62 votes

Three Years Without A Cigarette!

My quit date: 12/13/2010.

Here we are three years later, without a single cigarette. Woo-hoo!

Considering smokes were $8 per pack when I quit, and I was back to smoking a pack a day, that is $8 x 3 x 365 = $8,760 that I saved! Not to mention I'm healthier, have more energy and better control over my life generally. It is the greatest all around bargain, ever. All upside, no downside.

- - -

Having quit about a million times prior to that last time, I have some words of encouragement and advice for anyone considering quitting. This is a problem of mind over matter, and cold turkey is a pretty difficult road to take. You have years of habits built up that have to be unlearned and wound down. While it is not exactly easy, if I can do it, you can do it, too! Even if you tried and failed before, that doesn’t matter. You can do it this time.

This is step one. You have to believe that you can.

For some other strategies & encouragement, I put together another thread for those considering quitting...

Good luck, and please keep me posted.

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I went about the same length of time

Then 4 months ago I broke and had one while I was drinking with a friend. I haven't had another one since though.

Good man yourself, Michael.

And take a lesson from my experience. It's just as easy to get right back up on the wagon as it is to fall off.


Oh the irony...

I'm smoking a cigarette while readin your post about not smoking cigarettes. I don't even like them. I just do it because we still can. Liberty!

Michael Nystrom's picture

That is the dumbest reason in the world to do anything

Not even because "I" can, but because "we" can.

You can also waste your life while yelling "Liberty!" but that doesn't mean you should.

Anyway, I don't know if you're joking or what. And I don't mean to be harsh if you are. But a good question to always ask yourself is: "...to achieve what?"

So you can smoke, only because "we" can... But to achieve what?

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Sarcasm Script

Yea it was a joke. I smoke because addicted, and I'm addicted because I smoke. It's a vicious cycle, Michael. Congrats on your anniversary. Didn't mean to detract from the conversation.

Linda Cross's picture

I totally understand, I've thought that too.

More Libertarians still smoke than any other group I know of. Could have something to do with the desire to be free and not have others dictate what you do. Hanging out with a circle of smokers....there is a comradeship not present around the water cooler. Smokers bond with each other and strangers who are smoking with you are more likely to start up a conversation.

On the other hand, there are 3 groups who want you to keep smoking, and all three are enemies of Liberty. ONE Big tobacco TWO: Big Pharm THREE The Government (think taxes)

With those three WANTING you to smoke, well, it's another good reason to quit.

If you see something, say something, the government is listening.
Silence isn't golden, it's yellow.

May 17 2013

About 6 months here.


Pat on the back...

I quit about three years ago as well. I had started when I was 12 years old, and finally quit when I was 29.

I used the patches. I found it pretty easy to convince myself that I was getting my nicotine (because I was). With that in mind, I was only a little crabby for a couple of days each time the dose was decreased, but looking back, it was relatively easy.

I don't think I could've ever quit cold turkey.

I'll be ready soon but I already know I can do it.

Went cold turkey in jail. I was apprehensive about that but situations like that call for heightened self discipline and I played a little trick: I convinced myself that I quit long ago.

Many years ago. And this is just an echo. Echo echo echo echo echo.

Now tobacco represents freedom so there's a new layer to get through but...I'll be ready soon.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Michael Nystrom's picture

"Now tobacco represents freedom"

Ah, you got a trick played on you. You'll have to do some maneuvering to get back on top of that belief.

On one of my many quit attempts, I went to a mass hypnosis session. There were maybe 150 of us in an auditorium, on folding chairs. They had us be real quiet, but the funny thing was all the coughing in the room!

But anyway, once they had everyone in the room relax, they had us visualize of our "good friend" the cigarette. That's how many smokers think of cigarettes. As a pal. A companion when we're lonely, or bored, or out having a good time. Or even as a symbol of freedom.

But they had us visualize ourselves with our good friend, a big cigarette, out in a graveyard. And we're standing by an open grave. And me and my pal are standing there, feeling sad about the guy who died. And then, I realize (through this guided meditation) that the guy who died is me! And that cigarette, who I thought was a pal, is just a buddy fucker, and he's trying to push me into that open grave.

He's pulling all the judo maneuvers on me: Trying to push me, trip me, shove me into that open grave. And I'm finally (through the guided meditation) able to see his true nature. He's a buddy fucker. He's only about himself.

And when I see that, I get power over him, and instead, I push him into the open grave! And I felt triumphant! Powerful, and in control.

That hypnosis session cost me about fifty bucks, if I recall, and it was helpful. I was quit for about a week after that. It didn't stick, but I did learn something. And I'll never forget that guided meditation.

Hope that helps some. What you said about tobacco representing freedom reminded me of that.

That's a powerful association that you have to destroy, and / or reverse if you're going to be successful. Anyway, you know all about these mental tricks.

I know you can do it. You did it before. Hell, you're Smudge Pot! You can do anything.

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts


...on your success, Michael!

Eating better's my battle -- I get going strong with low-glycemic, non-GMO healthy stuff; then the holidays creep in with all their temptations :). Ah well, gives me a New Year's resolution at least...lol.


That leaves more for me!

After forty years of processed cigs, I started rolling my own in 2009.

Good for you!

I quit in 1995 and have never looked back.

What a stupid thing to do - smoking that is!

