Smoking Cessation Series: Quitting Smoking Improved My Health and My Finances, by Becky Hartman
Posted Apr 23 2013 9:05am
This is the third guest blog post in our “Smoking Cessation Series,” which reveals personal stories of people who have successfully quit smoking, or who are currently trying to quit.
I am currently 67-years-old, and started smoking when all of my peers did, which was about age 16. They had unfiltered cigarettes and I don’t know how I even tried one twice, but that I did, mainly because all my friends were doing it and my father smoked. Even when my father quit, he died seven years later of throat and lung cancer. I stopped for about six months after he died in 1984, but picked up a cigarette one day and well, you know the rest.
When smoking, I could not swim or jog, but that was rationalized easily. I moved into a new home in 1993 and started to have increased monthly expenses. While thinking about the extra money, I started to realize that I was spending $90 a month on cigarettes. I decided that if I wasn’t spending that money, I could afford an increased cable bill AND have extra money.
It was still inconceivable to me that I would ever be a non-smoker because it was such a part of my personality, but I tried the patch and in six weeks was smoke-free! I decided that it was okay to want a cigarette, just not to actually have one. That thought sustained me until I started to find smoke offensive. After six months of non-smoking, I was swimming a half to three quarters of a mile, my hair became softer and less brittle, my skin became smoother and best of all, I didn’t smell like smoke all the time. It was exhilirating, and still is.
When I stopped smoking on March 4, 1993, I started putting a twenty dollar bill in a glass jar for every week I didn’t smoke. I continue to do that, and it works out to over $1000 a year. The glass jar is to enable me to see how economical not smoking has been.
-Written by Becky Hartman, Clinical Social Worker, Greenspring Pediatric Associates
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