Real Stories

Watch videos, read stories and listen to testimonials from people who have quit smoking or are on their path to quitting.

See stories from former smokers from around the 802.

[video_container copy=”As the Health & Wellness Program Coordinator at Pride Center of Vermont, Mike understands firsthand the quitting challenges that face the LGBTQ community. After a number of attempts at quitting, Mike quit smoking and shares his story about the challenges he faced–and overcame. Mike is a Vermont Quit Partner and offers quit in-person classes at the Pride Center.” title=”Mike’s Story” id=”iuYkNMuEGfU”][video_dia copy=”As the Health & Wellness Program Coordinator at Pride Center of Vermont, Mike understands firsthand the quitting challenges that face the LGBTQ community. After a number of attempts at quitting, Mike quit smoking and shares his story about the challenges he faced–and overcame. Mike is a Vermont Quit Partner and offers quit in-person classes at the Pride Center.” first_vid=”yes” title=”Mike’s Story” id=”iuYkNMuEGfU”][video_dia copy=”Ana quit smoking while being treated for bipolar disorder and high anxiety.
Ana, from Wallingford, shares her story about quitting smoking while being treated for high anxiety and bipolar disorder.” title=”Meet Ana” id=”C0BRd8_erac”][video_dia copy=”Melissa, a St. Johnsbury resident, tells her story about quitting smoking.” title=”Melissa’s Story – Vermont Quit Partners” id=”aBV8Riqnq4I”][video_dia copy=”Kim, a Rutland resident, tells her story about quitting smoking.” title=”Kim’s Story – Vermont Quit Partners” id=”DavHN1Cz2sU”][video_dia copy=”Nelson, a Danville resident, tells his story about quitting smoking.” title=”Nelson’s Story – Vermont Quit Partners” id=”fLMWL_bNzWg”][video_dia copy=”Kathryn shares her story about quitting smoking with the help of the Quitline coaches.” title=”Helping Kathryn Quit for Her Baby” id=”7ZcA2_atLNM”][/video_container]

See stories from former smokers from around the country.

[video_container copy=”Kristy wanted to quit smoking. She tried e-cigarettes to help her quit, but never stopped smoking completely. She eventually quit using e-cigarettes, but kept smoking. In this video from CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign, Kristy explains how she finally realized that she had to quit smoking cigarettes completely.

” first_vid=”yes” title=”Meet Kristy” id=”zrwBBeOP5oQ”][video_dia copy=”Kristy wanted to quit smoking. She tried e-cigarettes to help her quit, but never stopped smoking completely. She eventually quit using e-cigarettes, but kept smoking. In this video from CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign, Kristy explains how she finally realized that she had to quit smoking cigarettes completely.

” first_vid=”yes” title=”Meet Kristy” id=”zrwBBeOP5oQ”][video_dia copy=”Rose developed lung cancer from smoking cigarettes. In this TV ad for CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers campaign, she talks about her lung surgery and difficult recovery. Problems kept Rose in the hospital for a month with a plastic chest tube to drain fluids. Every day, she prayed that the painful tube would come out. Rose’s tip is “Be careful what you wish for.” There was more pain to come for Rose when the chest tube finally came out. Rose died in January 2015. She was 60.

” title=”Meet Rose” id=”Ccu5VPXVH8g”][video_dia copy=”Amanda tried hard to quit smoking while she was pregnant, but she was unable to overcome her addiction to cigarettes. In this TV ad, Amanda talks about the weeks that her baby girl spent in a hospital incubator, after she was born 2 months early.

” title=”Meet Amanda” id=”Afqid1UPkVA” ][video_dia copy=”Shawn was 14 years old when he started smoking. In his midforties, a chronic cough and laryngitis turned out to be throat cancer. He finally quit smoking—but doctors were unable to save his larynx. In this TV ad, Shawn talks about the hardships of life with a stoma, a permanent opening in your throat.

