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March 9th, 2012
07:38 AM ET

Smoker trades one addiction for another

Editor's Note: Rick Morris is a web developer and volunteer firefighter from Canton, North Carolina. He is one of seven CNN viewers selected to be a part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. Each athlete receives all the tools necessary to train for and compete in the Nautica Malibu Triathlon this September.

October 1, 2001, was the day my father took his last breath.

A smoker for 50 years, he was diagnosed with lung cancer in April that year. I recall how he continued to smoke cigarettes while pushing an oxygen trolley around his kitchen. When it became clear his final ride to the Haywood County Hospital was at hand, he reached for one last smoke.

The irony was that his brand was “Lucky Strikes." There was nothing lucky about a father of eight whose last days would come during his 63 year of life.

“Do you regret that you smoked all your life, Dad?” I asked.

“On the contrary, son,” he said without hesitation, “I enjoyed each and every one.”

A short time later, he accepted a pill and a cup of water, gave us all hugs and said he loved us. It took about five more minutes for him to make the trip to the other side. It was truly one of the worst things anyone should ever witness.

At the time, I had been smoking myself for about three years (I started when I was 29). And since I had been inside the hospital for several hours, I was “nickin” for my next smoke.

Before I could get to the elevator, I was approached by a young lady asking me for approval of my father's organ donation. I knew he was a registered donor and had no issues with approving the request. As I signed the paper, I discovered his corneas were the only organs undamaged and available for donation.

I quickly worked my way down to the lobby and then out front where I promptly lit up.

Such scenarios, for lack of a better term, happen daily across America and the world. The question I kept asking myself was, “How can I continue smoking after seeing that?”

In fact, I asked myself that for another 10 years. Apparently, witnessing my father's premature death due to lung cancer coming as a result from smoking did little to influence me to stop smoking myself. Why? Obviously, I had placed the enjoyment of smoking above all else. No regard for my personal health. No regard for my family's health. No regard for anything detrimental from smoking.

During the 10 years following my father's death I forced myself to quit. Actually, I tried five creative ways to quit and succeeded each time.

But, I never remained smoke free. So, what makes me think this time around is going to be any different?

Well, for starters, I just know it. Honestly, I probably have an edge on just about anyone else who is trying to quit, being that I'm a member of the CNN Fit Nation team this year. The new exercise regime and support coming from everyone involved with my training for the 2012 Nautica Malibu Triathlon has been keeping me pretty busy.

So, I've learned to replace smoking with exercise, among other things...

About five weeks ago, I had the fortunate opportunity to commit to becoming and staying smoke free during an interview with Dr. Sanjay Gupta on national television. After I did that, I realized that there would be no going back this time around. How would I be able to face myself, or the rest of America, should I fail.

So, that's a very important advantage. But, more importantly, this time I've become educated.

Yeah, I went to one of those “useless smoking cessation classes." Well, that's what I thought of it in the past. You know, “My name is Rick, and I'm a smoker”... “Hi Rick.” It was nothing like that. It was more of returning to high-school for one day a week than anything else.

Called the “Freedom from Smoking” program, I can tell you that if you want to quit - and I mean really want to quit - you gotta get involved with this program. I don't care if you are 15 or 60, you are going to discover exactly why you smoke, why you have continued smoking regardless of how many friends and loved ones have succumbed to cancer, and how to challenge yourself with replacement activities.

Moreover, I believe you will find the one thing that will work for you in your endeavor to quit and stay quit.

For example, after quitting I replaced my urges with other things I find enjoyable. I would listen to some '80s music, chew some gum, eat a piece of candy or work the Rubik's Cube. Probably the best thing I learned from my teacher, Kathy Keogh, is that the urges, when they appear, last no more than about five minutes.

By replacing that five minutes with an activity I enjoy, I get through it.

But, I have to tell you that the most enjoyable replacement activity is bringing physical pain to my body. I'm talking about exercise.

Remember when you had the energy to do things? Any 'ol thing? Remember how you used to run, or bike, or swim or lift weights? Remember how you played kick-the-can all day long? Or went cow-tipping and could actually outrun the bull? Or dragged the car hood back up the snowy hill?

Well, I won't go into my childhood heritage too much here but exercise is exactly what you want to incorporate as you finally commit to becoming smoke free.

I've been exercising regularly for the past couple months and I feel great. I really feel great. It seems like I'm cleansing all the poisons from my body. I'm starting to notice the power of my lungs returning. I'm working through the creakiness of my bones as they heal. I actually sleep through the night.

I can go on and on telling you how well life is becoming for me as a non-smoker. But, I'm sure you'll just grow tired of that.

So, what I'm going to do is close with this challenge: If you have tried to quit smoking and have failed, I say congrats to you. At least you have tried. If you want to quit smoking and succeed, you need to get enrolled in a Freedom from Smoking class. I'm confident you are going to discover something in there that will help you achieve your goal of quitting. I know I have.

Another irony for you - my smoking cessation class was at the MedWest Hospital, formally the Haywood County Hospital, where my father passed a decade earlier.

Honestly, I'm not a person of the cloth, but during this journey, I'm certain he is nearby. That's gotta count for something.


