It takes a smoker an average of 7 times to quit for good. Quitting is hard to do, but NEVER give up.
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Brenda Simmons’ Story
Brenda started smoking at the age of 16. She grew up in a family where there was smoking, and she wanted to feel “grown.” She smoked for 23 years bringing her smoking habit to a halt in 2002. She admits her main fear of quitting back then was that she would gain weight. Brenda made the decision to quit anyhow because she knew the benefits outweighed the health consequences she faced if she continued to smoke. Brenda was well aware of one of the health consequences known as COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease). She says her light bulb came on when she reminisced about how her grandmother suffered and passed away from COPD as a result of smoking.
Her grandmother was confined to a wheelchair and was on a continuous flow of oxygen. For some time she was her caregiver and remembered how embarrassed her grandmother was to go out in public because of her condition. She didn’t want people to see her carrying an oxygen tank around with her. Brenda’s grandmother’s breathing was so compromised she could not sleep lying down, but instead propped up. Brenda also remembered how her grandmother would cough up phlegm and have throat irritation from smoking her Pall Malls for so many years. There was nothing the doctors could do for her.
Another motivation for Brenda was her children. She remembers smoking in the car while her children complained from the backseat about her secondhand smoke. One day she made up her mind she had smoked her last cigarette, and she never looked back. Like so many others, Brenda quit cold turkey. She threw out all cigarettes in her home and did not allow others to smoke in her home. She stayed motivated by praying and practicing daily meditation.
Quitting did not come without its challenges. One day Brenda had a strong urge to stop at a store to buy a pack of cigarettes, but she managed to pass the store without stopping. Now when she sees other smokers in public she prays they will kick the habit too because she knows all too well what they stand to lose.
When asked what she would tell other smokers, she stated “Quitting is doable. If you relapse, just try again. We only have one life and your health is your greatest asset.”