This Quit Story comes from Mrs. Gardner, an employee of LeMoyne-Owen College.


When I was a very little girl, I would always see my mother smoking that white paper that was burning on the end.

I thought how silly and bad that was for her. I would light that cigarette on the stove and carry it to her sometimes just to see what the rave was all about, I didn’t like it. I used to look at her and wonder what that was all about, putting that white paper between her lips and blowing  smoke through her nose. How did she do that? I was always puzzled, yet somehow impressed!

As time when on, I became a teenager and was still smoke free, and then upon graduation from high school, I entered college and was still smoke free. I entered into a relationship with my first husband that was truly not healthy, and out of nowhere, I was buying cigarettes and engaging to enter the smoking scene. I used them as a crutch when life got hard.

I eventually was successful and I smoked for over thirty (30) years about 2½ packs of cigarettes a day. I really, really, really LOVED it!!!! I would rather have smoked than eaten any day.

In 1986 my father died from lung cancer. It was horrible, but I thought, “Well, he was 68 years old,” and I convinced myself that he was old enough to die.

In 1987, to the day, my mother died from lung cancer, but I also believed that she was 59 years old and yet again made myself accept that she, too, was old and old people die, regardless.

In 2007, my first husband was admitted into the hospital, and I decided to visit him along with my second husband. When we entered the room, there was a very large tube lunged into his throat to assist him with his shallow breathing. It was very, very disturbing to see his not being able to breathe on his own with his lungs. I left totally and completely devastated, and it was then and there that I vowed that I did not want any doctor to advise me stop smoking; I had sense enough to care about me on my own.  Please, please do not allow yourself to be convinced by yourself that you “must die from something.” But you might just extend your chances of living a very long life by many, many years by stopping smoking now!!! You can do it!! I sincerely believe that my first husband’s death helped me to see the light!!

Trust me when I say that God gave to us our lungs to breathe the precious breath of life, not to blow smoke through.  And I then said to God, “I hear you.” I have been SMOKE FREE since May 2007, with no desire to engage in smoking again. Yes, there are many problems, and we truly think by lighting a cigarette, it will make it better. But the real truth is, it just might add to the problem down the road!!

Thank you God for strengthening me as only He could.


what is your story questionHas 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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