Shared Stories

From real dudes just like you
  • Stan

    Here I go again
    I have been smoking again for 5 years, the past couple of months pretty much chain smoking. I did quit for five years ago, and at that time I had paid for classes in a mixed martial arts class. I was smoking at that time, but could not keep up in the class. I came home and told my life's partner at the time, I either quit smoking or suck up the loss in money for the class. I quit. I felt great, my partner continued to smoke but I managed not to smoke. I loved the heavy breathing and the sweating from all the effort, I made it to one below my black belt, fantastic. Then we moved, I stopped the mixed martial arts class and with the stress of moving, I reached for a smoke from my partners pack, and was right back at it. My partner died of a heart attack, so I just kept on smoking. I am a total addict, but I am stopping again. I sat down and figured out what I am spending on smoking, it is well over 6 thousand bucks a year, that is a lot of money up in smoke. I am so lucky I have found myself another partner, who quit smoking, and we are moving into another place, and I don't want to be smoking in this house. The money save from not smoking would pay for most of the rent. Then of course the health reasons. I am 60 have been puffing away since my early teens with the exception of a couple of times that I quit. Exercise was a great benefit to quit smoking last time, so I will start by having long walks, hopefully at 60 go back and get that black belt.
  • Christopher

    Working on quitting

    Hello everyone . My name is Christopher and I have been smoking for over half my life and I'm 48 now. I can't believe I ever started but I did and I know I have to stop. I went to the doctor last Friday and she said it's in the mind you can do it! I haven't had one since Monday March 14, 2016 at 6:30 pm and today is March 18, 2016 830 pm and let me tell you it's the hardest thing to do since I have tried before and failed of course. And cold turkey by the way this time, but I'm hanging in there and I am stressed out by the thought of never smoking again but I know it's gonna get easier.

    I want one so bad but I don't want to start over again. I'm tired of that and the first 3 days are the worst but it's getting a little easier. I hope I can stick with it - deep breaths!!! It's only going to make me sick if I keep smoking and no one needs that. Good luck to you all and I will keep reading your stories cause it helped me to read them!

  • Skier17

    Saving a car payment a month:)
    So I've been smoking for 8yrs and I've had it. I'm 24yrs old and I've already wasted thousands of dollars on smokes. Now with my wife not being able to work because of a car accident we needed to save more money as well I've been hiking lots and have found it hard to justify lighting a smoke on top of a mountain. I haven't had a smoke in 25 days and I feel great, I have learned that it doesn't matter how much people tell you to quit you never actually will until you 100% truly want to quit. One thing that helps me is having a bag of spits.
  • bain187

    It's Time

    Hey there everyone, My names is Brian, I've been smoking for the better part of 30 years. yes I started as most do in their early teens falling prey to "cool kids crowd". I have smoked taylor made as well as rolled cigarettes and even butt cigarettes.

    well I can't say I haven't tried quitting before, because I have. actually I had quit before I had spent a year smoke free, due to some poor choices on my part I picked up that cigarette again and well here I am again 10 year later! So for the past 5 years now my son has watched me and has grown up seeing his dad "go out for smoke" and well that really started to get under my skin to know that my son is watching learning his fathers habits, he knew that before bed I always had smoke.

    I've always tried to make my son's life a priority and since the birth of him. I've always thought somewhere down the line I want to see my grand children, then I started thinking what kind of health am I in? would I be able to be active with those children? how is smoking going effect my quality of life pertaining to my children? the more and more I though, the more and more I got scared. So I did what I thought was a step towards the good, I started cutting down. I started measuring my days with the numbers of packs per week, then down to smokes per day. I had worked my way down to(when at home) about 3 smokes per day, (when at work then home) about 6-7 smokes a day. that worked out to about 2-3 packs a week. So I carried on like this for the better part of a year now, no real sense of accomplishment or sense of pride, always with that gnawing fear in the back of my brain, random sore throats ( was it cancer?) but never able to commit to quitting ....

