*Freedom's Fabulous Forty year plus fighters

*Freedom's Fabulous Forty year plus fighters

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

23 Jan 2001, 11:06 #1

Many years ago.....forty or more to be exact, smoking was considered tres chic, the "in" thing to do....the classy way to live and the best way to stay slim, beautiful and attractive. Smokers were considered to be happier, have more fun, be part of the crowd and one of the guys....or gals. Smokers were glamorous movie stars or politicians, our neighbors, our friends, our doctors and our relatives. Smoking graced the cover of maginzes, was on TV, was allowed just about everywhere we went and was part of everything we did. Then, in the early sixties, it was finally realized and made public that smoking was non of the above....smoking was deadly, smoking killed. Over the years we learned more and more about our deadly addiction....but we felt that we were not the people that they were talking about.....us get cancer?.....us get emphysema? heart attacks, circulatory problems, asthma?......still we kept smoking. Now some forty years later we are finally seeing the light....we are getting cancer, we are getting emphysema, we have lost relatives, we have lost friends and we are finally learning that smoking is indeed the deadly addiction they have been warning about. Now many of us at forty years plus are realizing the truth....we are living proof of what smoking can and does do to us. Some of us have been lucky.......some of us are suffering and still more of us do not know what the future holds.....but what we do know is that we are finally quitting.....finally saying enough is enough and wondering why in the world we did not have the guts or courage to quit and quit for good before.

Online support and the wonderful information provided here at Freedom has helped many of us 40 year plus quitters to finally see the light. Many of us, for the first time in our lives, can look in the mirror and smile at ourselves and think.....wow....I did it and am I sure proud!! For some of us it has been somewhat difficult....but many of us forty year plusers...have found the quitting has been the biggest relief of our lives. Quitting was lots easier than we expected. We found that not only do we breathe better, smell better, look better....but we walk taller, we smile more and we have learned that no matter how long we've smoked....we can still quit and that there is a wonderful life after quitting.

So this thead is for those of us at Freedom who have smoked for forty years or more. Please, all you wonderful quitters.....join me in adding your story to this thread so that we may show the younger quitters not only what it has done to us over the years....but how it is possible to regain our freedom from the deadliest of the addictions. And may it tell our younger quitters that we wish that we had had the courage at their age to do what they are doing now.....gaining their freedom so they don't have to worry when they become our age about what damage they have done to their bodies.

Linda.......After smoking for 41 years...I have been smokefree for one year, two weekS, five dayS, 10 hourS, 1 minute and 16 secondS. 7708 cigaretteS not smoked, saving $1,156.25. Life saved....3weeks, 5 days, and 18 hours.
Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on 10 Mar 2009, 01:05, edited 1 time in total.

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

23 Jan 2001, 12:29 #2

come on all you quitters who have smoked 40 or more years.......tell your story....why you smoked and why you quit...I am using the story I used for the Great American Smokeout thread....so here goes.
Linda's Story......
A year ago, when this day arrived, I did everything I could to try to forget what day it was. Why? Because, me being the addict I was, I truly felt that this day was not intended for me......afterall, I smoked for 41 years and I was doing just fine. All those doctors telling me I should quit, all my friends looking at my husband and me and asking, "you still smoke?".....my co-workers asking me to please not smoke in the backroom because they could not breathe when they had to use the restrooms. Our dentists, doctors, friends, coworkers, and family....forgot the family....why are we still smoking, they asked. Well, we were still smoking because the junky in us told us it was ok to smoke. Stressful jobs, might gain weight, withdrawal hard, tried before and did not do well....why make ourselves miserable when we could continue to smoke and be happy. It soothed, it warmed, it motivated and it kept us from eating......how the heck bad could it be? Look at all those people I see when I'm out and about still smoking. Standing on streetcorners, outside of office buildings, sitting in cars, sitting in special sections of restaurants, outside of airports....look at them all just puffing away. Why, they still sell them in the stores....how can they do that if they are killing you? Junky thinking....folks!
Well, the inevitable happened....a year ago now, my husband went to the ER for what turned out to be gall bladder attack. While doing tests on him they found three aneurysms.....a ballooning of the arteries caused primarily from smoking. Not only did he need surgery to repair them or they would rupture and he would die.....but the surgeon refused to do the surgery until he quit smoking and had been off the cigarettes.....so here we were....each 40 plus year smokers being told....there cannot be anymore waiting....it was do or die......and in our case....we needed to do it together.
Surgery was scheduled for the 3rd week in January....after a shaky start, on January third we held our noses and took the big plunge. I found online support and another world opened before my eyes! There were so many people like me doing the same thing at the same time. I found not only a wealth of informations about my addiction....yes, we are most definately addicted to the most deadly of substances, nicotine, and I learned that I had to treat my quit as such, but alos so much information, so much support.....was I in for a woderful surprise!
My quit was indeed, a pleasure. So was my husbands'. We made a commitment and we were sticking to it. We wanted that 41 year old addiction licked. We wanted to get rid of those stinky, smelly and deadly things that
had been controlling almost our entire life....and with this attitude...it was easy. Each day we did not smoke was a victory....a wonderful one. Miss those cigarettes?....not on your life. Each day that separated us from them made us that much stronger in our resolve to remain smokefree......Each day has been a step closer to better health and a longer life. And guess what....there is most definatel a life after smoking....a wonderful one. We learned that whatever we did with a cigarette, we could also do without. No more running out to buy cigarettes when we started running low, no more standing outside in all kinds of weather to smoke, no more missing things because we ran off to get our hourly dose of nicotine...no more smelly clothes......this was wonderful.

