I was addicted to nicotine products for over 20 years. Quitting was brutal at times, but since I did, I haven't looked back. I honestly don't have a quit date because I tried and failed so many times I stopped keeping track. However, I know it's been longer than 2 years, so I now feel confident and comfortable talking about how I did it.

Nicotine replacements didn't work

I tried patches and gum. I was about to try a pill and I asked about the side effects. The doctor said 'Suicide'. That's when I got REALLY mad, and I think that anger helped me quit. 'I'm already committing suicide by continuing to smoke!' That's when it dawned on me. I was paying good money to these cigarrette companies...to kill me.

I asked the question....

Do I want to die? Maybe I was smoking and using snuff because I wanted to die. Maybe there are people who still smoke because they actually want to die. I asked myself the question. The answer was no. So...

I refused to quit quitting

I once read the chapter 'Persistence' from Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich30 times in 30 days. After I did that, I realized that the people who win are the people who just won't stop attempting to do what they want to do. I refused to stop trying to quit. Every time I failed, I didn't beat myself up. I just resolved that my next attempt would come soon. I threw away half pack after half pack, and went back and bought more. But once I decided I was going to quit, it wasn't long before I did. I think this was the key. I resolved that I would quit and would never ever stop trying to quit. I know that this, with the next step, is what did it.

I prayed

I find my higher power in the magic of this universe. When I see the spring flowers start to bloom, hear my wife's laughter, smell a freshly opened box of pizza or enjoy a powder day, I know that there is something magic happening right here on this Earth. I pray to the power that makes that happen, and I do call it God. Here were my prayers.

God, please grant me the willingness to live a healthy life. God, please grant me the willingness to only put things in my body that serve me. God, please help me cherish the gift that you have given me.

I would say these prayers and others, careful not to mention smoking, but it's opposite, health, all the time. I said them every time I wanted a cigarette. I said them everytime I smoked one. Then, they started tasting bad. I am not telling tales. I would say the prayer, I would not beat myself up, and even in the middle of one, I thought of how bad it made me smell. It made me smell like a person who wants to die, and I wasn't a person who wanted to die.

If this sounds a little Bible-thumpy to you, I will just say that I'm not suggesting that anyone join any religion, or think about the creation of the Universe in any specific way. All I know is that I needed more power than I was able to tap into without prayers. I needed help, and I proudly call the power that I go to for help 'God'. I bet it would still work if that word were eliminated.

Please grant me the willingness to live a healthy life. Please grant me the willingness to only put things in my body that serve me. Please help me cherish the gift that you have given me.

One day, a cigarette tasted so bad, I tried to quit again. And it worked. Thanks to (insert all powerful force name here).