The obligatory 1 year address

So here I am, 365 days on from my last smoke.

I had intended to quit on Friday 18th July 2008, but my packet had lasted me until mid day on Thursday, and I’d bought the lozenges in the morning so I thought what the heck, bring it forward by half a day!

It was the end of lunch time, I sat on a bench in bright sunshine and took a little time to smoke my last ever cigarette. As I got closer to the filter I became more aware and wondered exactly how low I should smoke it, seeing as that was it. Well actually I left a reasonable butt, stubbed it out and went back to work.

What had led me to another yet attempt to quit was that I had been involved in a discussion on a martial arts forum about smoking and when I read back my “answers” I could see that I was in denial! At that point I had a moment of clarity, and accepted that I was smoking because I am addicted to nicotine. I had known but ignored the fact for years but it wasn’t until that point that I actually associated myself with drug addicts, alcoholics and even to an extent people with eating disorders.

Up until that point I had been through a series of failed quits some longish some very short and even at one point I would repeat a cycle of not smoking for a couple of weeks then reward myself for abstaining by….. smoking!!

I decided to get some help and advice and I’d been on here in 2006 so I came back. I was quickly pointed in the direction of reeducating myself and changing my mindset. It worked, I don’t know if I would have succeeded if I hadn’t managed to do so but even if I had I know that it would have been a much tougher ride.

Now over the last year I have seen many people come through the forum some succeed and some fail, but the really noticeable thing is that those who embrace the idea of educating themselves about nicotine addiction and manage to change their frame of mind to accept that quitting is not a sacrifice are the ones most likely to succeed.

It seems to me that a quit runs through several stages,





To start with its tough and you just have to resist the urge to smoke. It’s new and exciting you count the hours, days, weeks and months. As you get further into the quit you start to get used to living life as a non smoker as you continually repeat situations that you used to associate with smoking, but as a non smoker. Eventually having done that enough you get quite practiced at living as a non smoker and it becomes normal but situations which you haven’t practiced can still crop up and make you rely on your resolve, once again.

The endurance stage which is the physical withdrawal from nicotine which really only lasts up to a couple of weeks after you stop using nicotine. Everything else is in the mind, and probably trickier to deal with as a result!

So what does that mean to me now? Well if I said that the thought of smoking never crossed my mind I would be lying, I still fancy one from time to time but I understand that the temptation to smoke is only due to deep seated associations with either pleasure or coping, a kind of nostalgia. I know that the fact that I smoked in those situations is didn’t mean the nicotine helped me it was just that I needed to deal with the craving to top up my nicotine levels before I could get on with living my life.

If I still saw smoking as a forbidden pleasure I would eventually fail in a moment of weakness. Could I have the odd one or two now and again? Well who knows, in the past I have tried it and always gone back to smoking, as a result. The fact is I won’t and the reason I won’t is that I don’t want to. I don’t want to be a social smoker or an occasional smoker I am a non smoker and intend to stay that way!

It may sound a cliché but it is true, that if I can anyone can. Smoking is a choice and it’s your choice whether you do it or not.

My advice: Choose health, wealth and control.

51 Replies

  • Hi Nic :D

    A truly inspirational post from you for us all but perhaps especially for our newer quitters

    CONGRATULATIONS on 1 whole year Huge Hug


    Marg xxxxxxxxx

  • That is one of the best posts i have read.

    well done nicfirth brilliant !.congratulations .

    love ali x

  • what an inspirational post as marg says, CONGRATULATIONS to you . one year is amazing x:)

  • Hi Nic,

    An evocative post mate, and Congratulations on completing the year


  • What a lovely post :)

    Congratulations on 365 days

    As a newbie stopper (14 days) I will try and remember this when the going gets tough.

    Enjoy your party :D

    Carol x

  • That is one of the best posts i have read.

    Youv'e obviously never read any of mine ;)

    Seriously though

    Its a great BIG well done from me

  • And a great BIG well done from him.;):D

    Well done Nic

  • Hi Nic,

    Congratulations on one year quit.

    Excellent post too - inspirational stuff.


  • Can't say anymore about this insightful and heartfelt post than has already been said. This is one more gem which I'm going to use for remaining a non-smoker. I'm visualising posting here in 355 days.....................


  • Hi Nic

    i dont post much at all now but i do check in from time to time. (A bit pi55ed off i missed most of the recent troubles tho!!!!!!:D)

    Anyway, just logged on to say


    and welcome to the 1 year + Club!!!

    Well done Nic, you deserve it!

  • Thanks all of you, really pleased to have made it.

    Its had its ups and downs but over all quitting has been a hugely satisfying achievement, hmmm maybe I'll pop into the newsagents tomorrow for a pack of 20 then I can start all over again on this fantastic journey. :eek: Maybe not :eek:

  • Wtg!

    Congratulations, and welcome to the Penthouse!


  • A most sincere well done, your posts have helped me through some rough patches, congratulations

  • Nic, CONGRATULATIONS ON YOUR 1 YEAR!!!! I want to thank you for your wise words and help. I'm pretty sure if you and Stuart hadn't been on here to tell me to read, read, read and give me the links to read that I wouldn't have had the mind set to stay quit! I also want to thank you for listening and responding to my rant. Don't be a stranger to the forum. Many people still need to hear your words.

  • Congratulations

    Nic-you did it mate, a whole year without smoking.

    Seriously, well done and thanks for today's post-so true all of it.

    I thank my lucky stars that I found this forum at the beginning of my quit and changed my mindset before the nico demons persuaded me that I could have 'just one' as a reward for being so good.

    Thanks again for all the help and support.


    Huge congratulations.

    Great post as well.

    I am cant wait to write my penthouse post!!!