Today, we are healthier, we look better, we stand taller and we smile at ourselves for doing what we thought would be impossible. We dumped a 41 one year addiction and have never, ever, for one day, regretted doing so. So to all of you sitting and reading the wealth of information here at Freedom and wondering if you can do this.......yes, it can be done and it can be wonderful. We have Joel, our professional quit teacher, we have his library that has saved so many lives over his thiry years teaching people that they can quit and stay quit, we have whyquit.com and all the reasons we need to do this and we have the best group of quitters on the www ready to help you along the way.
So hold your noses and take the plunge....or hang on to your hats for the ride of your lives....but know, that like all of us here at Freedom.....you can quit smoking and stay quit too! Just remember to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Linda....written 11/16/00

newlife (gold)
Joined: 09 Jan 2009, 23:21

23 Jan 2001, 12:34 #3

Right on, Sweetie!

I'm off the weed now for just a piddly 2 weeks and 5 days but I never felt as good about a quit as I do now. Why? Because of this group. You see I, too, am blown away by the honesty and sincerity of this group, and I feel so lucky that I stumbled upon it this past January 3rd, which was my last day of smoking. This computer is finally good for something, isn't it?

Anyway, though I am not a "heavy" smoker, I've been smoking an average of 18 cigarettes a day since about 1965, though I first "dabbled" with cigarettes around 1961. I distinctly remember going to the candy store for my father to buy his "Winstons" when I was around 8 or 9 years old. I'd buy 3 packs at a time, and I remember they were around 23 cents a pack. Back then, they never bothered me about my age, all I had to say (if asked) was that the cigarettes were for my father, which they were....initially.

Like you said, smoking was "in". Smoking was just about everywhere, although I do recall a lot of people (mostly women) who didn't smoke for the simple reason that it stank and served no useful purpose. Smart people, weren't they? No question about it, more men smoked than women, perhaps because it was more of a manly thing in the blue collar neighborhood I grew up in. But even my doctor smoked, while examining patients! I can still remember waiting to see the doctor and seeing people smoke in the waiting room. Yessiree, I remember the ashtrays on the end tables next to the magazines. Life magazine, of course, along with Look and the usual National Geographics.

And elevators! Don't forget the crowded elevators with people smoking in them. That was a carcinogenic delight, wasn't it? Can you imagine smoking in an elevator today? You'd be shot!!! Smoking was allowed in drug stores, city halls, movie theatres, anywhere and everywhere, except of course, in ammo dumps and fuel depots.

And oh yes, the TV commercials. How I miss them. Especially the one with the doctor smoking a cigarette and saying that if you want to feel good, light up a Lucky Strike! That was a good one, wasn't it?. And the Phillip Morris boy, the Old Gold rockettes, or whatever they were called, and, of course, if you care more about good taste than good grammar, you'd smoke Winstons! And what about those wonderful coupons that you could collect for prizes and gifts that came with each pack of Raleighs? Oh, and on your way to the cemetery, don't forget to show us your pack of Larks!

Like ancient Egypt, that all seems like another world or civilization that has bit the dust.
Amazing, isn't it, how so many people could be so wrong at the same time? Wow, who would've thought something so "cool", so "chic", so "high society", so "AMERICAN", could be so "fatal"?

