The quit stories of those who have walked the path ahead of us provide a road map of how to quit smoking successfully and offer valuable glimpses into the perks we'll enjoy once we do.
While many of us know that smoking contributes to heart disease, numerous forms of cancer and respiratory disease and we hope for health improvements when we quit, we might not expect the positive changes to self-esteem and overall well-being that usually follows successful smoking cessation.
The quit stories below have been selected with the new quitter in mind. Use them to help you put smoking in your past, just as these authors have.
There is no doubt that smoking cessation takes some work, especially early on. However, for the most part, the amount of suffering we must endure is directly related to the attitude we approach it with. In this two year smoke-free milestone message, Angela dispels the myth that quitting tobacco must be painful.
More from Angela:
Successfully navigating the minefield of unhealthy thoughts of smoking that assail us early on in smoking cessation is much easier when we know what to expect. About.com Smoking Cessation forum member Kevin shares how he outsmarted the junkie within and how you can too.
More from Kevin:
While it may seem obvious that tobacco is bad for us, the exercise of writing out the pros and cons of smoking cuts to the meat of the matter and allows us to see how it affects our lives on a number of levels.
Zoe's list is an eye-opener and a favorite with About.com Smoking Cessation forum members. I think you'll relate to it too.
Leo harnessed the challenges that come with smoking cessation early on and made them work for him rather than against. He compiled this list on the second anniversary of his quit date and it contains pearls of wisdom every new quitter should know.
Dee is one of those rare people who was able to quit smoking the first time she tried. She has valuable tips to share about how you can shape your attitude and actions to bring the success with cessation that she enjoys to this day, many years after stubbing out that last cigarette.
More from Dee:
At three years smoke-free, Lesly reflects poignantly on the push-pull that we all experienced as smokers. We hated that we were tied to nicotine addiction, and at the same time, thought we enjoyed smoking.
More from Lesly:
When we quit smoking, most of us want the process to be over and done with within a week or two. We think that if we can just get the nicotine out of our systems, we'll be in the clear. The truth of the matter is that healing the habits associated with the physical addiction takes longer, as Michelle describes so well here.
More from Michelle:
EB's list of reasons was a springboard for the growth and change that brought her the lasting freedom she was looking for. I hope it inspires you to create your own list of reasons to boot the butts once and for all.
More from EB:
When Nenejune decided it was time to quit smoking, she knew she had to find help, and went searching online. She found the About.com Smoking Cessation forum and the support she needed to put the habit she'd hidden from so many for years behind her.
More from Nenejune:
Sally calls her yearly smoke-free anniversaries rebirths, because cessation has transformed her life. The account spans the first three years of her quit, and the transformation is inspirational.
More from Sally: