"Addiction is any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of human desire."-- Gerald G. May.
LISTED BELOW ARE WAYS THAT
SOME PEOPLE QUIT SMOKING.
They wish to share the ways they quit, in the hope it will help you quit
We also would like to add your quit smoking
story to our list. You never know when someone will identify with
adopt your method of quitting. You could become instrumential in helping someone quit for life. Recently one of our quitters
emailed me the note below for all of us to think about:
Hi,....My name is Cathy. I am moderator of SNM Advanced Support
Group AD. One of my members passed away on Jan 3rd. Her name
was Sharon she turned 53 on Dec 26th. The Group and myself thought that
maybe you would like to put one of her posts as a testimonial in the testimonial
pages of the SNM program. It is a very powerful post. I think if she thought it would
help others she would like it posted. We will miss her dearly.
Good-bye to our friend Sharon Pennington
who's passing reminds us all of the terrible waste of another beautiful life
By the Tobacco industry.
Sharon M. Pennington
January 3, 2001
Well said Sissy.....I like your style!!!!! If you could all see me or
follow me for a week you could see how it is to slowly die from
this..... I smoked hot and heavy for 9 more years after my dx. of E and
COPD..I pushed myself right to the edge of the grave, jumped in and tried
it once. Thanks to a good Dr. and RT team I am still here....Hell I
loved smoking it was something I was good at....and I could stop when I
really wanted to......I stopped because I could not inhale anymore with
my 02 off..Can't smoke with it on..For 9 months I'd take a hit of cig
out of left hand and a hit of 02 out of right.What a picture that
was!!!!Sissy is right we don't have to quit I am proof of that..So what
that I can't walk but 20 ft. or so when my 02 drops to 80 I wet myself
and the lung pain is severe...or I couldn't hold my #5 grandson. When
you take out that cig, think of me....I quit. I will live and I am going
to rock in the New Year..Help make those years I blew away count for
something. Write my name on that last cig, Nov. 15th and remind me
when I falter that I am important....Linda Happy Birthday!!!!Team D.
...Determined Quitters...Hope I haven't depressed anyone just the urge
to smoke.. Love to all....Sharon
I also would like to add a "self-portrait" Visual Testimonial on the effects of smoking in my life.
Olivija's Quit Smoking Story
Did you know when you smoked and thought you were
so aware that the tobacco companies were adding hundreds of other toxic,
deadly chemicalls to the tobacco you smoked? Do you blame them for
that? Do you blame them for knowing all this, and shredding all the
Bill's Quit Smoking Story
"When I was in the 6th grade, my friends and I used to gather at recess at a field behind the school, eat grapefruit and Florida lemons which
we harvested from the trees there, and smoke grapevines. With my 50 cents a week allowance, I would sometimes buy a pack of Lucky
Strikes for my non-existent Grandmother. So started my smoking career, which began in earnest when I was in high school and continued
until I had a lung collapse in 1988. When that happened, my primary physician said that it was not necessary for me to quit smoking Ė if I
was not interested in living much longer. Using the 5 day hospital stay as a head start, I quit smoking cold turkey and never sneaked another
puff Ėnot even a grapevine. " Is that the whole story? No, not exactly. Actually my story of quitting smoking comes in several parts.
The being while I was in the service. I know I tried several times to give up cigarettes to no avail. Just did not have the willpower to stick
to it. I can remember one instance when I was in the Philippines and we decided to visit Corregidor which was the last strong point of the Philippines in W.W.II. We were going to visit this island by boat and be gone all day. Bill, in his ultimate wisdom, decided at the last minute
to go cold turkey and quit smoking. I figured I would have the added help in this endeavor because there would not be any place to get a
smoke. Then to be doubly sure, I told the other three smokers with meon the trip that I was quitting. Oh, my! That was one of the worst
days in my life! I lasted about 24 hours and then smoked everything in sight. Grapevines would even have been welcomed. I had a couple
of other episodes trying to smoke that ended in complete failure. But then came the collapsed lung and in conjunction with the five day
hospital stay for a head start, was able to make it stick. Once I was able to get rid of the smokes, there was improvement in my general
health and well being. It did not reverse the COPD, nothing has been found to do that yet, but I honestly believe that the progression has
been significantly reduced. Bottom line - keep smoking if you want to kill yourself. Of course, maybe you will be lucky and have a lung
collapse. If it does not kill you, maybe you can stop like I did.
She`s gone now, and I`m alone, but I will write her story for you. She fought the Emphysema-on oxygen 24 hours
a day for the last two years- but after brochitis, two bouts with pneumonia and respitatory failure, she can`t warn
you and must depend on me to do all the things she always hoped to do.
Heidi started smoking at 15 or 16 in high school. It was the smart thing to do-we all did it. Nobody told us it would
kill us someday. Someday before we did all the wonderful things that we had worked a lifetime to earn and could
now do in retirement.
Heidi loved her kids, her grandkids and her dogs . We kept smoking even when we finally learned it could
harm us. After a lifetime of 2 packs a day she tried to quit. First Smoke Enders, then acupuncture, then
hypnosis. But an old habit is hard to break. It wasn`t until 7 years ago, after almost 50 years, that the
combination of "the patch" and retirement enabled her to stop. It was to late and she soon could no longer
travel or do the many things she so enjoyed. Smoking had always been smart and we were lucky enough to
get a really weird Polariod shot-just black and white of Heidi (second from left) having a cigarette -eery- like,
was she really there? So we framed it and proudly added it to our collection of special pictures.
The fourth and final picture is all I have left today-Heidi`s ashes and a certificate attesting that once she lived.
I will carry that plain, brown, small box to her beloved Paris where she wished to rest with so many of the things
she loved so much but not for as long as she expected.
Heidi Shippee passed on June 12, 1999
All about Ron's Video .......... Ron's Writeup
I would like to thank all the people in my life, who have helped me to leave cigarettes behind for the past 3 years. On January 9, 1996
(1095 days ago), I stopped smoking because I coughed so much every time I took just one hit of the mildest cigarette I could find that
I thought I would die if I took just one more drag. I was as severely addicted asinine I have ever heard of. I can honestly say that I tried
to quit all of my adult life. I remember the first time I tried to quit at age 15. When I quit at age 51 it was 36 years later. During this time,
I tried every method known to man and made up a few of my own. Many will tell us in the lung disease community that there is no getting
back lost lung function taken away by smoking. I am here to tell those still trying to quit that this is not true and I offer objective proof of
this by looking at my peak flow meter average readings for the past 11 years. I was diagnosed with emphysema 12 years ago and currently
have an FEV1 level of 18%. Each of these average readings represent thousands of individual recordings that I made during each of the
testing years. Please note that the average continued to decrease for a full year after I stopped smoking and then went back up and have
stayed up for the second year after stopping smoking. The corresponding average for an individual of my age without lung disease is about
600 lpm.year years since stopping smoking yearly peak flow average (lpm)
1998 3 341
1997 2 344
1996 1 303
1995 - 305
1994 - 345
1993 - 357
1991 - 368
I have also seen a similar stabilization of my FEV1 readings over this same time period
Here are the numbers: years since stopping smoking FEV1 level (%)
1998 2 18
1997 1 19
1996 0 18
1996 0 21
.....................................................................................................1993 - 24
.........................................................................................................1991 - 27
............ ........................................................................... 1990 - 31
............................................................................................1987 - 41
at Barnes Hospital in St Louis agreed with my decision. Please visit my web site at: http://www.geocities.com/hotsprings/spa/7154/
You will find additional evidence there that my health continues to improve as well as: many helpful hints for living well with lung disease.
Links to locations that aid in stopping smoking are also included. If you are one of the millions still trying to quit, take heart in these
numbers and know that there is hope for improvement in your ability to breathe after quitting smoking. I replaced smoking with
exercise in my life. Perhaps that will work for you also.
AN EXPERIMENT IN PROGRESS
Sun, 10 Feb 2002 21:10:12 -0500
I was 13 years old in 1957 when I started smoking to feel the excitement of trying something new. Nobody had even hinted to
me that there were health problems from smoking.
The first surgeon general's report on smoking was issued shortly after that and I learned there were health problems that came from smoking and immediately started to try to stop smoking.
The first time I tried to quit at age 15, I could not do it. I was hooked. I knew I was harming myself by smoking, but I could not quit.
In the next 38 years of my life, I tried to quit over 100 times without success. I used every aid known to mankind to help me,
but I could not do it.
Even after I was diagnosed with emphysema at the age of 44 and told that I had at best a 5 year life expectancy if I continued
to smoke, I still could not quit.
In desperation, I considered taking my own life and even planned how I would do it. As miserable as I was, I still couldn't
Finally, 8 years after my emphysema diagnosis, I was able to quit smoking when the disease became so severe that I started
getting frequent lung infections. During one of these infections, every time I took even one drag off a cigarette, I coughed so
hard that I passed out.
What a wake up call that was to me! I knew in the center of my being that I was going to die very soon if I did not stop
I was finally able to stop smoking by replacing a bad habit (smoking) with a good one (exercise). Every time I felt the urge for
a smoke, I walked until I was exhausted and then slept.
I applied for and was accepted as a candidate for a lung transplant in early 1997 and was given a single lung transplant for
Christmas in 2000 (12-27-00; #553 at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St Louis, the last transplant done at
Barnes in the millennium).
During the 4 years that I waited for transplant, I decided to help others. What a wonderful change that made in my life!
The more I helped others, the more I helped myself.
I started out by creating a video in 1997 about living better with lung disease. The information in the video was advice from 18
people who I had first "met" on the internet who were doing exceptionally well living with emphysema. I lived in a camper on the
back of my pickup truck for 8 weeks as I traveled around the eastern half of the US to record each "emphysema
superstar" with a camcorder.
I remember thinking as I traveled around the country (using supplemental oxygen that I refilled in oxygen shops along my route)
that I was doing this because I could. So many others would have wanted to do the same video but were too ill to do so. Many
others were not yet sick enough to realize how badly the information was needed by those with lung disease.
The video entitled, "Living with Emphysema" eventually went to over 500 locations around the world including many hospital
pulmonary rehabilitation programs. In 1998, I created another video of advice to those with lung disease from those who had
received a lung transplant and were participating in the transplant olympics in Columbus, Ohio.
As I continued to wait for the lung transplant and continued to send out videos, I also wrote several papers on the subject of aids
to living with lung disease and it occurred to me that even if the videos and papers were successful and people learned to live
better with lung disease, that was not enough to change the status quo and minimize the biggest preventable disease
known to man.
Generation after generation of very young people have started smoking before they are aware of the addictive nature of cigarettes.
Then many can't quit and often die needlessly from lung disease later in life. There are only enough donor lungs so that approximately
one of 2000 who contract emphysema is able to receive a lung transplant as I did; the others die. As wonderful as transplant is
for those who get one, it is not the solution.
