It is a new year and now is the perfect time to end your nicotine addiction. Giving up tobacco can be extremely difficult, especially if you have smoked for many years, but it is one way to make sure you are living a healthier life in 2023. Three successful quitters spoke with us about their struggle to quit and how Freedom From Smoking gave them the tools they need to finally quit for good.
The Importance of a Support System
Kim knows all too well how difficult it can be to quit smoking, as she had tried several times before she was finally able to drop tobacco in 2018. “I had always quit cold turkey with no one to support me. When I started again, I couldn't imagine going through quitting again alone. Then I had the chance to join the Freedom From Smoking class,” she recalls. In the class, Kim was able to lean on others who understood her struggle and found that community to be invaluable. “This class not only changed the way I thought about smoking, but it changed the way I thought about quitting. Once I became aware of my behaviors around smoking and why I did it, I was able to change my behavior around it with the help of the class and my classmates,” she said. “When quit day came around, I had a plan in place and knew what I was going to do when I was triggered to have a cigarette. I knew that when I went through a stressful time, I could reach out to my buddy in the group, do breathing exercises or choose another coping mechanism.”
Kim’s Freedom From Smoking experience was so positive that she decided to stay involved and offer support to others by becoming an FFS panelist and facilitator. “I believe it really is the gold standard in helping people quit smoking because it recognizes using tobacco as an addiction, not a moral deficiency. It's based in positive behavior change rather than negative behavior change. It's giving people the choice to quit through building them up and showing them that they CAN do it, rather than finger pointing,” she said.
Working Toward a Healthier Life
Mark had smoked for over 35 years before he decided it was time to quit. Though he had made it through four heart surgeries and many health problems, including high blood pressure, his doctors made it clear that he needed to quit smoking, otherwise his health would continue to deteriorate. But it wasn’t until he ran into a friend who ran a group and encouraged him to try it out, that he finally joined a Freedom From Smoking class.
“A week into the class, I smoked my last cigarette. That was October 1, 2019, and I've been smoke-free ever since,” he said. “I feel so much better, I breathe better and my blood pressure is the best it's been in over 30 years. I'm so glad I made that decision to give the Freedom From Smoking classes a shot.”
Mark encourages anyone who wants to quit to give it a shot with Freedom From Smoking. “It's worth it and it definitely works. After all, I smoked for over 35 years and here I am, two and a half years smokefree and hopefully many more to come!”
Simple Practices that Really Work
Kindsey began facilitating Freedom From Smoking classes she knew little about the program. “I was skeptical because I thought ‘when people want to quit, they'll find a way,’ and that ‘there is no way there are actual tools to help mentally prepare and support someone in their 'quit smoking journey.’ Little did I know!” she said.
Kindsey was pleased to see that her clients excel and continue to come back to tell her how well they were doing. “Watching and working through the modules, then participating in the training blew my mind. There are actual evidence-based practices and years of research to back the curriculum of 'Freedom From Smoking.’ I will continue to stand behind what it teaches and enjoy educating those who have a desire to be smoke/tobacco-free.”
Blog last updated: August 25, 2023