  • Great post Nic........Amazing how we all went so long thinking smoking was the only way to go.......:D

  • thanks everyone and

    Dubbs, I do believe you got that Nike(ish) pic from my 6 month post :rolleyes:

  • very well done Nic...give youself a massive pat on the back:)

  • Well done on a year! I'll be a while, but one day i will be saying the same myself :)

  • Well done on a year! I'll be a while, but one day i will be saying the same myself :)

    Yes you will! Remember a penthouser is just a day 1er that didn't give in;)

  • Just found this thread. Well done to you Nic!!! Hopefully I'll get there myself this time. A year is a huge milestone.

    well with 6 months under your belt already you are well on your way

  • Well done! Congratulation on one whole year!! All the best to you and have fun in the penthouse ;)

  • Hey Nic,

    Huge congrats on getting to the one year anniversary. You really dedicated yourself and not only have you manged to turn this around for yourself you also provided along the way loads of sound advice for many, many members of the forum.

    Like others I don't visit too often so quite pleased that this time has coincided with your momentous occasion. :D


  • Good to see you again Cav :)

  • Oh Nic, i almost missed it but thanks to Linda she woke me up :)

    Huge Huge well done Nic, you were one of the key people at the beginning of my quit who kept me on the right road, i knew then that you would get here.

    You are an absolute star:p:D



  • Belated Congrats x

    I missed this but Many congratulations Nic!! :)

  • Congratulations - you were (and still are) a real inspiration to me when I first quit. Thanks for all your support and well done on being smoke free for a year - and for the rest of your long and healthy life I am sure!

  • Hi sweetie

    just thought i would pop in for a nosey -i miss you guys!!! and no internet connection at home any more-bloody BT!!!

    anyway had to post a huge congrats to you my lovely Nic who helped me get through the worst-i am still going strong and galloping towards 11 months!!

    big hug -fantastic and cant wait to see you in the penthouse soon xxxxx

  • well done !! :)

    just having a nosey and noticed this!

    dont ever let your guard down!

    (nice to see some old names too) x

  • nice to see some old names too

    Yes it is, very nice.

  • Fabulous

    Well done and how brilliant to have got to a year AND have such a fab attitude, sorry i'm late with the wishes but hey im here now, on my 140th day...ty for all ur kind words of support during my time and congrats to you again nic

  • I was wondering where you were,then I remembered:D

    WELL DONE!!! fantastic achievement.


  • Another post to the chorus of 'Well dones!!'

    Knew you'd make it Nic, many congrats.

  • Deke, BibleBlack, Zolat, jody49, Furious Bigcat, alisonmc6, margareth, JenJam, STARON, annasmummy, CJM, popsiesgirl, caz1960, jerry-lee, jude, moog, Hope48, Chrissie V, Manny, Tomatpots, dee dee, dubbs47, EndsNow, denise66, Supervillain, bellablue13, TKDJohn, jacqueline m, shabba68, viking, nogarD and Cavalier.

    Thank you all so very much for your replies they are very much appreciated :)

    Hand up who thinks I should change my name to i quitJuly18th2008 :D

  • Hand up who thinks I should change my name to i quitJuly18th2008 :D

    A very good idea, my ignore list has not been excercised for a while :D

    Oh yea, I'm back ;)

    Congrats on your year, buddy.

  • Thanks to you too Stu, ;)

    BTW hows the dance practice going not long now :p

  • Thanks to you too Stu, ;)

    BTW hows the dance practice going not long now :p


    Not done anything towards it yet, I'll work something out.

  • lol

    Not done anything towards it yet, I'll work something out.

    Better start practising now Stu, wouldn't want to look silly would we;):D

  • Better start practising now Stu, wouldn't want to look silly would we;):D

    I'll come up with something - but please keep the expectations low....

    The lower the better, then they may match the quality of the dance :D

    BTW - for those who don't know, this all started because I celebrated all my milestones at the beginning with the line

    *does a little dance* at the end.... for some reason I then agreed to post a video of this "little dance" on my one year celebration post.

  • A bit late

    But must make a public congratulations to mr nic! As always, an inspiration. Bloomin well done bloke! Stu, am most looking forward to the video. Will you be wearing a costume too?

  • Better late than never............


    Well Done Nic!!!!!!

    A bit late but all the same congrats on reaching the best milestone after quitting, a great post which others will surely look up too.

    I haven't been on myself in a while but i am still quit and have no intention of concidering starting again :D

    Bottoms up and well done xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

  • Awesome, well done.

    it's nice to know it can be done.

  • Thanks Rebecca and Fiona

    Awesome, well done.

    it's nice to know it can be done.

    Thanks Jude, yes not only can it be done but once I got my mind straight it wasn't half as tough as I expected or had found it to be in the past.

  • i'm a tad late here but BLOODY WELL DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :D xx

  • congratulations Nic - thats a big landmark - good advice in the post.

    keep going!

  • Helen and bman Thanks muchly :D

    And I will keep going.

  • Hearty congratulations Mr Firth for a job well done.

    Welcome to the penthouse.

    A year looks so distant at the start but so straightforward when we get there.

    Better late than never huh..? :D

  • Thanks for that Mr Legro, and very true :)

  • Congrats :) seems so far away for many of us, yet fills many with so much hope and is a sure sign that we can all get there if we work at it.

    Nicely done :)

  • Congrats :) seems so far away for many of us, yet fills many with so much hope and is a sure sign that we can all get there if we work at it.

    Nicely done :)


    Looking back it was not as hard as I was expecting. Just keep doing what you are doing i.e. not smoking.

    Smoking is an action if you keep choosing not to do that action you will reach the 1 year mark and beyond.

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