That is the reason why I changed my focus from trying to help those with lung disease to helping to prevent the young from starting
to smoke cigarettes. Many others who either have lung disease or have had a loved one affected by lung disease also understand why
this movement is so crucial and have joined me in working together to create and distribute videos to help the young to never start smoking.
Our latest (3rd) offering is a video entitled, "TEEN SMOKERS SPEAK OUT" that contains camcorder footage of 10 teenagers
who smoke cigarettes and can't quit. They describe their experiences with smoking and advise the young (8-12 years old) to never
I have been traveling around the United States for 122 days promoting and distributing TEEN SMOKERS SPEAK OUT to those
who can get it in front of kids aged 8-13 years. I continually hear that this approach to helping the young to not start smoking has
not been tried in the past. This approach is an experiment in progress. I ask whomever I give the video to if they will participate in
this experiment by asking the kids after viewing the video to fill out a questionnaire and return it us by mail. Early reports are
favorable and available at <http://www.geocities.com/ronaldpeterson/SmokingTeensSpeakOut.html What I believe to be the
most important finding to date in this program is that the teenagers who smoked (that I asked to appear in the video and advise
younger kids) were anxious to do so. Teen smokers want to help the kids to not make the same mistake they did!
The ramifications of this proactive attitude of smoking teens to help prevent the young from starting to smoke include pointing
out how easy it would be for a youth group (or interested parent) with a camcorder in every town to make a similar video with local smoking teens. These locally produced videos would be even more effective that the video we have produced.
Until this is done, however, SMOKING TEENS SPEAK OUT is available for viewing and downloading at this location
<http://www.geocities.com/ronaldpeterson.geo> You may also request a copy in VHS or DVD format by writing to Dick Wyatt, Treasurer, Prevention Video
Corporation, 1708 N Jsackson, Little Rock Ar 72207. Please pass this
information on to others who you feel might be able to get it to the kids!
Our goal is to continually move closer to smoke free generations.
Contributions to our non profit corporation are tax deductable and will help
us continue to produce and distribute the advice from the smoking teens to the kids.
Thank you for doing anything you can to help the young to never start smoking cigarettes.
Ron Peterson February 10, 2002 Austin, Texas
I started smoking (among other things) when I was about 15. Because my father was a heavy smoker, my parents didn't think it was right
for them to try to stop me. I just had to pay for my own ciggies. We had a smoking area at school for us "cool" people in jean jackets
who were really into "Stairway to Heaven" and footsball. It felt so great to finally fit in somewhere. I enjoyed the "other" things we inhaled
and injested, too. I thought this was freedom. After high school, I went into the Army, where I began to have bouts with tonsilitis and
bronchitis. At age 19 or 20, the doctor showed me my X-rays, said all those clouds should not be there, and warned me that if I did not
stop smoking, I would likely have emphysema at an early age. I ignored him, went back to my bed, and attempted to smoke a cigarette,
although it proved to be impossible. I did manage to quit smoking for almost a year, but bought a carton of cigs when I was trying to
quit drinking, at age 23. I smoked for a total of about 10 years. When I quit for good, it was because I was suffering physically. I had
always been athletic, and used to walk or bike a couple miles to work, but was getting short of breath from walking a block to the store.
I seemed to always have bronchitis or some other illness, and daily headaches. I felt like poop on a stick. Quitting was hard! I don't
know the date of my last puff, because I kept quitting and taking it back. But I did quit. I remember drinking lots of orange juice and
chewing flavored toothpicks. Shortly after I stopped smoking, I had so much energy! I started walking, then jogging, and biking and
playing softball. It was great! I felt so alive! I am certain that quitting the smokes saved my life. It was several years afterward that I
developed a persistant cough that went on for a couple years, until I finally ended up in a hospital in ICU. I had pneumonia and asthma,
both of which had been "missed" by all the doctors I had gone to for help. There was almost no oxygen left in my blood. I was
diagnosed with COPD this year, after months of struggling to breathe. I have asthma and chronic bronchitis. The jury is still out
on whether I have emphysema or not. Two doctors have said they think I do, and one sounded pretty sure. It's likely that these
problems are more a result of industrial toxins than smoking, but I'm sure things would have been much worse if I had still been
smoking. Like, I think I'd be dead.
"THINK RAINBOWS AND SMILE"
I smoked from theage of 12 until the age of 56 plus. I started with Lucky Strikes went to Camels, Kools, right down the line. I tried
stopping and always went back. In 1996, about a year after transporting to VA Beach from NYC, I became quite ill. Went to the
Emergency Room at VA Beach Hosp. They admitted me and I remained in Intensive Care Cardiac Unit for about 6 days. My last
cigarette was at around12:00 Noon on Saturday, Aug. 24, 1996. It tasted awful and I coughed and spit up a lot on the way to the
E.R. Of course, I could not smoke for the duration of my hospital stay. When I was discharged, I pretended that my cigarettes had
died: I read my 'Grief Counseling' book and "How to Deal with Loss" book over and over. I cried. My mood wasn't the best;
recovering from the exacerbation of COPD, withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, and Prednisone! My doctor told me I would die
if I smoked again; I knew this was true, I had been told this many times before. At first, I ate a lot, I used hard candy to chew on,
whatever substitute I could. When I thought of cigarettes, I cried; they had died and I was in mourning. At first, I did gain weight,
but have now stabilized and begun losing, a little at a time, despite the Prednisone. The desire for cigarettes had gone away but there
are times when I can actually smell and taste that cigarette! I take a deep breath and reside the Serenity Prayer, I say it three times
daily "God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change; Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to now
the difference." I also say it when I get that rare craving for a cigarette. It has been 2 years and 2 months now. I still have
COPD/Emphysema, Chronic Bronchitis, and Asthma. However, my asthm attacks are less frequent. My condition has not gotten
better, but it hasn't gotten that much worse either. There are good days and bad days, but if you pray hard, learn to control maybe
you can stop, with the help of God. I hope this will help someone. Think Rainbows!
."The Magic Feeling of Life...
another SS original. Dated 8/22/2001
7. Ron Green in the UK
Looking back on over 50 years as a smoker and 4 years as a non-smoker I've had time to reflect on why I've finished up with Emphysema.
Some of you will know that I live in England where
the approach to smoking has only in fairly recent times been the subject
Time went on and the anti-smoking lobby started
to get more vocal and thegovernment started increasing the tax on tobacco
For the last 15 years of my smoking life I was
travelling around the world as a commissioning engineer for equipment being
Eventually it was not health considerations which
inspired me to quit, it was cost, (today 20 cigs cost $6.40) and even now
I don't think
Perhaps we were all misled about the effects of
smoking, perhaps it was the smoke in our eyes that made us blind, but whatever
Well I've quit now, food tastes better, clothes
smell nicer, and my puffing is for air not tobacco smoke. Perhaps our experiences
I love those clichés, light at the end
of the tunnel, it never rains but it pours, as well as the spilt milk,
but here's one that we can all
Ron in the UK.
8. Bill Potter ............. Benld, Illinois
After many times of trying to quit smoking I think I may have it beat this I havent smoked since June 4th,1998. I was put on Bupropion
which is just about the same as zyban except cheaper. I started takeing it in Feb. 1998. Until June but, it didn't stop me so I got the
patch and used 9 of them and haven't had a cig. since. I smoked 2 packs of Lucky Strikes a day. I hope this helps you out.
9. Arlene Rothenberg ........ New Jersey
"how I stopped smoking"
I'd like to share my story. Because I was a little paranoid about gaining weight, I decided to 'taper' off the damn weed. I used the
clock, because I realized that I sometimes 'chain' smoked. I forced myself to wait one-half hour before I could light another butt.
Boy, did I clock-watch! After a few days, I added another15 minutes and a few days later, I went a full hour between those coffin
nails. After that, I added increments of 15 or 30 minutes and later on, a full hour, between smokes. It took me roughly 3 weeks
and 3 cartons of cigarettes and I had my last (very stale) cigarette mid-afternoon, Labor Day, 1984. BTW, I gained 8 pounds
within a week, but at least the nicotine withdrawn was fairly painless.
10. Suzi Reed ..................... Ca.
I went to Smokers Anonymous. I'm not sure I could have done it without that group. It was wonderful to find out others let that d...
weed rule their lives for year after year. I stood up at one meeting and said I had walked around my back yard screaming and crying
in the middle of the night and several heads bobbed up and down. Wow..What a relief to know even if I was nuts I had company.
The one thing that really helped me was knowing that the actual craving for nicotine only lasts a minute and you can beat anything
for a minute. (Those first weeks it was one minute at a time for me.) Also the realization that the little white wand is your best friend
and best friends are hard to give up. I found that ice cold water and sucking on ice chips also helped. And then of cource I kept Frito
Lay in business for 6 months. I craved salt and fritos were the saltiest thing I could find. I must have eaten barrels of those things. If
you can use any of this be my guest and feel free to use my name and email to write me if you need help.
11. Tim Moran...........Southern Ca.
I would hazard a guess that most of us with COPD, are or have been smoking. In my family alone smoking and the big E have claimed
the life of my Mother at 76, is taking my Father, now 84, and has crippled Two of my Sister's and me. I have one younger brother that
has lung damage and never smoked. We do not have Alpha 1. I smoked for 35 years, the last 10 I smoked three packs a day. In
January of 1997 I was hospitalized for COPD. The week before on a Friday I spent 8 hours in the ER with a COPD attack. I bought
a pack of smokes on the way home. The next day I threw away what remained on the pack. I put on the nicoderm patch at 3:15 PM.
Five days later I was back in the hospital this time for 8 days. Even in the hospital the doctors kept the patch on. They just ordered them
with my normal morning meds. I can still remember wanting to smoke even while attached to all the tubes and IV's. Itis now 21 months
later. I have for the most part become a non smoker. There are time when the old "pang" hits, but it passes quickly. Stopping really help
my SOB. I have also been actively exercising. My insurance would not pay for rehab but I have gotten info from various sources and
done my own work. I am not saying that stopping smoking is easy. It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done. It is the worst drug
known to man to break from. Worse even than heroin. I used the three step patch. I had started the process before my major COPD
attack that left me hospitalized for 8 days. During that time, I "crashed" and had to be brought back due to infection in my lungs.
Even during all this the hospital kept the patch on me. Even dispensed it with my other drugs. After 3 weeks or so I lost the "habit
pattern" of reaching for a smoke. After two months I started to lose the addictive pattern with the help of the patches. After 4 months
I started to BELIEVE that I was a non smoker. I attended Smokers Anonymous which helped a great deal. It has helped not to do
this alone. Its now 21 months. I have become a non-smoker in thinking and action. I am one who believes this is a serious addition, not
a habit. I have (I hope) not turned into a preacher. Some of my friends still smoke but the longer I am smoke free the more I am
separated from these friends. Today I have a way of life that works. Although my COPD has worsened it has not deterred me from
living today as healthy as I can. I guess I could write this up in a technical sense, but I believe that this addition can only be overcome
in a personal way for each individual. By the way, I have read much of what you have put into the mail list and on your web site. Until
now I have been busy closing my business and not had the time to thank you for your "work" and sharing. Good luck with getting smoke
cessation information. If I can be of assistance drop me a line anytime.
