Giving up the smokes at 60

At 60 years old, giving up smoking is not the easiest of things and if you have been smoking for decades you are probably so set in your ways that it is going to take a mammoth effort to find success.
I tried everything:

  • I cut down daily till I ended up smoking one cigarette a day. I lasted a few months and then slowly increased back to a packet a day.
  • Then I cut down the strength of my cigarettes to 2 mg thinking I was saving myself by smoking lighter.
  • I tried Roll Your Own cigarettes.
  • I tried the patches and lasted two months without cigarettes.
  • I hid my cigarettes but then would spend endless hours trying to find them.
  • I would put them up on top of the kitchen cupboards and would have to get a ladder out to climb up.
  • I would leave them at home… and end up borrowing from others.
  • I would cut down to one less cigarette a day until was on one cigarette… never did seem to get off that last one.
  • I tried chewing Nicotine gum.

At the end of the day I was not committed enough and would always fall back on the old habit. Today I can say I have not had a cigarette in 10 years and it seemed so easy to give up in the end. My husband went to hospital with a heart problem and was taken into emergency. He spent four days there and the doctor told me that I had to give up smoking before he came home.

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My husband was made to give up cold turkey when he was taken to hospital, and the doctor explained the worst thing for his heart was cigarettes and if I was still smoking he would probably take it up again. I went home the first day and bought some patches for my arm. I put a full patch on and immediately cut my smokes down to half. The next day I put half a patch on and cut my cigarettes down to a quarter of the amount I normally smoked. The third day I put a quarter patch on and allowed myself one cigarette. Finally the last day it was no patches and cold turkey.

I treated stopping smoking as if I had a form of alcoholism and could not afford to touch it again. Yes I had all the withdrawal symptoms but the main problem was keeping my fingers busy as they just wanted to hold something out of habit. I avoided parties and places that were heavy in smoke and found I could easily cope if I kept my mind in other places. 10 years later I can stand next to a smoker and not feel any urges to smoke…but I will refuse to have a cigarette always, on the basis I cannot afford to smoke at my age as it is the worst thing for my health.

Have you quit smoking before? How did you do it? Share your story below.