what I needed to do to stop (I was still considering just tapering off, or quitting gradually), I had no idea what WhyQuit.com was, or that it even existed.

When I woke up, it was all I could do to keep from running to the corner and buying a pack. I was frantic. I searched the internet for help, stumbled on WhyQuit.com, found Freedom by poking around on WhyQuit, did some reading, and suddenly had a plan. I was going to battle for 72 hours, then apply for membership. I was going to SAVOR the withdrawal, because I never intended to go through it again. I was going to time my craves, and focus on getting through minute-to-minute when necessary. I was going to go to sleep at night with a smile on my face, and wake up in the morning with a promise to myself, and repeat as necessary. I was going to live my life in the short term actively seeking out my triggers, and conquering them. Some were daily triggers--waking up, after meals, walking out of the courthouse--while others (some of the most difficult and intimidating ones) such as trying my first jury trial without smoking before my closing argument, I would have to wait weeks or months to confront.

Through it all, I tried to keep in mind two very important things: 1) That the 175,000 plus times that I had replenished the nicotine in my system had conditioned me to associate the relieving of withdrawal with pleasure, much in the way I might associate someone taking their foot off of my neck as pleasure. This was a lie. It was not pleasure, but the absence of a type of pain that I was experiencing. And seeing it as such made it easier to deal with, in a way. Because after all of the nicotine was out of my bloodstream, I was no longer in physical withdrawal, and the ghostly memory of relieving my withdrawal symptoms by smoking was all that was left. No cigarette on earth could relieve my withdrawal symptoms at this point. They didn't exist anymore.

Which leads to 2) That the itch I had such fond memories of scratching was only a phantom itch. My poor rational self could hardly be blamed for thinking that a smoke would result in the "ahhh" that it had in the past, but there was no longer any blood-nicotine level to replenish. Instead, my rational self tried to tell me that the cigarette still held something pleasureable for me. It constantly took my back to one particular cigarette that I distinctly remember smoking back in 1995, on a hillside in Wooster Ohio, with the sun setting and a beautiful woman smoking next to me, with They Might be Giants warming up for a concert that night about 200 feet from us, and the clouds curling like purple-red smoke above our heads.

I find it much easier to not fixate on that "perfect cigarette" now that I know that it was not at all responsible for that beautiful moment, nor were cigarettes responsible for any of the beautiful moments I had been fortunate enough to experience during my life as a smoker. The cigarette was present, true, but only because cigarettes were ever-present. Cigarettes were there within 30 minutes (before and/or after) of every single moment of beauty I experienced as an actively-feeding addict because I made sure they were there because not having them there would have meant being in withdrawal. Cigarettes were not responsible for those beautiful moments. And while they were not responsible for many of my ugly moments either, they were, at least, responsible for SOME of them. But they cannot claim credit for any of the beauty I have been fortunate enough to experience in spite of my addiction.

John and Joel and everyone, thank you for everything you have written here. It is an education that exceeds anything college or law school ever offered me. Best to all. Keep climbing the rope. The effort required truly dwindles, and the rewards magnify magnificently.

Ben (Strat) - Quit since 11.26.10

#413 - 11/28/11

It's hard to believe another year has gone by already! Last Tuesday (11-22-11) was my 9th anniversary of being free from smoking, so I'm stopping by to toot my horn and to give a shout out of encouragement to everyone who is on this journey or thinking about starting this journey~

It's possible to be free and it's a beautiful feeling!

Thank you once again to Bryan Curtis and his family for posting his story, as it was his story that gave me the courage to say enough. His picture is now tucked in a drawer, a bit tattered after all these years, but just as precious to me now as it was that first day I put it in my purse where my cigarettes used to live.

Breathe Deep and Live Long!


Laurey - 9 Years Free

#412 - 11/10/11

I have been nicotine free for 6 years. Remaining so has been very difficult at times. On November 11, 2006 I decided I was done abusing myself by smoking. I decided to quit and I was guided by the wisdom of WhyQuit. It was the hardest day of my life.

I believe that I was addicted to nicotine before I was born, my mother smoked when she was pregnant with me. I felt addicted to cigarettes within a week of starting. I started smoking when I was 14, attempted to quit when I was 29 and succeeded when I was 35.

I thought I smoked because I liked to. I didn' think I was a drug addict. I felt superior to people that were addicted to other substances. I was one of those smokers that other smokers called a "committed" smoker. I smoked anywhere the law allowed and I felt it was my right to do so. I smoked when the man I was living with struggled to quit smoking. I smoked through yearly boughts with bronchitis, strep throat and common colds that lasted for weeks. Every time I went to the dentist my gums would bleed and the hygienist would tell me that I would probably lose my teeth if I continued to smoke. I dated men that tired of my smoking and decided that they couldn't date me and my addiction. My addiction took precedent over my health, my finances and my relationships. In my recovery, I have come to realize that I lied to myself and denied I was an addict in order to protect myself from the truth of my nicotine addiction. I felt very emotionally freed when I faced the truth and committed to quitting smoking.

