OneStepStories-BetsyBI loved to smoke. I didn’t think I would ever quit.

My whole day revolved around when I could have a cigarette. My day would start and end with one. I would leave for work and time it so I could have a cigarette on the way there and have just enough time to sit in the parking lot and have another. I enjoyed smoking, lighting up; that big inhale and exhale felt good to me, but I knew it wasn’t good for me.

In my early 20s, I knew I should quit. I tried Chantix, gum and quitting cold turkey. None of these worked. I always went back. Deep down, I really didn’t want to quit.

One day I saw one of those scary commercials on TV. This beautiful young girl who was prom queen now had a breathing tube coming out of her throat. She was bald and extremely skinny and sick looking. That image stuck in my head for days. I remember having a nightmare about it. I did not want to become like her. A couple of days after that, while driving, I threw my cigarettes out the window and never looked back.

It was very tough staying tobacco free. I was in my late 20s and all my friends smoked. Meeting the girls for dinner and drinks and staying inside while they went outside to smoke was so hard.

My mother was so happy. Her mother, my grandma, died because of smoking. She was disappointed when I started and always wanted me to quit. So when I did, I could tell she was overjoyed.

I have felt so much better since I quit. I would cough a lot and sometimes get out of breath very easily. It feels good to breathe fresh air in and out without my lungs hurting.

If I had continued to smoke, I know I would have a number of health issues. I would have gone down a path full doctors and hospital visits.

I truly enjoyed smoking. I loved it. If I can quit, anyone can. You have to truly want to.

Betsy Biehler, Clyde, OH

August 16, 2016