Turkey's Triumphs: Page 37
Suggestions, insights and encouragement from 20
long-term ex-smokers who quit
smoking for at least 1 year
Did you stop cold turkey?
Nicotine-free for a year?
I just want to say you saved my life!! I read every single day out of your website. There was new information daily every time I read into it. It took me over a year to get through it but that's what kept me from picking up another cigarette and it's been 14 years since I've had one.
I can exercise now and I can sit through a 2 hour movie at the movie theatre which I hadn't been able to do that in over 30 years. I feel better than I've ever had in my life. I'll never forget how I was down to my last breath 14 years ago. I know if I had continued I wouldn't be alive today and I'm only 50 years-old.
I couldn't even walk from one room to the other without coughing and feeling exhausted. I would try catching my breath but instead just wanted to pass out from the lack of oxygen. My Dad would hangup the phone on me because he didn't want to wait for me to catch my breath as I had to walk into another room for privacy. Also, at the time, when I did smoke I would walk with co-workers and they would hear me trying to catch my breath and how I was breathing extremely heavy just wanting to pass out and they would ask if I were OK and I would say yes with an embarrassed look on my face for still having those cravings to smoke another cigarette.
I was only 110lbs so I was skinny and by far not even close to being overweight. Both my kids died of cancer so I do of course pray my smoking didn't participate in their deaths but I'll never know. I just wanted to say thank you at the bottom of my heart for giving me my life back.
I don't know how, I must thank you but I feel like its my responsibility to tell you that I recovered my addiction only because of your site. Tobacco was my life. I started at an early age, 13-14. I can't blame anyone but me but I was under the impression that doing this was mature and cool. As it became an addiction I realised it's not. And I did terrible things. I used to steal money from my parents to buy it.
My own friends whom I trusted betrayed me. All they wanted was money from me. It led to more and more addictions. Suddenly depression and hopelessness took over me. I was a waste on the earth with no worth at the age of 17. I was ready to quit not my addiction but my life. It felt like the only option. I was embarrassed of everyone knowing of my addiction, and they were of no help. All they did was to make me feel ashamed of myself. Then, in those darkest times, I found your site.
Stories there revitalised me, it gave motivation and strength to recover and also the methods of quitting. Before that all it felt was that its too late. But it was you who provided me with motivation and I thank you for that. So at last I did what should have been done a lot earlier. I quit at last.
I realised that motivation is the biggest factor in all. it can make a man come out of any problem and I took it as a lesson learned and now I am free just because of you and Joel. Thanks again. Now I am 20 and have improved a lot. Though the damage was done I am strong enough to face everything after my addictions were gone. And I will keep visiting this site forever and will always try to enlighten others, as you did towards me. That's the main motto of my life.
Wednesday 22nd July 2015 8.00 PM The night before my family and I left for our holiday to Spain was the day I decided I really smoked, the day I realised I was really hooked, owned up to the fact I was really struggling to breath at times and was also the day I decided it was time to give up smoking for good.
I was 45 years and 7 days old, I'd been smoking on and off since the age of 15 but somehow never really admitted that I smoked to myself let alone anyone else. I'm not a liar or an untrustworthy person in any other aspect of my life but where Ciggies were concerned I was really devious.
From the age of 15 to 23 I thought it was relatively cool to smoke and did so in front of family and friends unashamedly. At the age of 23 my wife and I had our first child. I must have "gave up" smoking at this point, as this is where I feel my dirty secret started and really the lies and dishonesty started.
To my family and friends I no longer smoked, I'd given up. But in secret whilst nipping to the shops, when left alone, I would smoke. Then eat a packet of mints or strong smelling cough sweets, probably rub some lavender from a bush in my garden on my fingers and con the world, including myself, that I didn't smoke. I suppose I didn't want to let them down by admitting that I'd started smoking again. My dirty secret, how sad was I?
By the age of around 37, I actually did stop smoking and started using nicotine lozenges. They did work. I didn't need to smoke anymore. I just couldn't give them up. By the age of 44 (7 years later!) I was still hooked on them. And where I had placed them in my mouth, throughout the day / months / years, my gums had receded to the point where I needed to have 3 of my teeth pulled and implants put in their place. Also because of the amount of sodium in nicotine lozenges, I'm guessing but maybe this is why my blood pressure was really high? I realised that the lozenges were really bad for me so I gave them up and started smoking again, although it wasn't 4 or 5 cigarettes a day, now it was 10 to 20 because I had developed a 12 a day lozenge habit.
