Our journey started in the fall of 2016 when my husband, Fred, and I were prompted to get annual physicals and there was a U.S. benefit decision to begin smoking surcharges in the near future.

The findings on our physicals brought me to the decision that something had to change with our current way of life.

“But how was I going to be able to stop smoking after 50 years,” kept ringing in my head.

Things like, I really enjoy smoking, that’s my way of relaxing. I’ll gain weight if I quit, and numerous other excuses kept going through my mind.

The opposing conscious rang out with thoughts like, “Look at the time and money you’ll save; your health will improve; you won’t have to search for the smoking areas (which are becoming fewer and harder to find).”

After talking with my husband about the pros and cons, we made the decision that we were going to do this. Making the decision to do this together was a crucial part of our success.

My concern of gaining weight was my number one valid excuse, so I decided to start with this first. I joined a weight loss program hoping it would help keep me accountable to at least maintain my current weight. Those weekly weigh-ins are what I was going to need to stay on track. If I quit smoking and had to weigh-in each week, maybe I will get up and move when I want to smoke, instead of eating something.

The next step was to look for a stop smoking aid that we thought would help us. We discussed this with our doctor and found something to help reduce cravings. The prescription, paired with our empowered mindset, made our decision a good fit for us.

Well, here we go. We joined online support groups, picked a quit date, and shared with some close friends and family that we were quitting smoking.

The first few weeks were different. I’m not going to say challenging, because that word just doesn’t fit.

The biggest hurdle was the habit smoking. Get in the car, have a cigarette, get on the phone, light a cigarette, get off work, have a cigarette, finish a meal, have a cigarette…So instead, I took up walking.

I’m not going to bore you with our week-by-week details, so I’m going to jump to our success story.

We are more than three months smoke free and feeling very proud of ourselves.

We have saved $1,690 and 865 hours. And I lost 10 lbs.

To my family, friends and colleagues, I would like to let you know that if you need a support buddy or have questions, I’m here for you.

You may not be aware, but there’s a new Celanese tobacco cessation program called Quit For Life®. If you or a dependent family member use tobacco of any kind (inclusive of vaping and smokeless tobacco), and you want to quit, there is additional help available! This free program offers support from a private coach, quit-smoking medications, a quit guide, and continuous communications through text messages and access to a members-only website to encourage you and help you make it happen. The Quit For Life® program is the nation’s leading tobacco-cessation program endorsed by the American Cancer Society and provides phone-based coaching and web-based learning support services to help you.

If you or any of your covered dependents are thinking about quitting, take the first step today! Reach out to 1-866-QUIT-4-LIFE (quitnow.net).