I have been quit for one year. I started smoking when I was 8 years old by picking up my parent's butts and lighting them up. I eventually began stealing cigarettes from my parents (by the cartons) and hiding packs in the heater vents by 3rd or 4th grade. I was a full-time smoker by the 5th grade. I was a horrible influence on friends too. I smoked for 16 years. I am now 25 years old.
How I've Gotten This Far
Around the age of 22-23, I was getting tired of the stinky, rotten, nicotine discoloration of my mouth and teeth, not to mention the black tar build up in between my teeth. So, I practiced quitting. I first practiced not smoking when I woke up, not smoking on the way to work, not smoking during break at work, not smoking until after the gym, and only having one or two at night or not buying them by the pack.
Now, this worked well off and on, but then I picked up cigars and started buying singles on the reservations. Eventually I could not stand the smell or taste anymore. I would come in from the porch after a smoke and think to myself "what was the point of that?"
I finally got to the point where I was ready to quit after I got sober from drugs and alcohol. You see, for me those evils went hand-in-hand.
I was very fortunate that my health insurance covered the cost of smoking cessation and provided me with Nicoderm patches. Once I was drink and drug free I set a quit date. I followed that quit date and had a few slips in the first month while I tried to quit. I used the same practice from the years before and with the desperation to be free from nicotine addiction, I was able to arrest the smoking. One day I just didn't put the patch on and I didn't smoke. I haven't had one since.
- You have to want to quit for yourself to be successful (when you just can't stand it anymore, you will know)
- Quit drinking (it's made it a lot easier)
- Have a support group and ask for medical help if you can (patches worked for me because I worked the patches)
- Don't be afraid of milk shakes :)
- Remember that nicotine withdrawal will pass (I struggled with severe fatigue for an entire month) YIKES!
- My breath smells good (that's debatable :) )
- It doesn't look cool to smoke anymore
- Vitamins helped me too (St Johns Wort, Fish Oil)