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

23 Jan 2001, 12:35 #4

Relieved is exactly how i feel about bing able to quit smoking and stay quit after living in a full fledged addiction since 12y old. If someone ask me today what i did for a living i would have had to say, i smoked, and i smoked a lot. Looking back i can now see, most of everything else, is what i did inbetween smoking. Depending on things, there were times when i could smoke a pack in a few hours.. and i know what it feels like to overdose on nicotine.. IN short, very sick. On the average i was a pack and a half a day smoker. Or so i have figured, many years i am sure it was more.
About 14y ago, i knew i needed to quit. The news was out, about how harmful smoking was, and conviencing me even more so, was how badly i was feeling on most given days. Yet i continued to smoke, and smoked throughout a gillion failed attempts to quit. i get kidded about how much a gillion is,, but i kid you not. For the last 14y i failed at quitting smoking, on a near daily bases.
So besides being not ever able to stop, physically feeling bad, which mostly felt like no energy, and a fairly constant pain in my right lung, which i still feel when i get into certain positions , i also felt dispair, hopelessness, and quite aware i would die an early death, and probably still will, in comparision to someone who never smoked. Lastly i felt mentally ill to a degree. I became convienced i had a death wish. Who else of what else could explain this behavior i couldn't stop.
I'm not sure what gave me my last chance to get motivated, but i did. i got my computer about two years ago, and had success with another addiction a while back with the help of support. So i searched.
i landed in two previous sites before arriving here,, and had repeated relapese between until the night i arrived here.
I immediately feft relief. i have often stated that when i read what i read, it was like someone telling me i would never have to do another dish for as long as i lived. AND I REALIZED WHAT A HORRRIBLE BURDENSOME CHORE MAINTAINING MY ADDICTION HAD BECOME AND IT WAS OVER. I was being told to Never Take Another PUff!! i don't know how much i took in the first few days,,cept i could feel the care and concern regarding nicotine addiction. What was also remardable was the full inclusion of support,, everyone was supportive. And very up front.. coupling support with constant encouragement to learn about addiction to nicotine. I learned how not to take another puff, little bit ,, little bit,,
I cried when, i read Joel's article stating he never had a client call him, and tell him "Hey i got what i wanted , i got cancer." so i learned i wasn't mentally ill, and trying to kill myself with cigarette. i learned why i failed before, almost constantly tripping over the same stone. And then i learned how to fine tune my own addictive thoughts and how to counter act them, and how to alway be one step ahead of knowing what to expect. There is so much i could say, i need to stop, and say this. The last 4 months of my life has been the most life altering and life affirming time of my whole entire life. i am always ashamed and embarassed to say this, but i worked in the addiction field for 9 years, and today i sit in amazement as i realize it never occured or struck me as being exactly the same as other drugs. I am not a stupid women, and today, i credit the power of nicotine addiction for keeping me in the dark so long. After all if it didn't it wouldn't have gotten what it wanted which was another puff.
Reciently i have heard some constructive critisism regarding how we speak of nicotine addiction. In particular the word nicodemom. Every thing needs a language or it can't be talked about. Personally i like giving addiction an identity of its own, God knows it takes on a life of its own, cept it is yours and mine. Untill now mostly what we have heard from nicotine addiction was raspy voices, gaspes for breaths, chane stoke breathing, and last breaths. Nicotine addiction is about death, and dying and nothing else.. and it isn't even that mercifull.. there are sturggles, pain, sickness, foul smells, decayed parts, and loved ones taken and left behind.
as i walked to work, about one mile away three days a week, i am grateful for being able to do this,, if i could walk that mile on my knees , it would begin to express my gratitude for the last 4 months of quality life i have had. yqs Christiana

JanieB (Staff 1)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:07

23 Jan 2001, 12:39 #5

YoooHooo...It's JanieB here.
I only smoked for 38 yrs. but that could easily be rounded up to
and even 40, so I'm just going to chime in here.
I would like to make a point about the why of
"and still we smoked"
When my last child was born in 1978 we were allowed to
smoke in the OB/GYN's waiting room!
The nurses behind the desk were smoking while we signed in.
Is it any wonder that we had a hard time seeing what all of the fuss was about. It's not that we didn't understand that there were probable health hazards from smoking, it's just that the addict in us looked around and saw that even the medical profession was smoking and/or allowing it in their offices and hospitals. So....Ole Nic said...
don't worry...be happy, they smoke so why not you.
(Good thread Linda, thank you.
I hope you don't mind my barging in here)

improud (golder)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

23 Jan 2001, 23:01 #6

Great words of wisdom. Newlife I can't believe you remember all of that. When you stop to think smoking WAS everywhere. I started around 12 or 13 all of my friends smoked and I had to be in. I hated it at first but kept it up. smoked through pregnancy (two) smoked in my baby's faces, and now my grandchildren. Shame on me and everyone who did just that. I have actually apologized to my best friend, who is not a smoker, for smoking in her face for the last 5 years. My grandkids were over for the weekend and I was so HAPPY that they were finally in a smoke free environment MY HOUSE. IMPROUD that they will never get the second hand from me ever again.
2 wks, 5 days, 12 hours smoke free

