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By EmpowHER February 28, 2008 - 2:27pm
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Are you trying to quit smoking but can't? Have you quit and want to share what's worked? Share your stories now.

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That was a great quitting smoking story! It was helpful to hear your real struggle with quitting, and how much a part of you smoking was...it almost sounded like you were talking about your best friend (that you refused to go places, do things without it!)

I think your story can help inspire others who are struggling.

Congrats again on your successful quitting! You are a quitter!

March 1, 2008 - 3:51pm

Have you all heard of this? I think it is truly amazing the power of nicotine. Nicotine is compared to heroin in regards to their "addictive potential": 9 in 10 people who use either substance will be come addicted. That is compared to 2 in 10 people who will become addicted when using alcohol or marijuana. It's unbelievable that the tobacco companies are getting away with legally selling the only product, when used CORRECTLY, that is dangerous. Alcohol gets a bad rap, a lot of publicity, but can actually be used in a healthy way, does not have a high addictive potential in itself (taking away social and cultural factors)....unlike nicotine products.

Susan---that is so interesting that you said you "loved smoking from the get-go", as many of the individuals that I counseled on quitting, or preparing to quit, said the exact same thing. It is a love/hate relationship.

March 1, 2008 - 3:18pm

You are a strong woman!

I've never been a smoker, but I'm married to one. He's having a terrible time trying to quit, and he has tried so many different methods. Tonight, our younger son teased him by saying (his dad) wouldn't be able to ride in (son's) private plane, when he becomes a rich and famous music producer, unless he (dad) quits smoking!

February 29, 2008 - 8:39pm
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At the risk of repeating anything I have already said about this terrible addiction, this is my story.

I started smoking at about age 13, just on and off. But by the time I was 16 I smoked daily and from 17.5 years old on I smoked over a pack a day until I just turned 31. Awful.

I loved smoking from the get-go. I loved how it tasted, felt and even smelled! I spent all my time on the balcony or patio at parties so I could smoke, most of my friends were smokers (birds of a feather and all that!) and I even skipped parties and weddings that I knew were to be smoke free.

I had tried to quit before but was simply too addicted. I began to suffer chest pain before I turned 30 and realized I had to do something, even though the thought of quitting literally made my palms sweat and my heart pound.

My then fiance (now husband) and I took a trip to Australia in 2001 and almost every activity we did depended on whether I could smoke. We took a trip out to the Great Barrier Reef to scuba dive but couldn't go in a glass bottomed boat because those boats were smoke-free. So I selfishly demanded a regular boat. Every restaurant had to be a smoking restaurant and every trip depended on whether smoking was allowed. Here we were, on the trip of a lifetime, and it was all me, all-smoking, all the time.

Before we got married, my husband and I had discussed having children and agreed that there would be no children if I refused to quit because we are both so against smoking in pregnancy. But I wasn't about to let a cigarette dictate my future like that and I hated feeling so weak and dependent. A little nicotine junkie.

So a month later I talked to my doctor who prescribed me Zyban and I took a deep breath and quit.

I removed every ash tray and lighter from my home.

I stopped socializing with my smoking co-workers and explained why.

I stayed out of bars for nearly 6 months.

I allowed no smoking in my home.

I bought a ton of books on CD to occupy myself on the frequent long trips I took because I smoked in my car all the time.

I kept a journal

I also cried a lot, suffered terrible insomnia and panic attacks. I was extremely anxious and moody and obsessed over cigarettes for nearly a year. It was two full years before I stopped thinking about them. It was really, really hard. Harder than pregnancy, natural labor or the pain of a c-section.

Those are the cold hard facts about addiction!

But 7 years later, I am healthy, suffered no weight gain, have had 3 kids, am no longer an absolute slave to a cigarette. I don't even think about them anymore and I never thought that could happen!

I really do believe that if I can do it - anyone can. It's painful, drawn-out and hard - but this is the nature of addiction.

This weeks edition of Newsweek has Addiction as it's front cover and lists the top 5 addictions that are hardest to beat and of course nicotine is one of them.

I admire everyone who has quit and will do anything to support someone else's efforts to quit. I remember how hard it was and fully understand the trauma of quitting.

But boy, is it worth it!

February 29, 2008 - 2:01pm
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