According to the American Cancer Society, nicotine is just as addictive as heroin and cocaine. According to the American Lung Association, cigarette smoke contains over 4,800 chemicals, 69 of which are known to cause cancer. So why do I smoke? Because I love it.
I love smoking at the bar, smoking with my friends and smoking when I am relaxing. Well, it used to be that way. I have smoked for almost four years, and have recently made the decision to let go.
At first, my cigarettes were good to me; now, however, our relationship has become a bit strained. Sure, I have noticed colds last longer than usual, and I lose my breath faster than others do, but there have also been other changes I no longer want to deal with. These do not only include bad breath and bad skin; my teeth and fingernails are starting to turn yellow, my clothes smell, my hair smells, and even though I told myself I wouldn’t when I first moved in, my apartment smells because I’ve recently started smoking in there too.
Mark Twain once wrote, “Quitting smoking is easy. I’ve done it a thousand times.” Just like Twain implied, quitting smoking and staying that way is tough. Personally, this will be my third attempt. The first time I tried to quit was for my boyfriend at the time, not for me. Needless to say, it did not work.
The second time I quit was last summer, and I managed to stay off cigarettes for six weeks. But all it took was someone offering me a cigarette when I was drunk, and all that work flew out the window.
Recently, many of the articles in this paper have dealt with how the faculty and different groups on campus are trying to get Temple students to quit smoking for good. Still, telling me to quit and actually getting me to quit are two different things. I have made the decision myself, and I think and hope I am ready. Here I am, three months from graduating and three months from the four-year mark. I am determined not to be smoking when that time comes.
So now that the decision to quit has been made, I’ve decided to do some research on the subject. I know that there are nicotine replacement products out there that could probably make this transition easier. According to the American Lung Association, the patch, gum and lozenges all average between $5 and $15 a day. According to my wallet, nicotine replacement products are not an option.
Going cold turkey is going to be tough, but I have to do it. I’m doing it for the kids that give me mean looks when I’m enjoying a cigarette outside the library. I’m doing it for the unfortunate people that have to sit near me in class and smell the smoke. But most of all I’m doing it for myself. I am making no guarantees that I can quit this time, but this article is the first step in the right direction. After all, many doctors recommend telling loved ones, friends and coworkers when you quit smoking. What better way to do that then to share my story with readers.
Stay tuned, because this is a process and this diary of mine is to give you a glimpse; but what that glimpse is of is unknown at this moment. It may be a glimpse of victory, or it may turn out to be a sight of failure. For my fellow smokers out there, keep reading because if I can pull this off, I believe anyone can.
Michelle Nicoletto can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.