I have read maybe on the internet somewhere, maybe even on WhyQuit that who in their right mind would give a heroin addict heroin to help them give up their heroin addiction? Why do we then think it's a good idea to give nicotine addicts nicotine to help them with their nicotine addiction? It's absolutely priceless but the tobacco companies have got to make their money somehow. I was just too addicted to see it. I just followed like a sheep.
Too cut a long story short I have managed to stay smoke and NRT free now for nearly 1 year. It was hard for me at the start as I couldn't tell anyone I'd given up smoking because no one knew I smoked. So, all my support initially came from the internet and books. Of course my wife knew I smoked and was only too happy to learn that I had actually given it up finally, but was very hurt that she felt I had lied to her. I tried to explain that I hadn't just lied to her, I had lied to myself, most embarrassingly for bloody years which was pathetic.
The quit was easy at first. It then got quite emotional. I felt that I had really lost a good friend. I struggled to sleep for around a month or so. I have struggled with my digestive system (apparently the "inoffensive" drug nicotine plays havoc with peoples guts, not that well documented but the info is out there). I have put on a few pounds which I need to shift for sure. The upside of quitting is massive though. I run my own business and thought most of my "stress" came from this. Rubbish.
My stress came from smoking cigarettes, thinking to myself is this going to be the one that kills me? Is this going to be the one that takes my leg? Is this going to be the one that finally closes the artery? Is this the one that gives me lung cancer? Now I’ve stopped smoking my stress has largely disappeared. Life is good. My skin looks good. I'm still bald but hey ho! My blood pressure is back to normal. I can breathe, and most importantly there are no more lies.
Unfortunately the tobacconist I used to go to isn't selling as many mints these days but the lavender bush looks healthier than ever! Thank you to all at WhyQuit for your help over the last year, and a massive thank you to my wife.
This is nearing my 10 year anniversary and to all those who are deciding whether or not they "can" quit or have just quit and are struggling, I want to encourage you. Worrying about cigarettes are a thing of the past, there is a life without nicotine and it is great! Take it one day at a time and reward yourself for each milestone you've hit. Be proud of every small accomplishment because it will lead you to a healthy, nicotine free life.
I never have cravings and actually have nightmares that I started smoking again. I remember when quitting was a nightmare to me and now the thought of a relapse has become one of my worst nightmares. I do not fear it though because I know all it will take is one puff, so knowing this, I can overcome and continue on for another 10 years. My original post is below.
P.S. I hand out the WhyQuit pdf cards to anyone I come across that is trying to quit and promote your website. I have learned that cold turkey is the ONLY way to successfully quit!
291 - 06/16/09
I've tried to quit smoking for over 2 yrs with no success. After searching the web, I found Joel's Library and could not stop reading. I was amazed at what I didn't know about smoking and I promised to quit the next day. Well, 6 months later, I finally did it. Please don't give up if your first try doesn't work, keep trying until you finally do it. It's worth it.
My husband was diagnosed with cancer and the holidays were around the corner, but I knew I had to do it to live a long and healthy life for my family, especially if something would happen to my husband. When I had my withdrawl moments, I would throw little fits, like yelling and hitting a pillow to get my aggression out, or I would go into another room and just pray for God to comfort me. It was only hard for me the first month or so, then you start to get used to life without cigarettes. I loved how great I started to feel, no more headaches, and my sense of smell came back in full bloom. My husband fully recovered and I got pregnant soon after!!
I always wondered what people who don't smoke do with their time, for example, what do non-smokers do after dinner to relax, or what do they do if they're stressed. I've learned that they don't depend on cigarettes for anything and you actually have less stress when you quit. No more worrying about your next cig break at work or making sure you dont run out of cigarettes. Not to mention the money you save when you quit.
Just please try and keep trying, because its so much better living without that addiction. It will be hard the first week, but trust me, it does get easier with every day that goes by!!
Thank you so much Joel, God bless you for how many people you've helped.
