Almost 6 months cold turkey

Almost 6 months ago I put out my last cigarette. It was Sunday, 21 February 2016 and I’d just finished running a gruelling 21 mile race around the picturesque Meon Valley, the Meon Valley Plod. The first thing I did after crossing the finish line was to sit in the boot of the car, still caked in mud from ordeal I’d just put myself through, and chain smoke two cigarettes!

I got some odd looks and jokey comments were made by a group of blokes I’d finished in front of!  This was very similar to when I finished the Portsmouth Harbour 50k and had a beer and a fag a minute or so after I crossed the finish line there! Not the actions of a finely tuned athlete!

I decided at that point enough’s enough, time to stop once and for all. Admittedly I’d been cutting down smoking for a long time, gradually reducing my intake over the years, down to a point where I could go a few days without a cigarette in relative comfort. I’d find that I’d not smoke at work but have one as soon as I got home ‘to unwind’, though it must be said I banned smoking inside the house a good ten years ago. I’d then maybe have another one after eating, as you do, and then obviously a full packet would get destroyed, much like my lungs, whenever any considerable amount of alcohol was consumed! Leaving me not just hungover but hoarse and full of tar and full of guilt and remorse about smoking too much.

The benefit of this decision is innumerable really. Not only am I saving money (bonus!) but I’ve improved my quality of life no end, my sense of smell and taste has dramatically improved. I no longer smell like an ashtray and the smell of other smokers now utterly disgusts me, did I really smell like that! I fervently wish my other half would join me on this journey, the fact that there are always cigarettes in the house has made this very difficult, the fact that the fetid stench is always on her is repelling but as usual it doesn’t matter how much I say. The temptation to smoke will never go away, the cravings are there gnawing away at me, but I must remain strong if only for my children.

On the upside, as well as improving my quality of life and expected lifespan my running has improved now that I can breath more efficiently. I’m getting fitter and my times are coming down as my body is repairing the damage I’ve done to it all these years!

After 3-9 months

Coughs, wheezing and breathing problems improve as lung function increases by up to 10%. After one month without cigarettes, the cilia inside your lungs will begin to repair. The cilia are the tiny, hair-like structures that push mucus out of the lungs. Once the cilia are able to do their job efficiently, they can fight off infection and clear the lungs more easily. With properly functioning lungs, your coughing and shortness of breath will continue to decrease dramatically. Your withdrawal symptoms will also go away completely within nine months after quitting. The length of time it takes varies depending on how long and how often you smoked before quitting. 


So in summary it is 177 days from the the 21st Feb to today, or 5 months, 26 days without a cigarette.

Alternative time units

177 days can be converted to one of these units:

  • 15,292,800 seconds
  • 254,880 minutes
  • 4248 hours
  • 177 days
  • 25 weeks and 2 days
  • 48.36% of 2016
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One Response to Almost 6 months cold turkey

  1. Debbie Starrs says:

    Well done Paul. I know its a massive undertaking and you are doing brilliantly. Keep strong!

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