Every single time I have gone to the doctor I have heard the same thing, “When are you going to quit smoking?” Nag, nag, nag, nag, nag…
Now understand that I am not a committed smoker, from my perspective! I didn’t start smoking until I was 21 years old and only because I had listened to my former husband say every single day that we were married that he would never have a wife that smoked! Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face!
Yes, my sister Theresa was patient teaching me how to smoke. I prayed to the one-eyed porcelain god (read toilet) for six weeks turning green and throwing up. But by God I learned to smoke! Just to spite my husband! Oh, stupid woman!
Well, I quit the first time when they went up to 50 cents a pack! That’s back when I was working for $1.75 an hour. Hmmm, if only I would have stayed quit. Eight years, it wasn’t a bad run given that my husband smoked every day in front of me. And then I started again. Quit, again. Started, again. Quit, again. You get the picture :-)
Well, this last stretch was almost 10 years long. Overtime to quit! And I did, almost a year ago now. And I am sure hoping it is my LAST QUIT! Yes, the husband is still smoking (different husband), but out in the garage; where I started my QUIT!
I had just repainted the living room and several other rooms in the house and decided not to stink things up with cigarettes. Hoping to quit, my first step was to smoke in the attached garage; ohhhhhh so cold in Minnesota, but out of the biting wind at least.
Then I started doing the math. $7.00 a pack, even $5.00 a pack generic, times 2, sometimes more on a stressful day, and that works up to a MINIMUM of $3,650 A YEAR!!! What could I do with $3,650 a year, and not make myself sicker (or lead to almost certain respiratory issues down the road)?
Worse yet, I would wake myself up, yes snoring :-), but more importantly wheezing. When you can hear yourself breathing and your lungs are audibly squeaking, etc. It is past time to quit!
“Cold Turkey” NOT! I patched, I bought the little fake cigarette, I have tried those portable vaporizers too which I find really good on taking baby steps on quitting smoking. I bought those generic equate Nicotine Lozenges from Walmart, had lists of things to do when the craving hit, walked on my treadmill and tried to stay away from the hubby when he was smoking; no place to go in the car.
Two months of the patch and I ran out. About the same for the steam cigarette which was oh so frustrating as it didn’t draw half the time! Dr. Oz’s Sharecare gives me a quit tip everyday, even now. And at the beginning I bought myself some “I quit smoking” gifts with the money I had saved. But I have stayed on the lozenges. Now, mind you, I bite them into 4ths and 8ths, but it has now been what, 11 months and I am still biting lozenges into pieces. Very, very handy when I am with smokers—my husband, my mother, my sisters. $30 a month compared to $400, I can live with it! AND I am NOT smoking!
So WHATEVER WORKS!
The bottom line is that I am saving a minimum of $3,650, probably over $4,000 realistically (How could I afford that!) A YEAR by NOT SMOKING!
Wow! Imagine how much more I can spend on prepping and whatever! Think about this. Almost $4,000 a year! Car payment? Mortgage payment? FUN! All for quitting SMOKING!
I can live with this. $30 a month for lozenges; compared to $400 a month for smoking! And no more nagging from the Doctor!
And no, I have not become a crusader for quitting smoking in my family. I mention it occasionally to my husband. My Mom and sisters, I don’t even mention it. When and if they are ready, they too will make the decision and just do it. No amount of nagging affected me until I DECIDED to QUIT!
Ah yes! To quit smoking! Quite a challenge no matter how you slice it! I quit for a year each time when each of my three children were on the way, and born. I failed miserably each time after the year.
Then I quit when I turned 40, and that lasted for about a year and a half. I got scientific that time, and realized that there were certain times that I really wanted a cigarette. The main time was when I was playing cards with the guys at the neighborhood hangout and drinking a beer. So, I made a promise to myself that I would only smoke when I drank a beer. I damn near turned into an alcoholic before I realized that it was pointless!
I finally quit for good about 4 years ago. Before I retired, there were a couple of younger coworkers that were going to try and quit. Experience taught me that if you are smoking when others are trying to quit, there’s usually a great deal of resentment that builds. I also wanted to set an example too. I knew it was past time, as I had the wheezing at night like Bev mentioned. Trying to drag a deer to the fence line while hunting caused me to wonder if I was going to make it alive each time!
And then there was the overwhelming factor. My Dad was a heavy smoker and died at 57, his Dad was a heavy smoker and died at 57!
It was truly time to quit!
