Real stories from people who have quit smoking

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Learn how Danish quit smoking


[Danish] For the longest time I kept justifying it to myself.

And then as I kept smoking, I just started feeling more and more controlled by it.

I picked up smoking during my university days.

Settling into a different culture was very different.

And there were not a lot of like South Asian people or people from my own culture that I could kind of like socialize with.

I was just looking for something to help me.

And I think I just chose smoking.

I never thought that I would be the person who would potentially get addicted to it.

I don't think it ever helped me.

It just became part of me.

So I had a few different attempts to quit smoking and I thought I'm strong enough so how hard could it be?

I just went back right into it.

I got a call from my father during the peak time of COVID around late 2020.

And I was told that my grandfather is ill, and he's been taken to the hospital.

He smoked for pretty much all of his life that I've seen him and known him.

Just seeing him in the hospital on that bed the first time I visited him and barely being able to recognize him.

The condition that I saw him in made me feel that I had made a big mistake of picking up smoking and I really need to quit it before it's too late for me.

Having attempted it a couple of times before with different strategies and not being able to work, I think I was just nervous whether this is again going to be a disappointment for myself.

But once I started developing that routine, it just became easier by day.

I really went back to the nicotine patches and the gum because when I think about the different attempts that I made, I did realize that the nicotine patches and the gums worked the best out of the other strategies that I had used in the past.

For me, the biggest thing was to learn to confide in my own brother.

He was a really big support system for me.

A big part of the idea is to just stick to the plan that you have.

It's not something that is going to work, at least it didn't work for me overnight.

It's a journey, but as long as I stuck to that, I think it really proved successful for me.

Quitting smoking has given me so much more.

In a way, I feel I've got my life back.

It definitely is challenging.

It's not easy, but if you really put your mind to it and learn enough, then you definitely can.

If anybody is thinking about doing it, they should definitely go ahead and take the next step.

Learn how Anne-Marie quit smoking


[Anne-Marie] I remember very distinctly the first time I bought a package of cigarettes.

I remember thinking that this is probably not a good choice, but that didn't stop me from smoking.

I continued smoking for years and years and years, and I woke up every morning with a raspy voice and a sore throat.

By the time lunchtime had rolled around, I can almost guarantee you I had smoked a half a package of cigarettes.

I was sick and tired of feeling sick and tired.

I quit buying cigarettes.

I hid my cigarettes.

Those tricks didn't work.

I watched my father die of lung cancer.

It's not fair to make people watch their family members die like that.

One of the last coherent conversations I had with my dad was him asking me to please quit smoking.

It took me a few years after that, but I did it, and I hope he's proud.

I'd seen other people stop smoking, and I saw the transition that they did, and it was not pleasant for a few days, but man, were they ever happy.

I wanted that.

The day that I made a plan, that I really truly made a plan, that I am going to quit, and I spoke to my doctor, and I went on a medication to help me, and I chose my quit date, and I told everybody I knew, "This is my day. I'm quitting."

All of those steps, it was one step at a time, and it worked.

With the varenicline, it just helps to take the craving away.

I just needed something to help me, to just make different choices, and for those choices to become natural.

It was freeing.

I was no longer chained to anything but the limits I put on myself.

I trained like a mad woman to do a half marathon, and I did it.

I want my kids to remember me walking a half marathon, and I want them to remember me having fun with my grandchildren, and teaching them how to sew, and loving my life.

It doesn't really matter how many times I tried before.

It was the last time that worked.

Learn how Jay quit smoking


[Banjo playing]

[Jay] When I was smoking, I always thought there would be this milestone.

I'm like, okay, I'll smoke from now until this point, and then I'll stop.

But then there's always a reason to continue.

The end of a term, the end of a school year, by this birthday, and then you get a girlfriend who smokes, and then you smoke together, or then you get dumped, and then you're stressed, and you smoke.

I never ran out of reasons to continue.

I probably tried to quit smoking for the first time in grade 12.

I've tried cold turkey, slowing down, and it just, it ramped down, and then it would ramp up again, and then I'd just throw the towel in, and I'd be back to smoking.

And then kids, and that was a big one.

I'm like, okay, as soon as I have kids, that's for real.

But the stress of having kids caused me to smoke even more.

So, it kind of feeds itself.

As COVID started, my smoking went up.

And then a moment happened where I was out in the shed and I lit a cigarette, and then I heard, "Dad?" And I looked over and my son was sitting on the couch and saw me smoking.

It was devastating.

They didn't know.

I hid it well.

When I saw his face, it was just like that.

And I was like, all right, it's time.

And so, I started my plan, met with my doctor, and began the process.

The doctor suggested I take bupropion and I thought, why not?

Everything that's gonna help me do this is worth giving it a go.

I just was focused on the goal, and this was just another tool in my kit to get to the goal.

People are now going to podcasts and this kind of thing to help.

And I gotta say, that was super helpful for me.

And there are these podcasts out there where you can hear from people who've done this what each day is like.

So, you have a check-in.

In that process of quitting, I started to see all kinds of new benefits, particularly the financial benefits.

And so I was like, I haven't been spending this money for decades.

So, I kept the money for myself and just started buying awesome stuff.

Everyone's awesome stuff is different.

For me, it was a one-man band suit.

It was toys that my mother threw out from when I was 10.

I went to auctioneering school.

I bought a sitar.

The rewards just keep on giving and giving.

Like we've traveled, we've done all this stuff.

But I would say to someone who's trying to quit or thinking about quitting, you are in control.

Do it your way and then reap all the benefits for you.

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