Hello fellow smokers, 

I am Ella. Wife, daughter, mother and throat cancer patient. In this letter, I am writing to you why this time, after countless failed attempts, I am quitting smoking for me above everything and everyone else. Lately, I’ve come to the conclusion that if you want to quit, you need to do it for you, so I’ll be telling you my story hoping that it might help you.

My story starts when I was 14 years old and smoked for the first time. I’ve been a smoker ever since. Cigarettes have been with me for 43 years and for the greater part of the last decade I’ve wanted to stop. I’ve always wanted to quit for my family because I want to be around them and they always tell me how afraid they are that I will die from all this smoking. You know, out of all the things I have achieved in my life, having my children and grandchildren, is what gives me the most strength and joy. 

However, every year, I set out to quit smoking for my family only to fail and disappoint them in the end. I think that, in a way, I also failed because I love them. Because I didn’t want to quit and be angry, bitter and bum everyone out. 

All this changed when I was diagnosed with throat cancer less than a year ago. With that grave danger, stopping smoking was necessary. I thought that this news would make me quit without second thoughts. All of my smoking life, I thought that if something bad happened to me, I would quit. I was so wrong. 

After my diagnosis, I switched to vaping, but I ended up smoking and vaping interchangeably. The gum and the patch simply didn’t do it for me as I still wanted my fags, and when I took varenicline, I ended up in the ER. Still not sure why. But it didn’t stop me from smoking. Nothing stopped me from smoking. Not even cancer. 

I was diagnosed with cancer, and I was still smoking as much as ever. I thought there was something terribly wrong with me and even considered taking my own life. At my lowest point, I started realizing that all the reasons I told myself to avoid quitting were nothing but excuses. And that the reality was that I am addicted and scared. Cigarettes had destroyed me. I felt defeated and weak.

After constant search and prayer, I found my answer in a method called the CBQ Method. I felt this method was different. It was not about gums and stuff it was about breaking up with smoking mentally. It was just what I needed. I did the 4 stages of the CBQ method, and that built up my confidence to quit. 

Nasia Davos the psychologist who created the method says that there are the logical reasons to quit smoking that all smokers have. Reasons like health, money, longevity and quitting for your loved ones are on the top of the list. These are the reasons all of us should quit for, and we know it all too well.

But what Nasia explains is that those logical reasons are not enough! Logic might be enough to get you thinking about quitting but not enough to get you to quit and face hard times without cigarettes.

What you really need to quit is to have emotional reasons as well. Emotional reasons are the reasons that are deeply and personally important to you.

That got me thinking.

Cancer didn't stop me from smoking because getting diagnosed was such a shock for me that I have not yet grasped the reality of it. I think this happens to many of us. We start to get emotionally detached from our illness and avoid the reality because it is too painful.

Before my diagnosis, I always tried to quit for others and even though I meant it at the time, I never took full responsibility. I always made excuses, blamed someone else or the circumstances of my life.

Understanding this whole thing about emotional reasons was the turning point that set me free. Finding your emotional reason helps you commit to your decision to quit, which is the first quit smoking stage of the CBQ method.

I thought long and hard of whether or not I had any of those emotional reasons and what they could be and I found mine.

My emotional reason is to win. To not let smoking beat me. I want to feel like a winner, even if it’s the last thing I will ever do. I want to conquer smoking, to be stronger than my fears. That thought gives me so much power. 

And that’s how I realized that the only way I will feel motivated to quit is if I do it for me.

So this time I quit smoking for me.

Without worrying about failing, being irritable, or expecting everyone else to understand me or be supportive.

I am not making any promises to others, only to myself.

I’m taking full responsibility for my success, and I don’t see my quit attempt as anything else but a journey that will lead to victory.

I am putting myself first because that’s how my family would benefit too.

Today I smoked my last cigarette, and for the first time in my life, I know that I will never smoke again. I have no doubts or fears around it. The teachings of the CBQ Method helped me overcome smoking after all these years, and I’m so thankful.

As you are reading this, I am proud to say that I’m a non-smoker. 

And if I can do it, you can do it too.

Are you with me?