Cigarettes Control Your Life, Not the Other Way Around

The American Lung Association is sharing inspiring stories from individuals who have been able to end their addiction to tobacco and stop smoking through #TheDayIQuit blog series. Quitting smoking isn’t easy, but it is possible—and we firmly believe that anyone can quit with the right support. If you, or someone you know, would like to quit smoking, share with them the new, interactive Freedom From Smoking® Plus.

Have your own quit story to share? Leave a comment below and we’ll work together to showcase your success and inspire others to start their quit.

Cigarettes are awful. They’re unhealthy, they’re expensive, they smell disgusting. Doesn’t mean I didn’t smoke them. Cigarettes control your life, not the other way around.

I started smoking when I was 10 years old, to be cool I guess. Back then I would just buy them from the corner store, they didn’t have tobacco age laws—or at least they didn’t enforce them.

I smoked for over 40 years and tried quitting several times with pills, patches and hypnosis. And then I had a heart attack, and the hospital really drilled into me to stop smoking and recommended the Freedom from Smoking® program. It was the only thing that I hadn’t tried before, and it was what finally worked. Every week for eight weeks, we went through the workbook and identified our smoking triggers and behaviours, and how to work through the urges. We set a quit date and talked about how we were feeling. That’s what worked for me. The support, the other people.

I was going through some pretty rough moments in my personal life, but I stayed smoke-free. Those meetings and those people really helped. I always left those meetings feeling better. My only complaint about the Freedom From Smoking program is that it isn’t long enough. I kept getting together with people from the program after it was over, and when I hit four months smokefree—that was the longest I had ever kept from smoking. It’s been over two years now, and I’ll never go back.

Find a friend, find someone that will take your call when you’re hitting a low point. Call the Lung HelpLine! I ran into a woman from junior high school the other day and she was quitting smoking. We aren’t close, but she calls me when she’s having a rough moment. It’s working for her.

My advice: Just do it. No matter how many times it takes. No matter what is going on in your life. They are all just excuses. Take back your life.

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