I was ready to quit smoking before my Quit Day. Once I convinced myself that I was going to stop smoking, there was no turning back.

I have heard so many former smokers talk about health problems they have had because of smoking. One woman told me she had constant cases of strep throat, and another man shared with me how he had to be on portable oxygen. Also, my sister-in-law is a smoker and she lives with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). I, too, have started to feel the cigarettes taking over my health; I hate feeling out of breath after a short walk. These stories stick with me, and I know that my health will only get worse if I keep smoking. Quitting and staying smokefree will be critical to improving my health.

Smoking has been part of my everyday life for 42 years – a cigarette in the morning, one after breakfast, one after lunch – you get the point. To eliminate temptations, I removed all the things that reminded me of smoking. I went through our house and removed every ashtray, lighter and cigarette. Though my daughter still smokes, I declared that our house and my car are now smokefree zones. I knew from my previous attempts that having smoke in the home could be a trigger, and I didn't want to give in this time.

I also came up with a plan of attack for my smoking urges. I used carrots, celery, fruit and other veggies to help me last the urges. I knew that being out with friends at bars and restaurants would be the hardest, so I made a plan. The next time that I was at the bar I planned to get up and go outside with them when they started smoking, hoping the fresh air and socialization could help curb the cravings.

And last but not least, I recruited my support system. I have my husband, who is also quitting, but I asked my granddaughter and daughter to help keep me accountable. I told them that I couldn't do it without them, and they agreed to do all they could to see me through my quit journey.

The weekend before my official Quit Day, I was so motivated to just be done with cigarettes. I had already stopped smoking, thinking that I wouldn't have another, but then I got stressed and reached for my daughter's pack. I took two puffs and realized how silly it was. I was over smoking. I didn't put that cigarette out though, and finished it two days later. It was disgusting, and I didn't enjoy it, but a friend reminded me that it was one cigarette over two days – that's nothing! I knew then that I was officially done.

When my Quit Day on Tuesday, I knew that I had had my last cigarette, and I was pretty proud of myself. This next week smokefree will definitely test me, but I'm feeling confident.

Previously, Dorothy shared her reasons to quit.

Dorothy K., of Lansing, Illinois, shares her story of quitting smoking in the series, "My Quit Story."  Follow along, and share your own story on Facebook and Twitter with #MyQuitStory.

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