12. Darelene Reitz .................Burgaw, NC.
I was a 1 1/2 pack smoker for about 16 years or more when I started developing the symptoms of my disease. The doctors could not
figure out for 6 months what was wrong with me. I continued to get worse and knew that I needed to quit smoking because it was getting
harder and harder to breath. I had kept on trying and trying but could never seem to make it. My family doctor one day had told me about
the Nicoderm patches just coming out. So I decided to give them a try. He gave me a 2 week sample supply of them which included a book
with very helpful hints in dealing with not smoking anymore. One thing that helped me is that after he gave me the patches I decided that I
would pick a day to quit smoking. My last cigarette was January 22, 1992 at 11:00 p.m. After that one I went to the garbage can and tore
up and threw away the rest then I cleaned up all the ash trays and stored them up. After that I went to bed. The next morning I put on my
first patch and started that day on in quitting. I went right by the book. I drank things with a straw. I gave up coffee for months because it
was always the thing to have a cigarette with a cup of coffee. I put helpful little notes all over the house to remind me not to smoke and why.
I also put notes in my car on top of the ash tray. I went through the whole program and quit and did not have anymore cigarettes. My
doctor told me that I was the first patient in his office to use the patches. I really do recommend them. My lung disease was primary
pulmonary hypertension. I would have had the disease weather I smoked or not. I had a double lung transplant July 9th, 1994.
13. Allan Shepherd...............New Orleans, LA.
I smoked for 22 years. My wife and kids did not know for the largest part of this time. I was brought up on a tobacco farm, not actually
but my grandfather owned one, and I helped harvest the crop annually. I obviously grew up around cigarettes. Both of my parents
smoked as does my sister. When I finally quit, on Christmas Day 1996, I was ill. I had not been diagnosed but I knew something was
wrong. I did not go to the doctor for another 7 months and when I did I could not breath and was told I was a year to two away from
death. I was disabled and referred to Custer for possible transplant. That eventually led to my being tx'd 10 months having first going to
the doctor in July 1997. To be perfectly honest, there are times, even now, that I smell a cigarette and would kill for one. There are other
times that I almost have to throw up when I smell one. Can' t explain the difference but so far I have refrained and plan to continue to do
so. I might add that the doctors told me that smoking did not cause my illness or disease but it did not help, either. I hope this is beneficial
to your efforts. For the record, I live in New Orleans, LA but was raised in the mountains of NC and in northwest FL.
Allan Shuford tx'd 5/8/97 Ochsner #63
14. Judith Amerman ...............Terre Haute, In.
I'm hardly the model for Smoke Stoppers but I don't mind sharing my story. Altogether I suppose I smoked an average of two packs
a day for 37 years. Started at 16 thinking it was "cool" and the only people in my life who didn't smoke where my two grandmothers.
I was diagnosed in 1990 with asthman and in 1988 with COPD. I quit smoking every night, just to light a cigarette first thing in the
morning. I quit so many times it's ridiculous to even talk about it. Did the whole bit. Seminars, Smoke Stoppers, my doctor even put
me on a Caters patch (for blood pressure) before the nicotine patches came out. I fell in love with the Nicorette gum and chewed it so
fast I got hiccoughs. Got real good at smoking and chewing at the same time, too. Been there, done that. Cold turkey stressed me out
to the point that I would wind up in ER in respiratory distress. Finally, I just simply couldn't smoke and breathe too and I refused to be
one of these people on oxygen who shut their oxygen off to have a cigarette. I did it the way everyone says you can't. I would go just
as long as I possibly could (until the eyes crossed, vision blurred and focusing was out of the question) then I would light a cigarette -
not smoke all of it, just enough to stop the symptoms. I kept doing that until I got down to 3 cigarettes a day, then stopped. That was 5
years ago and I haven't had one since. Can't say there haven't been times when I didn't or don't want one but I wouldn't go through that
again for anything. Several factors lead to my disease - living on a farm (dust, mold, pollen) my mother raised chickens (good source,
ammonia, dust, dander, feathers) my grandfather, father, my sister and I all have (had) the same problem but all doctors unanimously agree
that smoking was the largest contributor and had I quit earlier I may not have had to have the transplant. Maybe, maybe not but I'm sure
glad I don't smoke anymore.>>>>>>>>Judy in Terre Haute
15. Sally Streight
Some things one can do to help are really quite simple--even silly. Some are expensive and useful only to a few people. I tried hypnosis
but it didn't work for either me or my husband. Aversion techniques were popular at the time (1985), but seemed too gross to us. There
were no patches or gum at the time. I quit smoking after I gave my life to Jesus. I understood that He would give me the strength to quit
if I asked "ask and you shall receive," our Savior promised. I chewed gum and talked a lot and put signs around the house reminding
myself that I was no longer 'a smoker,' and I enjoyed thinking of myself as a nonsmoker. It made me feel like one of the smarter people.
The last thing I ever wanted to be thought of was dim or not-too-bright or (God forbid) stupid. I indulged myself with fancy coffees
(lived in Seattle at the time) and took long walks and bike rides as often as possible. I have never been diagnosed with COPD, but I
found that I could barely swim the short distance from our dock to the bouy where we moored our sailboat, whereas I had once been
a very strong swimmer. It scared me that I couldn't swim the length of the YMCA pool. I had taken up SCUBA diving and learned a
lot about breathing and atmospheric pressure, etc. It made me tired to carry all my gear down the beach to he water's edge. Mostly,
though, I didn't want to disappoint Jesus, who had given His life for me. I prayed wherever I went and hung around with nonsmokers
more than smokers. I got my teeth cleaned. I had all the drapes in the house cleaned and either washed or sent to the cleaners all my
clothes. I took an exercise class in the neighborhood pool and scrubbed the overhead and all the interior surfaces in our boat. I painted
all the rooms in the house and washed windows, knicknacks, and the chandelier in the dining room. And I prayed everywhere I went and
'as needed.' I won! My husband, on the other hand, refused to quit and is now on 24 hr oxygen, etc., etc. However, one day his doc
told him not to bother to come in again unless he quit smoking, so he finished the last cigarette in his package and quit. He was so sick, I
think it was not too hard. But, I helped. I put a star sticker on each day of a large wall calendar for each day he didn't smoke (used a
heart sticker on Valentines) until we had 6 months filled with stars of all colors. Every single day had a star on it. He never had another
cigarette after the last one in January 1991. He is still alive only because he was able to stop smoking and has now written 6 books,
experienced the love of 3 grandchildren, and discovered the peace of Christ. He is 80 years old now and I am 59. Love keeps us
going. The list has helped us a lot. People are so creative and hopeful, it makes me proud of them. Someday there will be a way to
reverse all this damage. In the meantime, prayer is the best and most powerful medicine we have. We can lift each other up with
prayer. I have committed to pray for all who wish to quit smoking. Nothing is impossible with God. Nothing.
16. Carol M
I had made up my mind that at the time my husband got the transplant I would QUIT. I waited for 5 days and then used the patch.
It was not easy by any means. I had to travel each week driving alone from tx. center to home and work for 10 weeks. When
I had done it the first time I was amazed. After a couple of weeks I had broken out in a rash in various areas of the body. I had
recalled reading if a rash broke don't put patch on. So four days later I realized what I read had meant if the rash was where the
patch was not just a rash like I had. I attribute the rash to nerves and it wasn't where the patch was. So I figured if I could go 4
days without the patch - let's see what happens. I put the 1st patch on February 20, 1997. So far so good. That is not to say I
wouldn't about kill for one some days. I still deep breath and remind myself daily "I can DO IT". My health doesn't seem to have
changed any except I cough no more. I have gained about 22 lbs. My primary care doctor says that's ok because I am still not
smoking. He claims the crave will probably not go completely away. I find sometimes that I am dragging on a cigarette and I'll
look around (like even a car in the next lane) and the other person is lighting up. I sure can't smell it if I am in one car with windows
up and the a/c running. Must be a reminder for me. Absolutely not smoking. I still marvel that I have made it this far. I marvel daily
that it has worked for me. It gives me the courage to say to others that they can do it because if I could they can. I had smoked
41 years and average 2 packs per day.
17. Bob Beardon
When I stopped, I went to a non smoking meeting. It was probably hypnosis, but after the meeting I would look at that weed and say
"Who is bigger and smarter, me or you?" I answered and said "me." And that was it! That's over ten years ago. BUT STILL, 44
YEARS TO LATE. BUT, I HAD A GOOD TIME GETTING IN THIS CONDITION, SO NOW I HAVE TO PAY THE PIPER.
I have not smoked since.
18. Ethel Malvik
At Smokenders, we were told that we were about to lose our best friends. Cigarettes were there for me at times when I felt deserted
by everyone and everything else. They were there at the worst times. All it took was a little money and you could transport your
comfort with you, like a baby's bottle. You could buy them just about anywhere and, if that failed, there was always someone you could
grub from. The friendliest people on planes were in the smoking section and the friendliest people in restaurants were sitting at the bar,
smoking. No one ever refused you a cigarett if you asked for it. You could linger over a cocktail without reaching for the bread. And
you could order coffee and sit and talk for a half hour or more. Smokers were always happy to sit and talk when everyone else was in
a hurry to leave. For all these reasons, I find it hard to hate cigarettes and smokers now. How can I hate th people who gave me so
much pleasure over so many years? How can I give them dirty looks or try to legislate them out of existence? I'm sick as a result of
smoking, but not everyone is. I HAD to give up cigarettes; not everyone has to. I cried for the last 2 weeks of the Smokenders program. EVERYTHING made me cry. Why not? I was losing my best friend and I had to say good-bye.
19. Paul Brooks
My name is Paul and I'm a EX smoker. How did I quite is simple. (not really) In "94" I had complete respiratory Failure, spent 21
days in I C U at major hospital in Tampa Fl. Had a heart attack the following day. Was in major trouble. Had a Dr. that the LORD
had put there for me. Had never met the doctor before, but not is a major part of my family. I am a very lucky person. I'm like some
other Ex smokers, I have the urge some times but not the desire. Smoke makes me sick. My kids and one sister can not understand
that because I smoked for 43 years, At the end I was 4 + pack day smoker. That was for about 13 years or so. I did not have a habit
it was an addiction. Smoking cost me my health and life. But when your 8 years old, your don't think about life 40 years down the
road. the old saying " it can't happen to me " isn't in effect at that age.
20. Elizabeth kurowski
Re: Having quit smoking! First, I will say that I did not want to quit, and I resented doing so because I loved smoking cigarettes.
