Why do I Want to Quit Smoking?

I would say that I picked up my smoking habit almost two years ago but, the truth is, smoking picked me up.  Slowly, those tiny white tobacco sticks creped into my life and took over.  What was once an occasional indulgence, became a routine necessity and daily purchase. I would grab a smoke as soon as I woke, causing my morning cigarette to take precedence over my morning coffee. I would smoke on the way to work, on my first break, on my way to grab lunch, on my way back from lunch, on my afternoon break, on my way home from work, and several throughout the evening until I savored my last light-up right before bed.  My hand seemed empty unless a Marlboro was resting between my fingers. This ridiculous necessity has started to irritate me.

I have never been fond of fostering a habit.  It makes me feel imprisoned and powerless. However, I had somehow gotten it in my head that I would not be able to give up this addiction. After all, I had tried several times to set down the habit but always gave in to the temptation to take another drag. My pack-a-day habit had its claws in me. The resistant part of my personality is quite upset with my personal lack of resolution and self-control.  And, it is that strong individual who resides within me that is now rising up with determination to kick this habit for good.  I will stop smoking.

For those individuals who might be struggling with the same desire to quit vs the willpower to do so, I have decided to share my personal reasons for quitting.  Perhaps this may provide some motivation for smoking cessation as my fellow soon-to-be non-smokers add their own reasons to the list below:

Powerful Potency. 

As I mentioned above, I do not like the idea of being addicted to something.  My personal need for control causes me to feel trapped in that, instead of me having power over something, something has power over me. Because there are withdrawal symptoms from nicotine, quitting smoking can be very difficult for most people.  I have decided to use those withdrawal symptoms as motivation, realizing the hold cigarettes have had on me and determining to release that hold for good.

Stinking Smelly Stench.

Perfumes, deodorizers and body sprays merely mask the fact that I smell like an ash tray. Granted, I have gotten accustom to the smell on most occasions.  But, I am sure that those around me have not.  I notice the stench when I enter my vehicle or bring my hands to my face.  I smell it on my clothing and in my hair and it disgusts me.  I hate smelling like smoke and miss the days when others used to compliment my choice of fragrance. One of the things I am looking forward to most about being a non-smoker is ridding myself of smoke’s unpleasant scent.

Tinted Teeth.

What good is the perfect shade of lipstick if my smile is tarnished by the yellow indication of the teeth of a smoker? I had considered buying a $50 teeth whitening kit but decided it would be a futile attempt if I were still smoking.  One of my rewards for kicking the habit will be the whitening of my teeth.  I cannot wait to have the smile (and the breath) of a non-smoker!

Butts and Ash, Packs and Cash.

Open up the door to my GMC and you will find a plethora of cigarette packs cluttering the door panels and center console. Remnants of ash scatter the floorboard and cigarette butts have been littered along my drive. I might as well be leaving dollar bills everywhere and flicking quarters out my window.  My husband and I spend over $300.00 each month supporting our smoking habit. I am ready to clean up my life and my bank account.

Stifling Social Stigma. 

One of my husband’s friends told me that "pretty girls don’t smoke," as he admonished me to "put that thing out."  I took it as a compliment at the time, but it is true that there is an assumption of class and cleanliness that goes out the window when a cigarette is in hand.  My mother always said that pretty is as pretty does.  I am ready to have some prettier habits and get rid of this ugly smoking habit.

Hindering Health and Happiness. 

Not only does nicotine and tar lead to various types of cancers, strokes, and heart attacks, but smoking negatively effects every part of the body.  Since I was recently diagnosed with diabetes, I have been strongly encouraged by my doctors to quit smoking in an effort to better manage my blood sugar levels.  Not only my physical health has been effected by this drug, but my mental health as well.  When I started smoking, it was mostly due to the stress and anxiety in my life, which were greatly increased by my clinical depression.  What I did not realize is that smoking can actually contribute to depression.  Since I have worked so hard to, thankfully, escape the dark cloud of depression, I am eager to rid myself of anything that might be inhibiting my emotional well-being, not-to-mention the guilt that comes with knowing how secondhand smoke effects my family. It is time to be healthy, mind, body and soul.

Daughter’s Dread.

"Mommy please stop smoking," my daughter has implored me each time she has seen me with cigarette in hand.  It has been hard to see the terror in her eyes.  See, her Nana died from pancreatic cancer. Couple this with the fact that her kindergarten class had a guest speaker come in a show the difference between a non-smoker’s lungs and the lungs of a smoker, while specifically telling the children that smoking causes cancer. This information was enough to fill her little heart with panic and beg me to stop smoking. Pleas from my children were the final incentive to lay my cigarettes down.

Now, I feel I have the motivation and the mind-set to conquer my smoking addiction and become truly smoke free. I have heard that those who stop smoking, feel the health benefits within a day.  I am anxious to see if that is true. As I continue on this journey to contain and restrain my tobacco temptations, I will share what I learn in the hopes of encouraging others like me to quit smoking.