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Quitting smoking was easy for me.


Quitting smoking was easy for me.

I am a 61 year female and I started to smoke when I was in a high school´╝îSoon after I became legally allowed to do so, after my 18th birthday.

I lived in a burse. We were still not allowed to smoke (even though we were adults) in the school or in the burse. We were not allowed to go to cafes, where in those times it was permitted to smoke and where they served wine. So we were sneaking to cafes further from the school and were drinking coffee, wine and of course smoking cigarettes.

I didn't like the taste of the cigarettes and I hated the thick smoke around me in the cafe. Everything smelled terribly after - my clothes and my long hair. I knew cigarettes were no good for my health, but I didn't know about  secondhand smoke.

When I started uni I still ocassionally smoked. In the corridors everywhere there were ashtrays on stands and that's where we were meeting during the breaks between lectures. Everybody was taking out their packets of colourful cigarettes and offering them to the others. I was not buying the cigarettes as they were expensive and I did not smoke at home.

So when they offered one to me I used to say: “I do not really smoke but ok, I'll smoke just this one. Thank you.” I still knew that cigarettes were no good for me and I still did not like them but I found it difficult to refuse my friends, and to be different. Then I started to buy my own packs of cigarettes, even though I could hardly afford it, just to be able to offer them to my friends in return.

Then while preparing for exams I started to smoke them at home as they were supposed to help me to concentrate. I knew I was becoming addicted to them. I still did not like them, but I was smoking them. So I asked myself: “What rubbish are you saying to your friends? You're not really smoking, but you still smoke with them and even smoke when you are alone at home, you are buying cigarettes even you can't efford them”. Yes, it was just simply stupid. I knew that I had to stop fooling myself and make up my mind. Are you a smoker or are you a non-smoker? I decided I am a non-smoker and I would act accordingly.

Still for a while I would take the offered cigarettes and still I would buy a packet. I made my decision but I still could not start acting accordingly. I was affraid to say “No thank-you, I don't smoke”. Then I thought “Why is it so difficult, just say it and see what happens.” So I did just exactly that. Nothing happened. My friends were still offering me cigarettes but I just was refusing politely. Nobody was forcing me to smoke. My friends were still my friends and I was still passing the exams. I was a non-smoker! Just like that!

And that was forty years ago and nobody ever can make me take even one puff. So I am convinced that quitting is easy. You just have to be in charge of your life and simple say no to cigarettes. It is that easy!

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