Is it time to quit smoking? I quit smoking in 1997. It’s been 25 years since I last took a drag on a Newport. At my peak, I smoked three packs a day. I survived, but there are lingering effects from my 25-plus years of tobacco use. I’m luckier than many. My lungs haven’t been eaten alive by cancer; emphysema hasn’t reduced my breathing to a constant fight for air. However, I did walk away from my addiction with Chronic Bronchitis. I constantly cough and hack as my lungs fill with phlegm 24/7. It’s not attractive, and it’s no fun, but I’m glad I quit when I did. Heed my warning if you smoke, you’ll develop health issues that will affect the quality of your life and may kill you.
Is it Your Time to Quit Smoking?
When I quit, I used a nicotine patch. I tell people where I placed the patch on my body made a big difference—whenever I placed the patch over my mouth, I didn’t smoke. I won’t kid you; even with the patch, it wasn’t easy, especially considering that in 1997 smoking was allowed everywhere. At the office, in restaurants, and on planes. I mean, for heaven’s sake, there were smoking lounges in hospitals.
I was addicted to nicotine and was used to several hundred “hits” of this drug every day. Even after I quit, I continued to want cigarettes for several months. Today, I find the smell of tobacco smoke disgusting. I’ve no desire to suck smoke into my lungs, and you can do the same.
Quit Buying the Lie
I’m not going to list the horrors smoking does to your body. Because you already know. And yet, you continue to smoke. So, why is that? Is it because you’re lying to yourself?
1. I’ll Quit Before it’s too Late
You probably have told yourself you’ll quit when you’re ready. You’ll quit someday. And that lie keeps you from doing what you know you need to do. I know because I told myself the same thing. Thank goodness I quit before it killed me. If you smoke, now’s the time to quit, and you know I’m right. Quit telling yourself the “someday lie.”
2. I Enjoy Smoking
I told that one to myself, and I said I smoked because I enjoyed it. It was pleasurable to smoke! Really? Is it pleasurable to cough and hack? Do you enjoy smelling like the inside of a smoke-filled gaming house? Do you like how the nicotine yellows your teeth and stains your walls? How about going outside in sub-zero weather? What about the cost? No one truly likes smoking. That’s the drug talking. People like the drug, not the smoke. Stop telling yourself this lie.
3. I Can Quit Whenever I Want
I could quit anytime I wanted—for an hour, a day, and once for almost a year. But as long as I lied to myself, I hadn’t completely quit. I couldn’t stop until I realized that I didn’t like to smoke, didn’t want to smoke, and it was killing me. Are you ready to admit to the truth?
Today Can be the Day
If today is the day, you don’t have to do it alone. If you have health insurance, check with your provider. Many insurance policies offer tobacco cessation programs. If that’s not available, there are free sources at your fingertips. Here are a few.
American Cancer Society Quit for Life
Photo by Andres Siimon on Unsplash