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A Cigarette is Stalking Me

By Edited Dec 31, 2015 2 4
A Cigarette is Stalking Me
Credit: Original Image by Alexis Alterations by Angela Parker

You have to admit, the general opinion of smoking is pretty bad. Even most smokers are usually quick to admit it is an awful habit. According to the CDC smoking causes one in five deaths, making it the leading preventable cause of death in the United States. It contributes to heart disease, stroke, and lung cancer along with many more significant problems throughout the body. Not to mention the pain it causes to one’s bank account. The good news is, there are many tools available now to help smokers quit.

Smoking Money
Credit: Photo by PublicDomainPictures

I recently quit, around two months ago actually, and despite the sense of accomplishment that I feel on a daily basis, I also mourn the loss of my terrible habit every day. It causes you to begin to ask yourself questions such as “Is it acceptable to smoke socially?” and “Is my cousin’s three puff rule worth a shot?” I will go out on a limb here and say the answer to both of those, and any other similar questions is probably a resounding no.

 I told myself when I started, we will say around age 18, that I would quit when I was 30, and this year will be the first anniversary of my 29th birthday. The reason I picked that date in time was for no other reason besides the commercials on television that noted health risks “especially for women over 30 who smoke”, so I thought that sounded like a good round number. At the time, 30 seemed like ages away, and now that it is here, there are days I wish I picked 40 instead. I am glad that I didn’t though. I have my sense of smell back, my lungs function properly now, and the scent of stale ash no longer clings to everything. The best part is that I feel healthier. I have more energy. I am able to think more clearly. Most importantly to me, I can breathe better.

Breathing better was important to me because I have asthma, and when I was young and stupid I had to condition my lungs to be able to handle the invasion of toxins that come with smoking. I basically had to work way too hard to start a bad habit that I would eventually have to work twice as hard to get rid of. I convinced myself that because I had my asthma under control and because it was only triggered by my allergies that smoking wouldn't provoke it once my lungs got used to it. Now that I am smoke free with a fraction of the constriction I experienced while smoking I can see how wrong I was.

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Cigarette Pack
Credit: Photo by geralt

The first couple of weeks were the hardest. In fact, I was certain on multiple occasions that I wasn’t going to make it; but I did. I have found that since I made it through those first two weeks, instead of getting progressively easier, the level of difficulty has remained the same. Don’t get me wrong, it became way easier after the first two weeks, but now I just feel like I have a cigarette peeking into my window all of the time, just waiting for me to lose my resolve. I know it is not there though, because I’ve been out there looking for it with malicious intent. Despite the discomforts, it is still absolutely worth it to quit because to me I feel the punishment is fair for my poor decision, and I still have faith that it will eventually keep getting better.


Credit: Photo by geralt

Only time will tell if I am able to stay on the wagon for the rest of my days. As hard as it was to get to this point, I certainly don’t see myself slipping, but the future is a mystery. The frightening knowledge that we have of the diseases that smoking contributes to, and the wonderful feeling of health seeping back into my body every day should be enough to keep me from going back down that road, but I learned a long time ago not to count my chickens before they hatch, so I intent to  keep taking it one day at a time. That is the best advice I can give anyone who is quitting. Just take it one day at a time. Apologize to your friends and family when you are irritable, and let them know in advance that you’re quitting. When you do snap for no reason, those closest to you may be more understanding if they are aware of your situation. Hang in there because your life is worth it.

Your Life
Credit: Photo by PublicDomainPictures
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Nov 19, 2015 1:19pm
Congratulations on making a healthy choice in your life. Smoking is the cause of many terrible afflictions and has absolutely no benefit. I applaud your choice. Keep it up and good luck.
Nov 29, 2015 12:12am
Thank you very much for the well-wishes, and thank you for reading! :)
Nov 29, 2015 1:40am
Good for you!

I know I used cigarettes to deal with difficult emotions, particularly anger, so when I quit I was hyper emotional for quite a while. In fact, I think it was actually really awful for my nearest and dearest, and I think some of them wished I hadn't quit. But I refused to hide my feelings and realized that rather than start smoking again I had to deal with other issues in my life.

I am still dealing with some of these issues but after four years I have lost the urge and know I will never go back.
Dec 14, 2015 2:56am
Thank you for reading. :) I know where you are coming from. I had a short fuse for the first two weeks and after that is started to gradually wear off. I hit my one year mark last month. I still miss it some days but the cravings are few and far between now. Congratulations on giving it up! It is a big feat and it deserves celebration!! :)
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  1. "Smoking & Tobacco Use." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 1/02/2015 <Web >
  2. "Harms of Smoking and Health Benefits of Quitting." National Cancer Institute. 1/02/2015 <Web >
  3. Jerry Shaw "A List of Diseases Caused from Smoking." Livestrong.com. 23/March/2011. 1/02/2015 <Web >
  4. Brenda Rufener "The Smoking and COPD Connection." Healthline. 1/March/2012. 1/02/2015 <Web >
  5. "Smoking & Cardiovascular Disease (Heart Disease)." American Heart Association. 1/02/2015 <Web >

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