Interview with Rudy from Quit Smoking For Good Blog

January 18th, 2011

Recently, we talked with Rudy who runs the blog  He was 12 years old when he first started smoking, and continued from that moment to smoke for 22 years.  He decided to quit in September of 2006, however the he relapsed in December 2008 and again in July 2009.  This is when he decided to start his community, his Quit Smoking for Good Blog, where fellow ex-smokers and smokers alike could share their experiences, their down falls and their successes.  With this resource, he, as well as many others, have found the encouragement they need to kick the habit.  We asked him to share with us his personal struggle and she gladly obliged.

All Treatment: Your blog says you began smoking at the age of 12.  Why did you begin smoking?

Rudy: First, my dad was smoking and most of my old relatives, uncles, cousins and elders did. They always reasoned out that smoking was just a vice and as long as you can support it financially, there was nothing wrong with it. Unless of course if you are already suffering from a major related smoking diseases like chronic cough, then you should quit it. I guess, my old folks [were] never informed much about the hazards brought by smoking.

Second, it was peer pressure at school. Remember the macho effect thing with girls and the society when you were at that age? Well I fell for it, me and my buddies lighting cigarettes during break time at school and I was soon hooked to nicotine addiction.

AT: You smoked for 22 years before you decided to quit.  Why did you finally give it up?

Rudy: After smoking for 22 years, I was experiencing shortness of breath way back then. I just passed the CPA board exam and the fear came to me, “what if I already had lung cancer, then all my efforts would be rendered useless?” Since then I [couldn’t] sleep at night and each time I coughed the fear that tumors in my lungs were already building up came to me each night and that was when I decided to quit smoking for good. 
AT: What methods did you use to quit (ie. Cold Turkey, gum, patch, buddy system, help hotline, hypnotheripy, etc.)?  In hind sight, was this the best method for you, and would you recommend it for others whom are quitting?

Rudy: I couldn’t quit smoking for a day on my own. Meaning, I could stop smoking when I was travelling long hours, I could stop smoking when I slept for eight hours, but I just couldn’t quit on my own willpower even for just a day and because of this, I failed using cold turkey method. Whenever I had the chance to smoke I’ll do it. But because of strong determination coupled with the fear of a lung cancer, I researched the other options to quit. And that is where I discovered nicotine replacement therapy or NRT particularly the patch.

So I used the patch; my doctor prescribed me a whole bunch of it to finish my program. The good thing about having a strong desire and determination is that, I didn’t finish the nicotine patch program (4 weeks max). I used it for 5 days, then I quit cold turkey along the way.

Generally, quitting cold turkey is the best method around. It is inexpensive and because you have to develop a strong willpower and self-control, having a smoking relapse will become minimal. But it doesn’t mean that if you can’t quit cold turkey like I did, your quitting will be in vain. Keep in mind that the best method around is the one that will help you quit smoking for good. So whatever method you choose, the one that will help you quit is the best method around.

AT: The average smoker relapses three times before they give it up for good, and you were no exception.  Why is this?  What challenges have you faced as an ex-smoker?

Rudy: Alcohol is cigarettes’ best friend. I was caught off guard after having a few drinks on one occasion. I tried lighting one cigarette and that what caused my first smoking relapse. Although most cases of relapse is curiosity. So once you quit smoking, don’t ever ever try to light even one stick of cigarette. I had an article written about that in my blog where I shared my experience.Fortunately during my relapse, the brainwashing that smoking feels good has been removed in my mind which made quitting the second time around much easier using the cold turkey method.Keep in mind that tobacco companies are spending huge amount of money for marketing and advertisements. And they are not choosing who they will pick as their new customer. Everyone is on their list, non-smokers, ex-smokers, teens, adults etc. So the temptation to smoke excuses no one. So once you quit smoking successfully don’t ever think of lighting another cigarette in your life. Nicotine is a very highly addictive drug and it can hook you again with just a single stick of cigarette.

AT: What are the benefits you have reaped from quitting?

Rudy: I felt better, I started running, I looked good, my lips returned to its normal color, my skin looked better, the nightmares disappeared, the fear of a lung cancer left me, I slept a whole lot better, I saved a lot of money and I was able to put up a blog to help other smokers to quit. Actually all the benefits reaped are countless.

AT: What resources would you recommend for quitters (ie. any books, sites, blogs, ect.)?

Rudy: It’s important that a smoker remove first the false beliefs in his head that smoking is making him feel good, it is relieving his stress, it is making him more focused, relaxed and focused. After accepting the truth, believe it or not quitting becomes easy. I recommend the book by Allen Carr – Easy Way to Quit Smoking. It will help you wipe out the myths about smoking in your mind.AT:  Finally, any last thoughts you would like to share on this topic?

Rudy: Quitting smoking will depend entirely on your desire and determination to quit. As long as you believe that smoking is making you feel good, which it is not, quitting will become difficult. But once you accept that smoking is bad for you and making your life miserable by controlling you and giving you all those panic attacks when you are running out of cigarettes, then quitting smoking becomes easy.You might say that this is easier said than done, but all I can say to all the smokers out there, believe that you can quit and you will be the next happy ex-smoker in the community. Remember, it is you who we are talking about here. It is your health, it is your family, it is your self-respect, it is your money, it is your good looks and it is your future. Everything is not yet too late, enjoy life with us, quit smoking today!

S. Cody Barrus
Managing Editor

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