The idea of going a full year seemed so impossible at the beginning, too. But taking it one day at a time really worked, and now, suddenly, it's been a year.
At this point, my excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stoke has declined to less than half that of a smoker. It will be another nine years before my risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer (which killed my father, a smoker) is between 30% and 50% of that of a smoker. Another nine years before my risk of pancreatic cancer declines to that of someone who has never smoked, and before my risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, and esophagus has also declined. I have twelve more years before my risk of smoking-induced tooth loss has declined to that of someone who's never smoked. Fourteen more years until my risk of coronary heart disease (which, coupled with emphysema, is what killed my grandmother, a smoker) is equal to that of a person who has never smoked.
That's how damaging smoking is, and just a few of the reasons I'm glad I stopped when I did.