How Mom Kicked Her Smoking Habit

My mother smoked cigarettes for more than 30 years. We grew up seeing and smelling her smoke. We, her children, never liked her to smoke, and we often reminded her (sometimes reprimanded her) for not listening to our pleas to quit her smoking habit. That’s because we loved her and we didn’t want to see her suffer from any health problems in the future. We thought that she was just being stubborn because it took her so long to finally kick the habit.

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But we all knew she tried several times to quit smoking. What we didn’t know was how hard it was for her to overcome her nicotine addiction. We heard about withdrawal symptoms, but we didn’t really know what those were. Now we know that there is such a thing as “quit smoking depression,” which our mom had probably experienced several times in her quest to get rid of smoking. According to, the person with quit smoking depression “may experience anger, depressed mood, increased appetite, difficulty concentrating and a desire for the drug (nicotine).” This was probably the reason why she would always backslide.

I just recently learned that there’s a drug that treats quit smoking depression. Wellbutrin XL is a smoking cessation aid that significantly reduces withdrawal symptoms associated with nicotine. Had I known about this, then I would have taken my mom to the doctor to seek further medical advice and to purchase this drug with the doctor’s go signal to help her battle her nicotine habit. This made me realize that we were partly responsible for our mom’s continued love affair with cigarettes. That’s because we didn’t know anything about smoking and quitting smoking. Ignorance is not bliss after all.

Only after our mom was diagnosed with coronary heart disease did she finally stop to smoke. By then, it was too late because her destructive habit has finally taken a toll on her body. She needed to undergo quadruple bypass surgery soon or she would not survive. Luckily, for her, we were able to raise the funds needed for her open-heart surgery. She went under the knife in 2010, and she was pronounced fit to be discharged a few days later. Because she had been given a second lease on life, my mom has finally given up cigarettes for good.

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