You may have smoked for 50 years or five, smoke a pack a day or four packs, are living with diseases caused by tobacco use or want to avoid them. You can find your quit inspiration from successful Simcoe Muskoka quitters who have stopped making tobacco trade offs.
- After smoking for 30 years with many tries at quitting I finally got to the point where I refused to give in to the stresses that had been my excuse to give up during earlier attempts. A breast cancer scare was my wake up call. It made me realize how lucky I was to have my health. I now describe myself as a breast cancer survivor and nonsmoker. My quit tip is don’t wait for luck, quit now. – M.W. Midland.
- I was finding I was getting out of breath more and more often. I first noticed it when I went out dancing and eventually when I walked even a short distance. I’d tried quitting many times and had cutback to half a pack a day, but my breathing continued to get worse and I had to give up dancing. I had to quit if I wanted to be able to dance at my granddaughter’s wedding. It was tough to do, but I did it. I can once again do things that smoking had stopped me from enjoying. – F. M. Huntsville.
- I lost my dad to smoking more than 30 years ago. I was just 11 years old. He missed all my milestones growing up, graduating, getting married and becoming a mom to three boys. I wonder if he would still be alive today if he had been able to access all the quit smoking supports that are available now. If you smoke, quit and be there for your family. – T. B. Orillia
- Thirty-five years of smoking didn’t come without its health tradeoffs. I was a heavy smoker, eventually smoking upwards of four packs a day. Last summer I went from feeling like I had a bad cold to being admitted to hospital with a severe lung infection. I was diagnosed with COPD.In the hospital nicotine replacement therapy was provided to deal with nicotine withdrawal cravings and I was offered information about community counselling to help quit for good. I knew it was an offer I couldn’t refuse if I wanted to get better. I had a chance to quit and I took it. I haven’t had one since and I’m not going to. – M. E. Barrie
- I started smoking in high school because it was the thing to do. Twenty years later I was still smoking. Working at a healthcare facility with people who spent their days trying to save lives, I was ashamed to let people see me smoking. I made a commitment to myself and mentally prepared for it. I didn’t need the stress of doing it without help. I signed up for a STOP smoking workshop, started using nicotine patches, got Smokers’ Helpline telephone support and told my friends and co-workers. It’s been almost a year, my energy level is much better, I’m back in control. It’s a great feeling to have.— A.S. Huntsville
- I smoked for 21 years, quitting once for three years while having my kids. I always remembered that I loved how I felt when I wasn’t smoking. I wasn’t worrying about making sure I had my cigarettes with me everywhere I went. I felt good. I smelled good. I was free. My kids are now young adults. I spent so much time being a mom and a wife that I had ignored what I was doing to my own health. I’ve started a new chapter of my life. I watched my friends quit successfully and I committed to quitting for the last time and to stop being a slave to smoking. P.P. Penetanguishene
- I was a smoker for 20 years. I’ve now been smoke free for three years. I think we’ve all been in the position where we’ve tried quitting 15 times before we actually do it. It’s hard. If I were to give you a couple of tips it would be to make sure you do it for yourself. I have a twin sister who desperately wanted me to quit smoking; I couldn’t do it for her, or my niece or my dad, or my other sister or brother. You have to choose to do it for you. Then commit to it. – E. W. Midland
If you are ready to quit smoking, the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit can help you get started. Call Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520 or 705-721-7520 weekdays 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. There are also web-based resources and contacts available at simcoemuskokahealth.org. To share your quit journey or find supports from others, join the Tobacco-Free Chatter Facebook page and follow the group on Twitter @TFChatter.