You want to Quit Smoking? - we can help

Hi, my name is Andy and I'm a smoker. It is nearly three years since I smoked my last cigarette, so I guess you might now call me a non-smoker. Unfortunately, I will always be a smoker even if I never smoke another till the day I die. Fortunately I realize this and I'm lucky enough to have a wife who understands (active smoker, 30 a day) and who has helped me stop from lighting up on several occasions.

My aim on this small corner of the Internet is to provide information which may help you to give up without having to go through what I did. Apart from my story, I have scoured the Net to find as many useful articles and resources as I can which will hopefully strike a chord with you and maybe one will give you the inspiration to put your desire to quit, into action.

I always enjoyed smoking, I mean, I really enjoyed it. Forty a day, from first waking breath in the morning till last thing at night before going to bed. I still miss it and writing this makes me want one right now. But I'm an intelligent rational person with four children, two boys in their twenties from my first marriage and a nine year old boy and 3 year old girl second time around. Do we want them to smoke? Of course not. Also, as I am in my mid-40s, I started to think it would be nice to be around to see them all grown up with kids of their own and maybe walk my daughter down the aisle one day.

Throughout my smoking life I always had a cough, mostly in the mornings but sometimes it was worse than normal. Occasionally I would get pains in my chest from coughing so hard that I pulled a muscle or strained something but paracetamol and/or ibuprofen for a couple of days would keep the pain under control till it healed. In February 2005 I had one such spell of coughing and decided to try to cut down to 10 cigarettes a day with the aim to give up gradually. I did OK the first couple of days but on the third day my 10 were all gone by lunchtime. After lunch I fell asleep on the sofa and I haven't smoked since.

What happened? Did I have a vision in my dream? No. What happened was, when I woke up I couldn't breathe in. Every time I tried, I got the most excruciating shooting pain in my chest. My painkillers had worn off while I slept and it turns out that I must have torn something in my chest pretty bad with my coughing. The next half hour, while I waited for the painkillers to kick back in again, all I could do was breathe in and out in rapid shallow breaths. A couple of times when I tried to take a deeper breath, I nearly passed out with the pain. If I had had anything stronger in the house I would have taken it but I just had to wait it out and eventually it started to ease.

That was it, decision made. When I told my wife that I wasn't going to smoke any more, at first she thought I meant I wasn't going to break my new 10 a day cut-down limit. When I explained that I meant that I was quitting for good I know she didn't believe I could do it but I was determined. For me, I knew the hardest thing would be the first full day without one. If I could do that then I knew I could do another day and another, one day at a time.

I have never believed in nicotine gum or nicotine patches because, for me, I knew that as long as I kept up the nicotine level in my system I would always have the craving. The quicker I could get that clean out of my body, the better. At the time I didn't know about nicotine-free herbal patches but if I had, I'm sure I would have been able to use them to make those first couple of weeks a lot easier, not just on me but on my family as well!!

In all my research on kicking the habit and the systems people use and the help that is out there, the biggest revelation to me is how effective herbal preparations seem to be in helping people to break their nicotine dependency. Whether it be patches, pills or non-addictive herbal smoking blends, I believe that anyone who is serious about trying to quit should give at least one of them a try.

I have found a couple of stores that have a range of natural "quit smoking" products and testimonials from satisfied customers. If you give them a try please write to me and let me know how you get on? Maybe your story can give someone else the inspiration they need to help them quit too.

Thanks for reading my story and good luck with yours.

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