MyFinalSmoke has conducted interviews with current and ex smokers to compile this series of stories and personal experiences, true accounts of how people like you have encountered the cigarette, how it affected their lives, and how they live with the habit, and how they gave it up. In the following, we will share with you the insights of real people and how they answered our questions.
Why Did You Quit Smoking? *
At a point in time in every smoker’s life there comes the realization that the price they pay is outweighing whatever reward the cigarette can offer. It’s only then that the desire to quit arises. Because no matter how many times you read about the damages smoking can cause, the facts usually remain abstract until it becomes personal, and something reminds you that your life is worth saving and that smoking can actually, quite literally, kill you.
What was your moment? When did the horror stories of smoking effects materialize from urban legends to a reality that could befall you in the near future? Or was it that you have already gone through one of said horror stories, either yourself or through a loved one, and were finally confronted with what could be a very ugly outcome of a habit you liked to think was innocent and insignificant? In the following, we will discuss the reasons that drove a few smokers to quit or at least start to try.
Disclaimer: All stories are submitted anonymously to encourage complete honesty and are paraphrased when needed to enhance readability. MyFinalSmoke doesn’t personally endorse or embrace or advocate for any of the viewpoints shared below.
My Children Need Me *
“Your family is the only thing in your life that you can’t choose yourself over. Unfortunately that is something I have done for more than 20 years. I was a heavy smoker. Wherever I went the stink of cigarette smoke followed me. When that seemed to bother my wife, I encouraged her to join in so it would be something we do together. She did. I was the one who introduced my wife to smoking. At my job, working in a multinational company, we were always meeting with high-profile clients. Although anywhere but my office. I remember my manager, more than once, scolding me regarding the irritating smell making my office near inaccessible. I also remember telling him that he doesn’t ever have to come into my office; he could always just call for me. I was good at my job so I got away with it.
Eventually I had 3 children. Smoking was a huge part of my life that it took me years to even notice my habit might affect them. Secondhand smoke, being a bad role model, allowing my children to see their father completely give in to a practice that might kill him; I still didn’t think it over. It wasn’t until I had my first heart attack that the facts hit me. I spent two weeks in the intensive care then another two under observation. My eldest son was 13 and my youngest 7. I could see the fear in their eyes and I vowed to myself then, and to my wife shortly after, that I can no longer justify selfishly smoking myself into an early death when I have 4 people whose hearts will absolutely shatter over it. And though I still remember how much I loved and relied on it, I haven’t smoked a single cigarette since.”
My Body Deserves Better *
“I started smoking with the intention of never making a habit out of it. I enjoyed the social aspects of smoking and wanted to strictly keep it this way, social. Somehow I couldn’t keep that promise and started doing it more and more regularly. At the time I was doing my Master’s degree and had so many ambitions for myself and my future. A smoking-caused disease wasn’t part of the plan, nor the exhaustion that comes with breathing after you smoke excessively for a few months. I started going to the gym because I wanted and needed to be good to myself and my body. I thought the good habits would cancel out the bad habits, and although that wasn’t at all true, it was a good start. Taking care of my body made it harder and harder for me to enjoy allowing poison into my system. Plus, I needed stamina to achieve my body goals, and that required healthy lungs. After two years of smoking, I decided I’n going to put a stop to this nonsense. I deserve better than a slow passive suicide.”
Before It’s Too Late *
“I am 19 years old and I quit smoking because, first of all, I couldn’t really enjoy it. Because, well, I did have biology classes in high school and I knew what it was doing to my body and I knew it was causing irreversible damage to my body and my lungs especially. So every time I smoked, every time I took a single drag, I knew the damage it was causing. so I couldn’t enjoy it. I was thinking of that nonstop. I also started to realize I use smoking as a coping mechanism. I started after a big breakup; I was feeling really bad. And every time I felt bad, I took a cigarette and smoked it. And when I started to realize I’m starting to need this, that I’m actually craving it, not doing it for fun or because I like the taste, but because I need it to feel sane. That’s when I decided I have to quit or else I’m going to be addicted.”
Short Conclusion *
Figuring out exactly why someone wants to quit is a fundamental factor in the process of quitting. It’s the cornerstone that you rely on to keep going when you no longer feel like you can. The reason is what gives you motivation and justifies your struggle, reminding you of everything there is to gain if you fight a little harder. Figure out the “why,” and the “how” becomes easy. Where there is a will, there is always a way.
Our next article in the series will ask the question of “How did you quit smoking?” So if you found the stories above helpful, tune in for more insight or email us/comment below with your own story. We hope that, in the shared experiences, we may come to find a moral, and reach an understanding of why a habit so harmful can have such a strong hold on the best of us.