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ARCHIVED - More Success Stories

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I haven't had a cigarette in 3 days. I am trying to be strong, just like the rest of the people that are trying to quit. It's hard. I have been able to do this by keeping myself busy, like painting pictures, making jewellery, anything to keep my hands busy. I feel its working for me, but I think about it all the time. I have a great supporter that keeps telling me, 3 days, 3 weeks, 3 months. Each of these time periods I get a treat or surprise. It works for me.


I only started smoking when I was 40. Now I am 54 and I am realizing it wasn't so smart after all. My grandchildren are so proud of me, they say smoking is not good for you. Now they are hoping their mom will follow me. I have tried a few times but it didn't work. I have gone cold turkey. It's been 21 days and I am doing fine so far with just a few cravings. My boyfriend has quit also but he's having a lot of cravings so he's on the patch. Take care everyone, you are not alone. Positive thinking. Enjoy being a non-smoker.


I am a 59-year old male who started to experience physical signs that it was time to quit (elevated blood pressure, shortness of breath, and to my dismay, occasional symptoms of erectile dysfunction). Recently, laws prohibiting smoking in public places were passed and I decided if I could not even "enjoy" a smoke with the boys at the pub, especially at present prices, it was time to quit. I decided to give myself a week with patches and no smoking to "come down" gently; also decided I would not use gum or anything else as this would prolong the agony for me. First week was not easy at all. I did not work, rented movies, took long walks, spent quality time with my dear wife but did not give in. Now it's been 10 weeks and I even survived a tropical holiday without smoking. My breathing has really cleared up. I can exercise hard in the gym and my wife likes me even more. Only have to overcome temptation during stressful situations. Good luck to you all!


I am a 39 year old immigrant who has been in Canada for about 3 years already and I have tried over and over to quit. All of these times I have failed. Probably it was because I was not yet ready. I have been to the brink of losing my wife and children because of my smoking. I have managed to hang on to them only because I have kept a big dark secret.. I would dream up elaborate scenarios and drive miles out of my way in order to sneak a cigarette without my family knowing. I thought that I would never be able to break this habit. And that was the story of my life for the 4-5 years before I finally succeeded

But in the end, it was easier than I thought. I guess if one decides that enough is enough and really wanted to stop then that would remove a major stumbling block, the rationalizing of one's decision to continue smoking. When I came to this decision that I did not want to smoke any longer, I just stopped and I did not need any gum or patches. So my 2 cents worth is this: be honest with yourself, if you still want to smoke, you will and no patch or gum will prevent that but if you really want to stop, that alone is more potent than anything out there.


I am 54 year old and it's been 3 weeks since I quit smoking. I feel so much better and smell better too. Its not an easy thing to do. This habit took over my life. I tell myself each and every day as many times as I can how much I enjoy being a non smoker. Affirmations do work. It is a positive way to do it as telling yourself you want a cigarette, eventually you will have one. So try the positive way, the affirmation, its worth a try. We smokers need anything that can help us get through this and stay a healthy non smoker .. smile, and good luck.


The support and advice and information provided by the Health Canada site has been a true life saver for me. The e-quit messages were brilliant - it's true that we former smokers often miss cigarettes as if they were old friends who've gone away forever during the first few stages of our quit attempts. However, in my case, the e-quit messages filled that void - while I never assumed automatic electronic messages were my new friends, I certainly didn't feel alone during those difficult first few days and weeks.

I also had tremendous support from actual human beings as well. The key for my quit success so far was, I believe, in the Road to Quitting guide's suggestion for all those planning to quit to "identify your support group." I probably would have simply tried to quit cold turkey on my own and failed just as quickly as I did ten years ago when I tried the same thing. But to mention to people that I was seriously thinking about quitting in the near future brought out nothing but smiles and support and well wishes and some very useful tips and advice that would have never occurred to me on my own. These words of motivation and support came from smokers, former smokers and people who have never smoked in their entire lives. My friends and family's confidence in my ability to pull it off in turn increased my own confidence. Ultimately you have to quit for yourself, but nothing will make that go smoother than genuine support and motivation from others.