Benefits of quitting smoking!

Way to go Michael!

21 years 9 months for me!

When smokers quit — what are the benefits over time?

20 minutes after quitting

Your heart rate and blood pressure drop.

(Effect of smoking on arterial stiffness and pulse pressure amplification, Mahmud A, Feely J. Hypertension. 2003:41:183)

12 hours after quitting

The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1988, p. 202)

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting

Your circulation improves and your lung function increases.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp.193, 194,196, 285, 323)

1 to 9 months after quitting

Coughing and shortness of breath decrease; cilia (tiny hair-like structures that move mucus out of the lungs) start to regain normal function in the lungs, increasing the ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce the risk of infection.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. 285-287, 304)

1 year after quitting

The excess risk of coronary heart disease is half that of a continuing smoker’s.

(US Surgeon General’s Report, 2010, p. 359)

5 years after quitting

Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus, and bladder are cut in half. Cervical cancer risk falls to that of a non-smoker. Stroke risk can fall to that of a non-smoker after 2-5 years.

(A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease - The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010; and Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11. 2007, p 341)

10 years after quitting

The risk of dying from lung cancer is about half that of a person who is still smoking. The risk of cancer of the larynx (voice box) and pancreas decreases.

(A Report of the Surgeon General: How Tobacco Smoke Causes Disease - The Biology and Behavioral Basis for Smoking-Attributable Disease Fact Sheet, 2010; and US Surgeon General’s Report, 1990, pp. vi, 155, 165)

15 years after quitting

The risk of coronary heart disease is that of a non-smoker’s.

(Tobacco Control: Reversal of Risk After Quitting Smoking. IARC Handbooks of Cancer Prevention, Vol. 11. 2007. p 11)

These are just a few of the benefits of quitting smoking for good. Quitting smoking lowers the risk of diabetes, lets blood vessels work better, and helps the heart and lungs. Quitting while you are younger will reduce your health risks more, but quitting at any age can give back years of life that would be lost by continuing to smoke.

I also read somewhere that your lungs will re-grow and heal themselves and after 15 years your lungs are back just about to normal! WOW!

" In Thee O Lord do I put my trust " ~ Psalm 31:1~

I'm particularly

interested in the healing of scar tissue in the lungs. I've come across a few anecdotal reports of things which have healed lung scarring, but am always looking for more ways to address the issue. I know someone who damaged their lungs from coughing when they had bronchitis.

1993 for me.

Late summer 1993 I quit. I needed the help of hypnosis. But that doesn't matter. It was still a difficult life challenge that I conquered. As long as you find the reason and way to do it. Just do it.
The reason I quit was simple. I had a young child and I wanted to assure myself that I could continue to hunt and climb to the top of the mountain when I got further along in life. The outdoor life and hunting is a passion of mine.
Last week I found myself at daybreak on the top of a mountain during the first day of Pa. Rifle Deer season. If anyone knows what it's like during the Pa. Rifle season with all the orange clad folks taking to those same woods then you'll understand why one must climb to the remote areas to enjoy the serenity this activity allows.
Quitting didn't do much for my eyesight however as I promptly missed a decent sized buck that was also seeking an escape from the orange clad invaders. This old man and grandfather is still proud of that decision made a couple decades ago, and I'm sure glad that I don't measure the success of the hunt by only the kill. Besides there is still time to fill the freezer with some venison.
Michael whatever the reason for quitting was for you. I hope you find your way to the mountain top as well. Congratulations !!


Kudos indeed on your three-year anniversary being free from cigarettes.

WGRR DB - rEVOLutionary talk for revolutionary times. Listen LIVE!

....and I Quit Smoking Cigars Over A Month Ago!

Congrats Mich~ael!

A Big Bump For The President, the CEO, the Director and The 'Head Honcho' of The Daily Paul...

Prayers go out to your good health and your family this holiday season


Bravo, Michael!

I never thought I would smoke (Iraq changed that!) and my "I'll quit when I get home" idea didn't pan out so well - quitting happened years after that and was one of the hardest things I've ever made my self give up...except politics... just can't quite make myself give that bad habit up!:)

Here's to deeply breathing fresh air my friend!

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Congratulations!!! WAY TO GO!!

Right on! I hope you, Samantha and her sister/family and friends, are able to have a moment to CELEBRATE this huge life change event with you today (((((Michael Nystrom +)))).

I admire and respect what you have done for yourself, your loved ones, and this community, showing us leadership with example.

Thank you! CONGRATULATIONS!! Cheers!!!

Maybe if I congratulate you

instead of hating you for turning on the smokers
I'll be better able to quit.

I started rolling my own two years ago to avoid the 'additives' of RJR Nabisco cigarettes.

It's better but not as good as smoke free.

Michael Nystrom's picture

More reading material

The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance. - Alan Watts

Great book.

Great book.

Thank you!

And congratulations! Been cigarette free for about 5 years myself :) Doesn't food taste even more amazing now!?

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Congrats Man! lol Now you

Congrats Man! lol Now you just need to smoke something else if you want food to taste REALLY amazing...

We all share this eternally evolving present moment- The past and future only exist as inconsequential mental fabrications.

Thank you! I Appreciate it!

What do you think I've been doing for the last 5 years ;)

"We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience"—Pierre Teilhard de Chardin