I can’t believe tonight will be a whole month without using any nicotine. I have quit smoking for a month several times before, but this is so different. My past quit attempts left me addicted to other nicotine delivery devices. Leading up to this quit I had been addicted to nicotine lozenges for over a year, I used them and smoked cigarettes constantly. When I couldn’t have a cigarette I would have a lozenge in my mouth. Occasionally I would smoke cigars, I tried the e-cigarettes, the inhalers, the gum, the patch, and I even tried oral tobacco to break up the routine. ( It was a real nicotine addicts heaven, but in reality it was hell).

Before finding this site I thought I was accomplishing something by giving up the cigarettes, but all the time I would still be on the lozenges, or some other form of nicotine. I was in a state of constant withdrawal. This time, in my first week of quitting cigarettes, I went online for support and found Why Quit.com.

After a few days of reading and watching the videos I decided to really go for it. I threw away the lozenges and stopped using all nicotine on January 9, 2011 at 11:00PM E.S.T. I downloaded a quit counter and set it to zero. Now, faster than I could have dreamed, it is at 1 month of nicotine freedom.

I originally named my first post journal “ 4 Decades Of Lies” because I have been smoking for over 40 years. The lies I was talking about was aimed at the tobacco and pharmaceutical companies, and the government for letting them do all that lying to us. After working this program for the last month I came to realize that I was doing the lying to myself for all those years. I never “liked” or “loved” smoking, cigarettes were not my friend, it was not O.K. to substitute NRT for cigarettes and think I was doing myself a big favor (it always lead me back to smoking anyway), I thought smoking was a bad habit, I told myself I wasn’t addicted, it was alright to have just one while I was trying to quit. I thought I couldn’t live without smoking, I would never be able to quit for the long haul, nicotine feedings were not my #1 priority, I could never go a whole day without wanting a cigarette, and one of my favorites - you have to die from something, why not smoking? Etc. Etc. Etc. They were all lies to keep me feeding myself nicotine.

I have learned so much on this site. I really believe that this time, I will be able to make the transition to become an ex-smoker / recovering nicotine addict once and for all. I couldn’t have come to this realization without the wisdom and support of all the veterans of this site. I have been amazed at the wisdom of the people who have come before me. It is great that you continue to motivate and support all the newbie’s like me. Whenever I think of you Guys a saying comes to my mind: ASPIRE TO INSPIRE BEFORE YOU EXPIRE. You all have INSPIRED me, eventually as I learn more, I will ASPIRE to help new members with their quits like you do, and since we’ve all quit this addiction we will not EXPIRE as soon as we would have.

At this point in my quit it really helps me to just read a little each day, and strengthen my resolve for that day to not take a single puff. My urges are now very weak and don’t come very much anymore. They are easy to handle, but I know I have to always have my guard up.

Today I got some news about a Guy I used to work with. He left the company last year. It turns out that he got diagnosed with a lesion on his lung in December 2010. He was an active smoker for many years, and he still smoked when he quit the company. He passed away in January of 2011, the cancer spread to his liver and other organs. If he was waiting to “bottom out” before quitting he only had one month of life left after he first heard the news. There but for the grace of God go I, it shows how serious we all have to take our quits, we are truly fighting for our lives.

I’m sorry to be so long winded but it is my quit, my life, my journal, and my Green anniversary. I’m very proud to be a member of this group. Keep taking it one day at a time. NTAP

YQB Neal