It's been just over five weeks for me now, without a single slip. I can hardly believe it. I'd like to finish by echoing what others have written here: everything they tell you about quitting smoking is true! Eating out becomes MORE enjoyable because you can actually taste the food and drink for a change, it simply feels better to be able to breathe, and it's really nice not to stink. Not too long ago it used to make me angry that Canada was such an actively non-smoking country...restaurants first, then bars? How dare they interfere with my beautiful smoking! Now, of course, I understand and agree with these policies.


I am 28 years old and have been smoking since I was 17. I truly did love to smoke. I tried to quit so many times knowing it wasn't right. I tried 6 times to be exact, up until March, when I finally realized that smoking is going to kill me and how was my husband going to explain that to my daughter.

This kept running through my head. Every ache and pain I had started to freak me out thinking it was cancer, finally enough was enough. I was not going to worry about the few pounds I was going to gain and that the socializing with my girlfriends would be different. It's a whole lot better than the alternative. It has been 4 months now and I must say this time I really have quit for good, my state of mind is different, and I'm thinking of more than just myself. I am ready to be a non-smoker and free myself of this nasty habit that has controlled me for all these years.


I started smoking casually at 9 years old. My best friend was quite adept at stealing the nearly-empty packs of cigarettes that his mother left all over their house. I became a half-pack a day smoker in high school, and a pack a day smoker in university. By the time I hit the work world I was a 2 pack a day smoker. I've tried to quit about a dozen times in the past, but it never took. As soon as a little stress was applied, I'd bum a cigarette from one of my many smoking friends (just to take the edge off you see), and then I'd be back into the fold. I thought I'd never have the willpower to quit.

Then I met someone who changed all that for me. She made my world come alive. She was also asthmatic, and I was well aware that my habit was killing her. Armed with this motivation, I went out with my buddies for a huge smoky Friday night bash, and had my last cigarette. I went cold turkey the next morning.

I spent four days at home, away from anyone I could snap at, and away from anyone I could bum a smoke from. I went through the shakes and sweats as if I was coming down off of a hard drug addiction. But I toughed it out and have not looked back. That was 3 years ago, and my wife has yet to stop thanking me. Remember, it's all about the motivation. Find yours, like I found mine.


I started smoking when I was 13 and I am now 52. It's been seven days since I stopped smoking and I am very proud of myself. I did not think I would ever be able to do it, but I have. I tell myself that the worst is over and that I will never again go through another week of withdrawal - it's too hard. I'm quitting for my health first and also to be around for my grandson, whom I adore.


I was a smoker for 10 years. I am very proud to say that it has been 321 days and I feel great. I decided to look on the Health Canada web site and found so much information on how to quit smoking. I printed everything out and took it home to show my husband. After reading everything, I decided my day to quit would be April 1st, 2004. I was able to prepare myself mentally and felt really good about my decision.

I decided to use the patch. It was a tough road at times but my husband was my number one supporter. As a result of me quitting, my mom has quit as well and she was a smoker for about 30 years. She has not had a cigarette in 6 months. I am really glad that I have influenced her enough to quit.


I have smoked for years and have tried quitting several times. I can't tell you Bob how wonderful your latest series of ads are. I usually feel like I CAN'T quit and I know it's bad for me. So to have ads showing people how to quit successfully is probably one of the most helpful things you could do. Thank you. One of these days I really am going to try again. But hope and motivation do way more for me and probably lots of people than frightening information about how bad it is for you. (Although it's good to know that too). Thanks Bob


I didn't begin smoking until the age of 18. I recently turned 38. After 20 years, I took a long hard look at my past and present love affair with smoking and believed that there wouldn't be a future if I didn't quit soon. As a diabetic, I knew that the increased health risks could soon be the death of me even though heart disease and cancer don't run in my family.

I decided to quit "cold turkey". I feel for me personally, that it would be better to flush the nicotine right out of my system rather then prolong the agony of nicotine withdrawal. The first 3 days went well. The withdrawal symptoms were much more manageable then I had expected. I just drank lots of water and probably overate just a little. I also kept lots of sugar-free gum close by. By day 3, the nicotine withdrawals were all but gone. I only had to deal with the habit portion of quitting. For this, I spent more time at the gym, played video games or read a book. All was getting better.

Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. I thought that I was coming down with a nasty cold. But I later learned that there can be real side effects to quitting. I developed a dry cough, followed by a sore throat and then sneezing and stuffed sinuses. I did a google search on "symptoms that occur when quitting smoking" which revealed that "cold like" symptoms are common for people who quit smoking. Mouth lesions like canker sores may also occur. So I treated my symptoms as though I had a cold. In time, these symptoms would fade much like my cravings for another cigarette.

It has now been a month since my last cigarette and I really feel good about myself for quitting. My clothes and body no longer smell, I barely ever cough now and I don't get winded after climbing a few flights of stairs. My previous attempts only lasted 1 or 2 days, but I think that they helped me to quit for the long term this time. Although, many people may not think that a month is long term. For me, it's huge and I have no intention of throwing it all away by slipping up. Good luck to those who are up to the challenge and be sure to post your own quitting experience. You never know who's life your story may effect.


I have been smoking since I was 13 and I am now 43. This is my third time I have QUIT. I feel really good about it this time so maybe the third time is the charm. I am using the patch and all the helpful hints I got from this website like drinking lots of water, deep breathing, exercise, and lots of gum. I also come back to the website to remind myself how important it is to be smoke free and to read the success stories - they are a real inspiration. My husband also smokes so now I am going to get him to QUIT. Wish me luck and thank you.


I signed up for e-quit back in August. I found the messages to be really great. There is a lot of really helpful information on gosmokefree.ca for people who are tying to quit smoking. I like the way you provide methods for quitting for the many different types of reasons why people smoke.

On February 4th I will have 6 months smoke free - Ya! I am really proud of myself. I am going to reward myself with something - I am not sure yet. I AM sure what my reward will be on my one year anniversary - a set of real copper pots (I could have probably bought solid gold ones with all the money I wasted on cigarettes - HA!)


I have been a smoker since I was 15 years old and now I'm 50! I have been blessed with four darling granddaughters. Last June, the oldest of the four (age 10) asked me to stop smoking because she wanted me to be around for a long time to come. On Saturday, July 10, while I was on a five-day fishing trip far from civilization - no corner stores! - I decided to stop smoking. I did so primarily for myself, but also so that I could tell my granddaughter that I was doing what she asked!


I am a 68 year old woman who quit smoking after 50 years. Every time I watched the Bob commercial I became more determined to quit. So on May 5th I put out the cigarette I was smoking out and never looked back. Today I saw the commercial again and hope you keep running it. Im trying to get my son and daughter to quit as well. Thank you!


I have smoked for 20 odd years. I will soon be 41. I have been a competitive athlete since I was 13, playing tennis, hockey, rugby, squash and mountain biking. I have always been able to keep up and perform well despite my smoking. I thought why quit, I am still able to compete with the best of them. I started running this spring - sure enough I easily kept up with the group but this time the difficulty breathing really bothered me. 10 days ago I stopped smoking - it is amazing how quickly my breathing became easier (I noticed a difference within 24 hours). I can actually talk while I exercise - I am excited each day that I wake up smoke free and I look forward to my run to feel the improvement in my breathing. I hope I can do this, I think I can, it feels great to breathe!


I would not have thought it possible but I have been completely smoke-free for 6 weeks today! I smoked continuously for 27 years, quitting only once two years ago. I was miserable and lasted only 5 days. This time around, my motivation was increased by the recent passage of a smoking bylaw in my city. It outlaws smoking in all enclosed public places, and even includes patios attached to bars and restaurants! On top of all the other reasons to quit, I didn't want to give up going out for dinner or drinks (or have to run outside to smoke all the time).

I didn't really do anything different this time - I am taking Zyban, and using nicotine gum when necessary, just like I did last time. It sounds cliche, but the old sayings are really true. First, I think I was able to quit this time because I really DID want to - and maybe last time I hadn't really made up my mind yet. Second, the previous quit attempt WAS useful, because it allowed me to experience the cravings and urges for tobacco/nicotine. I was more prepared this time, knowing better what to expect and therefore, how to react.

