I Quit Smoking

December 26, 2008

Exactly one year ago today I made the choice to quit smoking.

I started smoking when I was 17 years old. My best friend in High School looked 18 and she was able to buy cigarettes for us. This was right before they made it mandatory for store owners to card people that looked under 30. My very first cigarette was a Camel Light and we would smoke only a couple of cigarettes a day. Mostly when we hung out after school. We always blamed the other when our parents would ask why we smelled like smoke.

Three years ago when I bought a new car I made the decision not to smoke in it. Doing this was the start of my road to quitting. I soon noticed that I was smoking less because I would normally have two or three cigarettes when I was driving to and from work. In addition to not smoking in my car I was not allowed to smoke in my house because my landlord's would not allow it. I respected their wishes. After all, who wants their house to stink like nasty cigarette smoke? So, through the rain, the wind, and the cold I would stand outside in my backyard puffing away. After two years I was down to less than a half a pack a day.

As I thought more and more about quitting I became more and more scared. What would I do at work? I had a schedule to keep. My breaks were like clock work. At 10 o'clock I was out there with the morning crowd. At lunch I would smoke one or two and again at 3 o'clock I was back outside smoking away with the crowd. I knew I could break the habit, but I didn't know if I was ready for it.

Quietly, on the day after Christmas last year, I smoked my last cigarette at noon, put my trusty lighter away, and bought Nicorette. I carefully read the instructions and popped the first piece in my mouth. It was peppery just like it said, but satisfying at the same time. Every couple of hours I would chew a new piece cravings or not.

All my fears washed away after a week of chewing the gum. I hardly had any desire to smoke and actually was enjoying the fact that my clothes smelled like laundry detergent. I found new ways at work to take my breaks and after a month of chewing the gum I gave that up too. Nicotine had me in its hold for 11 years, but now I can proudly say that I am smoke-free and I will never take another puff.

Are you a smoker? Is it time for you to quit?


Pheng said...

I wish that my friend would see this post. He has been chewing gum but on and off.... I am going to share this post with him.

Rachelle said...

Congrats! You deserve to be proud.

I quit over the summer of 2003 after starting freshman year.

Then I kicked my husband out in November 2007, got stressed out, and started up again.

Now it's basically when I'm driving if I'm alone, and if I'm drinking.

Rachelle said...

Oh, and I can remember going to the store by our house (Liquor Land!) where they knew us (me and my brother) because we were there all the time with my mom or dad.... I was about 9? 10? and my mom would send us down there on our bikes to get her cigarettes.

Ah, the good old days...

Veggie-Peel said...

I started "puffing" (didn't inhale) when I was 13 years old after school with friends. Just a few puffs here and there. Pretty harmless. As I got older I began "smoking" more often. In my 20s I was more of a "Social Smoker" smoking only in social settings. But put a drink in my hand and I could smoke a whole pack in under two hours!! I was one of the lucky ones though. I never became addicted so it was pretty easy for me to just stop. That was a long time ago. Glad it never became a habit.

Sadie said...

I had my first when I was 14 - in the recording studio at the high school while skipping French class. What a rebel, I know... lol It was a Marlboro Light. I didn't really smoke much after that until I was 17. When my boyfriend turned 18 he started buying me cloves. I smoked those through college until they made me sick, then I switched to Marlboro Ultra Lights. I quit sometime in May, I think? I can't even remember. I wasn't smoking much, anyway. It's amazing how much better I can breathe! And food tastes better. I never smoked in the house because I didn't want my stuff to smell like stale smoke. When I bought my new car in January of this year I didn't want to smoke in it, either, because I didn't want it to smell, and I didn't want to accidentally burn the leather. Besides, it's a 5 speed - how can I shift gears and smoke?!

Anyway, I'm proud of you! Happy anniversary!!

spyscribbler said...

Wow, congratulations! My mother smoked, and I hated it, but I know she worked SO hard to quit. Just watching her, and seeing how very hard it was for her to quit, I feared trying it.

I'm trying to "quit" dairy, and I'm struggling. I don't know if I'd be strong enough to get nicotine off my back. You're awesome, C.J.!

Bob Johnson said...

Woo Hoo, congratulations!! all the best for 2009.

Dee Langdon - BloggerNewbie said...

I am also a year clean! I started smoking when I was 11! my sister taught me, actually she made me, I cried it was so nasty but she convinced me it would get better. So I smoked till I was 25, my sister had her first heart attack at 32 so I quit. She didn't. She tried so many times, it was so hard for her. God bless her. She had her last smoke when she was 46 yrs old. I miss her. During my struggle with the grief ironically I started smoking again. Yeah, I know. Until last year when my 10 month old grandson was diagnosed with cancer and we were hospitalized for 2 straight months. I can honestly say, I have wanted to smoke now and again over the last year but that is so not going to happen. So, CJ, good for you and good for me!

taievelon said...

A few of my friends smoke and it's gross!!! Can't stress enough how horrible it smells and makes you smell. Don't be a smelly smoker folks!!!

- Tai

clare said...

It's an awful habit to kick- wish i could !