Today, one day short of six years nicotine free, I look out the window of my office and it is sunny and clear outside. My view is no longer obstructed by the cloud of smoke that surrounded me for 20 years. I am free and there are no words to accurately describe how I feel. The closest I come to is abundantly joyful :)

If you are struggling with your quit; I promise it gets better, so much better! Nurture your quit and Never take another Puff. Your quit is doable and so worth it!

Whyquit.com is a lifeline for my quit. Thank you to everyone who posts their stories and to the counselors of WhyQuit.com. The support, empathy and honesty provided by this site is invaluable. I am eternally grateful to you all!


#411 - 11/04/11

I've been 2 years 6 month's free from nicotine addiction thanks to Whyquit.com :) .... I never crave nicotine now and I believe that I have conquered my addiction :) I never miss the drug and have the Law of Addiction and the teachings from WhyQuit.com embedded in my brain. Thanks again WhyQuit :)

Daniel Byron

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#410 - 11/01/07

My hubby and I have both made it to gold today, 1 year and nearly 9 hours. If you are struggling, here's some more proof, again, that this is entirely doable and you just never take another puff.


#409 - 10/27/11

I opened my quit counter tonight and I discovered that I quit nicotine more than 7 years ago. I often think of all who helped me to find my way free from my addiction. I am truly free. I am no stronger; I have no more willpower - It is what I learned that has given me my freedom.

I will be forever grateful to you and Joel and all of the friends that I made when I became a member of Freedom. For it is the fact that my 7th anniversary passed without my being aware that makes it so special. In the beginning I counted and celebrated every minute because every minute was a victory but over time I came to realize that the greatest victory is forgetting to count, forgetting to celebrate. I'm doing a little dance in my chair right now knowing that 7 years have passed but I think you understand what I'm saying.

The day I searched the internet and found WhyQ uit.com it was my time to quit. Thank you for allowing me to join the forum, for allowing me to participate as a manager but most of all for sharing the truth about nicotine addiction. You gave me all the tools I needed to never take another puff.

Joseph Savastano

#408 - 10/22/11

Today, October 22, 2011, marks five years since I quit smoking. I visit this site from time to time and hope everyone is keeping happy & healthy.

Free from nicotine for five years, 21,908 cigarettes not smoked, saving me almost $9,000.00 and I've taken back control of my life.

Thank you WHYQUIT!


#407 - 10/07/11

Two years ago today, I quit smoking cold turkey. I did this primarily thanks to Whyquit. I had discovered it randomly (someone at this forum I'm on which has nothing to do with smoking, happened to mention it/provide a link) -- at a time where I had no interest whatsoever in actually quitting or even trying to quit. After 3 past failures during my 30 years of smoking, I had "quit quitting." Go figure, huh?

Well, I clicked this person's link (whyquit.com) from inexplicable curiosity and got so "sucked in" I spent all my waking hours reading it for 3-4 days, stopping only long enough to eat, sleep, potty and shower! Sure, I knew "smoking is bad for you," and my first attempt at quitting had also taught me I was a nicotine addict, but never the HOW and WHY like I learned it from this site. That 3rd/4th day was my last day as a smoker: I went out and bought "quit supplies" -- acidic juice (orange: sorry but I hate cranberry) plus fruit and veggie snacks. The next day I was smoke free and I never took another puff -- watching Joel's daily quit lessons each day too, not to mention all the continued reading and re-reading (including both Joel's and John's free e-books).

Quitting was still very hard for me even with all this help, but yes, the "quit supplies" helped A LOT. My first attempt to quit (25 years prior) had been cold turkey, but I was climbing out of my crawling skin screaming after less than a full day and immediately started smoking again (for years) after that. OK, Hell Week was still definitely not Heaven, only this time I was able to get through it, and beyond, smoke free -- with constant reading and re-reading here at Whyquit for brain retraining and reinforcement, plus posting at this other forum for support with other quitters who turned out to suit me slightly better than Freedom's otherwise excellent forum because they are much freer in terms of how we can express ourselves. So I DID it! I quit, and STAYED quit! Took me about 8 1/2 months or so of hell battling my nicotine addiction to truly FEEL free of smoking, but once I reached that point, WOW! It was so AMAZING!

I am so glad I quit, even though I had nothing to gain from it healthwise (I was already terminally ill with metastatic breast cancer and in fact that had been one of my "anti-quitting rationalizations" from the time I was diagnosed until several months later when I finally decided to quit). So while I had no health left to "improve," I did still get ALL the PSYCHOLOGICAL freedoms of quitting and it was definitely WORTH all that effort! It is SO GOOD to not have "nic fits" anymore and just be able to deal directly with my emotions and handle stressful incidents, of which I have too many. It is SO GOOD to be able to have uninterrupted indoor conversations in the homes of nonsmokers, and completely WONDERFUL not to have to go stand outside in crummy weather to smoke anymore.

