- As my three children have matured, so have their requests. Their pleading with me to quit smoking has finally made me realize that they truly care about me and my health.
Reactive Airway Disease
- I quit because in December 2010, I went to the hospital with breathing problems from a cold, I thought. Turns out I was diagnosed with "reactive airway disease". I have smoked for 40 years, and really enjoyed it with no desire to quit. Doctor gave me a lot of reading material about COPD. After the doctor visit I went on line to read about reactive airway disease and COPD. I am 57, and had been having shortage of breath for at least two years. After reading this stuff, I panicked. I quit on December 26 thru March 2011. I felt great and my breathing problems disappeared. I figured one cigarette wouldn't hurt. I bought a pack of very low tar and smoke the whole pack within a week. That led to another pack and I hated myself every time I lit up. Finally after more than three months of smoking and hating myself, I flushed the rest of a pack down the toilet and have not smoked for 9 days. I am determined that I will never have to quit again.
- —Guest Sarah
- From past experience, I know that for me, it takes something major to happen for me to get a reality check. That thing was nearly losing the man I love and plan to marry because he couldn't stand to watch me destroy myself much longer. We talked about the future and children often but he had always said he was unsure about it because he wouldn't be able to handle me dying from a smoking-related illness. Three and a half days ago, something clicked inside me that said, what are you doing? You love living yet you're paying to kill yourself? Do you really want to be a bad example for your future children? Do you want to put your friends and family through emotional hell once illness finally strikes? Do you want to be in control of YOUR life or are you going to let substances control you? Hard but very eye-opening questions. I'm only on day three and a half but I know I will succeed this time for the simple fact that I WANT TO LIVE. Mind over matter.
- —Guest Angi
50% Greater Risk of Heart Attack
- I have a chronic illness already, am 34 years old and went for an MOT at my docs. My doctor told me that my cholesterol level was high! Now bear in mind that I am only way 64kg and am 5'9" tall! So quite a slim guy, and I take regular exercise, I think it's important that I remain fit and healthy due to my pre-existing medical issues! So my doctor does the math, and tells me that I have a 4% chance of having a heart attack in the next ten years! So I think okay well that's an acceptable risk and kind of dismiss what was being said. At this point the doc turns to me and says, 'you smoke right?', so I say of course, you know I do! So he goes back to his calculator and taps into the computer model my figures without saying that I smoke, and I didn't expect there (probably very naively) to be much different, perhaps a fraction of a percent. Yet to my surprise and disbelief, it was a 50% drop the risk of heart attack in the next 10 years!! That was that I made my mind up to stop for good!
Scared - Then Reality Hit
- Put off getting a colonoscopy for 2 years and had some "fluttering" in my chest 2 days in a row. The anesthesiologist for the colonoscopy told me that if I quit TODAY (after 37 years of smoking) I 'might' prevent some chronic health problems....that I was at a crossroads. I woke up from anesthesia with a nightmare about dying from smoking. Started Zyban the next day when I had to go for 'cardiac work-up' including wearing a monitor for 48 hours, cardiac ultrasound, and finally a radioactive dye infusion for a treadmill test. As I was going through the 48 hour monitor - I thought "Geez, this is what it will be like in my golden years if I don't quit now. I do NOT want to spend my retirement sitting in some physician's office or hospital instead of enjoying the fruits of my labor". Today is my 52nd day as a non-smoker and I know I am successful. Just read up on what all cigarettes do to you from this website and you too will have the knowledge necessary to get you through the rough times.
I Did the Math
- I stupidly started smoking about 15 years ago. I'm a woman in my late thirties, never married and no kids. I think that some of my relationship failures and ambivalence stem from choosing cigarettes over relationships. I couldn't handle someone pleading with me everyday to stop smoking. Just the thought of getting pregnant and having to stop smoking would fill me with panic. Lately, the fear of rejection from a man when they discover that I smoke makes me avoid dating. How incredibly sad. I've had enough of cigarettes ruling my life. Sick of the shame, fatigue, premature aging, health anxiety, feeling like a loser... I also calculated how much I spent on cigarettes over the last 15 years and I was absolutely appalled. I can't believe how much of my hard-earned money I have spent on essentially killing myself. I will continue to read your stories to remind myself I am not alone. I pray for myself and all of you to stay strong.
- —Guest breathe
- I chose not to do things or take my children places because I knew that I wouldn't be able to smoke. The thought of having to go hours without a cigarette was unbearable. My last straw was that I felt like I was not the best mom that I could be. It was no longer just about me. It became a major influence on my kids and my life. I wanted to be in control and feel free to go wherever I wanted.
I Couldn't Breathe!
- I spent what seemed like an hour coughing and struggling to inhale one night. I imagine that's what it must feel like to die of emphysema. It turned out to be a wake up call in the form of bronchitis. And it also helped that it burned my lungs to smoke.
19 Years Old Wanting to be Young Again
- I'm 19 years old and have been smoking 3 years now. Sometimes I feel like I'm 40 or 50 years old. I can't even walk without chest pain and shortness of breath. One night as I was walking home from my girlfriend's house, I realised that I'm pathetic because I can't even walk for 15 minutes without having to stop for a break. All that time I was smoking a cigarette, of course. I've been having problems with my father, not to mention money issues. So, that's it for me, I'M A NON SMOKER, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.
- —Guest Bozhinoski
Power of the Mind
- My four year old daughter states often that she wishes I'd stop smoking. Her father passed a few years ago from other reasons, but how horrible would that be to have lost both parents, so not worth it. I must take back my life, for my daughter and myself. I remember hating seeing my mom smoke as a kid -- such a nasty cycle. I said I never would, and for half of my life, I smoked (going on 30 now, do the math). Horrible, not to mention the money. Wish me well. I'm just as stubborn!
- I want to be able to run, so I can coach my 4 year old daughter's soccer game. I want to be able to breathe.
- —Guest 20dayssmokefree
- My friend's husband has just been diagnosed with COPD He stopped smoking over a year ago, however the damage is still done. He is 54 -- my husband is 52. COPD is horrendous and it was enough to finally make me decide now was the time. I went cold turkey and am looking forward to the money I will save and not choosing a vacation based on where I can smoke or having to go outside in the wind and rain or stand outside a shop or a restaurant to give me my fix.
- My friends husband has just been diagnosed with COPD He stopped smoking over a year ago however the damage is still done He is 54 my husband is 52. COPD is horrendous and it was enough to finally make me decide now was the time went cold turkey and am looking forward to the money I will save and not choosing a vacation based on where I can smoke or having to go outside in the wind and rain or stand outside a shop or a restaurant to give me my fix
I Got Laid Off
- I wish I had another reason, but I cannot deny that I quit because I lost my job. I absolutely refused to use this good money the gov't is giving me on cigarettes. I simply could not do it. Not to mention that if I kept smoking, I'd be wasting a huge percentage of my paltry monthly stipend. That was it. That was the true reason.
Holding Myself Back
- I am only 23. I want children. I want to travel. Most of all I want to be able to get the most out of my life that I can. Smoking was only holding me back. What if I became infertile because of smoking? I could never travel because the thought of being on a plane and not being able to smoke filled me with panic. I wouldn't have been able to afford travelling anyway, I had to buy my cigarettes. What kind of life is that for a young person who aspires to be so much more?! I choose life. Not addiction.