Cigarettes gave me an excuse to escape

I started smoking when I was around 14 years old. My parents also grew up smoking, using cigarettes to cope with anxiety and stress. Mental health has always been a concern in our family, but there was no reach out or true diagnosis at the time, so there were no proper coping skills to our knowledge. They did what they knew and in turn I did the same. Reaching adulthood I knew that cigarettes had been acceptable. I surrounded myself with other smokers and I could never find a shortage of them. Cigarettes gave me an excuse to escape. They comforted and supported me. They were always there, when it seemed like no one or no thing could be. I turned to cigs as my stress reliever. If there was a passing in the family, I smoked more. A hard time was nothing a cig or three couldn’t cure. I was always physical in my occupations so I convinced myself that there was no real damage to my body.

There were no signs as to my heath declining. Later my mother had been diagnosed with COPD, a disease I knew nothing about. It ended up taking her life, and even after I truly had no idea that what happened to her could happen to me too. I started seriously considering putting down the packs, but I never took any real steps toward doing so. 2017 was the beginning of my true wake up call. In May of 2017, I had my first COPD exasperation. That morning I had looked my daughter in the eyes as I felt like I was dying. I thought that I needed to stop and that I didn’t want to live my life like this. After the first exasperation came many many more. It wasn’t until the worst and past two that convinced me it was time to stop. Of all the episodes I and my family had experienced, I had never once lost consciousness. The last two in 2019, May and June, I had completely knocked out. Both times were shocking, frantic, and incredibly distressing. My family is the only reason I am still alive today. Since the final exasperation, June 25th, I haven’t smoked. Every episode was truly horrifying to those I love and equally horrifying to see myself go through.

Since quitting, I’ve been able to go up and down stairs more frequently than I ever could have back in May or June. I can do more of what I’m used to doing, running around the house playing with the cats and doing some house work. I can’t say my life is back to normal, but I can say I am Cigarette free and proud to be. I’ve looked high and low for a vape that doesn’t aggravate my throat too much or inspire coughing fits, and one that just feels right in my hand. I don’t want to ever touch a pack again, but nicotine is the most addictive drug there is. It’ll take me a bit to adjust to no nicotine, so I’m still using vape products, but I plan on kicking them too at some point. I have faith in your company and I love your products! Hopefully my story can inspire or even just have some people take a step back and think for a moment.

My incredible mother,

Lana Freiwald