So in spite of how hard it was and having no "real" (health) reason to do it, I'm THRILLED that I quit. If this gets posted on the site: to all of you reading this who are young and/or still healthy enough to be able to gain the health benefits of quitting in addition to the psychological freedoms: QUIT NOW! NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF! And let's not describe it as "giving up" smoking, either. Smoking is not something good we give up, but rather it's something bad we get RID of!

Joel and John, I can't thank you enough for the Whyquit SITE -- all your teaching materials and the hardline no-nonsense approach to quitting and not coddling relapsers. I especially love your "the only way out is through" approach -- that is, don't avoid regular activities when you first quit; do them same as usual except with no cigarettes, as a way for a quitter to to teach him/herself firsthand that yes it's really true: not only is there life after smoking, but "Anything you can do as a smoker, you can do just as well or better as a nonsmoker!"

Take care all. GTQ, KTQ, ETQ!


#406 - 10/01/11

Playing around with my computer this evening, I was checking my calendar for my appointments later today, when I looked at the date and did a double-take. It's October 1st! Time to do my yearly happy dance (think Snoopy) that I found Freedom seven years ago. Seven years ago, I was a stinking nervous wreck with bad breath, a nasty hacking cough, and yellow teeth. And that's just the physical stuff!

On some level, emotionally, psychologically, you know you're not treating yourself with the love and care you deserve. Well, I'm here to say you DO deserve that love and that care. You CAN get free of the prison of nicotine addiction, and all the help you need is right here. All you have to do is take the first step of putting down that cigarette, that chew, that pipe. Yes, THAT one! You don't need to prepare, you don't need drugs, programs, or hypnosis. It's amazingly simple, and this site is right here 24/7 to help. You can do it. I did.

Free for seven years, thousands of dollars saved, more life in my years - PRICELESS

#405 - 09/30/11

I just want to thank you for your excellent resource. I visited this a little more than 5 years ago, desperate and suffering from gum disease, fearful of life, the cost of smoking had spiralled and I seemed unable to do anything to stop. I have been extremely lucky so far, and I have been smoke free, since February 2006. Every day is a day I have been gifted, and am extremely grateful for both the candid nature of your website, and the "methods" of becoming smoke free. Knowing what to expect for the first 72 hours was extremely helpful.

I was particularly moved by the story of Brian Lee Curtis and the photo of Brian lying in a hospital bed with his wife and daughter by his bed side. If there is any way to let the family know that their own tragedy helped me that would be one way to share my gratitude, hoping that this knowledge will also help them in return.

If there is anything I can do to help you or contribute to your website, please let me know.

In gratitude


[Editor's Note: I can't think of a more meaningful contribution than reaching out and sharing your victory with all still in bondage. Thanks for becoming part of the team!]

#404 - 09/29/11

It is 10 years today. Thanks again to "Nicodemon's Lies." I read through this and it made sense to me. I printed it out and stuck it on my fridge and re-read it whenever I felt like a smoke.

Ten years ago, I also wanted to spend my money on something else, and I realised how much of my money was being wasted on cigarettes. It was a powerful motivating factor to quit and doing so was the best decision I ever made.



#403 - 09/12/11

I won't be able to send this info off this evening when I really hit 12 months but I would say this is close enough!

"You have stopped nicotine for 11 months, 29 days, 16 hours, 4 minutes and 57 seconds (364 days). You have not smoked 7293 cigarettes, and saved $3,553.83. You have saved 25 days, 7 hours and 47 minutes of your life."

Smoking sure does suck! Amazing that I did it for a decade. Some days, I can't remember that I did it at all. I'm looking forward to a comfortable smokefree year!

Jeremy Z.

#402 - 09/08/11

Three years today! When I was actively involved in quitting for my first year or so, I never had a problem articulating my thoughts about smoking and quitting. After making 3 nicotine-free trips around the sun I just don't think about it anymore. I can't even vaguely remember the last time I wanted to smoke. I also can't remember the details of the first year journey without rereading my old journal entries.

For newer quitters who are struggling, I can tell you that your struggles WILL end if you just stick with it. I can also tell you that the long term rewards more than make up for the initial inconveniences of quitting.

For me, nicotine addiction education (whyquit.com) and a great support group (community.becomeanex.org) were instrumental to my success. I wish all of you the same success that I have enjoyed.

Never Take Another Puff!!!

Southern California

#401 - 09/03/11

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you. I first read through this website many, many years ago. I kept coming back. This is the second time I visited this site in two years. Why? It is the second year I have gone without a cigarette.


God willing, I will write to you again next year.

John M. Holt

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Created 07/10/12 and updated 06/19/18 by John R. Polito