I very rarely go on this forum any more, but in January 2009 I was rarely off it. Hope you first dayers don't mind me popping back in but I remember how the words of people who had been there, done that really helped in those early days of stopping smoking.
I feel like maybe, after being helped to end my addiction to nicotine by lots of supportive people on this forum, it's time to give a little back.
Like many of you, I'm sitting at home, feeling a bit glum about the rubbish football we've just played, and it's often times like this that the nicotine monster strikes!
Truth is, after being quit for 1 year, 5 months, 5 days, 17 hours and 29 minutes (thank you Quitcounter!) I didn't feel the need to light up!
Instead I decided to cool off with an icecream.
I headed across the road to my local shop, where until 1 year, 5 months, 5 days, 17 hours and 29 minutes I had gone in for my pack of fags on a daily basis, usually around 8am before heading to work.
The shopkeeper asked why he hadn't seen me in ages. I said I had stopped smoking. "Bad news for you, good news for me," I joked.
He asked how much money I'd saved.
Saying it out loud, I was more shocked than he was.
It's the truth. In the space of 17 months I've saved £2,600. I'm going on a great holiday next month, I'm putting a little extra towards my mortgage on a regular basis and for the first time in a long time I'm not so worried about my finances.
It's not the best reason to quit, but totting up the money after all this time really brings it home to me... it was not only my health but my finances that were going up in smoke.
If this is your first day, then write down how much you will save each day, week, month, year. Think of those holidays, financial security etc that have been out of your reach for so long.
Stopping smoking will set you free in more ways than one. And as a 20-40-a-day smoker for countless years, I know it won't be easy.
But hopefully this time next year you will be back on this forum giving small words of encouragement to all those first-day quitters who are where you are now.
My thoughts are with you all - good luck! You can do it!
I've not smoked 10435 death sticks, and saved £2,665.38.
I've saved 36 days, 5 hours and 32 minutes of my life.