My husband pushed me to try and quit, and I must admit I didn't try very hard. His method to quit smoking was to gradually cut
down. He got me down from 2-1/2 packs to 10 cigs a day. That's about where I refused to quit further. I couldn't give up my wake
up cigarette and cup of coffee. When I wanted a cigarette, I wanted it...When Emphysema hit me full blast and I couldn't breathe,
that is when I finally pushed myself to give it up completely. Because of my husband's method, I was able to do without any more
cigarettes. Why? because his method taught my body to slowly get away from the nicotine and tars that were infiltrating my body
which caused me to desire those cigarettes. It was more important to breathe than smoke that cigarette. This is the only reason
I quit smoking! I don't expect my story to make or help anyone to quit. That is their decision to make and do. I wish them luck!
21. Kathryn Flynn ..
I started smoking at the age of 13 and quickly accelerated to two packs of cigarettes a day. My father smoked and two out of three of
my brothers, so it wasn't very actively discouraged. I continued to smoke through college and through my masters in lung cancer. I
tried quitting once in graduate school and I made it for six months or so but used the pressures of life as an excuse to continue. Finally,
at 26, My husband and I both decided to quit together. I think a smoke free and supportive environment is neccesary. No one smoked
at my work, a cancer research lab, so that made it easy. At 29 we both had a one month relapse but by then I could really feel how
bad the smoking was for me, although I thought it was just a bad cold. About one month after this smoking relapse I was told I needed
a lung transplant and was put on supplemental oxygen for the next eight years until I had a transplant. There a million excuses not to quit
smoking. We did both put on weight and then we both took the weight off through an increase in moderate exercise. Smoking is not
worth the price you pay. My mother died at 59 (she never smoked but was exposed to secondhand smoke) of pneumonia. She had
emphysema. My father died at 69, confined to a wheelchair, on 5 liters of oxygen and still puffing away between the coughing fits that
would wrack his body. A certain amount of damage from smoking is reversible. The earlier you quit the better. Please give yourself
a chance to live a longer and healthier life. You don't need any fancy devices, just a firm decision to quit. Pick a day and "just do it."
On December 8 1995 I had broncho-pneumonia for the second time that year, wasn't feeling well and told my doctor I'd see him some
other time. He didn't like it and said he would ask a SOS doctor to come by in the course of the evening (in Geneva, SOS doctors
and Medicines sans Frontiers are emergency doctors you can call any time and they will assist you, in the absence of your own doctor
or when he isn't available). Said doctor came and decided I should go to hospital but I felt that things had improve over night, if not ....
December 9 wasn't any better I felt like dying and when my godson came for a visit (luckily) I go hospital. He did and while he was
gone I couldn't resist to light a cigarette asked him to get me some medication so I could make through the day, not wanting to and had
perhaps 3 puffs, then.... That was between 8 and 9 a.m. on December 9, 1995. On December 14 I woke up in the ICU of the
University Hospital. What happened was that when my godson came back with some medication he found me almost unconscious
and immediately took care of the situation. Apparently, the ambulance he had called and a doctor decided to head for the nearest clinic
where they did not have the appropriate equipment so they rushed me off the UH as above. In doing so the hose feeding me 02 was
torn off and my godson who noticed shouted for help (and was banned from the scene for noticing carelessness.) A doctor had to
proceed with reanimation which took some 15' and I must have arrived at the UH DOA. Not quite because I woke up on the 14th.
I was released on December 30, without knowing exactly what was the matter. The following months were difficult and again I
couldn't get an accurate outline on what happened. Then I had that pneumothorax the following November as I said in a previous
post. Today my quality of life let me not complain as, had I had more willpower, I would not be in this situation. Just wanted you
to know that I have no merit whatsoever for having stopped smoking. It was real horrible and this should show you that you can stop,
you people couldn't be as stupid as I was, that simply doesn't exist. Before you grab another cigarette think of this. Needless to say
that I haven't smoked since that 9th December 95.
23. John Kurowski
I smoked almost 50 years and was smoking 2-3/4 packs a day. Would have liked to quit but never could get myself to do so. One day
I got dizzy and found myself on the floor. Doctor suggested I quit and take stress tests. Out of shape but I decided to try. I couldn't
give it up completely and didn't want any gimmicks. Went several hours before and after the stress test without a cigarette because I had
to. I decided to stretch the time between cogs as best I could. The morning cigarette was the hard one so I had to work hard on that
by having it after I got out of bed and the coffee was made. Even then I waited until I could sit down with that cup of coffee. I kept
putting that next cigarette off. Eventually I got down to 3 cigs a day. They had to be after a meal, or with a cup of coffee. It took a lot
of will power to get down to one a day, then every other day, 2 days, etc. It was hard, but I always told myself I could have that
cigarette after supper with a good cup of coffee. Eventually it got to 5 days between cigarettes. I then quit cold. it worked! My
spacing of cigarettes allowed my body to slowly accustom itself to less and less of the tar and nicotine that it carved. Funny because
no one thought I would ever quit. I was the guy always with a cigarette in his mouth all day long. Occasionally think about it, but why
go back! Hope this helps someone....
24. George Jargon
I was a smoker for 44 years and had assumed in the last 10 years that I had lung cancer and why quit, might as well enjoy smoking.
Only after I continued having bronchitis did I finally decide to consult a Dr. After x-rays determined I did Not have lung cancer, I said
I'm quiting and haven't had a cigarette since. What I did was put cigarettes all over the house, in the car, in the motor home, just
anyplace I would be to see if I would be tempted but I never picked up another one. Now unfortunately I had emphysema and that
is what collapsed my lung twice a couple years later. It was also responsible for disabling me 1 1/2 years later. Now my wife has to
completely care for me. after having to be taken to the emergency room so many times my doctor decided to recommend me to
EMORY University Hospital for evaluation for transplant. I was evaluated, and placed on list. On June 9th, 1998 I was
transplanted. I am breathing very good now, and can't stand the smell of cigarette smoke. If smokers knew how I suffered and
what my wife has gone thru I think there would be less smokers. that is my story.
25. Veneta Clarida
I didn't write about my cigarette dying but one of my grandaughters and I had a funeral for one I found that I hid in the linen closet after I
had quit. I had forgotten about hiding it. This was before I had really made up my mind to quit ...........I used the linen closet to
rat hole a cigarette in case I had a nicotine fit. I made a tombstone out of a block of wood and I dug a hole in my flower bed in the back
yard and buried that cigarette. On the tombstone I wrote "Last Cigarette" born:( the date) and a vow to God that she would never start
smoking. Just thought I would share that with you all. Now I have to figure out how to send this to everyone.
Veneta Joyce Clarida passed on Wednesday, April 12, 2000
26. Jack Peterson
I smoked two packs a day for 45 years. That's NINETY PACK-YEARS, to use the units the pulmonologist like. They start getting nervous when they find out you've got ten pack-years (a pack a day for ten years.) Hah! Quitting was probably the hardest thing I ever did, but I had
a lot of practice. I tried everything for about five years before I did, finally, QUIT! I used the Nicorette gum, the patches, hypnosis,
acupuncture, and the Schick Shock Shack approach (what ever happened to them, anyway?) The point is not only that you CAN do it, but
that you MUST do it. No one else can do it for you, though; you've got to do it yourself. When you get the urge, just say to yourself, "It's
a matter of life or breath!" because it truly is...Good luck, because you'll need some of THAT too.
27. David Connelly
I quit the awful habit almost 15 years ago. If I could anyone can. For years the "smoke days" were a big laugh to me, I was invincible,
those nails will never bother me. On a vacation in Europe, I became ill with bronchitis in London. MDs in London make a little cash
treating tourists at the hotels, rather than line up in a clinic in the UK National Health System, I asked the Maitre de to get me a doctor
When he came and examined me he told my wife and I that I was a "fool" to smoke, and if I continued I would have about 8-10 years
of life ahead of me, but "what could you expect from an Irishman." Even though I was a 8th generation American to this London MD
I was the "Irishman." Well, I was so angry, I said nothing and quit that night. Even left a full carton of my favorites for the room service
cleaners. A few years later I wrote the London Dr a letter and told him I had quit and thanked him for the advise delivered to impress.
He wrote back and said that he had to shock some people into quitting, he was glad I took his advice. We can all quit, keep trying everyone.
28. Harold Sweeny
I am 62 (yesterday) was a 4 to 5 pack a day smoker. Had 12 heart attacks quintuple bypass twice- prostate cancer- lung cancer resulting
from asbestos , wood dust, etc. Even after heart surgery I still smoked. Finally quit 3 1/2 years ago when the lung cancer was found. I can
verify that quitting smoking is more difficult than stopping Heroin or cocaine addiction. It finally came down to my asking myself "what
would I give up to improve my life". Secondary smoke hurt my wife too. I have suffered all the possible side effects of radiation & chemo
as well as COPD meds and I'm still here ! My COPD resulted from an accidental overdose of radiation ( radiation burn) but it still is
COPD. Since this disease is progressive anything that will enhance or prolong the quality of your life should be explored. When I started
smoking cigarettes were 13¢ a pack. Now they are $1.95 a pack here on the island where we live. My wife is happy now that she is sure
the smoking is over. She deserves that since she is the one who will be left with the clean up when I do go. Right now we have 3 cancer
support groups which we started. I chair two or more AA meeting weekly & sit with cancer patients as they die, so I am too busy to die
at the present time. You are in our prayers now. Just don't quit 5 minutes before the miracle !! Do, or do not. There is no try
Live each day as if it were the last day of your life, because so far, it is.
29. Charoltte Holt
My husband is the one with COPD, and that is why we started using this support list, but he does'nt type fast, so he calls on me for that,
mainly. However, I smoked for about 10 yrs, and had a bad allergy attack and they said a little asthma, while I was in San Antonio with mydaughter at a cancer treatment center( she died from ovarian Cancer at age 38.) also, my daddy died from throat cancer, at age 66,
and now my husband has severe emphysema at age 55, and has had for over 8 yrs. Well, when I left the emergency room that day,
feeling pretty good after a couple of breathing treatments, I threw my cigarettes in the trash at the door of the hospital, and have never
smoked another one. I can honestly say it was not that hard either. My husband says it a whole lot to make me mad anyway, but I can
guarantee each and every one of you I cannot express my hatred toward cigarettes enough. I do believe if anyone can get mad enough at
them, and consider the time and quality of their life, they can quit easier. I have never been as mad or hated anything more than I do
cigarettes, and what they can do to people and their families. I hate to admit that I let something 2 inches long control as much of my life
as they did, but they did, but when I saw the light, I REALLY saw it bright. It was like it screamed at me, and that was it. Over and done
with!!! I know people are different and to each their own, but I think a lot of the "programs" out there just continue to let you smoke for
reason or another, whether it is to cut down or taper off or what ever. I have not smoked since that day and it has been over 9 yrs. ago,
and if anything, my hatred get's stronger everyday. It could be because my husband is now going through all this, and can't quit the
cigarettes, but whatever the reason, I'm glad I hate them more and more every day! He tapers off and then slows down, but all the time
he is still smoking, and therein lies the problem. You either smoke or you don't. I don't believe the speed of it has much to do with the real
problem. If this changes anyone's attitude about smoking, and if you can just learn to hate them, as much as you think you love them, you
can quit too. If your driving 90 miles an hour and have'nt had a wreck yet, do you really believe you can continue to do that, just because
you like to? I hope not. I don't want to sound ugly, but I would do anything to help one more person to stop the insanity! GET MAD,
Absolutely! One more thing I didn't mention, I have a grandson, 24 yrs. old, with bladder cancer, and they say that's from smoking.
