Once we quit smoking, the word freedom takes on a depth of meaning it never had before. The benefits of better health and more money in our pockets only marks the beginning of the positive changes most of us enjoy after quitting.
The stories below illustrate the value freedom from nicotine addiction has had on 10 unique and precious lives.
If you're still smoking, their stories cannot help but inspire you to tap into your own ability to quit too.
To that end, the links below will help you get started:
You CAN do it!
"How many times have you heard songs about fools? There must be as many fool references in music as there are trains. Fool for love, fool and his money goes separate ways, foolish games, fool for your stockings, fooled around and fell in love, won’t get fooled again...you get the picture. Fools and foolish behavior are good song material. One of my all time favorites is "Fool for a Cigarette."
"I smoked for roughly 32-33 years and had a love/hate relationship with cigarettes. I probably thought about quitting with almost every cigarette that I lit, even the ones I loved -- with coffee, with a beer, after eating, etc. As much as I was “enjoying” that cigarette though, there was part of me wishing that I was free from the things.
"January 18, 2007, I was gravely ill with severe bronchitis that made breathing very difficult. For each of the 9 previous years, bronchitis had become an annual event that grew progressively worse and this time, finally, the alarm bells were heard as I had never been this ill before. That night I crushed that last butt and rasped out a determined "I'm done." I felt an extraordinary sense of peace and certainty that indeed I would never smoke again."
"Quitting smoking was the single most important thing I ever did for ME. I've done lots of nice things for other people in my life. Somehow the ME I took such good care of long, long ago got lost in the smoke. I am happy to say that she has finally returned. Stronger and healthier than ever before. And after two years of breathing clean air, she is someone I continue to be pretty darn proud of."
"I am happier than I have been in 25 years. I've taken control and made things happen. I made up my mind to change my life and that is what I did. Three short months after quitting, my blood pressure and heart medications have been discontinued. Also, oxygen was discontinued a month ago. Why? Because I quit smoking and lost 57 pounds. I now eat healthy, exercise regularly, and work hard at eliminating stress from my life."
My first quit attempt lasted about 45 days and then I got some really bad news, or so I thought at the time. Before long, I had relapsed. I never gave up on the idea of quitting smoking after that, but I just couldn't get past a week or two smoke free. Invariably, some kind of 'stress' would come along and I'd let that be my "excuse" to start smoking again.
"fter successfully quitting smoking a year ago with the aid of nicotine patch treatment, education and this wonderful forum, I thought it would be nice to share some of the things that I worked into my quit plan that helped me stay quit all this time."
"There is no one way or right way to quit smoking; it is only important that you quit. I cannot tell you that I knew that I would never smoke again. However, I do know that this time all of my anger about quitting was gone. I had a peace with the process, and I knew that it was probably the best opportunity that I would ever have to become a nonsmoker."
"True freedom is a state of mind. In order to really shed this addiction in a way that leaves it no room to return to you months or years down the road, you must change what smoking means to you - you must change your personal relationship with smoking. You can abstain from smoking for years, but if you never change the relationship you have with cigarettes, the chains will continue to hold you tight."