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soundoff (230 Responses)
  1. BWR_IN

    I quit smoking after doing it for 15 years. I haven't had a drag off a single cigarette in 8 years. If I can do it, anyone can. All it takes is will power. I'm not going to lie, it was hands down the most difficult thing I have ever done. Every day, for at least the first year I wanted to have a cigarette.
    I had tried to quit unsuccessfully at least 3 or 4 times. I think the difference was that when I tried and failed, I didn't "really" want to quit.
    I think the best way to quit is to do it coinciding with a life changing event. Like quitting when you get a new girlfriend, a new apartment, house or something. Something that can help mark the new you...
    Good luck to all that are trying to quit. Don't be a wimp, get through the first week, then make a new goal...keep making goals until you don't think about cigarettes anymore.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:34 | Report abuse | Reply
    • A Reformed Smoker

      I use to smoke 3 packs of Camel Non-filters for 40+ years, and my wife smoked like 2 packs a day or a bit less. We both used Chantix and she quit in 2 days and I quit in 7. The funny part is you still smoke while taking the pills and it come to the 6th day and I said dang this is not working for me, so I decided tomorrow will be my first day without and now it has been smoke free for 5 yrs. I could even drink and not crave a cigarette. Also there were 3 people who had quit on the same prescription. I was all worth it but what BWR_IN had said, YOU have to want to quit, it won't totally take it away. I know a few that had tried but they expected the pill to do all the work. Good Luck to whoever tries.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:05 | Report abuse |
    • Chad

      I never post on sites or message boards. It's usually just people talking down to one another. But, because this story hits so close to home, I felt compelled to post. I started smoking when I was 20 (while I was serving tables in college). I loved smoking...loved it. I didn't care how it made me look or made my clothes smell or what it was doing to my body. It was a crutch (like it is to most smokers). One day (after smoking at least a pack a day for 8 years), I was walking up a flight of stairs and got winded. It wasn't a big flight of stairs, it was only 2 flights. As I stood at the top of the stairs trying to catch my breathe, I had a moment of clarity (as the alcoholics call it). I was an athlete in high school and could run for miles with ease...now a flight of stairs had beat me. At that moment I decided to quit. About a week later I enrolled at a gym and started the long journey to quitting smoking. To make an already long story shorter, I haven't had a cigarette in almost 4 years now. I am now 32 and in the best shape of my life. And still very much addicted to working out and staying healthy. Smoking is a very difficult thing to quit. But, if you exercise that urge disappears. I hope everyone trying to quit gives the gym a shot.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • Erin

      About quitting when a new life event occurs, that's really good advice. I've never heard that before, but it makes total sense. I like that.

      March 9, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
  2. asdf

    cigarette smokers seem to be addicted to stupidity. Nicotine causes a heavy chemical addiction, but that's really no excuse for two reasons:

    1 – cigarette smokers have not only terrible health generally (missing work, constantly sick with something), they have crazy other health issues, like getting the equivalent of gangrene in their hands and losing fingers (50,000 ppl/yr)

    2 – Why don't you own an e-cig. seriously. No taxes, lower costs, you can do it indoors and around your kids, you don't smell like a dumpster fire, and the only thing you are getting is nicotine without the tar, tobacco, and additives. Prolonged exposure to just nicotine hasn't even been shown to affect your health. what could possibly be the excuse?

    March 9, 2012 at 10:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pat

      It's stupidity like this ^^, that make me want to smoke. I could out run your fat, lazy ass with a cigarette in each hand when I smoked. My health was fine.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse |
    • exsmoker

      You can addicted just by one hit of a cig and if mom and pop smoke you are addicted before the age of 1 month. Yes that is how addictive tobacco can be and the devil of the detail of the effect of nicotin is that it fools you into thinking your are rewarding yourself b smoking it mimics that enzime in your brain you get when you have done something good for yourself and that is where all its powers over you is.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      I agree with the e-cig part. I ahve been smoke free for 20 months. I use a vaporizor. I wanted to give up the cancer not my sweet, sweet nicotine.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:02 | Report abuse |
    • exsmoker

      Paying 50 dollers a carton to slowly poisen yourself to dealth is the pure essence of stupidity. Smoking cigs for a living don't really hit you tell your early thirtys and every year after that you slowly make your self very ugly and litterally smoking your looks away and every year you start to lose steps to the non-smokers a work or what not and aways needing to sneak away for a quik puff or two. I know how it goes and I've done and seen it first hand. Talking yourself into thinking all is good is part of the ploy the nicotin plays on your brain.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:08 | Report abuse |
    • Chin

      After smoking 1-2 packs a day for 30 years, I got an ecig 10 weeks ago, and had my last cigarette 7 weeks ago. Frankly, this was almost too easy. I've read that Nicotene is no worse for you than caffeine. It's the other 4000+ things in cigs that kill you. There are lots of us with ecigs. I'm sure the gov't and big tobacco hate it, since they're not getting their cut. Google ECF and you will find a forum with many thousands of us having success with ecigs.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • Amy

      Really? Nicotine is as addictive as heroin you idiot.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • Words

      asdf, your points are all valid and even helpful. What made them tarnished was your statement "addicted to stupidity". Trying to be helpful and insulting is not such a good mix. Suggestion; Try saying, smokers need to seek alternatives, here are a few.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:28 | Report abuse |
    • caj

      asdf, what's your addiction?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:34 | Report abuse |
    • Larry

      I totally agree. I smoked two packs a day for over 40 years, had tried quitting so many times I've lost count. I used the patch, the lozenge, hypnosis, Smoke-Ender's program, and nothing helped. I had gotten to the point where I just gave up trying to quit.

      Until I discovered e-cigarettes a bit more than a year ago. From the very first time I used my e-cig, I have not had a single cigarette. What makes it so successful and why so many people are now trading their cigarettes for e-cigs, is that the e-cig emulates all of the habits associated with smoking–holding it, puffing it, exhaling vapor (mostly water, no smoke), and all of the other tactile sensations of smoking.

      Instead of inhaling 40,000+ chemicals in cigarette smoke, (including at least 46 known carcinogens) I am inhaling only these–PG (polypropylene glycol, ( a common food and drug additive, also used to make fog in concerts) nicotine, water vapor, and a bit of flavoring. It doesn't create first or second-hand smoke, because it doesn't burn anything, and the vapor completely disappears after a few seconds, leaving no smell behind, and it thoroughly satisfies all the habits associated with smoking.

      I'm now thrilled with the fact I no longer smoke, I breathe so much better, and I don't offend anyone by using my e-cig.

      What really amazes me, is that when I called 1-800-NO Butts–the nationwide hotline for people trying to quit smoking, and told them about my own experiences with e-cigs, they dismissed it out of hand, all but ridiculing me for using it. That angered me, but I simply tuned them out, knowing how e-cigs have radically changed my life for the better.