    Finally a weeks ago, Jan 20 I had come from work. it was my Friday as per usual I'll pick some beer has something to drink. well my son had gotten some flu bug, we had taken to the walk in clinic and the dr said there was nothing to be done about it and it has to let it run its course through him. So now we're at home my son is wrapped up in his blanket laying on the couch out for the evening and I'm sipping my beer. it was later in the evening and all of sudden, well I had an  itchy throat , a light couch all the while my son has been sick, I thought nothing of it. well I never finished my beer that evening and to day there's still 2 in the fridge untouched. Starting that evening I had had full blown flu, puking, fever, hot and cold flashes. 3 long grueling days , 3 long grueling evenings I suffered this flu virus. 3 days of no foods just liquids, minimal movements from tending to my son and myself throughout the days, while the wife worked.

    finally at the end of day three  - a ray of sun, I woke up head only minor throbbing , no fever!! I had realized in those 3 day I never once craved a cigarette let alone crossed my mind. So I figure , since Ive already started to quit ... lets keep going. So here I am , 9 days later no cigarette. no nicorette , no fake smoke , no patch. I take each craving 1 fight at time I don't think about tomorrow I don't think about next week, all that matters is now and the next 5 minutes, when a craving does come, all I do is distract my mind for 5 minutes! that's all it takes is 5 minutes and at the end of 5 minutes if I don't have a smoke, I've won one more step towards seeing my young boy become a man.

    To Whom ever should read this .... you can do it. Quitting smoking is the hardest thing any one person will do in their entire life. I don't envy anyone who has to do this, but anyone committed to quitting .... Just remember ... 5 minutes at a time ... you stick with that, and you hold on to your "reason" for quitting ... you'll be successful. Good Luck on your Journey to recovery.  Brian

  • James' story

    I think I can quit for good this time!

    When I was still in elementary school, it seemed like everyone was smoking except me.

    One day I went to borrow a dollar from the glove compartment in my brother’s car and headed straight over to the corner store. I walked in, slammed my dollar down and asked the clerk for a pack of smokes - for my mom that is. No questions asked. He took my dollar and gave me a pack of cigarettes, and I high-tailed it out of there. Minutes later, I became a smoker – and that day began my life-long battle with tobacco.

    Back then, a dollar was a lot of money. So much so I made that first pack of cigarettes last me for a whole month. But over time I started smoking more and more. And once I’d reached high school, I was smoking pretty heavily. 

    After graduating, I got a job in the sawmill. It’s an awesome job, and I love the fact that we can’t smoke at work. But I make up for it the minute I get home. I make a coffee and head to the bathroom off my master bedroom and smoke there.

    I’m a single dad with three children. All three of them have been such a blessing to me. I guess smoking a cigarette is like carving out a little ‘me time’ away from the stresses of daily life. 

    For a long time, smoking seemed to work for me – give me some comfort – that is until I was 40 and had a heart attack. That scared all of us, especially my kids. I learned that they want their dear old dad around for a long time, and I want to be here for them. Ever since, I’ve being trying to quit, but it’s hard.

    I tried the quit-smoking patch many times, the first being right after my heart attack. That time I managed to stop smoking for about a year. Then life stresses got in the way and I started again. Throughout my forties and into my fifties, I have quit many times – sometimes for months and sometimes for just a few weeks. Now I’m down to two to three cigarettes a day.

    I'm entering this contest, and might try calling one of the coaches that I can talk to when I come home from work.  I’m also going to make an appointment with my doctor and see if I can get a prescription for the quit-smoking pill.  Maybe together with a coach and the pill, I truly can quit for good this time!

  • Frank's story

    Working on quitting for good

    For many years I was the biggest anti-smoker you would ever meet. I could smell cigarette smoke from about 30 feet away. When I saw people smoking, it made me sick. There wasn’t anything I liked about it. Then things changed. And it wasn’t pretty.

    A buddy and I went off on a fishing trip up north. After a day out on the water, we decided to go into the local bar and play a few games of pool. During the middle of a game, I came back from the washroom to find my friend held down by three locals who had had way too much to drink. So of course I jumped in to help him out.

    It wasn’t long before we all found ourselves in a remand centre and that's where I started smoking. 

    I am an electrician by trade so I didn’t have any problem affording cigarettes. But by the time I was 40, I could start to feel the negative health affects from smoking and decided to quit. And I did cold turkey. Then life happened and I started smoking again, which began an ongoing course of stopping and starting.

