The benefits of breaking free from a seven-year habit

Kids are educated in school about how harmful cigarette smoking is and the odds of developing cancer almost seem to be a guarantee.

Kids are educated in school about how harmful cigarette smoking is and the odds of developing cancer almost seem to be a guarantee. Just like these kids, I sat and paid close attention to the same information and swore I would never involve myself in that kind of dirty work.

But I did, and I was hooked in a trap for seven long years.

Hanging out with my friends in high school who all seemed to smoke was a perfect way to sneak in a small taste of a cigarette. And after briefly sucking on a lit cigarette that a friend had held up to my lips, I remember literally saying ‘blayck’ and realizing that the taste wasn’t any better than the smell.

I didn’t try smoking to be cool or to be a dare devil as I always somehow gave off the impression of the good girl. I tried it because I was curious. I then decided to start smoking because of being a teenage girl growing up in an unstable family.

The clutches of using life stress as an excuse to light up a cigarette got the best of me and I became a fully-fledged smoker. At the time it felt good to be independent and somewhat rebellious as being a smoker was my little secret that Mom and Dad didn’t know about.

I was surprised at how well I could keep this secret from them as they usually asked me about everything I was involved in. It wasn’t until after I had quit smoking that I finally told them the truth about being a smoker for all those years. Their reaction was disappointment and denial.

But truth be told, I had many people react in shock when they saw me smoking, or tell me that I didn’t look like a smoker.

I had never truly felt like someone who would smoke for the rest of my life, but after trying to kick the habit for good with the aids of the Nicorette patches and gum, none of that helped me to be permanently successful.

It wasn’t until I joined a gym and took on the boot camp from a personal trainer that really helped me kick the habit for good. There was something about walking on a treadmill in an air-conditioned gym while listening to music on my iPod that made my life’s woes melt away.

But then my first session with my personal trainer came and he followed through with his promise of kicking my bum.

After being out of breath during a training session, I remember my trainer telling me, “Jasmine, if you want to be able to do these exercises, you need to quit smoking.” I realized he was right after he explained to me that I was filling my lungs with poison. And that’s exactly what I was doing.

That was when I decided to try Champex, a new stop-smoking aid that helped block the nicotine cravings — and it worked.

After kicking the habit for good, I realized how bad smoking smelled from smokers around me. I noticed my teeth becoming whiter as I brushed away the sticky nicotine buildup that had collected between my front bottom teeth. My sense of taste returned and I could even feel my lungs beginning to heal. But best of all, I wasn’t spending $30 a week on a habit that could have eventually killed me.

If I was still a smoker, I would have spent over $10,000 on cigarettes in the past seven years.

There is nothing positive about being a smoker, at all. There is nothing cool about lighting up a cigarette. It is by far the most disgusting habit I have ever had to break free from, and at one time I didn’t think I could do it.

So to all the people out there young and old who are curious and would like to try smoking, DON’T. Don’t make trying the nasty habit an option.

It’s way harder to quit the habit than what people can describe.