      Of course the tobacco companies aren't happy about e-cigs, as they know they cut into their profits, but that's not my problem. I strongly suggest that anyone who really wants to quit, but can't, give the e-cigs a try. I know they worked for me!

      March 9, 2012 at 11:37 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      @Amy – yes. I am aware the nicotine is addictive. I even said so. But being addictive doesn't mean that its unhealthy. nicotine consumption on its own has no (or virtually no) poor consequences to your health, so it doesn't matter how addicted you are. Its all the other garbage in cigarettes that makes you unhealthy.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      @Caj: My addiction is commenting on CNN boards. Sadly, there's no patch or gum for me.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:54 | Report abuse |
    • LiveYourLife

      Stupidity delivers unwanted opinions by morons, like Stacy. More people die of non smoking related illnesses from their poor diets and lack of exercise. Smoking is terrible, but no moreso than drinking and eating. When you can legally addict people to a product, it's a great business.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:01 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Excuses, excuses, excuses, Pat. That's a rationalization. Stop blaming it on everyone else. It's something that YOU do. Period.

      You smoke because you're addicted to cigarettes. Don't think that it's anything else but that, and don't you dare to blame it on anyone else but yourself and your OWN choices. That way madness lies, along with cancer, emphysema and early death.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:16 | Report abuse |
    • greg

      @asdf – "My addiction is commenting on CNN boards. Sadly, there's no patch or gum for me" hilarious. i just quit smoking – its especially hard to quit when literally everyone around you smokes and chews (im in the army. literally everyone does). It's tough.

      I agree with your "addicted to stupidity" comment, and I'd like to add to it. It's addicted to selfishness. Smoking is one of the most selfish thing one can do (next to drugs). It is a completely self absorbed habit born from a desire to "look cool" like James Dean, etc... It requires a monetary committment that could be used on other things (im saving my $$ and putting it toward flowers for my wife and packeges for my buddies who are deployed), and it's selfish because you knowingly deprive those of who love you of your health. Watching someone die from cancer is horrible, something that Ive done too many times. Never would I want my wife to see me waste away to the point where I can be buried in a damn shoebox.

      SMOKING IS STUPID AND SELFISH. PERIOD.

      March 12, 2012 at 10:57 | Report abuse |
  3. pat

    One thing about quitting I believe is a bunch of horse crap is that 'you'll feel better'....My ass, I never felt better then when I was having a smoke. It is truly one of the great, enjoyable experiences a person can have in a life time.
    I was no more health post quitting either, another lie. I may have spared my self health issues, but I was a tip-top health having smoker...I have way more health issues now after 6 years of quitting.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Don'tBelieveYou

      Your the only person I ever heard who quit smoking and said they didn't feel better. Sounds like you love those nasty things so much you should have the relatives throw a few cartons in the casket with you. Dumb people.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:00 | Report abuse |
    • LaMala

      Maybe it isn't the "not smoking" bit that isn't making you feel better...Maybe it's the food choices or the life style you are living? I find it hard to believe that smoking made you feel healther, I think it's a mind set at some point. No one is stopping you from smoking so if you want to write your own death sentence, by all means.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:12 | Report abuse |
    • AustinB

      To say that it's a lie is just absurd. I smoked for a long time and have been nicotine-free for 3 years. I don't miss it at all. I loved the act of smoking, never loved the feeling. In fact, I remember countless times where cigarettes made me nauseous enough to need to lay down. I've heard from many other smokers that this is a common phenomena.

      Not to be rude, it's hard to believe you ever even smoked though.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • asdf

      Maybe you didn't feel better immediately after quitting because you were suffering withdrawal from a drug. And maybe you have "way more health issues now" because you are 6 years older, not because you quit. Both of these seem a lot more likely than what you're saying, which sounds like a claim that you were healthier inhaling toxic chemicals. You might as well have said "man I felt great when I was huffing glue, but now I don't feel so great. Huffing glue must be the way to stay healthy"

      March 9, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
    • TheFour

      I thought the same thing the first time I quit smoking. I quit cold turkey 1/3/07. And I was angry that I got tricked. People said "food will taste better", "you'll feel healthier"... I didn't experience any of that. It was the same and I was angry and disappointed. And then I relapsed in November of that year. Within 2 weeks of that first drag I was smoking a pack a day again. And food tasted like crap, I couldn't smell as well and I got winded going up a flight of steps.

      My point is that the recovery your body goes through is so gradual that you don't realize how much better everything gets. I quit again 10/15/08 and never looked back. I replaced my addiction to cigarettes with a healthy obsession with nutrition and fitness. Never felt better in my entire life.

      March 10, 2012 at 13:02 | Report abuse |
    • eroteme

      There are many who 'cannot' stop smoking because they enjoy smoking. There are others who have convinced themselvews they cannot quit. I was a chain smoker for over 45 years. I never considered myself to be addicted to smoking, I enjoyed smoking. I decided to quit in 1992 and did so with no strain. There was no problem because my motivation to quit was stronger than my motivation to smoke. Of course, I will admit I had zero motivation to continue smoking. Now at 80 I am in perfect health. I hear predictions from time to time that smoking a few packs of cigarettes will bring your early death, lung disease, heart problems, you name it. I paid little or no attention to these claims so I did not die early, have not seen a doctor in over ten years and that was because of a severe cold, which can be blamed on my 45-year chain smoking? I rather doubt it. I suspect that non-smoking crusaders come down with severe colds once in a while themselves or even find themselves in ill health from time to time. I do know there are some non-smoking crusaders who do not die of old age.

      March 10, 2012 at 16:28 | Report abuse |
    • Chartreuxe

      Your anger, resentment and bitterness are making you feel badly, Pat, all on their own. No wonder you don't feel better having quit smoking. If you're looking at smokers constantly resenting you can't or don't still smoke, that's why you don't feel better. You have an addictive personality and you're constantly full of negative emotions.