Already had one surgery, and will have to have 3 mo. check ups for the rest of his life. He quit smoking for about a week right after
his first surgery, but his wife said she couldn't stand the pressure so he started back. There are some things that even grandmothers
shouldn't voice their opinions on. At least not very loudly, but you know what I did!
30. Joan B. Eichrodt
Depression is very common among quitters. The way to beat it, IMO, is to understand WHY you are depressed (there are good
physiological reasons for it) and what you can do to counter it (beyond giving yourself pep talks). Now, as you apparently know, nicotine
(like cocaine) stimulates the production of dopamine and norepenephrine -- the pleasure-giving neurotransmitters. (Forget serotonin,
which is the "calming" one, and which is not really involved in nicotine addiction.) In real addicts like you and me, it also stimulates the
multiplication of "nicotine receptors". They are now very hungry, and demanding their dopamine dose. As a matter of fact, your brain
has been so over stimulated, and become so accustomed to getting its dopamine from nicotine, that it may not be able to produce a
proper amount on its own any more. That is why you are depressed. (Personally, I never got "depressed" when quitting -- just "crazy"
with irritability & nervousness.) What to do? It's just as well that you can't take Zyban, which is the only anti-depressant that stimulates
the production specifically of dopamine and norepenephrine (unlike Prozac, for example, which targets serotonin). It's a powerful
medicine, with potentially very harmful side effects. Someone who is already taking a truckful of medications should probably steer
clear of it, IMO. (I tried it once -- had no effect on me at all.) Nicorette is an excellent good idea (although chewing it is not all that
great for your teeth, I have to say). I use it. I still could not do without it. Maybe I will have to spend the rest of my life chewing it.
Some of us may need that "maintenance" dose (smokers' methadone) forever. Still beats smoking! And much better than the patch,
because you can pop a Nicorette whenever you get stuck in a situation that makes you want to smoke, or are in a bad/depressed mood, whatever. My next recommendation is this: exercise! Specifically, aerobic exercise! Hop on that stationary bike, or wave your arms
around, or whatever, when you feel blue. Not just because it is "good" for you. But because aerobic exercise stimulates the production
of -- dopamine and norepenephrine!! Better get your fix from exercise than from some heavy duty antidepressant, says I. I am quite
serious, however. Exercise works. An added psychological benefit from it is the knowledge that this source of dopamine will dry up if
you go back to smoking (because you won't be fit enough to exercise). At this point, I would like to share something with you. Like
yourself, I have made many efforts to quit, and never got beyond a few months abstinence. I am now going into my third month of
another attempt at abstinence. But this time I am SURE I have quit for good. It is because I had an "epiphany" (a revelation) a
couple of weeks ago. I was sitting at my dining room table, paying bills (not my favorite occupation). I was coughing -- yet
another bronchial infection! -- and getting out of shape again, since I could not exercise. Under normal circumstances, I would have
been feeling at least a little bit grouchy. Instead, this incredible sensation of well-being suddenly swept over me. A feeling of -- well --
happiness, of enjoyment (of what??? paying bills??). What was going on here? Was I, in my old age, falling into the manic phrase of
a manic-depressive psychosis? No. Absurd. Then what was it? Then it came to me: I WAS NOT SMOKING!! It was then that
I realized that for all its much touted anti-depressant effects, smoking is actually DEPRESSING!! (As against pure nicotine.) The
slavery to it is DEPRESSING! The effect on one's mind & body is DEBILITATING! Whee, I am FREE! That was not just a
fleeting moment of insight; my good mood still endures (even though my infection has endured too, dogblast it). After all these years,
I finally know what the "joy of living" means. No way I am going to spoil it by sucking that crap into my lungs again even if it means
chomping on Nicorette -- ugh!-- forever, and all my teeth fall out. I hope that if you hang in there, and get through the dark night of
post-smoking depression, you will experience something similar.
I quit smoking on the 4th of Mar 1998 at 10:30 PM. I remember the date and time exactly because I died with a cigarette in my hand. It
started a few days before when I got to the point where I couldn't breath and so weak I couldn't even get out of bed. I went to the VA
Hospital ER and they told me that the carbon dioxide level had built up to the point that there was nothing they could do to lower the level.
I came home and went to bed, I told my wife that I was done and there would be no more cigarettes. I did manage to quit for two days and
being the genius that I am I figured my levels had lowered and one more wouldn't hurt. When I lit it I took one puff, inhaled and went into respiratory failure. I was extremely lucky my daughter happened to be visiting and she is a CNA. She gave me CPR until the ambulance
arrived. I have not smoked another cigarette since and I keep an unopened pack and lighter on my nightstand as a reminder. As my DR
explained it to me when you are smoking a certain amount of carbon dioxide is retained in your system, very minuscule, but over the years
it can build up to the point to where it overrides the oxygen level. That's when you get into serious trouble because there is no way carbon
dioxide can be removed from your system, other than normal breathing functions. More carbon dioxide, less oxygen, no time for normal
expulsion to balance levels, serious trouble. This is my story, for what its worth, I don't know if you can use it or not,because it has no
impact unless your the corpse. Take care Cecil
32. Shirley Stephenson SC
When I thought I was grown at age 21, I began smoking to fit in with everybody else. Forty-two years later I still LOVED to smoke. I would
defy anybody who tried to tell me that tobacco was addicting, habit forming, psychological, physiological, whatever all those things were that people tried to tell me about smoking. Like most of us in this program, I chose to smoke because I LOVED it even though I knew it was bad
for my health, causing a shortage of breath, reducing my active life, living in denial, etc. In short, life was moving in the very slow lane and I was sacrificing more and more in order to keep smoking. I was a public school teacher and always called on another teacher to teach my class
about smoking. You would think that I should have known that I wasn't hiding anything from those kids, but again, old denial sets in when
Mr. Tobacco has control. My deliverance from smoking came after many failed attempts to quit. I was tricked time and time again by Mr. Tobacco into believing that I could not quit this lifelong habit, in spite of consistently feeling bad. My failed attempts consisted of so many
tricks and games I tried to play on myself, as well as advice that I got from other successful quitters. I finally succeeded two years ago,
May, 1997, when I went to my doctor and told him that I was so tired of failing in my attempts to quit, and he gave me these most
encouraging words: "You have not failed as long as you are trying". Those were the magic words for me because I just couldn't seem to
get over the fear of failure. What a victory when you can say that you are a Smoker No More.
33. Betty J Brown
I prayed about it before I ever started as I do about everything. I think god knew that I would never find a good time to quit so I found
myself in the middle of the floor and could not breathe. I had a real bad case of the flu. I smoked my last cigarette on the way to ER. I
have lost my Mother, Father and oldest sister to smoking, I said I was quitting first of all for me but I would also quit for them because
they were never able to. I was a very heavy smoker, 4 packs a day. I started when I was 13 and I quit 4 yrs ago. I am 60 now. I have
severe Copd. I am positive I would not be here today had I not quit. These cravings only last a few minutes and by taking real deep
breaths it really helps. I didn't use the patches or gum. I used sugar free peppermint drops. I still use them now. Everyone needs to
face up to and make the choice STOP SMOKING OR DIE ! Sounds cruel but it is very true. No one enjoyed smoking more than
I did, but I know that I will never smoke again because I can't smoke and breathe at the same time. Hope this will help someone .
34. Peggy McGee Maness
My brother died of nasopharynx cancer in 1982 and he smoked unfiltered Chesterfields until three days before his death. He wanted to die
at home, so I went to help his wife care for him. He was 6'2", though he only weighed 105 when he died at age 56. You would think that
would have told me something, but it did not. I kept smoking. In 1983, at age 56, my husband was diagnosed with bladder cancer caused
by smoking. The night before his surgery, he threw his cigarettes in the trash and never looked back. I thought "How can he do that?" The
cancer scared the cigarettes out of him; that is how he did it. In the meantime, I continued smoking. I knew my second hand smoke was
putting my husband at risk for more cancer. For the next two years, while trying to stop, I smoked like a criminal - in the yard, in the
garage, in the car. I smoked freely at work as most of my co-workers did, not the slightest bit concerned about what I was doing to
the non-smokers there. It took four different times for me to succeed. I smoked less and less each time. When I finally got down to 3
cigarettes a day, I thought if I could not do it then - I never would. My doctor gave me a prescription for nicorette gum and told me if I
just had to have nicotine I should chew the gum instead, but I would become addicted to the gum. Before I got the gum, I could not
stand the thought of not having cigarettes in the house and available to me. I do not know what I thought would happen, but expected a
"nicotine fit", I guess. At any rate, just knowing I had the gum on hand got me through the initial stop smoking period. I never chewed any
of it, but I knew it was there if I needed it. Stop day was 26 September 1985, my grandson's first birthday. Some of the problems I
encountered were: What do I do with my hands? I used to hold a cigarette in my fingers; what do I hold now? I finally settled on those
small cigarette holders - empty of course. I put them in my mouth, too. Because that was another problem. What do I put in my mouth? I
had smoked for 35 years. What do I do when I first get up in the morning? What do I do right before I go to bed at night? What do I
do right after meals; before I even get up from the table? What do I do when I take a break? I decided to cook and eat breakfast first
thing in the morning. Not that I couldn't smoke and cook at the same time; I could and usually did. But I tried to stay focused on the
cooking and cleaning of the meal. I had been a walker for years (though I could smoke and walk at the same time, too). I walked
after meals whenever possible. I read myself to sleep and I ate too much. And I gained 20 pounds, which was still better for me than
smoking. Keeping my hands busy helped. I worked in the flower beds usually with water or things that would have made it difficult to
smoke at the same time. I played solitaire. I gave myself manicures; I whistled, sang and did everything I could think of to keep my
hands and mouth busy. I marked the days off on the calendar by sticking a gold star on each smoke free day. Did that for a month.
It was recognition and a reward I gave myself. Two years later, in 1987, I would still think unconsciously "When I get through with
this vacuum cleaner, I am going to sit down and smoke a cigarette and relax." Then I would think "No, I am not because I
do not smoke." And that has made all the difference. Did I miss them? Yes, I did. Would I smoke one now? Not on your tintype.
In 1991, after complaining of shortness of breath when walking at a brisk pace, my internist diagnosed me as having "dyspnea". He
could find nothing else. By 1994, he was calling it copd and saying if I got worse I should go to a pulmonologist, which I did in 1997.
In 1998 I had lung cancer and had the lower left lobe of my lung removed. So far, there has been no recurrence. Do I wish I had
never smoked? Yes, I do wish that. Do I hate myself for having smoked? No, I do not. Today is today. I normally do not think of it
at all. I really have other things to do.
