I quit March 1, 2006. This was a post I copied on March 12th of that year from a fellow traveler in the support group that got me started. It doesn’t mince words and it’s not particularly pretty. So if you don’t like the truth, you can skip this one.
I reformatted this for easier reading and edited some personal family stuff I should have taken out of the other. Hope somebody gets something out of this.
This was a response to an email I sent my uncle who is a doctor asking him basically if he thought I had anything physically wrong with me from smoking as a result of all my years smoking. This is his response.
Your letter shows you already have a lot going for you because it very eloquently shows you hate smoking and see all the evils. There is nothing in what you say that says you have anything wrong with you other than the typical expected terrible things that go along with smoking.
The good news is that quitting can make a tremendous difference and there is no diet, no pill, and no exercise, no anything that can make a bigger difference to improving your health than quitting smoking.
The first bad news is what you already know and that the physical addiction is so profound and terrible that many people find it almost impossible to quit. Tom my brother is a great example. Despite the fact that he has enormous talent and discipline in so many ways and even with seeing his dad die of lung cancer he has still been unable to quit smoking. The big tobacco companies have known of this addiction so long that someday if historians ever learn to be honest they will look back and see that American tobacco companies rank right up there with Hitler and Stalin as the most evil people of the twentieth century.
The other bad news is that smoking negatively affects far more than most people realize. The fear of lung cancer is just the tip of the iceberg; it slows nervous impulses of the senses like vision, taste and smell that bring in the information to you that tell you are
alive. It affects everything from skin, teeth, to bladder in such a negative way that it is profound.
The other bad news is one that I feel I need to emphasize because many people feel that they will finally quit eventually and they will quit in time to reverse the evils. The problem is that much of the damage is already there and the actual increased risk of getting lung cancer may take years to dissipate (actually about 10). You need to know this because the sooner the better is the answer. There are so many things that can "do you in" in the form of accidents, disease and just bad luck that we just must do everything we can to increase those odds of survival. There is nothing, absolutely nothing as good as not smoking to beat those odds. There exists simply no stress or mishap in your life worth making you start smoking again.
Sorry to be so blunt but I don't know what else works.
If I can help someone stop smoking I have probably done more good than staying up all night struggling to keep some one alive who just got shot in a drug fight (and I commonly do that).