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I've Quit So Many Things in My Life. Quitting Smoking Was the Hardest.

The American Lung Association is sharing inspiring stories from individuals who have been able to end their addiction to tobacco and stop smoking through #TheDayIQuit blog series. Quitting smoking isn't easy, but it is possible—and we firmly believe that anyone can quit with the right support. If you, or someone you know, would like to quit smoking, share with them the new, interactive Freedom From Smoking® Plus.

Have your own quit story to share? Leave a comment below and we'll work together to showcase your success and inspire others to start their quit.

I've quit many things in my life but quitting smoking was the hardest. It's been eight years since I quit smoking and it blows my mind how much the smoke that I used to love bothers me so much now. I have friends and a sister that still smoke and I can't be in the car or around them when they smoke. My sense of smell and taste has gotten so much better that any trace of smoke has a huge effect on me.

I had my first cigarette when I was 13—I snagged one from my parents—but it didn't stick. Then at age 15, I actually inhaled and was immediately hooked on cigarettes. During periods of my life, I would quit smoking—when I was pregnant and had a newborn, for instance—but during tense or stressful moments, I would pick it back up. 

My grandmother passed away when I was 35 and it was a breaking point in my life. She smoked all of her life, and I couldn't imagine spending the rest of my life smoking. My mom and I decided to quit smoking together, and enrolled in an American Lung Association Freedom From Smoking Group Clinic. 

Mother and kids

The eight-week course made us look at all of the times we smoked and encouraged us to change up some of those routines. For instance, I used to love to drive and smoke—the window rolled down and a few moments of escape. When I quit, I actually stopped driving for a few days because the car was just too much of a smoking trigger for me. My mom and I did other things, like sitting in different spots at the kitchen table or while watching TV than where we typically sat and smoked. Just little things to shake up that routine of smoking.

Going through the course together and having my mom's support really helped me. We would chew on straws and call each other out when we were grumpy over those first days when the cravings were really bad. She kept me honest and together, we both were able to stay smokefree. We saved all the money we would have spent on cigarettes in a glass jar and rewarded ourselves with a nice dinner and treats when it got full.

I didn't realize how much time smoking took from me. I'm an avid reader now. Instead of smoking, I read books! I haven't smoked since March 7, 2007—and I'm so thankful that I was able to quit before my grandchildren were born. I have the energy (sometimes!) to play with them, and they never have to see their grandma smoking. 

It's been eight years, and I can't imagine any other way of living now.

Related Topics: Tobacco & Smoking, Health & Wellness,

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Submitted by Jeremiah Say at: June 18, 2019
I love reading success stories because it reminds me of why I quit in the first place. I started smoking when I was 12-year-old and didn't stop 100% until recently (after 17 long years). I used my willpower to quit (commonly known as cold-turkey) for more than 30 times only to return to puffing days or just hours later. The biggest win I had was in 2014 when I went for a full 6 months without touching a cigarette. Like you, quitting is also one of the most challenging, interesting and hardest tasks I faced in life. The reason why I was able to stop fully now is when I fully understood that cigarette does absolutely nothing for me. In my previous attempts, I thought I was giving up a real pleasure or crutch that's why I failed miserably. When I invested some time to change my mindset about the truth of smoking, quitting is relatively easy. Thanks for taking the time to write and thanks for an organization like ALA. It makes quitting a tad more meaningful. Regards, Jeremiah
Submitted by MariosG39 at: September 20, 2017
As ironic as it sounds, I am typing this comment about quiting smoking while smoking a cig. I have had to deal with numerous obstacles and hurdles throughout my life, including a bad divorce and a total breakdown of my business but I've always managed to conquer them eventually. I've read all shorts of resources on how to quit smoking. I would wake up each day, promise myself I wouldn't smoke and minutes after I'd light a cig. This addiction is no joke. What I've concluded that it comes down to sheer willpower at the end of the day. Having the resilience to stick through it, even when it is not easy. I hope I do manage to quit, at some point. If you're having trouble with quitting, know that you're not alone.
Submitted by eric at: December 23, 2016
The Under Ten minute Smoking Cessation Program Hello, this short program is designed to help you overcome your cigarette addiction. It takes about ten minutes to complete, so if your ready, let‘s begin. Please repeat the following statement three times. “I will conquer my addiction to using cigarettes.“ Again, “I will conquer my addiction to using cigarettes” and once more with some conviction, “I WILL conquer my addiction to using cigarettes!” Good, you now have your goal. Next, I will ask you to repeat your goal, each time you light up a cigarette. Please take one out and light it while repeating your goal. “I will conquer my addiction to using cigarettes!” Good, I hope you said it with conviction. If not, don’t worry, just remember to repeat it, each time you use a cigarette. Your success depends on it, so remember that! Please set the lighted cigarette down now and count to ten while looking at it. Good, simple enough, anyone could do as much, right? In fact, most smokers can go without a cigarette for hours at a time. That is they can quit smoking whenever they need or want to. Maybe in your experience, you’ve even quit for days, or weeks at a time. Here’s the point. There’s a big difference, between quitting a bad habit and conquering an addiction and to those ends, my aim is not, I repeat, not, to help you quit smoking, but to have you conquer your addiction to using cigarettes and here‘s why. Once you conquer your addiction to using cigarettes, you won’t go back and that is our objective. So stay with me, as the time has come for you to kick this addiction. That is, if you still want to and I sincerely mean that, because this program will change your life. But, it must be your decision and yours alone. So, if your ready, let’s do this. Repeat this, “I want to quit smoking.“ Now try this, ‘I will conquer my addiction to using cigarettes.” Which sounds more compelling? Number one, “I want to quit smoking,“ or, number two, “I will conquer my addiction to using cigarettes.” Greater challenges, require greater convictions. Who makes it to the top of Mount Everest? The person who wants to make it, or the one who will make it? Anyone can quit a bad habit. I quit eating fast foods. (Well, most of it.) I quit watching TV as much. The point is this, quitting is not conquering, wanting to quit, is not the same as having the willingness to do it! You use cigarettes, as opposed to smoking them. You have an addiction, as opposed to having a bad habit and you don‘t quit addictions, you conquer them! Why, because in reality, they conquer you! Does that make sense? If you’re going to beat this, you need to realize, the cigarette is your enemy, not your friend. This is important, because this is how we are going to turn you against cigarettes. Words have power (think advertising) and it’s that power we’re tapping right now. How? Let me ask, would you be reading this, if it was called the Two Hour Smoking Cessation Program? Probably not, so keep going, we‘re almost done. You don’t smoke cigarettes, you USE them. You don’t quit smoking, you CONQUER YOUR ADDICTION and it’s more then just wanting to quit, you WILL do it! Put it all together and this becomes your goal. “I WILL CONQUER MY ADDICTION TO USING CIGARETTES.” That’s it, clear and precise. Make this your goal and you will not fail. Do exactly as the program asks and you will conquer your cigarette addiction. Remember, repeat your goal each and every time you light up. You will overcome this addiction and put yourself back in control of your life, your health and your future. Remember, quitting is not an option. There is only one option and one only! “I WILL conquer my addiction to using cigarettes!“ That’s right, you Will! Now, do it!
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