Tobacco Cessation

Tammy - Human Services
Tammy smoked for 17 years before quitting. Find out how she did it.

Barbara - Human Services
Barbara started smoking when she was 16. Find out how she finally kicked the habit.

David & Joseph - Correction
These co-workers helped each other quit tobacco with friendly competition.

Heather - Agriculture
At the urging of her children, Heather quit smoking. She has advice for others.

Department of Human Services

After smoking on and off for about 25 years, I quit on August 9, 2015. I don’t get out of breath when I exert myself like I did when I was smoking, and I feel that I added years to my life.

My 50th birthday was coming up and I had lost both of my parents in their 50s due to heart disease, so I knew I need to take action to get healthier. Also, my grandmother had bladder cancer and I had read that smoking can contribute to that.

Money was another big motivational factor. Cigarette prices kept going up. and I counted how much money I was spending. I used the nicotine patches, but I really think you have to be motivated to quit.

My advice for others is you have to make up your mind that you want to quit. Find a reason to quit and make a list. Maybe the reason is for yourself or your children or grandchildren. Think about what you are exposing them to and how much you want to be around to see them grow up. Write down all the reasons you need to quit and keep it handy so you can look at it when you feel like caving. Find a new habit like walking, gardening, taking up a new sport, just something to keep you occupied and motivated.

I learned that I am stronger than I ever gave myself credit for being. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do. Nicotine is very addicting; some say it is as bad as using drugs and just as hard to quit. Now if I could just give up chocolate!

Department of Mental Health & Substance Abuse Services

I am a trainer for a wellness program. I found it difficult to teach wellness when I was not practicing it in my own life. I wanted to be a role model to those I was teaching. I also realized that I used smoking as a coping technique and wanted to have healthier coping strategies. I started smoking regularly the summer of 1987 after suffering a tragedy. Smoking for me was a way to cope. 

I became a non-smoker on September 2, 2013. I am able to enjoy life. I am able to breathe easier.

My advice for others is to make a big overall goal. Mine is to live to be 100. Then determine the steps that you need to take to get to that bigger goal. Setting smaller action plans along the way helps to achieve the bigger goals. One of the first steps for me was to become a non-smoker. It took me a few months to get used to not smoking and to find other activities. Unfortunately, I chose food the first year. That is when I decided to start running to lose the weight and stay a non-smoker.

I have learned that I am stronger than I ever thought I was. I have learned that I am able to achieve goals. I have learned that I am not a quitter.

Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

I found myself being out of breath from simply climbing a flight of stairs, and I was inspired to quit by fear after watching a loved one go through two strokes within three months. I wanted to extend my life by being healthier and live my life without being short of breath. I simply said, 'No more.' Then I started the nicotine patch. It helps to have a supporting and encouraging work environment.

I found that I wasn't able to permanently achieve my goal until I was determined to do it for me. I had quit smoking three other times when pregnant and ultimately went back to it each time when my babies were about six months of age. This time I quit for myself and I think that made a difference. Sometimes you have to make your own way of doing things. It may have taken me an entire year to become nicotine-free, but in the end I can honestly say I have zero desire to go back to smoking - absolutely none whatsoever. I've been a non-smoker for approximately four years now.

I have learned that my motivation has to come from within. No external source of motivation can have a lasting outcome. Quitting smoking was one of the toughest things I've ever done. Now I really feel like I can overcome anything. 

Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

I told myself that after I graduated nursing school I would quit smoking. One day I smoked what was left in the pack and never bought another pack. I quit cold turkey eight years ago and never picked them up again. For the past year, I have been working on healthier eating and exercise.