My Quit Moment...Shared Stories

 

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The My Quit Moment submissions reflect the personal stories of the individual contributors. The Grey Bruce Health Unit does not endorse or recommend any commercial products, processes, or services. Therefore, mention of commercial products, processes, or services cannot be construed as an endorsement or recommendation.

 

You can also view more stories from the Perth District Health Unit.

My name is Tanya. I started smoking when I was 18 years old because of peer pressure from friends. I quit smoking when I was 20 because I found out I was pregnant with my first baby. The reason why I quit was because it was healthier for my baby. That was 13 years ago.

I started smoking when I was 14. I was the victim of emotional and mental abuse then. I continued smoking until I was 24 as did the abuse. I was able to get help in 2010 with everything so I decided to quit. I noticed my fingers were yellow, my teeth were yellow and I began to detest the smell. I quit cold turkey and have been smoke free for six years this month. I couldn’t have done it without help in the community for both of these problems. My life has changed forever.

I smoked for over 20 years. Started in high school. I have now been smoke free for over 7 years.

I had a bad chest cold and I went to the doctor. She told me that if I did not stop smoking, I would just keeping getting colds like that.

I first tried using Chantix but found that it was causing very bad mood issues.

Then I tried Nicorette, unfortunately I just smoked the same and enjoyed the extra nicotine, not the best endorsement.

I finally able to quit for good by slowly decreasing my daily habit.

After being smoke free for this long, I find the smell of cigarette some unpleasant.

Our moment – I say our, because we were in it together – took place in the mid 1970s. At the time local schools were advocating stopping this nasty habit and the kids brought those messages home. Our eldest daughter had been tested for a host of allergies and it was found that smoking in the house was one of the main culprits. My wife Helen smoked very little, not even a pack a week, while I used a pack a day with sometimes two on a weekend. We decided to go ‘cold turkey’ as it was called. And WE did! It was a mere matter of willpower – nothing else! Never touched another cigarette, except once much, much later on and couldn’t believe we had been pumping that terrible stuff into our lungs. It was the best thing I ever did for my own health. Now, at 86, I am as healthy as can be and have almost completed my goal of reaching the 50,000 km mark biking the Georgian Trail.

I started smoking through stress when I was 17 years old in 1962. I was an unwed mother, and they took my baby from me at birth. That was the summer I had a nervous breakdown and started smoking. After I married at age 21 and had 2 children I knew I had an obligation to quit. Nobody in my family smoked except for my husband and me. We made a pact to quit smoking and we did. It lasted about a year and then I went to a party and broke down and had a cigarette with a drink. The next morning I bought a pack of cigarettes and started smoking again. My husband also started smoking again and after we were divorced in 1974 he continued to be a heavy smoker and drinker until his premature death in 2011 from heart failure. His autopsy showed that smoking had damaged his lungs and heart substantially.

Time passed. I met my second husband in the summer of 1975. He was a total non-smoker. He hated smoking. His father was a heavy smoker and died in 1988 of lung cancer. He never insisted on me quitting, but I knew his opinion and I respected it.

Therefore, in the end, I just quit. I decided that there would be NO MORE cigarettes in my life. I didn’t allow for failure. I made the decision and it was final. I didn’t use any support to quit other than my own decision. This was 1977 and I never had another cigarette. I am now 72 and almost all of my friends my age are former smokers. We all quit. I don’t know anyone who now smokes in my social circle.

My husband and I had just returned from spending Christmas with my family in Edmonton. I was angry. We could not find a hotel with a balcony attached. That's when I realized that smoking had begun to control our world. We booked rooms based on smoking availability. We planned air trips based on length of flights. Our days were interlace with smoking between tasks. We were planning our financials with money set aside for buying smokes.

It was time to quit. We had had many discussions over the years about our health and financial rewards for quitting. I woke up the week of the new year and said let's just do it. We opened up the phone book to smoking cessation and found Laser 66. We booked an appointment the next day.

Once the treatments were done we went home and drank copious amounts of citrus juice and avoided each other. For us it was not the cravings but the emotional crap that goes along with the upheaval of routine changes due to not smoking. It has been 8 days now and I don't trust myself to be near a package of smokes yet but its coming. I'm starting to sleep better and feel better as I detoxify my body. Was it worth it? Yes.

My reason for quitting was when I had my heart attack in 1994. It wasn’t reason enough to stop as I hid smokes all over the house. It was only when my wife told me she knew I was smoking again that I decided to quit. Who did I think I was fooling. I stopped that night cold turkey for her and me and that was 23 years ago. Since I had my heart attack I now have a pacemaker and built in defibrillator .Thanks to all the staff who saved my life.

I started at the very young age of 12.

Mostly peer pressure, the 'cool' thing to do. You could cash in a glass milk jug and get a pack of filter less Exports, back then, approx. $.51.

I continued smoking for another 14 years, met a nice man (who was an ex-smoker), settled down and before long, I was pregnant. So I quit, cold turkey, no problem, or so I thought.

After having our child, returning to work, juggling life issues, it wasn't long that I took up my previous 'bad' habit again. This was in the mid 80's and smoking was still socially accepted.

After filling my lungs, for 18 years, pack and a half a day - I found myself starting to lose my voice. I was always clearing my throat, coughing, going horse while talking. The straw that broke the camel’s back, so to speak, was completely losing my voice while talking on the phone one evening to a friend. It was the 'wake up' call I needed, that if I didn't choose to quit on my own - smoking was going to do it for me.

I did it Cold Turkey.

Was it hard? You bet.

What worked for me, was identifying 'when/why' I wanted to smoke, and took the time to talk myself out of it or filled the urge with something else.

I wanted a smoke with a cup of coffee, driving, drinking alcohol, stressful times. By acknowledging the 'habit' times, I was able to overcome them.

Do I still get urges to smoke? You bet.

I got the 3 day, 3 month, 3 year urges and still to this day, 27 years later. The urge now is barely a fleeting thought and again - usually when one of the habit conditions are present: ie drinking, stress.

Anyone can do it. You have to truly want to quit smoking to be successful.

I wish anyone wanting to quit great success! Don't let smoking control you. You're much stronger than that!

I quit smoking cold turkey after 67 years when I found out my 52 year old daughter had stage four lung cancer. We used to smoke together. She has since passed away and I am 16 months without smoking…and her.

 

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