” title=”Meet Shawn” id=”vamPE0LBd0k”][video_dia copy=”Terrie, who lived in North Carolina, began smoking in high school. At 40, she was diagnosed with oral and throat cancers and had her larynx removed. In September of 2013, at the age of 53, Terrie lost her battle with cancer. Terrie wanted to share her story so that others would be inspired to quit smoking, or better yet, never start.

” title=”Meet Terrie” id=”EfmFH_pfhP4″][video_dia copy=”Bill lived in Michigan and had diabetes. At 15, he started smoking cigarettes. At 39, he quit smoking after his leg was amputated due to poor circulation—made worse from smoking. Bill died in August 2014 from heart disease. He was 42.

” title=”Meet Bill” id=”MdJi8U4VSmk”][video_dia copy=”Michael, who is in his 50s, has Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) —a condition caused by smoking—that makes it harder and harder to breathe.

” title=”Meet Micheal” id=”q-5N_HR0qbE”][video_dia copy=”Like many smokers, Roosevelt started experimenting with cigarettes in his teens. But his addiction became entrenched during his time in the military. Nearly 30 years later, damage from smoking began to take its toll. At 45, Roosevelt experienced a heart attack that landed him in the hospital for a month. In order to repair the damage to his heart caused by smoking, doctors inserted stents into his heart. When that wasn’t enough, he had bypass surgery — six bypasses in all. Now 51, Roosevelt has been smoke-free for 3 years, but he’s had to give up his career as a commercial plumber because his heart no longer is strong enough for the strenuous activity such work requires.

” title=”Meet Roosevelt” id=”xzMBHSUYOfo”][/video_container]

Meet Kristy
Kristy, 35, a mother from Tennessee, had tried to quit smoking many times before she landed in the hospital, gasping for breath, with only one lung working. But each time she tried, stressful events would send her reaching for a cigarette. Kristy hoped that e-cigarettes would help, but she found that every afternoon, she still craved regular cigarettes. “I tried e-cigarettes, but I just ended up using both the electronic kind and my regular brand,” she said. Eventually, Kristy quit e-cigarettes and went back to just smoking cigarettes.

While in the hospital, Kristy’s doctors also found early COPD, a lung disease that makes it harder and harder to breathe. COPD stands for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. That was when Kristy stopped smoking cigarettes completely. Today, Kristy is thankful that she quit smoking. “I can actually breathe,” she said. “I can play with my kids. When I smoked, I had no energy. It just affected my whole life!” Kristy hopes that sharing her story will help other people quit smoking as soon as possible.
Learn more about Kristy

 

Rowena, Juneau, Alaska

I began smoking when I was only 13 years old. At first it was quite seldom, but it didn’t take long to become hooked. Before I knew it, my mother was buying my cigarettes for me. I guess she figured she smoked and probably felt a little responsible for me starting up the “habit.” When I became pregnant, I was able to quit. But as soon as I had my daughter, I started right back up again. I had suffered some trauma during my youth and feel I numbed it with the use of tobacco and other substances. I finally became so fed up with smoking that they began tasting awful, made me tired, and gave me headaches. I quit on my own seven years ago. I’m now 39 years old. My two quits were for two years a piece. So, I smoked for 15 years! My husband’s father died from a brain tumor. He was a very heavy smoker. My grandmother died from cancer that had metastasized throughout her body. My father had colon cancer, but they caught it in time. My sister died in April of 2004, from cancer; she was only 47! All of them had smoked. Quitting was THE BEST thing I ever did for my health. I can breathe, I can smell, I can taste, I don’t smell like an a ashtray, I’m not harming “innocent bystanders” and most of all, I’m physically fit again. I don’t get winded just walking or jogging. I feel like a SUPER WOMAN. I love my kids, my husband, my granddaughter, my family, and most of all, myself. Because if I don’t take care of myself, who will? No one can, but me! In respecting all living things, I respect myself!