A cigarette broken in half

Giving Up Smoking Due to COPD Diagnosis

I have seen quite a few people in this forum and on many social network forums trying to quit smoking. I have shared some tips that helped me there, but since so many have been having trouble with this, I would share my story about quitting smoking.

I am not here to tell you to quit smoking and that smoking is bad for you. You already know that. Me telling you that will not help.

You have to be ready and be the one who quits for you and no one else.

Overcoming my smoking addiction after years of struggle

I stopped smoking on March 18, 2010. I tried many times over the years to quit and never could. My husband and kids would all beg me to quit for them. You think I could have.

I loved them and would do anything for them, but I couldn’t quit and made myself madder at myself for smoking, and then I would smoke even more.

I started smoking at 15 because I thought it was cool, and my older cousin and sister tried it, so I thought, why not me? My dad smoked at the time and never kept track of his cigarettes, so he was an easy way to get them when I didn't have any myself.

I mostly smoked while hanging with friends when we were cruising the avenue, looking at the boys and the cool cars. We thought we were big stuff!

Over the years, I would sneak smoking here and there until the day my mom found my cigarettes. She yelled at me and said I am not paying for your cigarettes. If you want to smoke around me, you must get a job. So, that's what I did.

I don’t think she thought I would. She said she regretted saying that all those years.

She said she wished she had taken the cigarettes, thrown them away, and then told me that if she ever found me smoking again, she would ground me or take something away. Looking back now, I wish she would also have.

That next day I went out and got a job, started smoking in front of her, and smoked up to March 2010. My poor mom, brother, dad, and I were smoking around them.

So unfair to their lungs, but I didn’t think about that‌.

Tips that helped me quit smoking

I never thought that I could call myself a nonsmoker. I could never see it in my future.

I think that is one thing that helped me to quit. I had to picture myself as a nonsmoker.

I also pictured all the money I would save. To be honest, I couldn’t afford to smoke. I would always get fewer groceries or go without something else to buy those stupid cigarettes.

I quit cold turkey that day. I had a couple of slip-ups a few times when out for a drink or on a rare occasion. I had to find out what worked for me when craving those cigarettes.

I knew half of the problem was trying to do something with my mouth and hands, so I started with a pencil or straw. I would hold it in my hand and smoke them.

Just the act of breathing in and then blowing out helped, so instead of having that on my hands all the time, I learned to just do some breathing techniques. Of course, when doing it, I didn't realize that they were breathing techniques.

I thought I was just “fake smoking” to help ease my cravings. Gum, hard candy (I ended up switching to sugar-free because of all that sugar added), and water was always on hand to keep my mouth busy.

Another thing I would do was stay busy or get up and do something when I got the urge. I had stopped going to convenience stores for a while as well.

It kept me from wanting to buy a pack of cigarettes. If you can get past those first couple of days, you can do this.

They finally diagnosed me with Alpha 1 antitrypsin deficiency in June 2010 after I went to the doctor because I kept getting worse after I quit smoking. I don’t think I would still be alive today if I had not quit that day.

Every cigarette that I smoked until that last one about killed me. You can find that in this article if you want to learn more about Alpha 1 and my getting diagnosed with Alpha 1.

Give us more tips that have helped you, or share your quit-smoking journey with us in the comment section below.

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