I stopped smoking 3 years ago

quitting smoking

Three years ago I wrote this post.

On the 1st October 2013 I stopped smoking.

I originally just wanted to make it through the 28 days of the Stoptober challenge. I ordered the NHS Stoptober pack and it told me that if you stop smoking for 28 days, you are 5 times more likely to stop altogether.

I wanted to give it a try and I told myself it’s just 28 days. If I’m not feeling it, then I can go back to smoking.

Stopping smoking was something I had wanted to do for a while. I had tried and failed many times.

I was embarrassed admitting to everyone that I was a smoker. I remember writing that post and being ashamed that you all knew now I smoke.

When I was a student, I didn’t mind people seeing me smoke, but as I got older, it started to embarrass me more and more. When people found out I smoked, they would always be so shocked because it doesn’t seem very me. I think I come across very girl next door. I don’t even know if I’ve used that phrase in the right context.

Smoking doesn’t suit me and I probably seem too goody-goody-two-shoes to smoke. That’s what I mean.

So every time someone would find out they would gasp. Sometimes I would feel like they were disappointed. I got to the point where I hated people seeing me smoke.

quitting smoking

My history with smoking hasn’t been consistent. I started at 16 but I didn’t smoke a lot. Not even daily. When I went to university, I was smoking a lot more. You could still smoke in pubs and clubs in my first year of university so I would constantly have a drink in one hand and a cigarette in another.

The next day I would feel like I have a massive elastic band around my throat stopping me from breathing.

I stopped near the end of my first year for around a year when I decided to start looking after myself a lot more in general. Then going out with friends that smoked got me tempted. So I’d smoke when drunk. Which led to buying cigarettes before a night out. Which lead to smoking them when I was sober because I had them so why not.

By the time I moved to France, I was smoking again but in denial. Then the cheap prices got me and I was back to smoking properly again.

The next few years were full of good intentions of stopping but then starting again. Living with smokers made it hard.

Then Christine and I decided to stop.

My other housemate didn’t want to. But did a few months later.

I used an electric cigarette which helped. The first 2 weeks, the electric cigarette didn’t seem to do much. It didn’t hit the back of my throat like I craved.

That’s what my addiction to smoking was like. It was like having an itch in the back of your throat, an emptiness that was satisfied when you smoked.

But before long, the liquid was giving me the same feeling. That’s when I knew it would be work and that’s when I knew where I went wrong before when I had tried electric cigarettes. I didn’t give myself enough time to adjust.

I was using the electric cigarette less and less. In the end, I was just carrying it with me in case.

I know I’ve spoken about stopping smoking before and wrote about the book that helped me stop smoking and lead a healthier lifestyle, but I feel it’s important to revisit the things you’re proud of achieving. Especially when you can be as hard on yourself as I can.

What habit or negative cycle have you managed to break?

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14 Comments

  1. October 5, 2016 / 7:59 am

    You’ve done amazing to quit and break the cycle! I’ve never been a smoker, I tried it once and thought I was going to die, so that was the end of that. My boyfriend used to be a smoker before we started going out – I told him I could never date a smoker and the next thing I knew he had quit just to take me out which I still think it super sweet. I know he still struggles and even though he still has the odd one, he has done amazing too! So well done to the pair of you!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…Bloggers Blog Awards 2016 – Canal MillsMy Profile

  2. October 5, 2016 / 2:45 pm

    Congratulations! I also quit in December of 2013 after having smoked for close to 17 years (started when I was 20). It’s such a hard habit to overcome but I did it. That was until a few months ago when I started up again after having gone cold turkey for close to 3 years. I’m not a heavy smoker (a pack a week), I don’t smoke in my house or my car and I’m not one to take multiple smoke breaks while working. I won’t stand in the rain or snow and I’ve never smoked around my parents but it’s still unhealthy nonetheless. I also get the “you don’t look like a smoker” comment all the time. Along with you don’t smell like smoke, why are your teeth so white and your nails not yellow? My response is what is a smoker supposed to look like? I remember working at a place for over a year before someone realized I did and that’s because they saw me doing it. So why do it in the first place? I started smoking because I don’t drink because I’m allergic to alcohol. Sounds crazy but sitting in a bar surrounded by friends with a club soda apparently wasn’t enough for me. Most of my friends smoked so I gave it a try. Turns out it wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I know that I’ll probably quit again but as of right now it’s just something that’s happening at the moment and I’m not going to beat myself up over it. So glad I came across this post because it’s not something people talk about very often. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. October 5, 2016 / 3:42 pm

    Well done! Stopping smoking is so hard. I think it’s amazing that you’ve now been a non-smoker for 3 years! I started smoking when I was 16, and stopped when I was 21 when I met my now fiancé. But I can’t say I’ve completely stopped. I still smoke socially – when grabbing a coffee with my mum (she’s definitely an enabler!) – and I still sometimes buy the odd packet and hide it in my car (my fiancé hates it!) x
    Aimee recently posted…October Goals!My Profile

  4. October 5, 2016 / 3:49 pm

    Congratulations! I’ve never smoked and I must admit I do hate it when people smoke around me – not that I judge them for doing it, mind, I’m just asthmatic! Hope you’re reaping the benefits of being a non-smoker now 🙂
    Megan x
    Lucky Penumbra
    Megan Roisin recently posted…An Absolute Beginners Guide to the GymMy Profile

  5. October 5, 2016 / 4:34 pm

    This is so commendable! My husband is a smoker and while I get impatient with him sometimes, I definitely know how hard and frustrating it is second hand. Its really amazing you have managed to keep at it. I have so much respect for people who manage to stop smoking.
    Fashion and Frappes recently posted…A Different Goan HolidayMy Profile

  6. October 5, 2016 / 5:53 pm

    I was a heavy smoker for many years, started when I was 19 and at my worst I was smoking one and half pack a day. And then I got to know my husband in end 2010 and he led such a healthy lifestyle and I wondered why don’t I take better care of myself? I was already 31 and in dire need to get back in shape instead of huffing and puffing after walking a few metres and I went cold turkey in 2011. It was rough going out with friends to pubs because everyone smoke and the temptation was great but I managed not to give in. So yea, it’s been 5 years for me and it’s one of the best decisions that I ever made for myself.
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…REVIEW: Vichy Neovadiol Night Compensating ComplexMy Profile

  7. October 5, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    The longest I’ve quit was about 3 years. I’m currently coming up to 2 years smoke free. The only thing that shocks me about this post is: you lived in France???
    Holly recently posted…My Guilty PleasuresMy Profile

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