This is part of a series of letters from QuitNet members who shared their experience with quitting smoking using QuitNet, and offered their encouragement for others to do the same. If you'd like to share your experience or motivate a loved one or smoker who wants to quit,
please submit your story to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dear Sally / Sammy Smoker,
I am sure–just like me–you have thought about quitting smoking from time to time. Maybe you have even been a bit jealous of someone you know who has managed to quit. You will quit eventually, I just hope you do so sooner rather than later when you are forced to by illness.
You know there are loads of reasons to quit smoking. We see them all the time in ads, in the gross images on cigarette packages, and in all the dire health warnings. We know, on an intellectual level, that smoking is a crazy, self-destructive behavior. We know in our hearts how bad it is for us but the blind need caused by the addiction to smoke far surpasses, it seems, the logic that we should give it up.
Think about the power that tobacco addiction has over us. We know it is going to result in illness, but we keep doing it anyway. It is like intentionally jumping off a tall building and thinking everything is okay because we have not hit the ground yet.
Think about it: do we really want something to have that much control over us that we will risk our very lives to keep doing it? With tobacco addiction, we are not free to make choices because it chooses for us. It chooses how much we will smoke and when we will smoke, and if that does not happen in a timely manner, it punishes us with feelings of desperation, anguish, and remorse. The realization that I was not the one in control was what really did it for me. My tobacco addiction and my need to smoke to feed that addiction was constantly on my mind and affecting how I lived my life.
I started on the road to quitting because I wanted to get my life back.
Yeah, I know you think smoking is your friend… but think about it! Smoking takes up way too much of your time and your thoughts. It creeps into everything you do and everything you plan. Smoking is like having the most needy, grasping friend ever on your back all the time. You cannot do anything without it popping up and demanding your immediate attention. If that was a human friend, I strongly suspect you would dump them pretty fast.
At one time, smoking was my go-to thing to deal with stress, but it was only a fleeting band-aid at most. Whatever was inducing that stress was still there waving its red flag afterwards. I could have smoked a million cigarettes, but in the end, I needed to deal with my issues. Let’s not kid ourselves: smoking does not resolve stressful situations. We do that all on our own!
The other thing that is happening, my friend, is that smoking is becoming less and less socially acceptable. It is no longer allowed in many of the places we used to smoke. Now, figuring out where and when to smoke is just adding more stress to our lives. Stress reducer? Not a chance.
So, what do you say? Think about it. Maybe it is time to have a go–a real go–at getting your life back. Quitting has restored me. I am much more comfortable in my own skin and a much happier person in general. I am healthier, happier, free, more alive, and more self confident. Join me! I know quitting will do the same for you.
All the best,
Ready to quit?