I just had to drop you a line, since it has been over 10 years since I quit smoking. I had smoked for 46 years and I can't tell you what a new life I discovered once I quit smoking. I am happier than I have ever been. I am relaxed and at ease. I read your website for many days before I actually quit but since that time, I have never even come close to a puff. I have the addicts prayer still on my refrigerator. My health has returned to completely normal breathing and I exercise on a regular basis. Because I quite, it made it quite easy for my daughter to quit as well, around the same time.
I just had to thank you for my new found freedom.
I started smoking at age three. I have two older brothers who would smoke and I'd join them (so I wouldn't tell on them). But I started smoking regularly at 15. Now I'm 39.
I was fed up with coughing, especially in the deer woods, and mornings. I would cough and hack up some nasty stuff. After COLD TURKEY ONE YEAR AGO, I feel sooo much better.
Actually the first week was hard, very hard, but with each day the less I wanted a non-filter camel, which I was at 2.5 packs a day before. By one month I was in the clear. Now all I think is why did I ever even smoke. I was the guy who would never quit smoking. If I can, I think anyone can. Just stick to whatever made you want to quit in the first place and good luck.
June 9th will be four years of no smoking for me. Although I rarely even think about smoking anymore, for some reason this morning I wanted to let you know that your website helped push me in the right direction. I had tried all the other help aids before, The pill, patch, gum, inhaler. It was the cold turkey that finally broke the spell.
It was tough and somedays I just couldn't focus at all. I remember reading about the chemical nicotine on your site and I centered on it. I web-searched the chemical composition, what it was used for by the plants themselves and industrial use. I looked up old ads and antiques of nicotine based insecticides and the more I attached the insecticide with cigarettes the easier it got. I was able to place a short video in my head of imagining tasting a can of Black Flag at home and the taste and smell of cigarettes. I don't remember all that's on your site but wanted to share with you it was things like Black Leaf 40 and such that really drove home what Nicotine is … poison.
The second reason for my success. I quit drinking for a few years. Even today I rarely have a cocktail. I realized even though I had all the facts and willpower when I was sober; if I were to be around my friends (who like cocktails a lot) I would fall victim. It certainly made it easier. I know in the end it will still kill me. But hopefully I will last a few years more.
I am fifty now and have an 8 year old daughter. I hope to see her college graduation and even happily married with children. My odds have improved greatly and just wanted to say thanks for the information on your website and starting me on my journey of being nicotine free. Thanks!
Today is the 2nd anniversary of my quit.
My phone app says I've saved £5600 but the truth is I've saved £10 a day. That's roughly £8 per packet of fags plus another couple of pound that some how disappear as soon as you leave the cigarette shop.
I make that a grand saving of £7300 amazing really. I've save money, got improved health and no longer stand outside in the freezing cold smoking a fag.
Good luck to everyone trying to stop smoking. It is possible I had smoked from the age of 15 through to 46.
I still visit why quit every so often and also tell everyone that wants to stop to visit this site.
I originally found the website around this time six years ago. What I liked most about the website was that there was a never ending archive of information that helped me to gain leverage on myself, and understand why I did what I did, and how it was affecting me. It was like finding a lost treasure.
The information just came at me from every direction and I was overwhelmed by it. There was a plan, there were certain ways to stack the deck in my favor, there was understanding and there was a reality about the website that showed me the consequences of smoking.
I really just wanted to say thanks for making this information available and I really wanted Joel to know that he helped me open my eyes to reality. Once I was able to separate the facts from my emotions, I was in control of my actions. I just wanted to try and give something back by way of my success and to say thanks. THANKS!!!
On April 2, 2006 I actually really quit smoking. Thank you. After a Saturday night not unlike other Saturday nights, I woke up feeling horrible. But this morning in particular it occurred to me that I had done this to myself. And it wasn't fun anymore. I wanted to quit smoking so I searched online for some support.
When I found your page I saw pictures of and heard stories from people, young people, like me who were already sick or worse. I had always thought that the consequences of smoking happened in old(er) age. I spent several hours on your site that day And more would follow.
It took about a week to actually stop altogether. A week to stop but much longer to stop wanting to start again. But I'll always remember that you said it would feel this way. That you've said even after 20 or 30 years of not smoking you might decide you could "just have one" and fall back in the trap again.