It was far from easy, but having tried and failed several times before, I knew the ropes of what worked and what didn’t. I knew that you had to make a solemn unbreakable promise to yourself to do it, and no one else. If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust? Right? No chipping, just one, or other cheating would work.
What I didn’t count on was my subconscious. After the first year, I would have these dreams in which I would cheat and smoke a cigarette! I would wake up thinking I had violated my promise to myself, and could go ahead and smoke since the promise was broken. It was very convincing, and almost worked once or twice. Once I realized what was happening, I learned to laugh it off!
But you must remember, the desire never completely goes away! Hell! I’d still like to have one today! But I also know that there is no such thing as just one, or just a couple. You either smoke, or you don’t. Plain and simple. Anything else is just lying to yourself and others.
My wife still smokes, and I don’t harass her about it. She’s tried everything including the Chantex pills (almost worked). But she just doesn’t have strong enough will power to follow through completely on it. I think eventually she may do it, but it’s ultimately each person’s individual choice.
It does have it’s monetary and health rewards though!
To quit, or not to quit, that is the question. I think all of us who have been addicted to smoking and quit can empathize with your story Bev. I started smoking in college because back then it was the cool thing to do. Over the years the habit just kept increasing up to 2-3 packs a day at the height of my smoking career.
I went through all the things that both you and John from Iowa mentioned, and probally some more. I cannot count the number of times I tried to quit. You know you have a serious problem, when you get up and go for that cup of coffee, and you are out of smokes. Well, I found out how to fix that problem, I would go to my favorite LARGE ashtray, and find the longest butt, straighten it out and light up.
The cure for me was similar to both of yours. I FINALLY DECIDED THAT ENOUGH WAS ENOUGH, I WAS GOING TO QUIT SMOKING! I was not going to let a little cigarette control my life. I set a date about 3-4 weeks away, and that would be the day I would quit. I wrote that date on everything I came in contact with every day. The bathroom mirror, on the counter next to the coffee pot, on my desk at work, etc. Also, I would tell my self every day, on that date,I was going to quit smoking.Since my wife was never a smoker, she really supported me in my efforts. I smoked right up till that day came. I remember saying to myself the night before, this is the last one. I put the half used pack of of smokes on my dresser,and have not smoked one since. By God’s grace, that has been over 25 years now.
I can’t say I didn’t want one, and I bought a lot of chewing gum that first month, but I did make it, and John like you said “It does have it’s monetary and health reward.”
Thank You John and John!
YES! We did it! Perhaps, just perhaps, we will inspire others to quit!
Quiting smoking, it took about 11 times before my husband and I quit. He was given no choice in the matter, so first thing we did was “no” smoking in the house. Everything had to be cleaned our clothes, vehicles. I found a product called Oozo, you will find it in the auto parts stores. It removes the smoke from your closets and clothing, and works great in the vehicles. Then use a paint with an odor guard to freshen your homes walls. For those who still wish to smoke set up a place outside the home away from the doors and windows.
In the vehicles take out the ashtrays(if they have one)remove the cigerette lighter. It will not take long to train the others who still wish to smoke, but they will understand you have your rules and they must abide by them.
I hate to say it, but one of the worst things to be is a reformed smoker! It’s like you’re taking it out on everyone else that still smokes, because you can’t. I’ve been around folks like that, and they are very unpleasant to be around if someone wants to smoke.
I know, the justification comes that the smell is unpleasant! But it didn’t seem to bother someone when they still did it! I promised myself when I quit that I wouldn’t be that way. I grew up in a time when smoking was totally acceptable anyplace, and anywhere. I disagree totally with the restrictions that have placed on smokers. It is their freedom of choice, good or bad, and theirs alone, and freedoms seem to fade more and more every day. I say this even though I’ve quit, and I’m very sure there will be those that will disagree in my thinking.
Just think how I’d be if I still smoked! : )
Just my .02 worth…..
I totally agree with you John from Iowa! There is nothing worse than a reformed smoker (Except maybe a drug addict who “got” Jesus…) trying to get everyone else to quit. They seem miserable! And they seem to want to make everyone else around them miserable as well.
I, personally, think that being an example of happily quit and quiet about it unless asked is a more powerful example than a crusader. Just my opinion :)
It ain’t easy to quit. I quit almost 30 years ago, but I still dream about smoking, if someone hands me a smoke I will automatically take it and start pawing for a lighter, and nothing smells better than a freshly opened pouch… Cold turkey was the only way I could do it, and I was truly evil to be around until I finished withdrawal. One day at a time!