According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention……Smoking and smokeless tobacco use are initiated and established primarily during adolescence. Nearly nine out of 10 smokers started smoking by age 18, and 99% started by age 26. Each day in the United States, more than 3,200 people younger than 18 years of age smoke their first cigarette, and an estimated 2,100 youth and young adults who have been occasional smokers become daily cigarette smokers.
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My name is Dorothy Smith, and I was a cigarette smoker for 36 years which seems like a very long time now that I sit and think about it. My husband and I have been married 40 years, and we smoked together. What I realized is I had to want to quit for myself. The more my family members or physician would tell me not to smoke, the more I wanted to continue. I had an addiction….an addiction to cigarettes.
I tried patches but would still smoke. I even tried to quit cold turkey, but it didn’t work. I even thought about getting hypnotized. I just didn’t have the willpower which is when I realized I truly needed help.
My lifesaver was a prescription from my doctor for Chantix. It was amazing. It really worked! It took away the urges to even pick up a cigarette. After only a few days, I no longer had the desire to smoke. For the first time, I wanted to quit. I discovered I could be around others who smoke and not even get the urge to join them.
Did I mention? I lost weight! I stopped coughing! I could actually participate in physical activity without losing my breath! I felt my lungs actually healing themselves! The best news: my husband was encouraged by my success and chose to also quit smoking!
My advice to young people would be NEVER START SMOKING. Don’t do it because it’s the “in thing” to do. I especially encourage young women to not smoke because quite frankly it’s just not cute.
I feel much better about my life since I stopped smoking, and I am looking forward to another 40 years with my husband!
Has your life been affected by cigarette smoking? Are you a former smoker? Did you quit for personal health reasons? How long did you smoke? Are you a current smoker? Do you know someone who died after years of smoking? We are always looking for new stories for our Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Blog. You NEVER know when your story could help someone else and encourage them to stop smoking. Send us your contact information below so we can tell YOUR story.