I've not had a single puff for 10 years. My life is different for the better. After 15 years of smoking I did not think I could actually stop. And as a young person in my 20s I didn't particularly want to stop; it was your site alone that really made me pause and ask "why do I want to keep going down this path?". Stress relief? Weight management? Boredom? Everyone else is doing it? It just didn't make sense anymore. There are so many healthy answers to all of those questions.
Now I'm a registered dietitian and I can share my story and I can say I'll never take another puff. Thank you with my life I guess! Best wishes,
Eat. Live. Be Well
Jessi. Bassett. RD
I could never have made it through without Joel Spitzer. Just over 2 years now, and I still watch his videos now and then. The best motivator in the world to stay nicotine free!
I could never have made it through without Joel Spitzer. Just over 2 years now, and I still watch his videos now and then. The best motivator in the world to stay nicotine free!
Thirteen years ago today, I gave myself the most wonderful gift, the gift of a nicotine free life. As I started this journey, I was filled with many emotions, fears and doubts. But as I continued on, all of the uncertainty became replaced with success, pride and a noticeably healthier me. I am thankful that at that time I found WhyQuit.com and the education and support that I received helped me to succeed.
No, it wasn't always easy, but it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done for myself. My health and my life greatly improved once I made the vow to NTAP!
Just to say I've completed a year on the 20th March 2016. This year I turned 58. I was smoking +-30 a day. This is the longest I have been without a cigarette since I was 16.
I found this site on day 2 of my cold turkey quit. I'm sure it saved it. I read all the articles over and over. I still go back on crave days. I've only ever been a lurker though.
I stopped because of shortage of breath. Running to car in the rain and taking half an hour to get my breath back. This was after a heavy night out. I started a moderate walking exercise program when I stopped smoking. I'm now doing 6 kms briskly every other day.
My lungs have sort of recovered but still away to go. My hearing also seemed to improve over the year. I was struggling at social events to follow conversations but now it seems much easier.
I don't miss cigarettes. The mess, the smell, worrying if I have enough, getting a fix on time, ect. I'm so glad I have managed this quit so far. This is after trying everything over the years. NRT, hypnosis, gum, e-cigarettes, acupuncture, the lot. Never just cold turkey though. So thanks to family, friends and everyone on this site for tolerance and support. Educated Cold turkey worked for me.
My Dad, my twin brother and I quit smoking the day dad was to have his open heart surgery due to smoking, October 21st of 2014. My brother and I just put them down and never looked back. We were both 51 at that time and had been smoking since we were fourteen. We now both have grandchildren. He has three and I have five.
Sure glad we did it although my dad still struggles to quit (my mom and sister smoke). I hope he gets his wish soon, as well as the rest of my family.
I just wanted to send you a note to say thank you for what you have been doing. Several years ago I wanted to stop smoking and I was honestly scared of what I would go through an I could not find any resources that would give me the full picture, until I came across why quit.com. Your site helped me to prepare for what I would go through, made me realise that I had to start to consider myself a drug addict and I needed to behave like one. I remember that on the evening of the 3rd of January 2012, at 11:35pm I walked inside after having my last cigarette and I asked my wife if she would support me if I stopped smoking as I would be going through withdrawals.
She said yes and she was great throughout the next month as I was going through the stages of withdrawal, only having to knock some sense into me once on the 4th day which I am very grateful for. It was a close one, I nearly went to go to the store to buy a pack but she asked me if I really wanted to go back to the start of it all and have to relive it. She and your website really helped me to get through it. In particular that nasty picture of the body showing what happens as a result of the poisons that you constantly ingest. That picture should be published on every pack of smokes.
So it is now more than 4 years since I have quit after being a smoker for 16 so this has been a 20 year journey for me, start to finish. I still want to smoke every now and then but it is at the back of my mind now, I barely think of it at all and I will never do it again. I am healthier, fitter and happier with my body than I have ever been.
I was referring your site to someone else who wants to quit and I realised that I never thanked you. You are doing what you are for free because you know how important it is for everyone to stop and that can often be thankless but I want you to know how much you have helped me.
20 a day for 30 years and then I quit 3 years and two months ago. Cold turkey. And now all those demons are gone. The feeling that with out cigarettes my life would never be happy again - GONE. The stench of smoke on my clothes and the wallpaper - GONE. The fear of long distance trips without a fix -GONE. MOST importantly the desire to light up when I'm stressed or socialising - GONE. I no longer romanticise the weed.