    Sometimes I’d quit for a few months or even just for a few weeks. But the real clincher came for me when I was 47 and had a heart attack. I realized then that I had to try to quit if I didn’t want to die of heart failure. I also realized that nicotine is a very, very powerful addiction.

    That was about four years ago. And because I have had more heart trouble, I’ve quit smoking many times. Last summer I was able to get some nicotine patches. But just before the year-end holidays I felt really stressed. I wanted my grown children all to get along and enjoy the holidays together. And I found out I have another health issue that has crept back into my life and requires surgery very soon. Three days before Christmas, I started smoking again.

    But we’re now on the other side of the holidays. And I am determined to quit smoking before my surgery date in a few weeks. I’m down to four cigarettes a day, and tomorrow it will be three. I know that not smoking will help me recover for sure.

    I live about 28 kilometers from town, so I feel I have an advantage over town folks who are trying to quit. I just don’t keep cigarettes on my property. And when they are gone, they are gone. Without access to cigarettes, I can’t smoke.

    I used to beat myself up all the time for slipping back to smoking – used to consider myself a failure - because I know smoking just doesn’t make any sense. But now I pat myself on the back whenever I try to quit. Each time, I feel myself getting stronger and closer to becoming a permanent non-smoker. I truly hope I quit smoking for good this time.

  • Robert's story

    If you’re like me, and trying to quit smoking, keep trying.

    I grew up on a farm in Wolsey, Saskatchewan. I remember when I was about 12. I was hanging around all the cool, tough guys at school, and they all smoked. I wanted to be just like them. So I started smoking, too. By the time I was 15, I was smoking about a half a pack a day.

    Three years later I was outside having a cigarette when Dad saw me and said, “I see you’re smoking.” And I said, “Yeah, I’ve been smoking for awhile now.”  Both my parents were smokers so they hadn’t even noticed the smell.

    Once I started my first serious job driving truck, I was up to smoking two to three packs a day – mostly out of boredom. But I quit when I hit 30 – cold turkey.  I thought I’d better try getting healthy.

    After months of not smoking, I was still coughing up all sorts of nasty stuff.  I managed to do without cigarettes for about a year and half. Then my grandmother died.  I think all the tension at the time triggered my smoking again.

    Around age 35 I left trucking and started working in the oil patch.  We weren’t allowed to smoke on the job, but we made up for it by chain-smoking during our breaks and after work.  For years I smoked two to three packs a day, then about a year ago, together with my wife I decided it was time to quit.

    It's a rough go with stopping smoking and with life always getting in the way. My wife has been dealing with cancer, and we look after three grand kids 5 to 6 days a week - yeh, it's tough. But we keep trying to quit smoking.

    We got some free nicotine patches from the government. They helped a lot and together we managed to stop smoking.

    Unfortunately, we started again, and we're still trying to quit. I’m over 60 and so far I’ve managed to stop smoking my first two cigarettes in the morning. I wait as long as I can, and I’m down to about a pack and a half a day.  After smoking for 40 years, it’s getting hard to keep up – I get out of breath just walking from the house to the truck.

    If there is anyone out there that is thinking about starting smoking, I would say STOP RIGHT THERE. But if you’re like me, and trying to quit, keep trying. Never ever give up.

  • Steve's Story

    Wanted: life without smokes

    Smoking has always been a bit of a curiosity for me. Growing up, neither of my parents smoked but almost everyone else did. When I was about 14, I went to visit my brother. He’s ten years older than me and was a regular smoker. He used to roll his own cigarettes, so he asked me to roll him some – and I did.

    I immediately loved the sweet smell of the tobacco and how it felt as I molded it into the roller – and it wasn’t long into my visit before I rolled a smoke for myself without my brother knowing. It made me pretty sick.

    And I remember swearing to myself right then and there that I would never smoke again. But just a few months later, I was hanging out with some friends and they were all smoking. Well, didn’t I just start smoking too? I was young and invincible – what harm could it do?

    I am in my mid-thirties now. I work in the gas industry and my drive to work takes me about an hour. It’s a great job. I love it. But sometimes during wintry weather, it can get pretty stressful on the roads.

