Wednesday, October 22, 2008


Today will mark my 11th day without smoking a cigarette. I was a smoker for 5.5 years of my life. During those 5.5 years I spent an average of $1800 (maybe more) on cancer packs and probably around $300 on lighters. I attempted quitting 10 times, seriously attempted quitting 3 times, succeeded 0 times. The longest period of time that I went without a cigarette was 7 days. Although technically you could say it was a month, I totally cheated...serveral times.

At this point in my life, I am experiencing smoker's withdrawal symptoms. What's that like you ask? Well, usually when you take a look at a smoking cessation pamphlet, they list these symptoms:

* tingling in the hands and feet
* sweating
* intestinal disorders (cramps, nausea, constipation, gas, stomach pain)
* headache
* cold/flu like symptoms (sore throat, coughing)
* intense food cravings
* insomnia
* irritability
* anxiety
* depression
* vagueness
* boredom
* feeling cooped up
* fatigue
* dizziness
* tight chest pain
* weight gain
* restlessness

They aren't joking. For someone who has been smoking for only 5 years, I have experienced all of these, and it's been torture. Definitely NOT fun, and NOT easy to overcome. I know this is why I haven't been blogging, I can't concentrate, I get antsy, I get irritated, then I just erase and don't finish. On Monday, I called in sick to school because I was so exhausted and I was having the WORST intestinal cramps and my chest was so tight I wanted to cry. I slept all day Monday. When I went to school on Tuesday, I spent most of the day sleeping in the teacher's lounge and during class I had my students watch Finding Nemo. My co-teachers were really concerned for me after I threw up and wanted to take me to the hospital, but I had to forcefully talk them out of it. I just told them I would be better soon. Seriously, how was I supposed to explain to two Korean women who live in a society where smoking as a woman is soooo looked down on that I was going through withdrawal symptoms from being a smoker? Exactly, you don't. Although the last few days have been difficult, I'm just keeping my eye on the goal; looking forward to that day when all the chemicals will be normal in my body again. When things get really bad, I usually pray, stuff my face with chocolate, or look at disgusting pictures of smoker lungs to get me through the episode.

When I look at this, I wonder how black my lungs are. Anyways, to my smoker friends out there. I am encouraging you all to quit smoking. Believe in yourself that you can do it, and also give yourself the opportunity to dodge lung, tongue, esophageal, or mouth cancer. What's the point of smoking? What purpose does it serve? Is the satisfaction that it gives you worth more than the cost of chemotherapy 40 years down the line? Exercise some will power and stop being a prisoner to these consumer products made from the exploited hands of laborers around the world. Think about other ways you could be spending that $5. While we carelessly blow that money on cigs, then sit and enjoy putting tar into our lungs, people in other parts of the world struggle to make that much money in a week. Let's help out the human race for once, and not ourselves.

So try it out, try quitting! If you're still hesitant, and you don't think you can do it, I am asking you to give up smoking for at least a month and try donating that month's worth of cancer stick $$$ to one of those organizations. If you can't save your life, at least try to save someone else's. but seriously, YOU CAN DO IT!!! If I can manage to do it in a country that has been named a Smoker's Paradise, then you can certainly do it wherever you are. For those of you who haven't been smoking for that long, it's better if you quit now, it's a lot easier! For those of you who have been smoking longer, QUIT NOW, it's only going to get harder, and the withdrawals will be even more intense. Believe in yourself, I know you have the ability to do it. You have a will power that could make mountains crumble! FFFIGHTING!



12FV, RFV said...

"consumer products" and "intestinal"

Doris said...



Neena Dolwani said...

hannah i'm so effing proud of you :) i'm sending this to my smoker friends. much love.

!Empower! said...

Holla Back HJ! Keep Fighting!!! Sounds like your through the hardest part! I got no doubt you'll get this done, you're way too strong of a person to let some cancer sticks get in your way of changing the world!