Guides Health Care

How I Quit Smoking

My New Year’s resolution when I was 18 was to start smoking. I was up to a pack a day by the time I was 19. I smoked a pack of Camels a day until I was 32. I got married at 31, and I quit for my husband.

The miracle was that a non-smoker married me in the first place. It must have been because I was skinny. All those years, I smoked instead of eating in the evening. I stank of cigarette smoke all the time, though. Cigarette stink was in my hair, clothes, and car. It even oosed out of the pores of my skin. I also knew it was killing me.

I quit cold turkey.

I did not use nicotine gum, pills or patches. Truth to tell, it was not really the nicotine that had me hooked on smoking. I actually liked the feeling of having the smoke in my lungs. I liked the process of smoking: taking out the cigarette and tapping it on its filter to tamp down the tobacco, lighting the end, drawing in the smoke and letting it out.

Deciding to quit was the hard part.

The whole 13 years I smoked, I knew it was hurting my chances of ever getting married. I knew the smoke was damaging my lungs and might give me lung cancer. For all those years, the “pleasure” of smoking outweighed the damage I knew it was doing.

Thank God, my husband loved me anyway and married me, smoke stink and all. His gift of loving me made me want to give him the gift of a wife whose kisses didn’t taste like an ash tray. It took a year, but finally my desire to please my husband won out over the “pleasure” of smoking.

I changed into a non-smoker overnight.

I had to identify myself as a non-smoker. The day I decided to quit smoking, I bagged up all my cigarettes, lighters and ash trays and threw them in a dumpster five miles away from my house. I washed all my clothes and bedding. I sprayed my curtains and upolstery. I left all my doors and windows open all day. I had my car professionally detailed.

What I did instead of smoking:

Unfortunately, I ate instead of smoking. I gained about 8 pounds a year for the next 15 years. By last year I weighed 240 pounds. Deciding to lose the weight was the hard part, but today I only weigh 161.

If I had it to do over:

I wish I had brushed, flossed and gargled whenever I got the urge to smoke at home. I could have stayed skinny and healthy by chugging bottled water whenever I got the urge to smoke in the car or at work. At parties I wish I had brought soap bubbles to blow instead of munching on the appetizers.

Or… I could have also used vape instead of cigarettes. Some experts recommend vaping over the traditional way of smoking (cigarette). I should have visited greyhaze.co.uk. This website offers e-cigarette kits and other accessories needed for vaping.

The urges gradually went away.

I’d say it took about a year before the urges to smoke no longer came on their own. Five years later, I could see or smell other people smoking and not want to join them. Even today I avoid hanging out in places where people are smoking, but the smell of cigarette smoke doesn’t tempt me near as much as it did that first year after I quit.

Nicole Hennig
Nicole Hennig
Nicole Hennig is a freelance writer, content writer, blogger, and also a photographer. She graduated from the University of Caloocan in Johannesburg, South Africa in 2015.

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