Smoking is the #1 preventable cause of death in the United States.
- Over 440,000 smokers die each year from smoking related illnesses.
- More than 50,000 non-smokers die each year from secondhand smoke exposure.
I was a 1/2 pack a day smoker for 38 years (although I did quit for one or two years in the early 90’s). I didn’t have chronic bronchitis (according to the strict definition re: number of times per year one gets it), but there is no doubt I would have developed it had I continued. Moreover, when I did get bronchitis (I would develop it once a year or once every 1.5 years), it could linger for up to 2 to 3 months. In 2004, I had my worst case of it and had to go to the Emergency Room. I thought “finally lung cancer,” but thanks to God, I managed to dodge that bullet yet again. Then, in 2010, I developed blood clots. Smoking, in addition to leading a sedentary lifestyle, were now the next challenges I had to conquer if I wanted to continue to live. When my doctor (an oncologist in addition to being a hematologist) … gave me … not an ultimatum but just the simple truth … and knowing too that I had a condition that could kill me at any moment … I finally stopped cold turkey 6/10/2010.
Of course, I finished the cigarettes in my pack (I couldn’t throw away any unused cigarettes!) but after just a few days of being agitated, the addiction subsided. I also started to rigorously exercise. Easily, I walk briskly 5 miles at one time (80 minutes) most days of the week. I haven’t had a bout of bronchitis in 1.5 years, and the last time I had it (Feb. 2012) it only lasted 2 WEEKS and not MONTHS! Nor was it severe. Now, seldom am I ill. What’s worse (or better?) cigarette/pipe/cigar smells irritate my nose/chest. Walking around a small lake just last week, I was overtaken by the smell of two cigars.
This past Sunday, it was quite warm and humid (I live in a Chicago suburb). I easily smelled the admixture of cigarette smoke, hair chemicals, perfume, and fried food. When at church, I walked past several female parishioners. I love them, but I hate the smell! I look forward to reaching my what, 10 or is it 15 year mark when I believe my entire body will return to being that of one who never smoked. I worry still about certain oral and lung cancers but less so. As for strokes and heart disease … I know these are still possibilities, but, given how much I exercise, they seldom come to consciousness. Thanks for this opportunity to share. We must stop paying MONEY TO ALL TOBACCO COMPANIES to kill us! We must begin to say that we’re worth it……that we’re worth living!
I come from a long line of cancer in my family, many of which are not with us today. With a grandchild on the way, I wan’t to quit smoking for good. I don’t wan’t him asking me what I’m doing like my kids did. Cigarette smoke stinks and keeps me from doing what I wan’t to do. I wan’t to take back my LIFE!!! I have been trying to quit smoking for a long time, and it is a big struggle for me.
My kids stay on me about it, and my doctor talks very nasty at times telling me I’m going to have a stroke if I don’t quit. You would think that would be enough. I have taken pills to stop as well as gum, patches and the puffer cigarettes. I smoke about ¾ pack a day, and I am still trying to stop. This is a dumb habit I have, and I really want to quit. Thank you for caring.