It's My Cigarette And I'll Smoke If I Want To By Amberly Ashton Everyone knows the dangers of smoking. We've all had a loved one lose their life to Cancer. I remember when my Grandpa was in ICU in the VA Hospital. We all held onto the hope that he would recover from an infection he got after his second lung surgery. We were only allowed to see him every four hours. When not visiting him we spent our time outside puffing and puffing on our cigarettes. These were the same cigarettes that would send my Paw Paw to his grave later that evening. We all continued to smoke. The hold that nicotine had on us was stronger than the fact we were following in his footsteps. Growing up, both my parents smoked. I started my habit shortly before my 13th Birthday. I can't tell you why I wanted to smoke. It wasn't peer pressure. I didn't know any other kids that smoked. My parents did everything to make me stop but at that time I was addicted. I honestly loved my cigarettes. I have never had the desire to kick the habit until I was pregnant. Sadly, I couldn't even do it then. Smoking controlled everything. We all know the routine. A cigarette as soon as you get in the car and one right before you get out. After dinner my dessert was a cigarette that tasted and felt better than anything I have ever experienced. Cigarettes were like water. My body couldn't live without them. As time went on the amount I smoked only grew. I was finally up to three packs a day. My eight year old son, has begged me to quit more times than I can count. Even looking into his dark brown eyes and hearing him say, "I don't want you to die Mama" wasn't enough for me to tell this nasty habit goodbye. I was completely content with my lifestyle. Besides, quitting would be more than I could ever handle. The memories of my past attempts still haunted me. The ache, the emptiness and the irritability I felt, when I went almost a full day without smoking. I didn't even want to get out of bed because I had lost my best friend and my beloved coffee was even feeling the effects. So no, I was never trying that again. After all, I was my Paw Paw's granddaughter! I remember us keeping watch out while he smoked a cigarette in his hospital room right before they came in to take him to surgery to get almost 3/4 of his lung removed. I mean, we're all going to die some day anyway. My Mom thought differently. She quit smoking almost eight years ago with Chantix. Of course, she had to be an exception, right? Not many people can really quit that easy. All of the side effects including, impatience, insomnia, depression, anger, headaches, restlessness difficulty concentrating, mood swings and not to mention weight gain, are all stacked against us smokers. Who can battle that? I can that's who! Even as I write this I can't believe I have quit smoking! You're probably wondering why the change of heart? Well my Aunt recently quit. This is someone who I have seen attempt to quit time after time. She is a strong woman and her will power is just as strong but she just couldn't stay a non-smoker. Finally, she had the power to quit and that power was called Chantix. I talked to my doctor and I started taking it on September 8th. Again, I really wasn't planning on quitting. I was allowed to smoke while on the medication and on the 6th day I was done and haven't had not even one puff of a cigarette! It's now been two weeks and I know I have got this! I never, not once felt one withdrawal symptom. Over those six days I noticed that my cigarettes would burn out in my hand with over half of it left. When I would wake up I didn't need that morning cigarette. I would go three hours or more without one. The only thing that kept me smoking was my hand feeling empty. Magically, Chantix took the urge, desire and the physical cravings away as if they had never existed. Finally, that was it! On the 5th day I said "tomorrow I am done"! To my disbelief I was! It has been 2 weeks now. I am now a non-smoker and I gave my son his wish! If you are trying to quit I highly recommend what helped me. My life is now forever changed and it feels incredible!