According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, when you use tobacco products, nicotine is quickly absorbed into your bloodstream. Within 10 seconds of entering your body, the nicotine reaches your brain. It causes the brain to release adrenaline, creating a buzz of pleasure and energy.
The buzz fades quickly though, and leaves you feeling tired, a little down, and wanting the buzz again. This feeling is what makes you light up the next cigarette.
Since your body is able to build up a high tolerance to nicotine, you’ll need to smoke more and more cigarettes in order to get the nicotine’s pleasurable effects and prevent withdrawal symptoms.
IT’S TIME TO QUIT! SET YOUR DATE TO QUIT!
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My tobacco addiction journey began when I was just 15 years old. I quit at the age of 66. Yes, you read that correctly. I smoked for more than 50 years. I began smoking because all of my friends were. Honestly, at the time, I enjoyed it.
I, however, am proud to say I have been tobacco free now for 38 weeks. My quit journey has not been easy though. Several years ago, I wanted to quit. I really did. I attempted to stop cold turkey. When that didn’t work, I opted to use patches and then took Chantix. Unfortunately, I had really bad dreams (one of its side effects). Nevertheless, I still stopped smoking temporarily.
Then, I had a heart attack in 2009 and my house flooded in 2010. The stress caused me to start smoking again. I will be honest. I enjoyed smoking and still had the cravings. I would smoke nearly two packs of cigarettes a day.
I woke up one day and realized I had to WANT to quit. I had to prepare myself to quit. I had to set a date quit. And that is exactly what I did.
I realized how much money I was spending every week, and it was a huge motivation for me to begin my tobacco-free journey. Here I am 38 weeks later still tobacco-free because of my desire to want to live a healthier life, the support of my co-workers, the encouragement from my wife and daily prayers. I take it one day at a time….asking God every single day for the strength not to smoke.
I no longer have bad odors on my face, hands or arms. My dentist is pleased with my progress.
For those who still smoke but want to quit, you have to determine what will work for you. Everyone is different. If I can quit smoking after 50+ years, I know you can!
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.