Table 2

 Examples of reasons for successfully quitting smoking without planning

“In 1998 I went to the emergency room because I thought I was having a heart attack. I promised God that if I survived the night I would quit smoking. I have never smoked since” (DS, age 48).
“I was working under a car and smoking. I burned my lip so bad I needed plastic surgery and had to eat with a straw for a month. I quit on the spot” (VD, age 81).
“I loved it until I had that asthma attack. I was at work and I couldn’t breathe so I left to go and see the doctor. I got supreme shit and prednisone. I have never smoked again since leaving the doctor’s office” (EM, age 37).
“It was 40 years ago. I was always thinking about the kids in the back of my mind and the cost consideration—it was ridiculous. Both myself and my spouse were in bed and had our last cigarette and decided that was it. We quit together cold turkey” (BR, age 61).
Disgust with smoking
“I was at a house party and there were no ashtrays in the house. I dropped my cigarette in my drink to the complete horror of the hostess. I thought “these damn things” and I have never smoked another cigarette since” (MD, age 66).
“We had a party on a Saturday night. The next morning I came downstairs and the smell of cigarette smoke in the house disgusted me. But I had been the only one smoking. There was no planning involved. I quit cold turkey. For the first time in my life I could really smell the cigarette smoke” (ML, age 56).
“I just felt like I had had enough and it was not going to kill me” (CB, age 36).
“I had been a heavy drinker. My wife gave me an ultimatum – I quit drinking and smoking at the same time – no planning – cold turkey” (TV, age 41).
“I met Eric (future husband). I did not want to smoke around a non-smoking partner. I didn’t feel like it. No planning just cold turkey” (AS, age 27).
“I came from work and there was a big storm. I realized I was out of cigarettes but the weather was too bad to leave the house. I lasted all night and the next morning without a cigarette. I got confidence to quit because I never thought I could go that long without cigarettes so I thought what the hell—might as well keep on going. I’ve never smoked since for the last 24 years” (LG, age 78).