EX-SMOKER to NON-SMOKER.

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I never thought in a million years that I can quit smoking.  I have been smoking as long as I can remember and have tried a couple of times to kick off the habit but failed.

There were many ways in which I tried to quit.  I tried cold turkey.  I tried using Zayban or Welbutrin.  I tried replacing smoking with electronic cigarettes.  I also tried eating sunflower seeds to help me quit because someone told me that if I keep my hands busy, I can replace the habit with it.  That didn’t work either.

The latest smoking cessation assistance that I took was the patch.  I tried Nicoderm CQ Step 1.  I was at BJ’s Wholesale Club a few days before Lent and I thought to myself, maybe I should give up smoking for Lent.   I didn’t think I was going to be successful with it.  One motivator was my gym trainer.  He told me that he will help me quit smoking by working out more.

A couple of days after Ash Wednesday, I decided to put on the patch.  I wanted to just go through a day without smoking.  I was able to last 24 hours without smoking (maybe due to fear of getting a heart attack.  I heard that if you use the patch and smoke at the same time, you are at risk of getting a heart attack due to nicotine overdose).

Since that time, I have not smoked.  I advertise my progress on Facebook and I received a lot of support from friends and family.  The next motivator was the cost of cigarettes that I would otherwise be spending if I continued to smoke.  I downloaded an iPhone app called #SinceIQuit.  It keeps track of how long and how much cigarette I haven’t smoked.  The best part is, it keeps track of the cost as well.

This is what I’ve saved in the last eight weeks:

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Unbelievable right?

Now – the money I have saved has become my motivator.  I booked a ticket to Chicago, IL for a lot less than the money I have saved.  It will be my gift to myself.  It will be a good time to reconnect with friends in Chicago and a way to pat myself in the back for quitting successfully.

I have to let you all know though that there are three steps.  I started with Nicoderm CQ 21 mg.  Then, I moved on to Step 2 which is Nicoderm CQ 14 mg.  I am now on Step 3, Nicoderm CQ 7 mg.   If I’m successful, I will be off Step 3 and not worry about using a patch anymore.  There have been a couple of days when I didn’t have a patch on and I was fine.

The health benefits of quitting smoking is overwhelming.   I can run on the treadmill longer now that I was able to before when I used to smoke.

To make this as real to me as possible, I decided to join two events.  I joined the Electric Run in Philadelphia which is a 5K (3 miles) run, and the Rock and Roll Run (13.1 miles).

I have to train for the 13.1 mile run.  The 3 mile run is simply for fun but also to get me in the mood to train for the Rock and Roll run.   The Rock and Roll run will be my crowning moment for quitting smoking.  If I can do it, so can many of you.

I have smoked longer than many of you have lived in this world.  To know that I was able to quit should give you an inspiration to do so as well.

When I tried to calculate how much money I’ve spent smoking since I started, I was surprised to find that I spent almost $100,000 US dollars!!  Unbelievable but true.

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I don’t want to turn high-and-mighty to any of you because I know how difficult it is to quit.  But if you are ready, I would suggest that you try Nicoderm CQ.

I am slowly in the process of becoming a non-smoker.  As much as I enjoyed smoking before, I can no longer enjoy them now.  The stench, the eye-irritation, the coughing and shortness of breath are things that I don’t miss.  I can also say that I have lowered my risk in getting a heart attack and eliminated a lot of possible health problems I could have as a smoker.\

I am proud of me.

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