Peggy McGee Maness
35. Ralph Bayes
I quite about 4 years ago. I felt better the very next day. It took care of the cough I had. People will try to help when you make an effort.
I was hard headed and wouldn't give them up. It came to smoking or breathing and I wasn't so hard headed after all. I had the help of
GOD thru it all. When I wanted one I would pray. I don't dare what that governor up there say's about religion being a crutch. I will take a
crutch any day compared to hells fire. May GOD bless.
Ralph E. at Monticello, Arkansas
36. Aleta Smith
I could not breathe more than short little gasps of air last December, went to emergency room and they hospitalized me for 6 days and
sent me home on oxygen for the rest of my life. My doctor put me on Zyban (Wellbutrin) which I had tried before but didn't take
seriously, plus I could not smoke in the hospital. It was the first time in forty some years that I had gone more than a half day without
smoking. Considering that for the last 10 years I was a chain smoker, I knew I could never go 6 days without smoking again unless I
went back in the hospital, so I decided I didn't want to do the first 6 days ever again. Anyway, I have slipped a few times (I have lit up
and mostly just watched the smoke) but I do not have to smoke anymore and I attribute it to the Wellbutrin and, MOSTLY, to the six
day hospital stay. Some smokers just need to be locked up in order to quit, and I wish it had happened 10 years ago when I first
started going downhill, and when I might still have been able to get well. Hope you are feeling better. Take care. Aleta
P.S. My doctor informs me that some insurance companies will not pay for Zyban but will pay if the prescription is for Wellbutrin
since it is really an antidepressant. (Someone noticed that patients using Wellbutrin were giving up their cigarettes, so the drug
company started marketing it as Zyban.)
37. Evelyn Prieto
I hope my experience can help in some way. I smoked for 47 years, and stopped 20 years ago.
1. I forced myself to see great clouds of black exhaust fumes every time I lit up.
2. I knew I had emphysema and HAD to stop soon
3. I kept hearing as in a radio in my head my sister-in-law saying "it was
the easiest thing I ever did" - also after over 40 years of smoking.
4. I got a bad bronchitis, woke up in the morning and said This is it. I
knew I would never smoke again - something had clicked, finally.
5. I never did smoke again. And I found that anything with peanuts,
peanut butter, etc., was a soothing substitute when the need came.
6. I had heard that the urge lasted for not more than a minute and a half, and it did work for me.
I held out - with tablespoons of peanut butter! A lovely feeling in the mouth that really soothed the nasty feeling left by wanting that filthy
SMOKE! (though I used to say I'll never talk bad about cigarettes!) I certainly do now, because I felt better and stopped coughing a
few weeks after I stopped! I wish all of you trying to quit the best of luck. IT CAN BE DONE.
38. Camille Anderson de Garcia
I wanted to quit smoking long before I actually tried to quit. Cigarettes had become a filthy habit that was controlling me, my health and my self-esteem. I was simply afraid to try because there is so much talk of how terrible it is to quit smoking. Even though I no longer enjoyed smoking, after almost 30 years of 2 packs a day, and I knew my health was suffering from smoking, I feared the pain of withdrawal,
nervousness and all the other symptoms I had heard so much about. I also feared failure of attempting to quit and not being able to pull
it off. So one day when I was coughing a lot and really disgusted with myself, I thought that maybe I could stop smoking for just one day
with no commitment to stopping forever. I decided to have my last cigarette before going to bed that night and for 24 hours I would try
not to smoke. I did not throw away my cigarettes, nor did I tell anyone about my plan. I used no gums, patches, nor medication of any type. Although I am not a terribly religous person, I do believe in the power of prayer, and I did a lot of praying and meditation before coming up
with my plan. The first day I was somewhat nervous, but my prayers for a strong will must have worked, because I was able to withstand
the temptation. At the end of 24 hours, I was so jumpy that I was not sure whether or not my cough had decreased, but I convinced myself
that it had. So I renewed my vow for another 24 hours. Well, to make a long story short, I continued renewing my vow, 24 hours at a
time, for a week. After that, I proudly made the announcement that I had quit smoking. The nonsmokers of my family and friends were
very proud of me and very supportive. The smokers, however, treated me like a traitor. It has been 7 years since I last smoked. In
summary, my ''quit smoking one day at a time'' method requires strong motivation, lots of prayer, and lots of will power.
Camille in Mexico
39. Freddie Holder
That there were something I could share with others who may still be smoking that would help in their endeavors to cease. Before I quit I
had tried on numerous occasions and the saddest part of my story is, thirty years ago I did quit, to pick it back up after a year. I picked
one up and lit it just because I wondered what one would taste like after that long. Now, I wonder that I could have been that stupid I
never dreamed of the emphysema, it was the horror of developing cancer that continued to make me think I should quit. And then the
shortness of breath began and still COPD was not on my mind. It wasn't that I was not a well educated person when it came to all the
things that could happen to you when you smoke. How it not only effects your heart and your lungs but every other part of your body. It
was that old, not me, syndrome. I finally after much confusion and many years am diagnosed with emphysema. But the nicotine has such
a hold on me that moronically I continue to, light up. Nothing tasted as good as a cigarette, nothing. I am still working and trying to
pretend that the only reason I have stopped at a certain place (because of my shortest of breath) is because I just thought it was a good
place to stop....whoa! I am pushing my body further and further as I flick that Bic. I have friends who smoke and they are great friends,
my husband smokes and he is a great guy, my daughter smokes and you couldn't ask for a better daughter. See all the reasons I have to
smoke. I could just go on and on. Except that I am now down to 102 lb. and I am 5 ft. 8 in. tall and used to weight a size 12, one
hundred and thirty five. Pneumonia hits me hard. My doctor wants me in the hospital. BUT you can't smoke in a hospital! I say, let
me stay at home and try first. My doctor shakes his head, but he cannot force me into a hospital. He writes out all the prescriptions and
I go home. I remember smoking that cigarette and coughing and then trying to make it to the bedroom and then sitting there and praying
for the strength not to be such a coward as to continue to puff that life sucking death dealing drug ..... THAT HAD ROBBED ME
OF MY BRAIN?
I entered the hospital and I asked my doctor to keep me there for four days. I asked him this because when I had quit before, after the
forth day, it had been easier, for me. I had doctor and nurse and therapist all tell me that they didn't think I would really quit, because the
odds are better that you won't win your fight. I don't mean to say to you that they actually used those words, no. It was like I could read
the doubts they had as to my determination. And then on one of those four days a young nurse came in and sat down. She and I had
spoken before and she was on the tail end of her lunch and wasting time. She sat where I could see her and she was looking out the
window while she spoke. "They come in and we suction all the gunk out of their lungs and all the time they're just biding their time till they
can get to their next cigarette," she said. I have never smoked another cigarette. A year later my husband quit, cold turkey. A year
later a great friend quit. And now, so many I hear of, that I rejoice because......They have quit in time for it to make a difference in their life.
They will not live, their remaining years, aware of every breath they breathe.
freddie, on a golden day, and pensive
I Prayed a lot, ended up in the hospital after 'almost quitting' and decided the Lord had heard my prayers in a way I hadn't planned, but nonetheless, I was listening and that was the end of the cigs... No desire to smoke again. I Like living in a smoke free environment for the
first time in my life! I am one of the few who hasn't missed them!
You Ca. friend, Janie
41. Warren, Gwen
The way my pulmonary specialist explained it to me on my first visit was we have 5 times the lungs we need when we are born.Smoke from cigarettes primarily are the cause of people losing the "extra" lungs they were born with.He told me I had "crossed over the line" destroying
my lungs to the point I either quit or had less than six months to live.He said if I quit and took care of myself I might live long enough to die
of something else and that if I quit my friends who were healthy now could go first because I knew what to do and not do and they were just
going around thinking all was well.Seems like he talked a long time an could hardly wait to get outside for a smoke.During the previous five
years I had slowly lost weight until people asked me if I had aids.Had to use albuterol sulfate to get out of bed in the morning.Go to work
and act like I was looking at something to catch my breath. Only way I could lay down was on my right side.Kept thinking about going
over that line and quit after over 44 years, cold turkey, no relapses in over 3 years,fev1 was l4 then, 15 now. No oxygen, no e.r. visits,
exercise, take medicines,vitamins,eat right, try to keep down infections, kept my wife who is my best asset ande even tell her so occasionally.
Don't want to spoil them!
42. Donald D. Jackson...............Las Vegas, Nevada
I quit smoking nine years ago after about 35 years of smoking a pack and a half a day. My oldest
brother was diagnosed with emphysema and that incident scared me to death. So I decided to quit
while I was still healthy. Quitting the cigarettes was without question the hardest thing I have ever
accomplished. But through the power of prayer and a lot of will power plus experimenting with most
of the smoking cession stuff, I finally kicked the "addiction" (it definitely is not just a bad habit).
Unfortunately, about four years ago, my work brought me into contact with toxic chemicals which
quickly accelerated the lung degeneration process and I was diagnosed as having COPD
(an umbrella covering most lung diseases). My secret for remaining smoke-free is simple:
"Don't think you can smoke only "one" and get by with it...you can't!"
43. Sharon Hanna .... S.L. Ca.
I quit smoking by using a self hypnosis tape. It was 2 sided. One side was the hypnosis part, about 20 minutes. The second side was a
lecture about cigarettes and all the bad stuff they do to you. The only part I really remember was: "Cigarettes are not your friends, they are
not your little buddies" Anyway, every time I had the urge for a smoke, I laid on the couch with a blindfold over my eyes, head phones
over my ears, and played that tape. Over and over and over, until I felt able to go another little while without a cigarette. My husband
says he thought that I was more hooked on that tape than I ever was on cigarettes. I used the tape less and less over time until after about
a year I was able to lend it to my sister-in-law. Sad to say, it didn't work for her. I think you have to have a strong desire to quit and then
use whatever method you can find that works for you. I hope this helps someone to quit. Oh yes, I stopped on Mother's Day. It was my
gift to myself.
44. Henry Hardegree
I'm sure you have the Zyban formula for quitting. I'm also pretty sure that you know that this is triple strength Wellbutrin, an antidepressant
drug, and was accidentally and incidentally found to be effective for quitting smoking. Apparently the medical community began to note with
such frequency as to attract attention that patients for whom Wellbutrin was prescribed were also quitting smoking, and so the pharmaceutical company (Glaxo, I think) ran controlled group tests, found it to be effective for quitting smoking in larger than normal doses, and tripled the
strength of Wellbutrin and markets it as Zyban. The MDs that I know who have anything to do this (internists, physicians, and pulmonologist)
are quite high,on the efficacy of this drug which apparently somehow work on the addictive centers of the brain to reduce "craving." The manufacturer's instructions carefully tell users not to try to quit immediately but to wait at least eight days after beginning the regimen. It does
urge users to select a "quit date" and stick to it. I tried it this summer but couldn't select a quit date, and so I dropped the Zyban regimen.
Then about four weeks ago I was diagnosed with Emphysema through having been sent by my rheumatologist for a CAT Scan of my chest.
