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quit smoking

I Quit Smoking, So Can You!  Quit Smoking Now!

 

After smoking cigarettes for 30 years, I finally quit!  Was it easy?  NO!  Can anyone do it?  YES!  As of the writing date of this, I have been smoke free for many years now (quit in 2003), come August of this year.  Do I feel better? YES!  Do I still want a cigarette?  YES!  Can I say no to smoking one?   Absolutely yes! Smoking is an extremely additive habit and it's a great idea to track your addiction recovery progress to help keep you on track.

 

I started smoking at the young age of 12 in 1973.  I simply started because my friends did and it was the cool thing to do.  When I think of all the things I missed when I was in high school because of this habit, it disgusts me.  By the time I was 16, I was a pack a day smoker and not able to compete well already because of my smoking habit, in any sports.  I was easily become winded and my lung capacity was already becoming reduced.  This is a fact that many people do not realize unless you are a smoker.  I loved wrestling and running track in Jr. High, but by High School was only able to compete in Golf because I couldn't keep up with the non-smoking athletes.  Not that Golf is a bad sport as I love the game even today, but lets face it, it's not exactly taxing on the lungs.

 

I continued smoking through the births of all my children, knowing that I was risking my health, but the nicotine had me in it's grips and I could justify away just about anything.  When I think of all the years I smoked in the house with the kids around (my wife was smoker too but quit 3 years before I did) and the health risk I put them in, I feel ashamed.  Luckily all of my children beat the odds of having smoking parents, and even though the 3 oldest tried smoking, none of them picked up the habit.

 

At the age of 37, I had to have my left Carotid artery cleaned out and a bypass done to my left arm because of the damage done to my system from smoking all those years.  High cholesterol played a roll in that as well but I watched my total numbers drop almost 75 points at the time, from simply quitting.  You can learn about my fight with with Cholesterol here Another piece of advice I will give, is to buy life insurance as young as possible and don't give it up no matter what.  Once you have had a severe surgery like I had, life insurance is virtually no longer and option, even at high prices.  Buy good term insurance if you can afford it, or at least cheap insurance if not, and keep it up to date while you're healthy.  Even if you have buy cheap term life insurance, do it.

 

I quit smoking the first time after my surgery for almost 10 months but the mental stress got to me again and I picked the smoking habit back up, even knowing that the danger to my health was immense!  What a drug nicotine is, and yes it is a drug.  They compare the addiction of this drug both mentally and physically to cocaine or heroin, and though I've never had those habits I can say this, it's gets a grip on you like you would never believe.

 

At the age of 42 my wife's Father passed away from lung cancer.  You can say what you will, but he also smoked over 50 years and it definitely affected what happened to him.  Known facts show (and I can attest to it first hand having watched it), that this is not a disease you want to have!  It suffocates you, literally!  I quit smoking about 3 months after he passed on and at the time I didn't think it had anything to do with my quitting, but looking back now I know it scared me a lot and I'm sure it influenced my desire to try again.

 

I quit cold turkey on August 1st, 2003 at 2 PM.  I know that because I used a program on my palm pilot to record and track my progress which I still check now and again today.  As of today I have not smoked for 2 years, 35 weeks, and 6 days.  I have not spent $5,223 on cigarettes, some of which I could say has paid for a number of nice things such as my 60" TV and the computer I'm using today.

 

How do you quit smoking?  Don't quit quitting!  I tried everything from nicotine patches, to nicotine gum, to quit smoking injections, various nicotine replacement therapies, to stop smoking audio tapes, to stop smoking books, to anything I thought would work.  I never tried stop smoking hypnosis therapy but would have had I had the chance.  What finally worked for me?  Cold turkey and a lot of prayer to God to help me do it.  What would work for you to quit smoking you ask?  Try anything you have to, but find a way to quit!  I still feel the ravages of 30 years of smoking, as my lungs show the effects of COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease) but I feel I have a better chance of surviving that now, than I did had I kept going without quitting smoking.  Every month I get a little of my lung capacity back.  I can walk/jog over 3 miles without feeling like my lungs or heart were going to fail, I can run on a treadmill, I can work in the yard without having to stop all the time to catch my breath, at least not as much as I used to.  Plan to give your self a "stop smoking gift" when you quit.  You will be able to easily afford it with all the money you will save. As of 2012, I have now finished three 25K races and I run 3 - 4 days a week to control my weight and diabetes. I am still amazed at how resilient our bodies are and the way they recover from so much self inflicted damage. 

 

Many people don't realize the damage they are doing until it's too late.  I hope I wasn't one of them but at least I gave myself a chance.  You can too!  Set a date to quit smoking and do it!    Quit smoking now, it's never too late!

 

written by: WM8C, April 10th, 2006  Not for use without permission.

 

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