January 28 of 2018, I smoked my last cigarette. I had smoked since I was 18 years old. I was roughly a pack a day smoker, sometimes more. I finally just got to the point that I didn't want to do it anymore. It turned into a Top 3 decision of my life. So, how's it going after over six years being smoke-free? Pretty damn good. I know there are many of you reading this now that are in the same boat I was in 2018. Consider this some encouragement and also what you might face as you pursue a smoke-free life.

I Still Have the Urge to Smoke

I find it interesting, even after six years, that I still have the urge everyday to light up.  However, it quickly goes away and I don't think about it again. I didn't use any stop smoking aides or start vaping. Look, some of you swear by vaping as a "healthy" way to stop smoking. All I saw it as was replacing one costly bad habit with another.

Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media
Michael Gibson / Townsquare Media

If you're thinking about quitting, you've made the first step. Don't get discouraged, either, if you've quit and picked them up again. I've done it myself but this time it's been permanent. I'm sure the cravings will continue but I will continue ignoring them.

My Sleep Since I Stopped Smoking

I slept so much better as quickly as a week after I stopped smoking. I also noticed I was dreaming on a more regular basis. I think I was actually getting into, and staying, in that deep sleep. I think that's called REM sleep. Those dreams would be, and still are, very vivid.

And no, I haven't turned into one of those that fake coughs or gives dirty looks to a smoker near me. Having said that, I had a time where I didn't mind someone was smoking around me. Over the last several months, however, I have come to not like that smell anymore. If someone is smoking around me, I just move away so I don't have to smell it.

If You are Thinking About Quitting

Feel free to reach out to me through my email, michael.gibson@townsquaremedia.com, if you need some encouragement if you are wanting to stop, or have stopped, smoking. I'll be more than happy to talk to you.

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