Great American Smokeout: How my husband quit smoking for life

This is a sponsored post in partnership with the American Cancer Society. All opinions and anecdotes are my own.

great american smokeout

When my future husband and I first started dating, he had it all. The personality. The kind heart. The looks. The hair. 

And he had a cigarette in hand. Always.

 1981 smoker

I wasn't a smoker, though all six of my siblings and both of my parents were, so the cigarette didn't bother me too much. In fact, as a slow eater, I kind of appreciated that my soon-to-be husband enjoyed a cigarette after meals because it gave me time to finish my food without feeling rushed.

Fast forward to 1989. That boyfriend had become my husband, and we had three beautiful daughters. And my husband still smoked. He'd been at it fourteen years by then (he started long before we started dating). And the effects of the smoke were causing breathing issues with our middle daughter, then six years old. Though my husband moved his smoking to the garage only — no more smoking in the house or around any of our daughters — it wasn't enough.

Fast forward a smidgen more to New Year's Eve 1989. My sister and her husband — both smokers, just like my husband — joined my husband and me for New Year's Eve. The three smokers resolved together to kick the habit, to quit for good. For the sake of our children, their daughter, and their own health.

Fast forward to 2014. My husband quit cold turkey that night in 1989... and he hasn't had a single cigarette since! Which means this New Year's Eve will be twenty-five years since my husband stopped smoking. Cold turkey. My sister and her husband didn't fare so well.

How did my husband manage it? Well, because he's amazing. Because he cared enough for our daughters — and his own health — to commit to sucking suckers when the desire to suck a cigarette struck. Which was often. Dum Dums were his best friend for many, many months. Having a bag of those on standby wherever he might need them were the trick to becoming cigarette free.

In support of my husband, I kept the Dum Dums jar stocked. I didn't nag. I didn't plead. I let him know how proud I was of him. And I learned to eat faster.

Great American Smokeout 2014

GASO life

Is it time for you or someone you love to quit for good? Now is the perfect time as November 20 is the Great American Smokeout, an effort sponsored by the American Cancer Society. When you quit together, you win together. For one, the smoker sees impressive health benefits, as noted by the ACS:

quitting smoking benefits

When quitting, the smoker also wins money in the pocket as well as a prize-winning whiter smile and fresher breath, too. And the smoker's loved ones? They win by not only no longer being subjected to the dangerous (and stinky) second-hand smoke, but they have the former smoker around to live longer, love longer.

Quit together. Win together.

The American Cancer Society Great American Smokeout campaign offers the following keys to long-term success and resources for quitting for good:

More information and support can be found on the Quit for Life Facebook page and by calling the Great American Smokeout toll-free number, 1-800-227-2345.

Cheers to quitting together and winning together. Good luck!

Disclosure: This post sponsored by the American Cancer Society; opinions and anecdotes are my own.