I won't lie, the quit wasn't easy and the road was a long one. All these stories about deciding to quit and miraculously never desiring another puff are bunkum imo. Do not keep the company of smokers, and have a couple of pictures of diseased lungs dotted around the place, along with a video on your phone of someone with COPD hooked up to oxygen. Every time you feel overwhelmed with the urge to smoke, have a look at those - this could be you. Such emotive things help.
The freedom is inexplicably good and when I see smokers I actually feel incredibly sorry for them. One of my pupils at school asked me one day why you never see old people hanging around smoking at bus stops in London? The answer is obvious really, isn't it?
I quit smoking cold turkey on Friday of Labor day weekend in the year 2013. I'm currently at 2.5 years. This 2016 Labor Day I'll be 3 THREE years. I quit smoking because I am a mother of 4 children and want to be around my soon to be 9 grandchildren.
I am a 49 year old Africa American, I love myself and I don't want to be walking around looking old and decrepitated with the old woman wrinkels around my mouth, sunken-in jaws and smelling like a carton of cigarettes.
Since I've quit smoking I smell and taste better, I'm less fatigued, I sleep better, and my health is in fair condition. I get compliments about my facial skin on how great I look. Although I have other health issues, smoking is one that isn't on my list anymore. However I still do crave from time to time. I remind myself of why I quit in the first place☺and that makes me proud. I absolutely love saying that I am a former smoker (past-tense).
Myra D Clark
I give this site credit in public, but just wanted to thank you directly. I tried to quit dozens of times before I found this site. The information here really helped me properly direct my will power and gave me answers to my inner addict when I quit for the last time.
I am healthy and have been smoke-free for 4.5 years.
I have only recently discovered your website. I am overwhelmed by the volume of info available there. I have no doubt that many, many people have complimented and thanked you for your efforts. Well, I am another in line to say how remarkable your thoroughness is. I thank you indeed for this site.
It will be 12 years to the moment, this coming September 14th at 1:07pm that I no longer allowed myself to be a slave to a faceless corporation, whose only concern was to entice me and keep me hooked on smoking.
And what a smoker I was, starting at 21 to impress an older girl I was sweet on, continued until I was 55. For those past 12 years, I smoked 15 packs a week. When I did the math, I had roughly smoked $132,000, that could have been put to my retirement.
As a research scientist, I pondered how I would quit, if I ever contemplated doing so. I hadn't ever made the effort and my, then, ego would never have allowed me to do it more than once.
On that September afternoon in 2004, I Stood in the doorway of my lab and said, 'THAT'S IT, no more!' I then walked to my smoking buddy's lab and stated that I quit and don't expect to see me for a while.
I then went to my coworker and said I am going to be taking a few days off and to let me know if there is any need for me to call me at home.
I went home, sat down, hyperventilating so much that I took a paper bag from the kitchen and breathed through it.In short order, I devised a plan, one that would keep me aware of the habitual actions of a smoker, you know the things a smoker does, the ritual, the handling, those sorts of things.
I chose the humble ice cube as my modus operandi, thinking that it's coldness and beginning size and progressive melting would keep me aware of it's presence in my mouth. I was a miracle, for me, a wonderous device to make my awareness keen.
Every time I felt like a smoke, I put an ice cube into my mouth and let it stay there, melting and diminishing in volume all the while forcing me to keep it moving around so I didn't have is sit in one place as it was annoying to feel it there.
I must tell you that in three days, I literally consumed hundreds of those damn things, I did not sleep because I could not do so. My head, virtually was numb from all of the ice I had, it succeeded in making me painfully aware of just how many times I was convincing myself that I had to have a cigarette. In complete exhaustion I fell asleep and slept for the next two days.
Regaining consciousness, I went through all kinds of terrible feelings and thoughts. I took me eight days in total to end a 34 year nightmare. I never touched another cigarette in all the years since. I have tried to assist many people to make their own attempts at quitting. At my age, I have also buried many loved ones and friends who have died as a direct result of smoking. Sixteen friends and family in just under nine years. Each passing makes me weep.
Thank you so kindly for taking the time to read this and my sincere thanks for your site. I will recommend it to all of the people I frequently meet online or in person who have a desire to quit. Kind regards to you.