My Quit Story: It's Time to Quit Smoking for Good
So here's the truth: this is not my first time quitting smoking.
As a smoker for 42 years, I've tried to quit a few times – sometimes for months at a time – but I always found a reason to light up again. My husband is also a smoker, and we often found ourselves on opposite schedules. I'd be trying to quit while he was still smoking, or I was smoking and he was trying to quit. It was easy to slip up with one of us still smoking, and neither of us could stay smokefree for very long.
We'd always known that smoking was bad for our health, but it was just such a part of our lives that quitting was never a huge priority – until our health insurance changed. My husband and I are covered by a plan through his work, and under the new policy, we were told that our premiums would go up $100 a month if we continued smoking. So now, we have to take quitting more seriously.
At first, the insurance change annoyed me because it felt like we were being forced to stop smoking. But, once I sat down and really thought about it, and all the past quit smoking attempts we both had, being able to put down the cigarettes once and for all seemed like a good idea. I don't like the fact that I have to sit down after walking and I can't enjoy trips to the zoo or amusement parks with my grandchildren, who have asked me to quit for years. Plus, we are spending a lot of money on cartons of cigarettes each month. I realized by quitting, we could save money and be on paths to healthier lives.
I have a good feeling that this time I will be able to finally break my addiction to smoking. For one, I’m going into this quit smoking attempt with a plan. I’ve been told that I need to set a Quit Date, a day when I finally throw out all of my cigarettes, and start to live smokefree. Before then I need to identify my smoking triggers – the things that make me want a cigarette – and replace them with healthier behaviors, such as going for a walk, drinking water or having a snack on hand. Apparently, the first few weeks are the hardest, so I’m working through what that will feel like and how I’ll stay strong during those intense urges.
Second, I am not doing this alone. My grandkids are so excited that our house and car won't smell like smoke anymore. I have a few close friends who smoke, but more who do not and they are cheering me on. Mostly, though, my husband and I quitting together this time – no more opposite schedules. We'll be each other's cheerleader and rock when things get tough. Together, we are going to do this.