1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

10 Quit Stories from Successful Ex-Smokers


Updated June 19, 2014

There is no better teacher than the voice of experience, and when it comes to quitting tobacco, members of the About.com Smoking Cessation forum have valuable insights to share. An important resource for the new quitter, their stories are full of practical tips about what works when we quit smoking and the benefits we might expect to enjoy.

If you are still smoking, the following personal accounts may help you find the motivation to start your own journey to freedom from nicotine addiction. So, settle in and do some reading -- these real life stories are sure to inspire you.

1. 10 Steps to Success - Lesly's Story

From Lesly:

"Three years ago I was a desperate woman. I was desperate to quit smoking -– I was desperate to smoke. I was sick to death of smoking –- I loved to smoke. I hated how I smelled –- I loved the smell of my smokes. I hated the burn holes, fears, sickness -– I loved the rituals. I hated being told I should quit -- I knew I should quit. Most of all, I was sick and tired of being sick and tired, and I hated feeling stupid. Bottom line."

2. A Year of Living Gratefully -- Jane's Story

From Jane:

"For 37 years I had one last cigarette before turning in for the night, every night. On August 5, 2006, I had one last cigarette that I hoped and prayed with all my heart would be the last cigarette of my life."

3. What an Investment! -- Michelle's Story

From Michelle:

"People invest in savings and retirement accounts and IRA's, and rightly so, but none of these will matter if a smoking-related illness claims your life before you can enjoy the benefits of your other investments. Smoking cessation is worth every minute you invest and more. The freedom that awaits you is nearly indescribable, and with each passing year, as my gratitude continues to grow, so does my hope that more and more people will decide to reclaim the lives they were meant to live."

4. A Thing Called Hope -- Dee's Story

From Dee:

"With an almost 2-pack-a-day addiction; with a chest cold and horrible coughing that suggested that someone needed to take pity on me and make an immediate call to an ambulance service; there I was sitting on the side of the bed with a cigarette dangling from my mouth and lighter in hand trying to breath shallow little breaths so I wouldn’t cough my fool head off while lighting my first cigarette of the day. Something snapped. I took a long hard look at the cigarette and lighter and threw them across the room."

5. Four Years Later -- Mary's Story

From Mary:

"Today I'm a nonsmoker. I don't think of myself as an exsmoker, because that was a different Mary. That Mary reached for a smoke at the first sign of stress. That Mary couldn't walk up a flight of stairs without hacking up a lung. This Mary has a whole new outlook on life — a whole new life, period. This Mary is an athlete who runs five days a week and can bench press 115 pounds. This Mary can now say, I will never smoke again."

6. What a Difference a Year Can Make -- Bella's Story

From Bella:

"What a difference a year can make. I think back to when I rang in 2006 and I was feeling nothing less than desperation. My throat was raw day and night, my voice was weak and I was completely afraid. "You have to get a handle on this, girl," was what I thought, "or it’s over for you. There might be something wrong with you already. It’s time to make some significant changes."

7. The Benefits at One Year Smoke-Free -- Larry's Story

From Larry:

"One year ago today I thought I had pneumonia. It turned out to be yet another greeting by the grim reaper we nicotine addicts know intimately as "smoking-related illness." It wasn't pneumonia, only a severe case of bronchitis and undeniable worsening of the early stages of emphysema -- an inability to breathe on my own. I dreaded going to bed at night and have my wife hear me coughing, wheezing, struggling for every breath, but I was in denial. I knew what was causing my breathing problems, yet felt powerless to stop the slow, agonizing process of killing myself with cigarettes."

8. 10 Tips to Quit Smoking Successfully -- Leo's Story

From Leo:

"I recently celebrated my 2-year anniversary of quitting smoking. Well, of finally quitting. Like most smokers, I had tried to quit smoking many times and failed. But this quit attempt stuck, and I'd like to share the top 10 things that made this quit successful when the others failed."

9. Be Patient. Be Strong. Have Courage. -- Kevin's Story

From Kevin:

"I hope that all smokers can one day enjoy their lungs the way they did in their smokeless childhoods. One of the ways I convinced myself to finally quit involved reminiscences of my own childhood lungs, their indefatigable prowess, how deeply I was able to breathe while rounding the bases after smashing a line drive into left/center, or the massive huffs of air I’d take every third stroke while competing in a freestyle race. My lungs, I would dream 30 years into smoking, never fought back when I was a child. And every time I dreamed of those easier times, the more I wanted those times back."

10. Quitting Smoking Wasn't Easy -- Tammy's Story

From Tammy:

"How many times have I thought about quitting? How many times have I tried to quit? The answer is…I don’t have a clue. I really really wanted to quit smoking and I really thought that I could whenever I felt like it. I thought that it would be easy if I really wanted it bad enough. It wasn’t easy."

  1. About.com
  2. Health
  3. Smoking Cessation
  4. Motivational
  5. 10 Inspirational Quit Smoking Stories

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.