I started smoking at around age 11. I stole a few butts from the ash tray in my parents car. Winston Lights if I remember correctly. I switched to a different school while in 8th grade and I remember asking a kid where they go to smoke during lunch break. So, I guess that is when I was totally addicted to Nicotine... approx age 13.
I am currently 38 and quit cold turkey on my 38th birthday; April 18th, 2011.
I had tried several times to quit in the past and on one occasion actually quit for almost a year and a half! I had quit because I got laryngitis and couldn't speak. I inevitably relapsed on the notion that I could be a "weekend warrior" smoker... well, that didn't pan out so well as I went on to smoke 1.5-2 packs a day. And, over the past year and a half I consistently smoked 2+ packs a day with 3 or more packs on heavy drinking weekends... OUCH!
I own a landscaping business here in Phoenix, AZ and use a leaf blower almost every day which kicks up a TON of dust. If you take the dust and 40+ cigarettes a day you get what happened to me... At night while trying to go to bed, my wheezing and coughing became so annoying that I could hardly fall asleep. I could feel and hear this "snap, crackle and pop" in my throat and upper respiratory tract. I was becoming short of breath and dizzy upon the most simple of tasks. I was beginning to have chest pains and my normally bullet proof heart was beginning to have palpitations, my fingers and toes were going numb/pins and needles, and I was having pains in my legs that were right around where the femoral artery is... my regular "smokers cough" was getting a LOT worse, to the point where I would cough so hard that I would get dizzy and almost pass out. In short, I knew it was time to quit. My grandfather smoked 4 packs a day and died at age 57 of Lung/everything else in his body cancer and I WAS NOT GOING OUT LIKE THAT!
AMAZINGLY after just 8 short days, my wheezing is pretty much gone, my cough is pretty much gone and my lungs feel like they are able to take deep breaths again... for the first time in YEARS! I still have cravings and mood swings. As a matter of fact, I find myself on the brink of tears a lot which is weird because I can't remember the last time I really cried.
I didn't find this site until day 3 when a friend of mine who is something like 17 days in told me about it. All I can say is: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU A MILLION TIMES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I have told several others about this site including my wife who is setting a quit date for next month.
Ironically, I chose to quit cold turkey because it is my belief that if you use Nicotine Replacement, you are never really breaking the actual addiction to nicotine but rather, postponing the inevitable withdrawals. However, I was so determined to quit that I actually bought a weeks supply of the Nicotine Patch. I still have the unopened box sitting in my cabinet. I wonder if Walgreens will give me my $22 back if I return them... :)
Anyhow, thanks for all the support this site has been! Never another puff, Never another encounter with Nicotine. Ever.
Geoff - Free from Nicotine and Healing for Eight Days, 10 Hours and 47 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 1 Day and 4 Hours, by avoiding the use of 338 Death Sticks that would have cost me $109.88.