      There's the answer, right in a nutshell. A 12 Step Program can help with that.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:20 | Report abuse |
    • LIsa

      After I quit (5 years ago), my thyroid went crazy. Looking back I had had some of the symptoms for years but smoking can mask the more serious ones. About 6 months after I quit i feel like crap, tired but couldn't sleep, couldn't think, just overall awful. Took a couple years (that was mostly a bad doctor) before getting the right medicine and before I felt better. Get a physical – you may have some other health issues that reared their head. Hope you feel better.

      March 11, 2012 at 22:30 | Report abuse |
  4. Jokesterer

    Gotta die from something. Die at 63 or delay it until 93. Either way you're dead. Really we're all dead, we just haven't died yet.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TheFour

      It's more about the quality of life while you're alive. I want the "Jack Lallane life". That man had 96 awesome, healthy, happy years and then had 2 sh!tty weeks. Much better than painfuly rotting away in bed.

      March 10, 2012 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
  5. WorldBelow

    Time to go burn one...

    March 9, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. averea

    I'm 56, quit 2 years, i month and 17 days ago after smoking for 38 years....over the last 10years only about 15 cigarettes a day.
    Saw a friend with an e cig, thought is was cool, the day I got the package with them thru the mail was the last day I smoked.
    Did that for less than a month and the rest is history.
    Easier than I thought it would be and happy I did it.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • exsmoker

      Congratz i'm 10 years here after 25 years of smoking and everyone once in a great while I do get man that smells so good and then I rember how good life is now that I don't smoke.

      March 9, 2012 at 10:59 | Report abuse |
    • Luke

      E-cigs are the best. I am at 20 months. The bonus is I can sit at a bar and have my esmoke while I have a beer! It's like 1985 all over again! Not only that, they are TSA approved!

      March 9, 2012 at 11:06 | Report abuse |
  7. TheTruth

    Willpower: you either have it or you don't. If you can't quit smoking you'll never do anything that requires any real willpower. Controlling your diet, exercise, accomplishing major goals are all much harder than quitting smoking.

    March 9, 2012 at 10:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jay

      spoken like a true "Never been addicted" kinda person I assume?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:19 | Report abuse |
    • JustEric

      Amen, Jay. It's amazing how many people who have never faced addiction in their lives enjoy pontificating about how easy it is to quit.

      I laugh at their ignorance.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • AJ

      I don't smoke, nor do I do any other drugs, so maybe I'm not an expert, but what the research says is that nicotine is just a drug, like heroin, like morphine and any number of other highly addictive substances. We're all just walking bodies of chemicals and drugs can hold anyone captive, which is why it's better not to start – because we're all susceptible. Willpower and mental strength probably have far less to do with it than you think, especially if you have a family history of addiction or alcoholism.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse |
    • TheFour

      I have actually done all the things you're talking about. On my own. Quit cold turkey, focus on nutrition and fitness and I've accomplished those big goals. Quitting cigarettes was the hardest. You have obviously never smoked. Withdrawl from cigarettes cold turkey literally feels like your skin is crawling. Not a figure of speech... it feels like there are millions of bugs all over your body and all you can do is lay and grip the couch cushions so you don't jump up, RUN to the nearest gas station and rob them for a pack of cigarettes. I hate when arrogance and stupidity come out of the same mouth.

      March 10, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • LIsa

      I agree with the other responses – you have no idea what you are talking about. Quitting smoking is one of the hardest things ever. I did it 5 years ago after many many failed attempts. My sister would make idiotic comments like yours, "you could quit if you really wanted to". The last time she did that, I said you could lose 40 pounds if you really wanted to, too. She shut up about it. I succeeded, she did not.

      March 11, 2012 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
  8. rizzo

    I saw a stat a few months back that said half of lung cancer cases were in ex smokers. Statistically, you're better off continuing to smoke once you've started;)

    March 9, 2012 at 11:01 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Chartreuxe

      Prove it, Rizzo.

      March 11, 2012 at 11:23 | Report abuse |
  9. The safe alternative

    He could just smoke weed. It would fix his addiction and be a much healthier source of stress relief than smoking tobacco. Just another option i'm not saying he needs to since its his choice.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:03 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Emkat

      Herp a Derp derp derp.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:14 | Report abuse |
    • Striker

      I agree, but would highly suggest using a vaporizer though. Smoke is smoke, still going to damage your lungs.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:25 | Report abuse |
  10. Scott

    IMO, we should all quit these habits but we're all human and why we do it is the root-cause. What is more important is what happens after we die and through Jesus Christ, Savior, one will never have to suffer again. It's easy; just accept Him and live life to the fullest using Him as an example. This helped me and I am obsessed with this life but what happens after I die. That is more important to me. In this country every article seems to always "find a way to live longer". Well death is a part of life enjoy it while you can but also look forward to life with Christ after you die.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:06 | Report abuse | Reply
    • exsmoker

      Not every one is for that book written by man to control people through their faith. I quit for me, myself, and I and no one else. Having someone tell you have to live your life only makes you a sheep. Just like all the other so called holy books through out time, none have accually called the end of the word right yet.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:15 | Report abuse |
  11. sallyjones

    Looking at my family history I have worse things down the road then dying of cancer. Like living dementia and blindness and no piles and piles of money to pay for caregivers. To each his own and judge not least we be judged. I'm sure none of the posters above live a lifestyle that would make my doctor applaud.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Fiona

    Is this guy saying his father committed suicide by swallowing a pill...in a hospital, in the company of his family? I thought that was illegal (assisted suicide).

