How I Quit Smoking

Today I celebrate my first full year without smoking.  I haven’t had a complete smoke free year I think since I was about 14 years old.

The number one thing that helped me quit smoking was switching to Native American Spirit cigarettes.  Regular smokes have so many extra additives that I actually had withdrawel going to those. 

I would have probably continued smoking additive free forever, but Mr. Smith made it very clear at the beginning of our relationship that he cared for me but not my bad habit.  I quit a few times after we started dating but it was usually based on getting caught and not actual desire.  When I decided to join him in Australia I decided to leave my smoking behind in the US.

Chewing the nicotine gum was a huge help to me once I decided to actually quit.  I tried several brands and flavors and found Nicorette Fruit Chill flavor to be my favorite.  At first I chewed that stuff voraciously, stuffing up to 10 pieces in my mouth at a time.  After I was pretty much off smoking I started weaning myself off of the gum, limiting myself to less and less ‘pieces per hour’.

When it came time to go overseas, I was pretty much done with smokes and gum.  The stress of flying (and having lost luggage and missed flights) sent me running back to buy a pack but it wound up being a temporary fail and once I was settled in I was glad to be done for good.

The real test came months later when another stressful situation popped up and I turned to a bar of chocolate without any thought of smoking whatsoever.  That’s when I knew I was done.  I’m sure that if I were in a room full of smokers and having a beer I would have the old urges and there’s no guarantees that I won’t give into tempatation once or twice, but I think being a slave to smoking is broken.  It just smells wrong now.

The keys to being able to quit were switching to an additive free brand, chewing the nicotine gum and having Mr. Smith’s support.  To him smoking was detrimental enough that it was unacceptable, not just a bad habit.  It costs too much, ages us and smells terrible… and we’ve all seen the information on what it does to our health. 

Smoking was a large part of my life and culture.  It was my grandmother that taught me to smoke “like a lady” when I was 13.  In her defense, the dangers of smoking info wasn’t as prevalent as it is now.  As a writer “it helped me think” and you could always depend on bumming a smoke as a conversation starter when going out.

These days I’ve learned to think without smoking and find I type much faster when I don’t have to balance a cigarette between my fingers simultaneously.  I smell good all the time, and no longer shell out my daily sacrificial offering of cash to be burnt.  I never thought I’d be able to quit, but now that I have I appreciate it every day. 

If you are trying to quit smoking, I say don’t accept defeat.  Picking up a pack and having a setback does not mean just give up.  For years it was all or nothing for me.  Just whittle your dependence down as you can, getting better every time, and consider every cigarette you don’t smoke is a victory.

Here’s some other sites you might find interesting:

WhyQuit Website

What Happens If You Quit Right Now?

How I Quit Without Really Trying

About Angela Yuriko Smith

Angela Yuriko Smith is an American poet, publisher and author. Her first collection of poetry, In Favor of Pain, was nominated for an 2017 Elgin Award. Her latest novella, Bitter Suites, is a 2018 Bram Stoker Awards® Finalist. Currently, she publishes Space and Time magazine, a 53 year old publication dedicated to fantasy, horror and science fiction. For more information visit or
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One Response to How I Quit Smoking

  1. Nicotine is an alkaloid found in the nightshade family of plants (”Solanaceae”) which constitutes approximately 0.6–3.0% of dry weight of tobacco, with biosynthesis taking place in the roots, and accumulating in the leaves. It functions as an antiherbivore chemical with particular specificity to insects; therefore nicotine was widely used as an insecticide in the past, and currently nicotine analogs such as imidacloprid continue to be widely used…^-,

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