For all those who are thinking of taking the plunge - do it!! You will see and feel benefits more quickly than you might think. My teeth are SO much whiter now (no ugly stains) and I don't have to wear nail polish anymore to hide my
yellow fingernails. My friends tell me my voice isn't gravelly anymore, my breathing sounds better, and they say I look better! And that's just from 6 weeks away from tobacco. Plus, I've been able to visit non-smoking restaurants and really enjoy a nice relaxing dinner (yes - food and wine still taste good - even better - when you're not smoking).

Anyway, I'm hopeful this is a permanent change. I'm setting little goals - first, I vowed I'd give myself 1 smoke-free day for every year I smoked (27 days). Next, I'm going to aim for 27 smoke-free weeks, and then 27 months, and well, you get the picture. That really does help - taking it one day (or week or month) at a time. Oh, and I'm rewarding myself with the money I've saved - I haven't splurged on clothes and shoes and other treats for myself in years, so it's been a lot of fun. And finally, I try to visit web sites like yours regularly to remind myself of the importance of avoiding tobacco.

Keep up the good work!


I would like to write this letter to say a HUGE THANK YOU for sending me your "e-Quit" messages and the "On The Road to Quitting" program on your website. My quit date was January 19th and I have been SMOKE-FREE since then!! Your e-mails have been a great help before, during and even after quitting. It helped me set my quit date, kept me learning all about my triggers and feelings, and talked me through to becoming a non-smoker.

I also wanted to share the reason why I wanted to quit in the first place. My #1 reason for quitting was a school assignment that my daughter had to do for her class. It was called "What Makes Me Worry":

1. I am worried that I might fail French.
2. I am worried that I won't pass Grade 4.
3. I am worried that my friends won't like me anymore.
4. I am worried that I won't finish my homework.
5. I am worried that my Mom will die because she smokes all the time.

She also had to write a list of what she can do when she worries about these things.

1. Ask for help from the teacher and study more.
2. Keep studying and like the marks I get.
3. They like me because I am a good friend so keep being a good friend.
4. Get home from school and do my homework. Ask Mom or Dad for help.
5. I don't know!

She handed it in with the "I don't know." reply written on it. What a chilling thought that she had no idea what to do and that she would keep thinking that I would die because she couldn't do anything about it. Can you imagine the horror I felt when I read this ... Well that did it! I had to succeed in stopping.

I now get a hug everyday and she tells me how proud she is of me (I've asked her to do this for me - keeps me motivated.) so I'm still a non-smoker with the support of family and friends and the great focus from your daily e-mails!

Thanks again for helping me to achieve 'non-smoker' status!!

Mother of four children


I am "almost" Bob. I started smoking when I was 15 years old. It really was the cool thing to do. My parent's were set strongly against smoking, so that made me relish it all the more. By the time I was 35, I looked back at all the money, health and time, smoking took from me and how it still has death grip on me and my friends. I'm not gonna end up 50 years old on a respirator, or in a hospital taking up taxpayer dollars, dying of lung cancer, because I wanted to be cool.I am quitting now, and it isn't easy. I've slipped too, just like everyone else. The key is 1 minute at a time, then 15 minutes, 1/2 hour and so on. Make it as long as you can without a cigarette and use tools at your disposal. It will get better, but you have to want to quit, plain and simple. Using the e-Quit service really helped me. An inspiration message and helpful suggestions every day made it easier for me I'm sure.Well, thank-you for the help and if I can be an inspiration to someone, to help them quit, more power to 'em!

I've been smoking for 14 years.This is my third time quitting smoking and I've now been 5 weeks, 2 days and 18 hours without a cigarette. I've tried cold turkey, and this time the patch. With cold turkey, I lasted a couple of days. The patch seems to be working for me - especially since I live with a smoker!The difference this time is that I am ready to be a non-smoker. I haven't enjoyed a cigarette in a long time, and as a singer I was getting very tired of having to clear my throat of excess phlegm all the time.I have found that keeping myself occupied when a habit craving hits is very important to succeeding. I'm drinking a lot more water than I used to as that has replaced my cigarettes. It's definitely one craving at a time, and I've learned to say no as each one comes.Wish me luck because I'm in for the long haul!


