Daniel’s Story

Each of these stories is based on common experiences of people who smoke and try to quit. The names and particulars of the situations are fictional.
Daniel's Story
man smiling in wood work shop

I started smoking because my older sister used to share her cigarettes with me. I usually smoke less than a pack a day, but now I really want to stop. I kind of enjoyed smoking during my party days, and it was pretty easy to keep smoking on my outdoor construction jobs. But cigarettes don’t fit with my life anymore.

Now that I’m working inside as a carpenter, it’s hard to smoke at work, and my girlfriend doesn’t like the smell. We want to start a family someday, and I know my smoking won’t be healthy for her during pregnancy and won’t be good for our kids. Also, I don’t like wasting my money on cigarettes, and feeling like they control me. It seems like quitting should be easy because I want to do it so badly and have so many good reasons. But I’ve already tried to quit a half dozen times. The longest I’ve gone without smoking is 2 weeks.

Daniel’s Story continues:

Daniel is buying toothpaste in the drugstore and sees a display for nicotine replacement medicines. He’s never used any in the past, but has seen ads for them. He decides he’d like to try the nicotine patches. But he is between carpentry jobs and doesn’t think his health insurance covers patches. He asks the pharmacist how much the patches cost. When the pharmacist tells him, he decides to wait until he has more money. The pharmacist suggests calling 1-800-QUIT-NOW because they may be able to help him get quit medicines for free.

Daniel’s Story continues:

Daniel calls 1-800 QUIT-NOW and talks to Nallely, a quit coach. She sets him up to have a 2-week supply of nicotine patches mailed to his house. She also tells him about other ways he could lower the cost of medicines after he finishes the 2 weeks. She encourages him to contact his doctor’s office and health insurer to see about getting more for free before he runs out. She also goes over how to use the patches, including putting a patch on first thing in the morning because they can take a half-hour to start working.

Resources That Work

Find out about free online quitting resources.

Daniel’s Story continues:

The quitline mails Daniel a supply of patches. When he quits smoking completely, he feels like the patches are definitely helping, but he is still struggling with some urges to smoke, especially after supper. He also has some weird dreams at night that are bothering him. After using the patch for a while, he starts to get a rash on his upper arm where he’s been wearing the patches. He is starting to think this is all too much of a hassle and he may need to stop the patches and go back to cigarettes.

Daniel’s Story continues:

When he calls the quit coach back, she suggests taking the patch off an hour or so before bed, which ends his weird dreams. She also troubleshoots with him how to get past the end of supper without smoking. He decides to start getting up from the table right after supper and take a walk to distract from his urges. Learn more about how to deal with urges here.

After talking with the quit coach, Daniel realized how important it was for him to succeed this time. He kept at it and tried all of the suggestions he got. Daniel found that using the patches along with mini-lozenges worked great. He was happy to find he could get several months of patches and lozenges through his health insurer. Three months after he finished the quit-smoking medicine, he proposed to his girlfriend and she said yes. He feels good about his health and about the smoke-free life that he and his wife will lead.

Everyone's Different

See a video of Nallely and other coaches helping callers quit smoking.