    People who willfully engage in self destructive behavior get zero sympathy from me when they get what was coming. Someone who fathered eight (way too Amy) kids and smoked himself to death ("enjoying every one") is, in my mind, contemptible.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fiona

      *way too many

      March 9, 2012 at 11:11 | Report abuse |
    • AustinB

      We are all human and all trying to navigate through life. We all make mistakes and to have no sympathy for those suffering with addictions, in my humble opinion, is contemptible. Have a nice day.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:21 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      Why the hell are cigarettes legal in the first place? It's just such a crock. I sure would love to be able to quit smoking but it's pretty much impossible when you live in a city, "smoke free" san francisco even, where every corner shop and gas station sells them. I can't gas my car without being tempted to buy a pack – every time I've "successfully" quit, I returned on impulse- by buying a pack with gas after a stressful drive/day/road rage.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:46 | Report abuse |
    • rob

      Got carried away there- I intended to reply to Fiona.
      I was wondering the same thing.. Where did this author's father receive assisted suicide? I have to admit this makes me question the author's truthfulness.. If there was a pill you could be given at 50 to escape the pain of dying from smoking it makes the "long painful death" scare tactic (to help smokers quit) completely moot. . .

      March 9, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse |
  13. Jay

    I am a former smoker of 30 years. As of January 30th, I have been smoke free for a year. I did it simply by using an e-cig without nicotine, and using the nicotine patch for a few days. I still use the e-cig without nicotine (just peppermint and glycerol), and I feel so much better. I can breathe, have a sense of smell, and life is good.

    No one is going to quit until they are ready. No one is going to pay attention to the doom and gloom of health threats. The addiction is exactly that; An addiction. Nothing matters except that next smoke.

    Give smokers a suggestion, and hope that they take up on it. That is the best we can do.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Hikerstud

      Everybody is down on smokers and they are low class because of 2nd hand smoke but we somehow promote as heros and have parades for people whos lifestyle is preventable and promotes aids around the world and millions and millions have caught this disease and died and they get more money in America from teh govt than cancer and heart disease? Millions die in Africa from the LGBT disease? Why do we make them TV celebrities? Libs are hypocrits and crazy.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      Hiklerstud, stop being a troll

      March 9, 2012 at 12:08 | Report abuse |
  14. Oh, my bad...

    If only I had known... I went and quit all by myself and now I find out I "gotta" take one of these classes to do it. Just like I "had to" use a patch. Or I "had to" use some gum. Or I "had to"... well, whatever.

    I quit because I decided to. My medications, no classes, no weekly support group. 12 years of smoking, and the day I decided to quit, I did. Almost 50 years of smoking, my dad did the same thing. Over 30 years of smoking, my mom did the same thing.

    As far as I can tell, quitting isn't actually that hard if you really want to do it, but there is a whole industry built around telling you how hard it is, and that they can help you for just a few bucks, so everybody has been told so many times how hard it is that they believe it.

    Don't waste your money on cigarettes, don't waste your money on quitting cigarettes. Just quit. When you want to buy a pack, don't. It's not that complicated.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • GetReal

      Good for you! Not everyone has your superiority, however. A lot of people need help quitting. As long as they quit, there's nothing wrong with that.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:31 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      I agree, congratulations! That said, there are those that do not share your ability. I tried doing exactly what you are describing for 20 years, .... Nope, didn't work! I had to develop my own way to quit.

      Again, congrats

      March 9, 2012 at 12:05 | Report abuse |
  15. GetReal

    That's the trick – to replace one addiction with another! Exercise, coffee, video games, I don't care what. Cigarettes are one of the most addictive things in the world – not nicotine alone, but commercial cigarettes. They put all kinds of chemicals in them that makes them super-addictive. Do whatever you need to do to quit – and if you fail, keep on trying!

    March 9, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Don't ever start

    My father smoked for 35 years and on my 6th birthday, when he was 46, he quit cigarettes, cigars and a pipe in one day. My uncle smoked for 40 years and then at the age of 55, quite cold turkey. I live in Tennessee, the home of obesity and tobacco, and am surrounded with smokers on all sides, but by the grace of God I never started. Nothing would make me happier than seeing all the world's tobacco companies go bankrupt tomorrow. I wish Rick all the success in the world in his attempt at throwing these worthless, soul-killing cancer sticks away for good.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roy

      I am not sure where you're getting your irnifmatoon, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more. Thanks for great irnifmatoon I was looking for this irnifmatoon for my mission.

      July 3, 2012 at 04:12 | Report abuse |
  17. Hikerstud

    We practically dehuminize Palin and Bachman who are care for foster children and handicapped children and then libs fight tooth and nail for the gov't to pay for killing unborn babies? But don't dare smoke in public or own a gun? Libs are hypocrits and blind.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JG

      Every single "Lib" is a hypocrite and blind? Your post comes off as kinda creepy when you are off topic for the article and you make judgment statements about an entire group of people. OUr is that just the Chantix talking?

      March 9, 2012 at 11:45 | Report abuse |
    • Jay

      You sit, are obviously a troll

      March 9, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse |
  18. Hikerstud

    When the smokers dropped from 50% of the country to 25% over the last 20 years has cancer went away? The 50 million that died from abortion never got a chance to smoke. Probably 30 million from aids could have used to smoke to ease their suffering. Evolution beliefs of athiests communist led to slaughter of 80-100 million in China Russia and Cambodia etc. Godless libs are hypocrits.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JG

      Try switching your meds, your posts will sound less like mad rambling.

      March 9, 2012 at 11:41 | Report abuse |
    • pat

      The good news is that if nobody smoked, they'd all still die.

      Don't insult the communists, one right they did have was the freedom to smoke.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:11 | Report abuse |
    • Tim

      Please stay on the subject matter or shut the hell up!