Bolko (Staff3)
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:13

23 Jan 2001, 23:26 #7

I was smoking for 44 years and at least 25 years ago I realized I have to quit because smoking is not good for me.
I quit once for over a month but I though I can have 1 cigarrete for a fun... You know the rest. The time I regret most my smoking habit was 11 months I was locked in POW camp. In such place tobacco serves as the only currency exchangeble for all available goods among inmates and guards. All smokers, including myself had to give up chocolate, cookies and candies, clothes, cosmetics, books, medications etc. for cigarettes. "Fortunately" pretty soon we started to receive from an International Red Cross and many private charity organizations a lot of packages where cigarettes were always a major content. So we have had both: currency and smokes for ouselves. But if I would be a non-smoker I would be dressed like a prince, have uncotrolled family members visits, weekend passes etc. I choose to smoke instead.Image
For a last few years I felt increasing pressure on my chest, shortness of breath, I was getting tired quickly and my only response to those symptoms was daily routine statement: "I have to to quit". And nothing else. I don't know if I was waiting for a miracle or something. I gave up my annual physical because I hated when doctor always asked me as a very first question during each visit: "Do you still smoke?" and his comments after I gave him an answer: "I'm working on quitting".
I don't have shortness of breath, pressure on my chest, caughing anymore. I am not getting tired even after 10 miles fast walk. A cabin in my truck doesn't look and smell like a one big ashtray. I'm going to bed whenever I feel like it, without desperately checking if I have enough cigarettes to "survive" untill next morning. I don't have to behave like a teeneager and sneak for a smoke in my work place anymore. And so on, you name it.
Thanks to:
- taking a good example from my wife, who quit 2 weeks before me and she survived.Image
- my determination and commmitment; "I can do it".
- a priceless support from Freedom management and members,
I am finally smoke free:
Five months, three days, 13 hours, 20 minutes and 58 seconds. 3757 cigarettes not smoked, saving $466.03. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 1 hour, 5 minutes.

Please, excuse my accentImage

Ed Canuck
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:27

23 Jan 2001, 23:57 #8

Don't really know whether it's been 44, 45, 46 or what, but it's been at least 44 years, at, roughly, 2 packs a day.

Back in the '50's and '60's, although smoking was frowned upon officially until you were adult (at least 16, otherwise it'd "stunt your growth"), certainly all the other messages were that you had to smoke to be "Kool". Naturally, since I, and my buddies, were so much more mature than our tender years Image, we had to sneak 'em at every opportunity! One of my most vivid memories is that, since we couldn't often afford the 25 or 30 cents it cost to buy a full pack, we used to get 'em 2 for a nickel at the candy store across the park from school.

I guess what's so amazing to most of us 40-year+ quitters, from my experience and what I've read from your posts, is that, regardless of the changes in understanding, awareness and attitude since the time we started, we've maintained for all that time, to ourselves at least, that smoking's OK (who the **** does Dr. Koop think he is, anyway?)!! We've resented the banning of it from public places, restaurants, private homes, etc. We thought that people were totally over-reacting. After all, we smoked for years in all those places and nobody complained, so it's just the rabble-rousers getting everyone stirred up. And second-hand smoke??? Geez, if I can inhale 2 packs a day for 40 years, and I'm still healthy (cough, cough), how can second-hand smoke hurt anyone? Even when we tried to quit, it was more because of social or family pressures than because we really wanted to, or felt we really should. God, talk about being in denial!!!! I certainly hope the other stages of my quit aren't quite as long as that one, or I'm in real trouble!!!


44+ years smoking and five days, 12 hours, 24 minutes quit........

Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

24 Jan 2001, 01:04 #9

Great thread!!! Started smoking full time at 12 had been swiping from my Dad for probably 2 years before that. My addiction to nicotine lasted 46 years tried many times to quit used the patches smoked while wearing them. Growing up most of my friends smoked we were so cool. I believe if you really want to quit and stop making excuses and have the benefit of information and support YOU CAN QUIT. I was addicted as anyone on this list I believe when you are HOOKED you are HOOKED no matter how much or how long you smoked. To keep your quit stay on guard very important so many times we tend to forget what it was like as a smoker. I taped one of my coughing fits and listen to it from time to time, can't believe it is me on that tape. So just never take another puff and enjoy your Freedom from a deadly drug....Ed

AFTER 46 years proud to be nicotine free for Five months, one week, 12 hours, 1 minute and 56 seconds. 4012 cigarettes not smoked, saving $953.22. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 22 hours, 20 minutes.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

24 Jan 2001, 01:40 #10