How I quit tobacco and gained freedom

I started smoking when I was 17 years old. Nearly two decades later, at 36, my smoking addiction had taken ownership of my life, and I hated it. Smoking had negatively affected my finances, my ability to be physically active and even my sense of smell. But what I hated most was my inability to feel peace or enjoy any kind of social event or meeting.   Smoking was the first thing I did each morning and the last thing I did before going to sleep. I had to smoke before going anywhere or doing anything, and as soon as I was unable to smoke at my leisure, I looked for a way out. I became anxious, irritable and stressed if I knew I was going to be anywhere for longer than an hour without a cigarette. Smoking had taken hold of my life. My decision to quit smoking I’d wanted to quit smoking for many years, but I had a lot of fear and anxiety about even trying. I didn’t think I would ever be able to start my day without having a couple of cigarettes, but after each morning smoke, I told myself I had to quit. When I heard a radio ad about research studies at MD Anderson for smokers trying to quit, I made the call. Soon after, I had an appointment with a research coordinator from MD Anderson’s Tobacco Treatment Program, and I was excited. I still didn’t believe I would really be able to quit, but I was happy that I had taken the first steps by choosing to try. Participating in a smoking...