      March 9, 2012 at 15:30 | Report abuse |
  19. TomCA

    I quit smoking 6 years ago because I kept getting sick. I had tried to quit many times but this time I found it easy. I'm not sure why.
    I also recently took up running. I decided one day that all this exercise; 2 hours, 5 days a week, isn't doing me any good unless I can use it. When I started I could run for only about 90 seconds at 5 mph. Now im running for 15 + minutes at more than 6 miles an hour. Goals are the key. I have 2 goals in my running. First I want to finish a 5k in less than 30 minutes. Then I want to run a Tough Mudder. I am now addicted to running. I have to resist the urge to run when Im injured or even recovering from a long run earlier in the day. There's something about the constant rhythm. 180 steps per minute. Each time I slip on my minimalist shoes and step on the treadmill I feel a surge of energy that doesn't quit for hours. The only thing stopping me from running for hours at a time are my feet. I have both flat feet and I under pronate. Which means I am prone to injury. I suffer mostly ankle strain these days but when I first started I would experience knee pain, shin splints, and toe injuries. Today I will try to run for 20 minutes after a long gradual warm up.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Steve

    Rick, you rock! There is a huge community of triathletes that will help you. The community of smokers will be very sad to see you go (because you are making them feel guilty) so they will not be too supportive. Focus on Training and maybe do a Detox/Cleanse to kick start things. I just started a 28-day Detox in Michigan. Coffee is my thing. Getting ready for huge head aches. I am also a triathlete. Good luck on your adventure! You are a good role model for even trying to kick cigarettes. Where can we follow your story?Blog? If you want to know more about a detox there is lots on "the Google" or here is some info on the one I am doing: http://www.heavenonearth-home.com/p/28-day-detox-with-margaux-drake.html

    March 9, 2012 at 11:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. auntie_cipation

    TheBob,

    I agree that we make our own choices to some extent, but we are influenced subconsciously by the culture of marketing. Why would putting a chainsaw to your leg ever look like "fun"? Well, because "Big Chainsaw" has spent millions on ads that create that idea and establish it in our culture. Yes we have the freedom to choose it or not, but again our impressions are greatly influenced by that world of PR. So, without removing individual responsibility from each of us, I would also put plenty of blame on Big Tobacco, sure enough.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ganesh

      How well does hypnosis work for qnuttiig smoking?How much do professionals charge for qnuttiig smoking hypnosis sessions?How many times do you have to get hypnotized before it works?If there are no FREE download programs, where can I get a free or cheap CD or DVD program to quit with hypnosis?

      July 3, 2012 at 03:27 | Report abuse |
  22. rob

    Why the hell are cigarettes legal in the first place? It's just such a crock. I sure would love to be able to quit smoking but it's pretty much impossible when you live in a city, "smoke free" san francisco even, where every corner shop and gas station sells them. I can't gas my car without being tempted to buy a pack – every time I've "successfully" quit, I returned on impulse- by buying a pack with gas after a stressful drive/day/road rage.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pat

      Gee, I donno, meth is illegal, extremely bad for you and people still do it. If you need the government to nanny you, the problem is you, not the government. Grow a pair.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse |
    • LiveYourLife

      Yeah...good idea EXCEPT.....let's not criminalize anymore drugs! Prohibition, as proven by the war on drugs does not work. Don't try and legislate others behavior to suit the behavior you wish you could adopt in your own, individual life.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:10 | Report abuse |
  23. Stacy

    My husband started smoking when he was 15 years old. I gave him an ultimatum to quit with his deadline being our wedding day. Both of his parents were/are smokers. His mother dies seven years ago of cervical cancer and I'm pretty sure smoking helped that along. His father still lives, but is disabled with diabetes, cancer and a debilitating heart condition, all brought on or made worse by smoking. It wasn't until his seventh heart attack that my father-in-law finally quit smoking. It took my husband about 9 more months after our wedding to truly kick the habit once and for all with the help of the nicotine patch. He said that it wasn't me or our future children that ultimately made him quit. It was one of those anti-smoking campaign commercials that showed the heart of a smoker that had died and the person on screen squeezed out all the built up plaque from one of the arteries, which was very significant. That made the impression my husband needed to make the committment to quit smoking.

    March 9, 2012 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pat

      So you knew he was a smoker, accepted his proposal, and then decided you needed to make him better?? Yeah, I used to smoke with those dudes all the time. The ones who were supposed to have quit, but just decided to do it behind the spouses back.
      If he was smart, he'd have dumped your ass and continue to smoke in public.

      March 9, 2012 at 12:06 | Report abuse |
  24. christine

    My favorite is when my fat friends and relatives harp on me about quitting smoking because "I'm killing myself with each puff". Well, fatties you are killing yourself with each cream puff. Health care costs of smokers isn't any worse than health care costs due to excessive fat bodies. To each his own.

    March 9, 2012 at 12:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • pat

      You mean the ones who have to take a break to walk up a flight of stairs and will drive in cicles for 30 minutes in the parking lot to get the absolute closest space so that can save walking another 30 feet?

      Those were my favorite morons....
      I love how everybody is soooo concerned with everybody else's health.

      So we went from a nation of smokers to a nation of lard asses, how is that better?

      March 9, 2012 at 12:15 | Report abuse |
    • beebalm

      Yes, I agree. There are so many things people do that cause bad health, sometimes death, but they continue doing it. It's human nature, and some people have a stronger will power than others. I think there are very few people in the world that are so perfect that they can condemn someone for doing something that is bad for them.

      March 12, 2012 at 08:58 | Report abuse |
  25. LiveYourLife

    Some smokers become centurians, some non smokers don't make it to their 40's. There are thousands of ways to meet your maker...and it's a guarantee that everyone will find one of them sooner or later.

    March 9, 2012 at 12:14 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mikebee

      This is true but I feel it is quality of life not quanity. Go to any hospital in the United States and I guarantee 75% of the patients have some kind of smoking related illness. A person with COPD may be 80 years old but not living a very happy life due to shortness of breath brought on by talking. Doesn't sound fun to me. With that said I believe it is each individuals choice. Smokers keep the hospital workers employed.

      March 9, 2012 at 13:58 | Report abuse |
  26. James

    I can relate as I have tried kicking my drinking habit and have failed numerous times.

    March 9, 2012 at 12:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Garrett

    A lot of them are switching to Marijuana. Which is a hell of a lot safer and actually healthy for you. Only downside to it is it is still illegal.Which I think need to change.

