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Nancy's Quit Smoking Story

"I am 38 years old and have been smoking for 27 years... "

By Nancy

Updated June 22, 2005

I am 38 years old and have been smoking for 27 years (now up to 2 packs a day). Like most smokers, I have tried to quit a million times. I tried to quit when I would get my 2 to 3 sinus infections every year, when I got pregnant, when I brought my son home from the hospital. I would usually only make it a week or so. I have used the patch, been hypnotized (twice), tried the gum, the inhaler, pills & cold turkey. I had the same old excuses as to why I always failed, stress-mostly associated with being a single mother, anxiety, boredom, wanting to be social, gaining weight (which was usually my best excuse since I am a little over weight already), and just plain loving to smoke.

I got married a year ago and my husband was 39 years old. He had lost his mother to neck/brain cancer 7 years before and his father to throat cancer 9 years before -- both, of course, due to smoking. During our first year of marriage, his sister, age 54, died of clogged arteries to her intestines - due to smoking and my friend's mother died from COPD at the ago of 61. OK, what more did I need to tell me that smoking is bad for me?

My son, who is 8, kept nagging at me to quit. He said that he "didn't want me to die!". I kept promising him I would quit tomorrow or on a certain day, etc. I finally looked at his concerned face, handed him my pack of cigarettes and he threw them away. That was 31 days ago.

I have made it month and 1 day!!! Of course, my journey is far from over. I still want one after I eat, when I'm on the phone, and always, always, always when I first wake up in the morning. But, I have to tell you that it does GET A LITTLER EASIER EVERY DAY! I never thought those words would come out of my mouth. Yes, I went through the crying fits, the rage (I threw the phone a couple of times) the sleepless nights, the constipation but I don't feel like a "slave" to cigarettes anymore (my Dad's favorite expression about quitting smoking - which he did 15 years ago). I don't have to think about my next smoke break at work. I can sit in a place for more than 2 hours without having a nicotine fit. I can cook, drive, talk and do normal daily functions WITHOUT a cigarette. I never thought this was possible!

If you can get the support from your family and friends which I was so lucky to get (mostly my husband and son) you can quit!!! If my husband, Dad, brother and 2 friends can quit smoking, why can't I?? I consulted with all of them and it has been such a help I have more energy, sleep better and, of course, eat better. I have gained about 8-10 lbs. but when weighing all of my options, gaining weight is much healthier than smoking. I can take the weight off later!

I think my other biggest help has been reading all of the articles on About.com and finding Terry's articles and reading all of the success stories and, unfortunately, the not so successful stories. I would sit at my computer every night for 31 days and look at pictures of lung cancer, throat cancer, emphysema and read all of the stories I could find. They all confirmed the best decision I have ever made -- to QUIT SMOKING! I want to thank Terry and everyone at About.com for making my story a success so far! And, of course, my friends and family.


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