Jessica, Burlington

I started smoking in 1999 when I was 18. On average, I smoked at least a pack and a half a day. Every winter, I was sick with bronchitis and felt like I couldn’t breathe half the time. My father made a deal with me in the beginning of 2003 that I couldn’t quit smoking by August 1st. If I did he would buy me a new car before I headed off to college. I called 1-800-QUIT-NOW and decided to take part in the counseling sessions over the phone. I wish I could remember the lady’s name that I had because she was wonderful! She made me feel like I could accomplish anything. We talked, went over tips and finally I smoked my last cigarette on July 28, 2003. The first day I felt like I had it all under control, the second day I laid in bed and cried the whole day…it was the hardest thing I ever did. They say it takes only three days for the nicotine to leave your body and the rest is just changing a habit. It will be seven years this July that I have not had a cigarette. There are still days where I think ‘Man, I could go for a cigarette,’ but I know what I went through to stop and I have gained too much to turn back! Oh, and my dad never did buy me a car…I settled for cash for college instead. But, he gave me a healthier lifestyle and for that I will always be grateful. Thanks, Dad. :)