    March 9, 2012 at 13:26 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mike

    You have to want it. You won't quit until you truly desire to quit. Ask yourself: "Do I want to quit right now?" Every time you think about smoking, say to yourself outloud: "No, I'm not that person anymore." Believe in yourself. You can do all things through Christ who strengthens you. Congratulations on quitting!

    March 9, 2012 at 13:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Lisa

    This story could be my Dad's. He died at 61 in June, after years of smoking. I was by his side, he continued to smoke up until the day before he died. At that point I guess he figured what the heck I'm dying anyways. I don't smoke, neither does my brother so I guess I can not truly judge how it feels to be addicted. I think people just think the death part will never happen to them and it does. We were not ready for Dad to leave us, he never got to see either of his kids marry or see grandchildren. That being said I am confused by the amount of young people that start smoking these days. It is really one of the very few things that are almost a guaranteed cancer diagnosis.

    March 9, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. aaronnuc

    i just want to know about the pill the guy took in the story.
    said good bye and took the pill and it was over.
    what pill ?

    March 9, 2012 at 15:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. cbone

    Smoked for 18 years. 18-36. 1-1/2 years ago I got a cold and ended up having 2 Asthma attacks in 1 week that put me in the hospital. Haven't smoked since. I quit dozens of times before, but since the asthma attacks I can't even Visualize smoking. As much as it sucked at the time, having those asthma attacks were the best thing that ever happened to me.

    March 9, 2012 at 16:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Lila

    At least you are honest and say you traded one addiction for another, most people who do marathons and triathlons as a lifestyle are in denial. Anyway god luck on your new challenge.

    March 9, 2012 at 16:53 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Oscar

      Endorphins ain't no joke!

      March 12, 2012 at 16:35 | Report abuse |
  33. sisrooting4bro

    Yes it does count for something!...

    March 10, 2012 at 00:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. eroteme

    We surely have our addictions. We can now be addiccted to most anything, justifying our conduct by claiming addiction. One of the more hilarious ones is the one I read about a year or so ago, that one being that many schoolage girls have become addicted to motherhood. For myself, I enjoyed chain smoking for a little over 45 years. I decided to quit in 1992 for no special reason, I just got tired of smoking. Now at age 80 I remain in perfect health. Today you are believed to be addicted to smoking if you smoke cigarettess for a week or so. I never considered myself to be addicted to smoking, I simply enjoyed it. I had no problem at all in quitting, my motivation to quit was simply greater than my motivation to smoke.

    March 10, 2012 at 16:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Nathan

    I used to drink 150-300 drinks a week for about 6 years. I only was able to quit through running. I am now an exercise addict myself... no joke. I literally run so much per week that I often physically cannot run for a few days. It isn't about training for anything. I drank so dang much because I am a high stress individual, and the only thing that takes that away is either alcohol or extreme amounts of exercise.

    March 10, 2012 at 23:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. larry5

    Corporations find it a lot easier to make money when they can get their customers addicted to their products. Everything from cigarettes to beer to sugar cereals and drinks to greasy hamburgers fit the pattern. The second victim to this process is nutrition. Just follow the marketing and behave like a good customer should.

    March 11, 2012 at 04:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. PattiNS

    I quit smoking due to an orthopedic doctor's order on 01/22/2003. Being a 2 pack/day+ smoker (for over 27 yrs), my M.D. simply told me flat out: "If you continue to smoke, you will NOT heal." He said this after he saw my Xrays, after I was admitted by ambulance to nearest hospital's ER for a compound (open) fracture of my left ankle. And how did that happen? I had "snuck outside for a quick ciggie" break in the middle of my afternoon work day. In a rush to return to my employer (1 building away), I slipped unaware on ice, and my left foot "caught" on some crumled asphalt paving. Down I went! Needless to say, it was the last cigarette I ever smoked!!🙂 I broke my tib and fib above my ankle, and had emergency surgery to repair it, with plates and screws holding my ankle together. Going into nicotene withdrawal post-surgery, I asked for highest level of nicotene patch, which I used for next 3-4 weeks with GREAT success. I asked for Zyban from my PCP, but never took ANY for my "nerves." Why? My cousin has several MBAs in Nursing and told me that ROCKING is GREAT FOR THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. So, during my 9 week "layoff" I literally was "off my rocker" on our old swivel rocker. It worked with the patch!! With a leg cast, could not put any weight on my left leg for over 9 weeks, while on short term disability from my employer. (Believe me, I worked for a tyrant ego-head boss, who HATED smokers, and I relished my "PTO" to be away from him!!) Of course, after 9 weeks on disability, I was told "my job was eliminated" on my return to work. Happy note: I ended up 3 weeks later landing a GREAT job with probably best boss I ever had, and making best money I ever had made (to date)!🙂
    Best news? Food tasted good; I never had ANY problem with "cravings" after about 3 months passed (NOT true what folks say, that you 'never lose that craving'!!).
    Bad news? I had 100% blockage of my right coronary artery/heart attack 5 years later... but that was due to severe stress of enduring 3 layoffs in a 5-year period (and DH was not working, also).
    Bottom line? Wish I never, ever started smoking when I was almost 21 years old in 1976!

    March 11, 2012 at 10:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. tim volm

    The 'Healthcare' president could do more preventive medicine.
    Smoking kills 500,000 people in the USA a year, that is like a full 747 crashing every other day. The majority of smokers want to quit their addiction. Yet tobacco companies have been allowed to add addictive nicotine to ensure people stay hooked. In addition, 100,000 children become addicted in the USA a year, the average age is 13 years old. The huge corporations have lied to congress, saying tobacco was not addictive, and got away with it. The companies are legal drug pushers whose product kills more Americans than all other drugs combined.
    If the level of nicotine was reduced by half each year, less people would become addicted, and those already addicted could quit smoking, getting their nicotine from other drug delivery devices like patches, gum, etc.
    Smoker's also cost everyone, they spread upper respiratory illnesses, like the flu, more than healthy people.
    It is time to stand up for a healthy USA, and end these drug lord's reign of terror.

