Cigarette smoking for me didn’t happen until I was a senior in college. I spent late nights studying and my dorm mates thought “smoking” could keep me company as I studied.
Unfortunately for me, about the time I made smoking a habit, The Surgeon General’s report announced the hazards of smoking on a smoker’s health. My dorm mates quit but I was hooked to a hazardous smoking habit. I continued to smoke for the next 17 years. I heard the Stop Smoking commercials, comments, and questions. My friends’ husbands talked about how their hair smelled after they had been around me. I didn’t want to be nasty. On the radio, the expert said that smoking is a form of suicide.
My daughter was a baby and I didn’t want her to grow up without a mother. I read and heard about Stop Smoking programs and how to quit. Finally, there was a program at a nearby hospital without a fee. It was offered for voluntary donations. The program consisted of physicians’ volunteering their time to describe the condition of smokers’ bodies, videos featuring families effected by a smoker’s habit and methods for changing the habits of a smoker to those of a nonsmoker. I wanted to be clean and smell good. I wanted to live a healthy long life and I wanted to live to be my daughter’s mother. The first night of the class I quit.
In 1976, I had a relapse when I moved to a place where everyone was smoking. I gradually started smoking again. I hated it and soon realized that I was eating to make the smoking taste better as well as gaining weight and feeling fatter and irritable. Fortunately for me, I had an emergency appendectomy and ended up in a nonsmoking hospital that was in 1978. I have never smoked again. Thank God.
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.
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