My first cigarette was one that I swiped from my mom. I was waiting in the car while she ran into the drug store and decided to try it out. That first one wasn’t so great, but with my interest piqued and a couple of smoker friends, I was quickly on my way to a pack-a-day habit. I was 17 years old.
Over the next thirteen years, I had a lot of fun smoking.
While I was having all that fun, I also had a lot of colds and sore throats, dental work and smelly clothes, none of which were associated with smoking in my mind. Even so, I tried to quit a few times. I tried patches, lozenges and just plain willpower, but the thought of never smoking again was just too unimaginable to succeed.
Then I met my stepdaughter, who was just a toddler at the time. Suddenly, there was this little person who gleefully imitated everything I did. She was learning by watching me, and I couldn’t bear the thought of teaching her something as self-destructive as smoking.
I quit cold turkey on December 3, 2007 and I haven’t smoked a cigarette since. It wasn’t easy, but the positive changes in my health and, most importantly, the example I set for my children make the struggle well worth it.
If I can do it, so can you. Mark your calendar and join us for the American Cancer Society’s Great American Smokeout on November 15th. Upstate employees who quit for Smokeout day can claim a free cold turkey sandwich in the cafeteria for both the new non-smoker and a quit buddy.
Make the decision to quit, even just for one day, and take an important step toward a healthier life.