    Cocaine was removed from Coca Cola, let's remove nicotine from cigarette's.

    March 11, 2012 at 19:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Beverly

    I was a 3 pack a day heavy smoker for the better part of 40 years. I quit cold turkey 10 years ago. I miss it still, EVERY SINGLE DAY. Now, I'm addicted to food and have gained over 60# which is causing major problems with my heart. Some days, I feel like starting smoking again which might even allow me to lose a few of those quickly gained pounds. I haven't had anything stressful happen in my life since I retired (quit smoking 12 days after my retirement date). I think when one of my parents dies (or my kid sister who is having open heart surgery tomorrow), I'll probably head for the nearest party store for a fresh pack, no matter the cost. IT'S ALL IN THE MIND AND THEREFORE, I'M STILL ADDICTED.

    March 12, 2012 at 13:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Oscar

    Why can't healthy things (like broccoli) be addicting?

    I've never smoked, partly from the experience of family, partly from being an athlete where breathing is pretty imporant, and partly from just not wanting to like it. So I will be the first to admit that I don't know what it's like, and thus I take anything I think with a grain of salt. What really amazes me is that people start smoking in the first place nowadays. I can see the old timers – they started before it was fully known how bad it was for you, and now it might just be too late for quitting to matter much. But young people today at least aught to know about it, and therefore have to disregard it. Not to mention how expensive cigarettes are (at least in my high school, it seemed like many of the smokers weren't too well off to begin with, so that's a double whammy).

    I also wonder if the path to quitting has much of an effect on how likely the person is to stay smoke-free. Admittedly having no idea what it is like to quit, I wonder if an 'easy' way to quit – the patch/e-cigs/etc. is less effective than cold-turkey (once you get to the threshold where you are considered to have quit). My line of thining is that cold turkey probably involves a lot more suffering (otherwise it would be more popular). I've heard stories of people going thru withdrawl from nicotine and it's not pretty. But I wonder if the sacrifice and suffering makes it more likely to stick ("I've come this far/put all that into it, I'm not going to let it go to waste" kind of mentality), versus an easier path, which might be more palatable to repeating. Had I had statistics for it, I would consider a few potential biases right off the bat: If cold-turkey is more successful at sticking, is it (a) because those who might have gone back to smoking after quitting using an 'easier' method, thus the comparison isn't necessarily apples-to-apples; (b) a selection bias [or correlation vs. causation], where only those most motivated to quit choose that method, and would have been successful using a different method; or (c) the data is actually statistically signficant. Along the lines of (b), do the 'easier' methods draw more people who are not as serious about quitting and thus more likely to go back. Long story a little less long, do the people or method matter more? I suspect that there is some impact of the method, but in the end, whatever the motivation, you have to want not to smoke; if not, even the best cessation program will probably fail in the long run. Again, everything with a grain of salt.

    Good luck to those out there who are quitting or have quit and are staying smoke free.

    March 12, 2012 at 16:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Christy

    I quit smoking a little over 4 months ago using Chantix (so I acutally began my quitting process about a month and half prior to actually quittint). It was hard but has been so worth it!! I am 39 and my goal was to be in the best shape and health of my life by the time I turn 40 in September 2012. I started with quitting smoking and joined a gym January 1, 2012 and I have been working out 6 days a week every since, 3 of those with a personal trainer. So yes I believe this is my new addiction but I love it and it is so much better for me of course!!!!

    March 12, 2012 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. sam

    Same goes for People who use ALCOHOL,And anyone who gets in their WAY

    March 13, 2012 at 03:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Richard

    Nicotine is highly-addictive; just like opiates. If you're hooked, you're hooked. It doesn't matter how you got hooked, although your social environment helps determine your odds of getting unhooked. 1) Replace unhealthy addictions with healthy ones (I took up flight simulation). 2) Grow up. 3) Learn to immediately dismiss the thought of smoking a cigarette by replacing it with another thought, take a deep breath (or two) and MOVE ON. Do this every time the cigarette "light" comes on until it becomes as reflexive as smoking was. 4) When you take that deep breath and you don't feel like you're dying the way you did when you smoked, think about it...🙂

    March 13, 2012 at 09:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. arcticmoonbeam

    Chantix. I was a confirmed smoker for years and my doctor convinced me to try it. It made me nauseous so I took a pill to avoid that. No kidding, 10 days later I was having a ciggie and looked at it and thought, "I'm not getting anything out of this." That was the last one. After a year I still don't want a ciggie and even think they stink now! A lot of people are afraid of Chantix but it's scarier to keep smoking! They are cheaper than ciggies too.

    March 16, 2012 at 08:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. How long to see benefits of quitting smoking

    May 13, 2008· We have heard about different ways of quitting smoking that range from your browser might not hold up display of this image. The anti nicotine actions to...smokestik

    September 8, 2012 at 18:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Kathleen

    I actually started smoking to stop my thumb sucking habit, a habit that's left me with arc shaped uppers that have been pushed to a point where they rest over my bottom lip (buck teeth). My parents couldn't afford braces. Long story-short, I got addicted very quickly but, because my mom smokes, she actually ENCOURAGED me even though I was only 13 at the time that I started.
    Though it helped my daytime urges, I still woke up with my thumb in my mouth and that never stopped.
    For the next 20 years I continued smoking and, as it turned out, my boyfriend found out about my thumb and didn't care so I really didn't need to start but, now, couldn't stop.
    Finally, I decided that I should stop smoking and the way I was able to was by sucking my thumb! Ironic.
    So, that's what I do. Whenever I had the urge to smoke, I'd go hide somewhere and suck my thumb and, eventually, I started doing it unconsciously again, even in public. When someone gives me that stare, or comment, I explain that I'm stopping smoking and most just smile and understand.
    It worked for me and, who knows, if any other former (or current) adult thumb sucker is a smoker, maybe it's something to think about.
    Of course I never got my teeth fixed because no orthodontist will do it if I have this habit but, to me, it's worth it.

    September 12, 2013 at 08:17 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.