I asked him whether he should refer me to a pulmonologist, and he said that would be a good idea but that a pulmonologist wouldn't help me
as long as I was a smoker. I restarted the Zyban procedure, except I picked a quit date five days out from my start of the regimen
(2 a day for the first three days and one a day thereafter). Needless to say my appetite for cigarettes was fairly well curtailed by the
knowledge that I actually had Emphysema (as opposed to the possibility that I might get it), and I was only smoking about 7 or 8 cigarettes
a day. I haven't smoked at all now for over three weeks and I feel very convinced that this IS permanent. Therefore the formula: Zyban plus reminders at each cigarette urge that I now know that each cigarette makes it more difficult to breathe and shortens my life. It's amazing how quickly and effortlessly the desire for cigarette evaporates like smoke (pun intended). That's sort of a locking the barn door after the cows
have gone approach, but it may at least be helpful to those who suffer from Emphysema but have not yet been able to quit. I had smoked
for 49 years and really enjoyed it, so none of these "lungers" can plead a harder addiction than mine. It may be helpful to those who are in "pre-emphysema" stages if the methodology is put in the terms described above with the addendum as follows: I had always heard that
only 20% of smokers got emphysema and that the other 80% did not (although they may get some other ailment such as heart disease or
cancer as a result of smoking). After I lost the gamble, I thought to myself that those odds were only slightly better the odds against playing
Russian Roulette with a six shot revolver (20% vs. 16-2/3%) and I would never have even considered the foolish chance of playing Russian Roulette. Pretty damned stupid. But, I realized too late.
45. .KarenVon Kaenel
My first cigarette made me dizzy. I was 15 and sure I was defective in some way because no one else ever said anything about being dizzy.
I didnít mention it either because I sure didnít want anyone to think I was a nerd. It was the late 1950ís and every important aspect of
growing up was related to age; you couldnít drive until you were 16, you couldnít drink, smoke or join the army until you were 18 and
you couldnít vote until you were 21. Smoking before we were old enough somehow made us seem older and more mature. It was easy
to get cigarettes because there were machines everywhere and although we didnít smoke in front of our parents we had no trouble smoking
in public. Cigarettes were readily supplied to our servicemen and women, thrown from floats in parades and given away in restaurants and airplanes. Television showed everyone smoking: actors, actresses, singers, athletes, doctors and government officials. The only people who
knew cigarettes were harmful to your health were the cigarette manufacturers and they kept it a well-protected secret. Research started
showing a connection between cancer and cigarettes in the late 1960ís but the tobacco companies spent millions of dollars discrediting the
studies. Most of us who were already addicted to nicotine believed the tobacco companies; after all, our government certainly would not
allow anyone to market a product that was killing us. Today we know better. Today we know that cigarette companies added extra nicotine
to make sure we would be addicted to their cigarettes. Today we know that cigarette companies knowingly added many other toxic
ingredients including ammonia and a derivative of cocoa to open our airways so the smoke would go deeper into our lungs. Today we know
that nicotine is the most addictive drug in the world being more addictive than heroin, cocaine or alcohol. Today we know that smoking is
the leading cause of preventable death in the world and emphysema is the third leading cause of death in the US. Today we know that there
is no cure for emphysema and almost no research to find a cure. Today we know that most people believe that smokers get what they
deserve because we just ďshould have quitĒ. Today, I know I am dying because I have emphysema and I am only 55 years old. Once I
was an athletic, adventurous and fiercely independent woman; today I canít even clean my own house. I marched for civil rights and I
marched for womenís rights; today a big march is from my house to my car where I gasp for breath for 5 minutes before I can start the
engine. I drove a tractor-trailer so I could raise my children somewhere above the poverty level. I always believed that you could do or be
anything you wanted if you just wanted it bad enough. Today I just want to be able to breathe. I loved it outside and I camped, hunted,
fished and kept a big garden. Today I have to hide inside most of the time away from humidity and pollution. I was a Girl Scout leader
and coached girls basketball and best of all I was a MOM. I raised 4 beautiful children who I am very proud of today. I am fortunate in that
not one of them ever started to smoke. I have been smoke free for two years and today I realize just how awful smoke makes everything
smell. I am sad and ashamed that I sent my kids off to school smelling like that every day of their lives. I worry that as they age they will
develop health problems because they had to suck my smoke all those years. I cry when I think about that. I have 4 beautiful grandchildren
ages 12, 11, 10 and almost 2. I canít run after fireflies, try to get a kite up or walk the beach with them; I canít attend their sporting events
or their concerts and I will be most fortunate if I live to see them graduate. I often wonder if I will live long enough for the little one to even remember me. I wonder if my next cold will be my last. Cigarettes have ruined my life. If I had known about the devastation cigarette
smoking causes the body, I never would have started. If you havenít started to smoke, DONíT. If you have started to smoke, you must
try and stop; it isnít easy but itís not impossible. It takes a lot of planning and support. If you ever want to try and quit, write me and I will
try to help. Qwiltpox@aol.com
46. Tony Hamel Tx.
Hello fine people:
SPECIAL QUIT - SMOKING PAGE FROM TONY HAMEL
Gonna get my 2 cents worth in on the smoking issue since we're talkin about it. I was dx by a GP around 1992 after having a PFT
in his office. He told me I had better stop smoking. Right!!! I was only 44 and I believed I was still bullet proof. I had only been
smoking since I was 14. Said I had chronic bronchitis. I was also having anxiety attacks and would get SOB regularly. He put me
on albuterol and xanax 5mg. WELL! I walked out of his office and lit a cig on the way to the truck. Got to the drug store and
coughed up a bunch of crud and hit the inhaler and WOW I could really tell the difference. Felt so good, I just had to light up to
celebrate! This went on for about a year while I was in a dead end job and a lot of stress so I NEEDED the cigs to stay calm. I
really convinced myself of that. The next step was at the VA when I no longer had insurance. Was again tested and prescribed
Albuterol, Ipratropium bromide and vanceril along with the xanax and another anxiety med which I don't remember the name. Was
warned again! If you don't quit smokin you'll be pushin round a bottle of O2. HA!! Get back! WELL! Hit the inhalers and felt
better so why not, LIGHT up some more. I just hadn't got the picture yet. I finally had an incident that got my attention. I was
in the shower and just finishing up when I realized I had my hand on the wall supporting myself because I could not breath. I
said that is enough, how dumb can you be!!! I cold turkeyed that morning. This was in 1994. Stayed off the cigs for 6 months
with very few problems. Then we moved to Phoenix from OKC and on the trip out I was driving by myself and stopped in
Gallup N.M. to stay the night and to this day don't know why, but I bought a pack of cigs and was right back in the maddening
circle again. For the next year I would be driving down the road and start a coughing attack and almost pass out and cough a
bunch of stuff and get over it and light up.
Well, to end this happy tale. I moved back to OKC then to Tulsa in the next 2 years then on to Dallas in 1997. Still doin
the inhalers and drugs for anxiety and tried a couple of times to quit with the patch and gum but both of those just made me want
to smoke. Finally in Oct of 98 I got pneumonia which was a yearly thing for me but this time ended up in the hospital for 10 days
and came home on 4.0 lpm O2 and qualified for a lung transplant in March of 99. For at least 4 of my last years of smoking I was
always saying I was going to quit but I just didn't want to. My wake up call to get serious was too late. For those of you still
smoking, I do understand, but for GOD's sake please do whatever you need to do to quit. I sit here now typing on my computer
the story of my smoking history on 3.5 lpm of O2 with a hose stuck in my nose so I can breath without passing out because I have
ruined my lungs. I have no one to blame except myself. I made a choice and it was a bad one and the price to pay is just too high.
I will have to have a transplant soon. My diagnosis is without a lung transplant I have 3 1/2 years left to be around.
Dear people, I am not ready to leave this world that soon. I have so much to do. Please don't make the same mistakes. Learn
from those of us that have already made them and let us pay the price. There is not a reason in the world for all of us to pay the
same price for the same mistakes. COPD has a program to help you quit smoking. Give it a try. It can only help. I was lucky,
I had to cold turkey again when I went on O2 in October 98 and have not smoked since. Besides if I do, they will remove
me from the transplant list and that dear friends will never happen. No more cigs for this boy.
God Bless and help you in your endeavors to stop smoking and If I can help, let me know.
keep on keepin' on
Tony in Dallas
47. Eileen Lanam
I feel for anyone trying to quit smoking. The hardest thing I ever did. I smoked from age 13 to 59. I trued everything and I risk
everything. I set a couch on fire. My daughter was hospitalized from my smoking I will always believe. Our house burnt down I
suspect I caused. I quit breathing twice and rushed to the ER. I QUIT. If I can anyone can. My Father died from smoking and
I will too. I have a lung function of 20% and I caused it. I am so sad when I see teens smoking and know they will not listen to
anyone as I did not. Eileen
48. Judy T
My stop smoking story. For years I played the game and continued to smoke long past the time a sane person would have stopped.
But smoking is an addiction, at least to me, and so starting and stopping went on and on. See, I could always stop, I just couldn't
Had pneumonia in January of 1995, and even
though I couldn't breathe or barely walk, as soon as I got home, I lit
up a cigarette.
I never wanted a cigarette again.
How could I want something that wanted to kill me? To me that was
insane thinking. So
That was five years ago and since then I
was doing great. Then a number of tragic events happened in my family,
and I used
So thanks for listening, and thanks for
being at the other end of my cyberspace. I've only been with this
group a few weeks
Judy T. in Florida
49. Pat Jay
Pat Jay wrote:
If you are not ready to give cigarettes up then it doesn't matter what anyone tells you will help. It was the hardest thing I
ever did in my life, I enjoyed smoking. My husband smoked too, and all my friends. Everytime I put a cigarette in my
mouth I felt guilty, I hated my self I wished they would make a cigarette that made me sick to my stomach.They never
did. One day I made my mind up this is the day. My husband threw out all the ash trays gave all the cigarettes away,
and he quit too. Bless him. I stayed away from all my friends and anyone else that smoked for awhile. I will admit it got
pretty hairy around my house for awhile with both of us quitting, but we did it. I am so proud. You will be too. I smoked
for 30 years if I can do it so can you. I hope you don't think I am preaching. I am not.Just trying to help. I have ruined
my life hope you can stop. Feel free to email me if I can help.
Love Pat J. West Texas
50. Ron O'Kane
Ron O'Kane wrote:
This seems to be quitting smoking story
day. So, here goes. I am leaving this on the new list on my first day.
I am also sending
I quit because I realized I was short of
breath and also that it wasn't getting any better. I had had the flu and
I was sure
I called the doc for an appointment and
got one for about 8 days later. For pneumonia? The receptionist said
I went to the drugstore and bought patches.
