The last cigarette: Ex-smokers who quit the habit for good

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When Bob Miller smoked his last cigarette, he knew right away that this was it. The words from one of his friends “hit me like a ton of bricks.”

After a gradual process of trying to quit in 2006, she said, “You know, Bob, there never is a good day to quit smoking, is there?”

The Easley, South Carolina, assembly instructor admits, “There are still times when I think that I would like a smoke but there is no way that I will do it. … I do feel better and definitely smell better.”

Ash Li (the iReporter did not want her last name revealed) of Springfield, Tennessee, smoked her final cigarette as soon as she learned that airlines were banning it. A frequent flier, she couldn’t bear to remain addicted while flying, and knew she was unable to do anything about it.

So on July 9, 1992, after seven years of smoking two packs a day, she quit for good.

“I have not had a cigarette since that day, but when someone lights up near me I take a deep breath,” she said.

“That first puff of smoke off a cigarette still gets me, but then everything afterwards repels me. I am the worst ex-smoker, I can’t stand to be around anyone who smokes or has smoked nor get into an enclosed space with a smoker.”

She was very concerned when her daughter took up smoking, afraid she would fall into the same habits.

But as we reported this story, she had good news to share.

“I am elated to report that my daughter has quit smoking and using the new electronic vapor cigarettes that are out there. She is not coughing as much as she used to and her voice is clearer. I really hope that these vapor cigarette products do not create any health hazards that have not been discovered yet. In the meantime I encourage her to stick with the vapor and stay away from the cancer sticks.”

Pizza restaurant owner Paul Tamasi makes themed pies to show how he feels about a certain topic. He recently made one with a “no smoking” symbol to remind himself of February 14, 1985.

On that Valentine’s Day, Tamasi tossed his final cigarette into a barrel. He was quitting a habit of smoking two packs a day for 20 years, going back to age 13.

“I was positive and determined that this would be my last cigarette,” he said.

“I would buy two packs a day and sometimes run out. Then I would bum some from my co-worker. One day, I asked to bum a cigarette from her and she said to me, ‘Why don’t you just buy more cigarettes?’ That’s when I really realized that I had a serious problem. I said to myself, that’s it, I have to do something about this.”

So why Valentine’s Day?

“I picked this day because I knew if I succeeded I would always be able to remember the day I stopped smoking,” the Belvidere, Vermont, resident explained.

He felt a weight lifted off his shoulders and still feels that way 28 years later.

“When I was smoking and played sports my chest felt like it was going to cave in and it was hard to breathe. Now I don’t get that bad feeling because I don’t smoke anymore. Needless to say, I have a lot more money in my pocket than I would if I had to pay the high price of what cigarettes cost.”

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