My Story

cigarette

25 Years

That’s how long I smoked for. When I started, I thought it wasn’t that bad. I didn’t feel like I was addicted. I didn’t cough like crazy when I smoked.

cigar smoke

So I kept smoking

10 years later I was in college and decided to stop, so I quit cold turkey. I had the occasional mini cigar and was doing pretty good staying away from buying cigarettes.

pregnant smoking

That lasted for 2 months

School started up again, and a couple of Pub nights later I was back to smoking, and even more than before. 12 years later we had our first child. I knew I wanted to quit for sure. The day our son was born I tried cold turkey again…

smoke outside

That lasted for 1 day

I couldn’t do it. With near zero sleep and a newborn, smoking was my escape. I’m not proud, but it gave me a moment of peace. I continued to smoke, but never around our son, and never in the house or car. As he grew I found myself sneaking away from him for a smoke. With the guilt of hiding from my son, I knew I had to quit for good.

chain smoking

But I was so addicted

I didn’t want to switch to gum or the patch to replace smoking. It wasn’t the same. I didn’t want to take quit smoking drugs, I don’t even like to take pills for a headache unless it is so bad I can’t function. And with my luck I would get the side effects they warn about.

pack of cigarettes

What else could I do?

I decided to start cutting back, so I managed to lower the number of cigarettes I had in a day. I stopped smoking 2 in a row. I tried to wait at least an hour before having another cigarette. This worked for a while but I reached a point that if I cut out another cigarette, it would seem like forever until the next one. The cravings became worse than ever and there was no way I could cut down any more.

cut down smoking

So I tried a different approach

I started breaking off a little of the tip of every cigarette. I still smoked as often but had a couple of drags less per cigarette. I could handle that. A little while later I started breaking off a little more.

cut smoking

What happened?

Nothing. But in a good way. After about a week of smoking a shorter cigarette, I still felt like I was smoking a full cigarette. I managed to switch from King size to Regulars and still was surviving. The only problem was I had no control over how much I broke off. I could easily cheat and break less off.

great idea

Then I had the light bulb moment

I could design a cutter so I could measure each cigarette accurately and always cut off the same amount. Then I could control how much I reduced my smoking. I went through the design process and 3D printed my prototype. Then I started to use it and something great happened.

less smoking

I was controlling how much I smoked!

It always felt like the cigarettes were controlling me. The dose I received was always dictated by the cigarette companies and kept me coming back for more. But no longer. I continued to use it, cutting back more and more every week. I got used to the idea of smoking a shorter cigarette, and started figuring out how much less I was actually smoking. Even though I was still going through cigarettes as fast, the amount of tobacco I was taking in was less than half as much as if I was smoking full cigarettes. But it still felt like I was smoking full cigarettes!

stop smoking

And the withdrawal?

I found that I could go a lot longer without a cigarette. I am talking hours. Yes I would think about having one, but the cravings were nowhere near as strong as before. When I got to the point of only having a couple of drags per cigarette, I started cutting more cigarettes out of the day, going longer and longer between smokes. With less nicotine in my system it got easier and easier.

break the habit

So I quit completely

Yes saying goodbye to cigarettes was difficult, but dealing with the chemical addiction was the hardest part for me. Once that was reduced I just had to find other ways to fill that time I would have spent smoking. I still went out on the deck, but to enjoy being outside instead of smoking. I still talked to the crew of smokers at work, but just relaxed and did not smoke. I still miss the morning cigarette with my coffee and the last cigarette of the day but keep reminding myself that I don’t want to be controlled by cigarette companies again.

tell a friend

I decided I had to share this with the world

So here we are, I turned my prototype into a tool and program that could help others to quit. The concept behind it is proven, just look up nicotine fading. I hope that everyone benefits the same from this as I have. If you are ready to quit or even just want to reduce how much you smoke, give it a try. All you have to lose is
the addiction.