Quit Smoking Benefits at One Month - Robert's Story

Design Pics/Darren Greenwood/Getty Images

From Robert:

Being a first time father, activities that I had not partaken in were starting to be brought to my attention. Not in a good 7 years had I ever engaged in any type of playing other than light football or softball throwing.

It became very apparent as my son grew to over 20 pounds that it was not that hard to keep him in a backpack to carry him around. However, the pains that would occur when I attempted to pick him up and toss him around, much to his excitement, signaled that a change was needed, very soon.

Being a young man, I earned my first monies by mowing grass, up to 6 yards a week, which was always preceded and followed by my 100 house paper route. For so many years it was easy to do. Stamina was built up, so there was no major exertion going on.

Now here I was, just 26, but losing my breath simply trying to play with my son.  I recalled the previous year when, for the first time in many years, I had a lawn to mow. I was sick to my stomach, profusely sweating, gasping for air.  I had to do small patches at a time.

Even with all the exertion and the over-exertion at that, I would promptly enjoy a smoke when finished. I had attempted many years before to work out at a gym. Things went very bad, as I was very sick, headaches, throwing up. Once again, when I was able to breathe, I enjoyed a smoke.

I wanted to stop, but only once did I quit for about a month, only to start again during a period of stress.

No gum, patch or spray was used, just cold turkey.

Finally, I had enough. Seeing a friend who has a father who practices ear, nose and throat medicine, I got the normal lecture that had failed before. Then another friend who is now a cardiologist made this statement:

  • "It's not fair to say that everyone who smokes gets cancer of some type. It is more truthful to say that of people who have lung cancer, most are smokers."

    Wow, that statement hit me really hard. My grandmother, who died of a blood clot due to having partial lung removals from smoking, had not even deterred me up to this point.

    The circumstances were right; I had heard what I needed to digest. My motivations were many to quit, and I was already slowing down on my smoking. Switching to an ultra light wasn't the right thing - you drag differently to get more. From what I read and was told, you may get cancer deeper in the lungs by doing that.

    So I quit using a patch cut in half, secured with medical tape (21 mg, or roughly 10 mg) and 2 mg gum when I needed that extra little bit.

    The first three days were harder, but I resisted having 'just one'. My demeanor was not that of a raging bull. I wanted to quit - I had resolve to quit. There was no one but ME to blame for starting to smoke in the first place.

    Only about 12 days after stopping smoking did I try to mow the lawn for the first time. I had no idea I had been was that impaired by smoking. I just kept mowing, not even with a self-propelled mower.

    I didn't have to stop at all; my breathing wasn't fast and furious. It was controlled, even and most of all, it felt great!

    So, here I am today, on my first full month of not a single breakdown. I have no one tracking me, it's only for the internal congrats of stopping, fully knowing that every week I get stronger.

    I felt that I should let others know the quit smoking gains I have seen, that possibly it will help you decide to stop for good, or shore up your resolve by letting you know what I felt.

    • I deal with problems now instead of smoking them out. For the first two weeks, I did feel a bit foggy in the head, but that is gone now.
    • I can my mow my entire lawn plus more and not totally sap my strength.
    • My lungs continue to feel more 'spring', elastic and clear every single day.
    • I get to sleep faster, but also have better quality sleep.
    • I can taste more flavor in food.
    • I could smell a fire in my home now.
    • I know from across the room that a diaper does in fact need to be changed.
    • I save almost an hour or more a day that I would normally spend just 'relaxing' (smoking) and doing nothing helpful.
    • I can have sexual relations without feeling like I am having a heart attack. Too many improvements to list here, but if you are a guy, some of the changes will surprise you.
    • My breath smells better, or maybe I am compelled to brush my teeth now that I can taste and smell bad breath.
    • I am saving $20 per week right now.

    Perhaps the most encouraging facet of Robert's story is that the improvements he's described are common among recent ex-smokers.  Our bodies are quite resilient and given the chance, will rebound more readily than you might expect.

    Don't waste any more of your irreplaceable life on tobacco.  

    Quit smoking now.

    • All of my muscles are getting harder, more tone to them. I feel stronger, almost like I am 18 again.
    • I can sing better, more clear, without rasping.
    • Everything is staying white now.
    • I still drink coffee, but I feel like I enjoy it more now.
    • The heartburn that I was having no longer exists.
    • I have 21 less things to think about per day, sometimes that was even 42 things to think about.
    • I now know that you are less likely to land that new job if you smoke. Nonsmokers know if you smoke even before you talk. They can smell it.
    • My son was coughing up junk for a week when I put an end to smoking in the house. I'm still coughing, but he's done with it. He only endured second hand smoke for a year. Funny, I can tell for sure, no doubt, he was affected.
    • I care more about those around me - I value life more in all walks.
    • I set an example for son, my niece, and even a friend who has smoked for 15 years, who will quit just due to me doing it. More important, my wife will finally quit.
    • My house plants no longer drip brown, or have brown spots when I spray water on them.
    • I can tell when a cat of ours has snuck somewhere and 'messed' on the floor.
    • My favorite other children, the cats and dog are lowering their cancer risks right now too.
    • Are these reasons enough for me to quit? Only 8 reasons really matter:
    • April: my wife
    • Ethan: my son
    • Frick: Our oldest cat
    • Thomas: My most amazing cat
    • Ms. Phrat: The troublemaker
    • Tigger: The skittish one
    • Bear: The only dog
    • Me
    I can only say one more thing that I have learned or thought of, and it may help you or someone you know.

    The most oft heard reason to keep smoking:

    "I like to smoke."

    My response:

    "My grandmother still like smoking when she died at 62 from lung cancer complications."

    Best of luck, but you don't need it. You are the only one who can quit for yourself.


    Continue Reading