    In the morning I’m barely in the truck before I have my first cigarette, and I practically chain-smoke the whole time I’m driving, in part to alleviate the stress of driving on icy roads, but also for something to do. I’m up to a pack and half a day now. I can really feel it in my chest some days.

    When I’m home with the wife and kids, I only smoke about 10 cigarettes a day. And I never smoke in the house. Having to go outside into the cold sure cuts down on my smoking.

    Boy I wish some smoker had tapped me on the shoulder when I was 14 sitting at my brother’s rolling cigarettes and said: DON’T DO IT! Smoking is such a powerful addiction and based on my experience, it is so not worth it. Don’t let curiosity get the better of you. Not even for one single puff.

    I want to quit, and I`ve tried, but the smell of tobacco gets to me every time and I start up again. Now I’m learning about the stop smoking pill, and I’m hoping it will help me quit for good.

    Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things I`ve ever tried, but I refuse to give up. 

  • Cody's story

    One day I just said no. That`s it. I quit.

    When I was 15, I used to take my lunch breaks with my friends from high school. Most of them smoked. But because we weren’t allowed to smoke on the school grounds, we would go to a place just outside the property line. My friends would chain smoke, and then we’d all walk back to school for our afternoon classes.

    One day a close friend of mine asked me if I wanted a puff on his cigarette. I figured why not, so I took one. Just one single puff! And that was all it took to know I wanted another.Over the next couple days, I was taking more and more puffs. I wanted to smoke all the time. Nicotine was starting to take control over me. By day three, I bought myself a pack of smokes - the strong kind, and for about a year I smoked about a pack a week. By the next year, I was up to two packs a week. And I was drinking alcohol, too!

    I was heading down a slippery slope. My folks could see it. They’re non-smokers and really wanted my older brother and me to quit. But I wouldn’t listen to anybody at the time.

    It wasn’t long before I could tell that things were not going well, especially when I was working out in my physical education classes at school – my favorite of all classes. But at two packs a week, I could feel my chest tighten when I was running. I was huffing and puffing all the time. And then my eyes started watering and getting warm and fuzzy. Feeling my health get affected like that was pretty scary.

    I knew my parents were right. I had to stop. So my brother and I both decided it would be best to quit smoking and drinking at the same time. I looked at some websites including QuitNow to learn a bit about quitting, and what to expect. And we quit. We did it. Cold Turkey! At the beginning, my friends all supported me when I stayed in school during lunch breaks, away from the temptation of smoking.

    But in the end, I did lose a few friends, mostly because I didn’t have smoking and drinking in common with them anymore. But that’s ok really, because I feel much, much healthier. And I am glad I did it. And I am glad my brother did it, too! I’m so proud to be part of a non-smoking family.

    I am now 18. I have graduated from high school and am looking at my next steps. I have been told I would make a great teacher. I am also considering a career in the military. No matter what my future holds for me, I know smoking won’t be any part of it.

    If you’re out there and are reading this, know you can say NO THANKS to that first puff and not start smoking in the first place.

  • Wesley's story

    Don't give up!

    It’s easy to say "I am quitting tomorrow or next week." What I had to do was take my smokes and throw them in the toilet. If you don’t start now, you never will. If you falter and smoke, get back up and try again.

    It took me a good 5 years of trying and failing before I got it right. But I wanted to quit the entire time. I started by calling the Quit line. They helped me talk through my concerns and get me in the mind set to quit. It’s different for everyone but I found the Nicorette spray worked really well for me. Problem was that I got hooked on that for about a year. By that time I wasn’t smoking at all anymore so I transitioned to the gum. Then, once I was comfortable with the gum, I switched it up with non-nico gum and eventually cut it out altogether.

    I also found it important to start exercising. I saw how out of shape I was and increased my cardio. I felt my lungs healing and kept pushing. I am currently practicing sprints with a weighted sled. This would have been impossible and unthinkable when I smoked. That’s how I did it.

    The whole time I had to watch out for pitfalls. Until I was more confident, I had to avoid bars and alcohol. I learned about my anxiety and how smoking is a truly unhelpful crutch. You have to avoid people who smoke. If family members or friends you see regularly smoke, get them to join you. A quitting buddy is huge. My dad and I quit at the same time, I couldn’t have done it without his help.

    Oh, and don’t give up.