a CELEBRATION and some statistics

Today I am celebrating 2 years of not smoking!
That’s 730 days,
or 14,600 cigarettes.

I have saved approximately $6,000,
and 1,217 hours.

I have gained probably 20 pounds…maybe 30…
but I haven’t looked at a scale in 2 years.
The nicotine-free curves are small consequence.


20 minutes after quitting, my heart rate dropped to a normal level.

12 hours after quitting, the carbon monoxide level in my blood dropped to normal.

2 weeks to 3 months after quitting, my risk of having a heart attack began to drop and my lung function began to improve.

1 to 9 months after quitting, my coughing and shortness of breath decreased.

As of this time last year, my added risk of coronary heart disease was half that of a smoker’s. And, I am close to having my risk of stroke and cancer reduced—but that takes 3-12 more years of recovery.

I breathe easier.
Sleep better.
Walk faster.

I don’t cough as much,
or stop mid-sentence to clear my throat,
or stop mid-sentence to light up,
or race out in the middle of a blizzard to buy cigarettes.

I don’t dream about them,
think about them,
or wish for them…ever.

(And I won’t touch them again…until I’m 80 years old, watching the sun set with a dear old friend, drinking whiskey on our porch in the West Texas desert.)

Until then, I remain healthy and eternally grateful to everyone who encouraged, supported, consoled, atta-girled, rooted, and made this effort all the easier.

I love every one of you for it!

• • •

Postscript re 80: It was common, when I would attempt to quit, to have an emergency stash somewhere. A partial, stale pack in a glove compartment or drawer. The “just in case” smoke. It also served as a counterpoint to the agony of “never again.” There was no “never again,” because if there ever was an emergency, I’d get to smoke that “just in case” one. Well, THAT never worked. I’d devour that stale cigarettes as soon as the willpower ran dry and be up the road at the store buying the “just one more pack” to proliferate the habit.

NOW, if things get really bad and I need a smoke—which I never do but “just in case”—I know I get to have at least one more…when I’m 80.

Call it what you will, I call it 730 days and counting!

• • •

Quitting smoking statistics from the American Lung Association.

If you still smoke, please read this book now: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, Allen Carr.

18 thoughts on “a CELEBRATION and some statistics

Add yours

  1. yeah, it’s good to be in our quitter’s club – and, like you, i’ll never say “never” – but when you’re 80, i’ll be 93 – by then, i’ll just let you have all the whiskey and i’ll be stuffing my corncob pipe with some organic tabac while i’m quaffing a nice cold wine/champagne or iced coffee laced with some creamy st. brendan’s – yum!
    s’funny how our “golden girls” fantasies change with age, isn’t it?

    1. You’re funny! Which will be great when we’re “golden girls” – they say laughter is the best medicine, right?

      And BIG CONGRATS to you, too – you’re coming up on a year and a half I think? closer to 2 maybe? as a not-smoker?

  2. CONGRATULATIONS, Jen! That is just plain friggin’ AWESOME! WOOOO HOOOOO!! And who knows, maybe I’ll join you when I’m 80 – actually, make it 90 (just in case!!).

  3. Good on ya, I’m really proud of your accomplishment.
    The hubs gave up two years ago because he has emphysema (yeah, I know, he was stupid!). Anyway, he did and has never felt better, and is still not smoking; he says he will NEVER EVER go back to it. He has good colour in his face again, his breathing is much improved and we can actually ride our bikes together again!
    You have given yourself a new lease of life.

  4. Congratulations to all of you that have quit smoking. That is huge accomplishment and something you should be very proud of. Woohoo!!!

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