I'm "getting on with my life". I started smoking at the age of fourteen. Mostly because of boredom in a small town atmosphere. I am now twenty-one and I have become fed up with my lifestyle. I am a radio broadcaster as well. So my voice is my life. Well, it's been 8 days since I had my last cigarette and I am proud of my accomplishment so far. I smell better, everything seems cleaner, and all guilt is gone. Nobody nagging me about my habit, nothing. It's great. But, the journey has not been easy. Trident has been my best friend through it all. I know I am not out of the woods yet, but at least I can see the meadow through the branches.


I started smoking when I was 15 years old. I am 37 now. I am on the road to a smoke free life and it is great. Every time I have a craving I chew a nicotine gum. It doesn't taste that good but it works. My youngest son who is 6 years old asked me one day if I loved him. My response was of course I do. He then said to me when I die from smoking I won't be around to take care of him and that would make him sad. If I loved him I would not smoke. That was the turning point for me. It took a 6 year old to get it through my head "smoking kills" so quit while you still can. Good Luck


I am not a young canadian in age as I am sixty two but I ride horses, travel the world, swim, scuba dive, ride an A.T.V., have eleven grandchildren and retuned to Canada after nine years in Mexico. I went to live in the mountains and could not breathe just by climbing stairs or just by sitting up in bed.I have been smoking since I was nine and I am no longer a smoker as of two months ago. I made myself some worry beads and when my body wants a smoke, I play with them. I eat my regular meals and drink lots of cold cranberry juice. It has not been that easy but when my body wants a smoke I say go for it girl, see how long you will last. Please send me positive energy. I am going to beat this thing. Thank you for this forum as I hope my story gives someone hope.


I have been a smoker for 19 years. I am only 31 years old. I am a wife and a mother of four children. I always smoked outside of my house because I know how bad it is for you if you smoke or not. My children and husband have been trying to get me to stop smoking for many years now. My children would look at me, almost crying, and asking me to stop before I die. I would get mad at them and tell I was not going to die.Almost all of the people who died in my family died from cancer. I know if I did not stop, it would happen to me to. So I am on the road to quitting smoking - it has been 12 days for me now. I am taking one day at a time. Yes it is very hard to do but, if you put your mind to it you can almost do anything. I did'nt think I could go 1 day with out smoking. Now it is 12 and I feel better. I am not coughing all night any more and I smell a whole lot better too. So I would say if you are wanting to quit smoking go for it. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain.


I started smoking at the age of thirteen. I am now twenty-five and plan on getting pregnant soon. I've been smoke free for 61 days and counting. Sometimes the temptation is there, but I need to keep my health as a priority. Once you decide to stop, you need to stick to it.


I am 33 years old and I have been a smoker since I was 13 years old. I did not think there was ever any way I could give it up. My children hassled the heck out of me, made no difference. I lost grandparents to cancer, they smoked, even that did not slow me down. I moved to Canada 4 years ago and I have seen all your commercials, read the warnings on the cigarette packets and had my children plead with me to quit. Still nothing.Three months ago I was diagnosed with heart failure. This is not due to smoking but to a childhood illness. I have to have open heart surgery within the next 8 weeks. I knew I had to quit to have this surgery and for the first few weeks I ignored this fact. Then I bit the bullet and sent away for your go smoke free booklet through the mail. I received it on November 1st and started reading it while I was eating supper. From that moment on I have not had another cigarette. I am so very proud of myself, so are my friends, family and my doctor. I went cold turkey, used no patches or gum, I just stopped. It wasn't easy, the first 10 days were hell. But once I got through them, it got much easier. Sometimes, especially when I get stressed or nervous I want one, but the craving only lasts 5 minutes then it is gone. I have learned to cope with them. I must say that overall the fear and terror I had built up inside myself as to what it would be like to quit and how hard it would be was nothing like it really was. In short, I expected it to be so absolutely horrific that the real thing was easier.

Whenever I think I need a smoke I read your booklet from cover to cover and remind myself of why I quit. I thank you, without this campaign and your booklet I do not know if I could have done this. You have helped save my life. I am not coughing at all anymore. I know after surgery I will have more energy than ever before and I very much look forward to living a smoke free life. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, thank you. I promise you from this campaign you have saved at least one life, mine.

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