Berend M., Actor

I stopped smoking for three years. During those years, I craved them every single day. The cravings were so strong, I just wanted to eat them. I wanted those cigarettes badly. Before then, I smoked to prove to everybody that I wasn't a big fag, which of course, I am.

I started smoking again a few months ago when I had some time on my hands. I was bored and dealing with emotional stuff. Smoking is such a monster. It was easy to start using again, but it's been really difficult to quit. I'm taking it one day at a time, and am smoking less than I was.

Smoking is so taboo now. It seems like a strange time to be picking up smoking again, almost surreal, like it's not me. I feel so disappointed in myself. It felt like I was a little kid again, keeping a nasty secret. There's so much shame built in to the smoking habit.

I don't like people seeing me smoke. Once I was on a movie set, and the star of the movie walked by. I found myself turning away to light my cigarette, hiding my smoking from her. It's terrible to have that kind of dependence on something.

On the other hand, there are parts of smoking I like. I've started writing again and I really get into that whole drama thing: writing, smoking; writing, smoking; writing, smoking. It's non-stop. Quitting for me is about quitting that drama thing. I know it's not good for me.

Acting is another story. Being a smoker is not how I choose to present myself to the world. I don't like how I look. No one wants to put make-up on someone who smells like smoke. I also don't like how smoking has affected my health. My sleep has changed; I'm tired; my sex drive has gone down; and my sinuses bother me. I just have to make the choice to quit, and create healthier habits for myself, like walking.

I want to make a difference in this world, and smoking doesn't fit in. Oh, and one more thing, since I wrote this story I've quit smoking for 14 days!

 


Stephen W.

Believing in myself was a process of understanding that I’m bigger than this monster that resides inside me.


Mark W.

Reducing the amount I smoke is a more feasible a starting point for me than quitting altogether.


Mandy & Leigh

Leigh quit smoking when she had the stroke, so I know she can do it. When the cost was too high, she quit.


TroyJackson, Singer

I started smoking socially because I had a lot of leftover social anxiety from years of denying the fact that I was gay.


Gina G.

Now being healthy is all about breath. I've been practicing yoga for many years now and it really makes a difference in my life.

 


Sandra L.

For First Nations people, tobacco is sacred and shouldn't be abused by us.


Jonathan C., the Artist

It’s great when you suddenly realize that you’ve always had the power to change your life in anything you strive to do.


Jaylene
Princess XXVII,Golden Eagle IV
Greater Vancouver Native Cultural Society

Because I had reached a point of desperation in which the pain out weighed the gratifications, I was able to make some life changing decisions that have molded who I am today–clean, sober and smoke-free.


Avel J.

Smoking isn't as cool as it used to be. It's kind of dirty and anti-social.


Berend M.

Smoking is so taboo now. It seems like a strange time to be picking up smoking again, almost surreal, like it's not me. I feel so disappointed in myself. It felt like I was a little kid again, keeping a nasty secret.

 

 
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