I don't think it matters which one. I have to believe they all pretty much
I also bought cigarettes. I bought enough
to last me just a few more days. I wanted to quit on the weekend
- not with
I also decided I wasn't going to tell anyone
I was quitting. I wanted to see how long it would take the people, some
On the appointed day, I got a cup of coffee
and held a little farewell ceremony out on the patio. (brrrrrrrrr) I carried
My wife noticed after a few days. Several
of my peers at work picked up on the fact I wasn't taking breaks to go
I had fun with my game, but with the boss now
knowing, it was time to end it. I confessed to everyone that I hadn't had
Let me tell you something else I did. On the 9th
night (10th patch), I had nightmares in Cinemascope and Technicolor.
I look back on it now and wonder why I didn't
do it years ago. I wouldn't say it was a piece of cake, but it wasn't
I think some of the things that mattered are:
1. I didn't tell anyone I was doing it and
played a game to see how long until they'd notice. What really happened
There are some considerations that probably
made it easier for me. During the time I was contemplating quitting and
That was January, 1999. I still haven't
even touched one. My wife held a garage sale and a smoker put one down
This is only my experience. I have only
my experience by which I judge all others. Obviously, some people have
My best regards,
51. Ken Jolly of KY
Personal thoughts, observations and experiences of a former smoker.
The ideas expressed here are the result of my
being a smoker for forty one years, and being a former smoker for the last
sixteen years. Thirteen years after I smoked my last cigarette I had bilateral
bullectomies performed on my lungs and triple bypasses on my heart
I believe smoking is a combination of habit
and addiction to nicotine. During the 41 years I was a smoker, I found
Now it is up to you to meet your responsibilities. Quit smoking.
Quit means to stop, not delay, not procrastinate,
not blame someone else, but to cease destroying the life you have left.
This letter may seem a little harsh to some of
you. Nothing could be farther from the intent, because I have great
Ken Jolly of KY
52. Dorrie Smith
I stopped smoking two years ago due to a diagnosis of osteoporosis. My gyn. spotted a profile for osteo. and sent me for a bone
density test. He matter of factly told me smoking was no good for osteoporosis. He said it once & didn't push it. He also said I
needed to take estrogen. I went home, read up on the disease and made an appt. to discuss it with him. He takes appts. for talk
if you request it. I decided to take the estrogen which has helped a lot, & then decided to stop smoking. I had tried everything to
stop & now again tried cold turkey . As usual I spent 3 days in bed only getting up to eat & then to sleep,because I would go into
deep depression whenever I tried to quit smoking. This time it worked. It wasn't easy, I had continual dreams of lighting up, hated everyone who could smoke & whenever I got the urge to smoke I would tell myself that if I held out long enough the desire would
go away. It took a year for the desire & dreams to go away. Each month it got easier to resist. But I know if I light up just once
I'm back smoking again. What made me stop this time? I found a doctor williing to impart his knowledge, but didn't push and I
ended up having a lot of respect for him & I think that is what got me thinking & quitting. Now if I can only find a pcp & a
pulmomologist like him I'd be fine. This is how I found my way out of the tunnel of addiction to cigarettes. I'm only sorry I
didn't find a way to fight it years ago. I hope this helps someone else to quit, even one person.
53. Kelly May
I smoked for almost 40 years and I tried to quit for the last 20. I tried all of the gimmicks, the horrible nicotine gum, the patches,
the plastic cigarette with the nicotine insert, the rubber band on the wrist, the pint bottle full of butts, smoking marijuanna instead
of tobacco, etc. etc. etc.
I even went to a shrink when my COPD got bad enough
that I had to retire. I figured if I was still smoking I must be
I did manage to modify my smoking so I could gain
some control. I stopped smoking in the house or car. I wouldn't
Finally a hypnosis seminar came through town.
I thought this was the equivelant of a traveling snake oil show.
I never believed
I still get cravings to smoke every day but I
don't give in to them. I tell myself it's ridiculous to crave a cigarette
because I am a
Who knows what will work for you? By the
way, I have major resentment toward the tobacco companies. What other
54. Karen VonKaenel
I have sent this to a couple of people who are trying to give up cigarettes. It is just some ideas based on what worked for me.
Trying to quit.....Chapter One I quit smoking
June 22, 1998. At the time, I was smoking 4 plus packs a day and had smoked
So, I decided I needed a plan and then I needed to practice quitting first so that when I did pick a quit date, I would be ready.
I started a notebookâ€¦just
a spiral one like the schoolkids use. On one page, I listed all the reasons
I smoked. On another page,
Then I started paying attention to when
I was smoking and looked for patterns. For example, after meals,
when driving, with
Finally, I started to practice. I
would hold out for a cigarette as long as I could and then I would write
down what it was
I finally hit on a couple that worked at
least long enough for the craving to pass. Oh yes, it does pass!!
At first, the
Actually, I didn't want to quitâ€¦.I
needed to quit. I liked to smoke. What drug addict WANTS to
give up their drug
While you are thinking about quitting, remember
this. Smoking is an addiction and there are different degrees of
Quitting cigarettes is a lot more than mind
over matter. It takes: thought and planning, support and encouragement,
This is the beginningâ€¦.
Chapter One. Get a journal and begin your lists. Figure out your
triggers and start thinking up
Teens today won't listen. I started smoking when I was 12 or 13, and I wouldn't listen to anyone about the hazards of smoking.
I finally quit 8 months ago. I don't want to end up on oxygen, not being able to run or dance, or even walk well. There's a chance
that I will, in fact, end up in that situation, since I started smoking before my lungs were done developing. It's just something we
who made that choice have to deal with. But remember, this is an addiction. I smoked through tonsilitis, mono, countless sinus
and lung infections, etc. I used to be a complete NAZI about Mom's smoking, but not anymore. I know she's trying and I
know the urge to smoke is so strong, it's hard to fight that. I still fight urges every day, even after 8 months. I hope this time
she can quit for good, but if not, all I can do is be there and hope she tries again. And at the risk of sounding like a broken
record, those little homeopathic pills really helped with the cravings-that, and chewing those little stir-sticks. Good luck to all
who are trying to quit. It's hard, but it's soooo worth it.
.I was a "Professional Quitter". I was a smokerholic. I was the Queen of quitting smoking while puffing away. I had it down
to a science. If there was a way you could quit smoking, I did it, lol. Cutting down, giving up certain foods that cigs really
tasted good with, hiding them, putting across room or even clear out in garage, hypnosis, not buying-bum instead, rationing, patches, tranquillizers, smoking lectures, filters, positive confessions-"I'm a non-smoker"-while still smoking-was calling things
that were not as though they were, only one drag off a cig, put it out, lite back up for another drag in a few min, etc. till cig
gone, use left hand to smoke with, buy untasty cig to smoke, buy expensive cigs to smoke to get a big guilt consc, only allow
me to smoke first half of cig so as not to get close to all that tar and such, and I am sure there are still a few ways I can't
remember that I did. When first trip to hospital, my respiratory therapist was a smoker and would go out and smoke before coming to my room and then while I was taking my breathing treatment, would let me smell his clothes for the smoke. Why
once even when my hubby and I both decided to quit, we were into our second week, out in our backyard, we both spied
this B I G cig butt, knew it was one of ours from no telling how long back,...both made a wild dash for it, I won(?) and took
off running with all my might feeling his hot breath on my back....lol. Got to the garage door and slammed it shut, locked it,
and there I was, me and this yellowed stained half smoked smelly butt, thought I was in Heaven...lol. Hubby was so mad, he didn't talk to me for rest of night, didn't even save him one lil drag. Do I have to tell you I ended up in hospital again? This
time really serious, given about 6 mths to live, 16% lung capacity, can barely move from bed to comp. This time I quit and I
really wanted to this time.....found that is the KEY...WANTING TOO....not just voicing it out of guilt, knowledge, expense,
or whatever, really really wanting too. I made it and it has been three years now. I walk, shop, drive, all within limits of
course, but I am doing them. Do I have guilt feelings about smoking or not quitting before, No. Do I have regrets that I didn't, Yes. Do I live in my regrets of my choice to smoke, No. I live in my wisdom to finally succeed in quitting smoking...in staying
at it, no matter what it was, no matter how long it took, just no matter what.
So, stay at it all you smokers, YOU CAN OVERCOME!
57. Andrea Burger
unable to quit. And also for those of us who have quit, but forget some of our "escapades" along the road to that goal,
it's a good reminder of how far we've come and how we got to our Smoke No More goal. I can say, truthfully, "been
there, done that," in some kind of way. Once I made a big deal about going out just before bedtime and tossing an
unopened pack of cigarettes into a dumpster behind my apartment house. Six a.m. the next morning, I was climbing
stacks of newspaper to stand high enough to reach in to get them, and fell in. I dug a little more and found the pack and
ripped it open. And right there, on the spot, got my matches out and lit up. Then I used the surrounding garbage to climb
out again, get to my apartment, putting my clothes in the hamper and me in the shower and dragging on that cigarette, all
the while, with pleasure. Thank God those days are gone forever. Sometimes, it's true, one really can be too stupid to live.
It helps to look back and remember that we did such nonsense for a cigarette. Our humiliations alone should inspire others
to quit. So like you say, Saundra: Smokers: YOU CAN OVERCOME. I have been smoke-free for nearly 11 years.
out of it. She hadn't spoken in the 2 days I'd been there. Her bed was closest to the bathroom. Our room was right across
from the nurses desk. So it's around 2 am and I'm smoking in the bathroom. As I came out of the bathroom and was walking around the foot of her bed, she started moaning loudly.. "Fi-ya Fi-ya" Her eyes were still closed, but the smoke must have permeated her brain! I started to giggle like a fool and she wouldn't stop! The nurse finally came in and I still didn't own up
to my part. Pretended I was asleep, while the nurse told her there was no fire. But on my way to quitting for good, I quit
for 9 months and then started again, then again for a year and started again. Then off and on for the next year. (Also trying
to tell people I was not smoking, and I would wear the patch during the day and around 9PM I'd rip it off and smoke till I
went to bed, and do the same thing the next day:( Finally after an eleven day hospital stay because I couldn't breathe, I was pumped full of iv pred. I had to make a serious decision. Either continue to smoke and not be able to breathe, or to breathe
and start to take some control of my life and my COPD. It hasn't been easy all the time, but at this stage if I crave a
cigarette, I just take a deep breath and think of something else. It's not that sharp craving like it was in the beginning. So
it does get better. One year, seven months, three weeks, one day, 48 minutes and 44 seconds. 24081 cigarettes not
smoked, saving $3,913.49. Life saved: 11 weeks, 6 days, 14 hours, 45 minutes.
Oh Sickerrettes by Michael Prudhomme
Oh Sickerettes, Oh Sickerrettes
Our fight against you is strong
Your Parents believe you are strong
Even by hedges and ice
For our breathing is much stronger
@Copyright 6-15-2000 Michael Prudhomme
"Addiction is any compulsive, habitual behavior that limits the freedom of human desire."-- Gerald G. May.
|...............YOU ARE HERE....................................WINNERS TESTIMONIALS|
"PAGES BY OLIVIJA - Please Advise of
corrections or additions"
BY CLICKING HERE
last edited 8-23-2001