Congrats to you for deciding that it is time to quit. I firmly believe that a person won't be successful in quitting until they are ready
to quit. I quit smoking on April 30th, the day I had my second daughter. I smoked for 13 years, and for the last 8 or so I smoked 2 and a half packs a day. I smoked through both my pregnancies (my oldest daughter is 8) and subjected my oldest daughter to second hand smoke since she was born. I finally became ready to quit about 3 months ago, but told myself I would quit after I had my daughter because I thought I would need help from stop smoking aids. I went into the hospital on April 30th and had my last cigarette at 5:50am that morning, so it's been about 26 days without smoking for me.
I am also very upset and mad at myself for subjecting my kids to my bad habit for so long, and for not having the strength to quit before now. But I've also come to the understanding that at least I'm doing it now. It's not too late for me or for my kids. I've set an example for my oldest daughter, in that she saw how much I smoked and how hard it was to finally throw them away, and she has made me the promise that she would not start smoking if I would quit smoking. I am not above throwing that in her face when she becomes a teenager and is confronted with the option to smoke. My husband also quit with me. He smoked a pack a day for about 10 years. We both quit cold turkey. I actually let my daughter break every cigarette in my last pack and throw them away.
I smoked all the time too. I always had a cigarette in my hand. Plus I loved to smoke. I enjoyed it. I knew in the back of my mind that it was killing me, but I enjoyed doing it too much to quit. I also have asthma and it wasn't until I could barely breathe that I became ready to quit. I never really had a cough either, but just like you, I know my lungs have to be about worn out. Since quitting, I can now breathe, play with my daughter, run around the yard with her, walk through my house without panting, and I have so much more energy. It is an awesome feeling when you're not letting cigarettes run your life anymore. Also, this is the first time I have ever even attempted to quit. I went to my moms house the other day (she smokes) and the smell almost made me sick. I can't believe my house, my daughter, and myself all smelled like that. It is disgusting. I can never let myself go back to smoking and cause my daughter to smell like that again.
The most important thing I want to say to you is, you are not a horrible person for smoking or for smoking around your kids. I'm not either. We just have a horrible addiction. It does not make us bad people, we just have to decide to be stronger than it is. You can do this. I know you can. Whether you need to use the patch, the gum, Smoke Away, Wellbutrin, etc., or if you decide to do it cold turkey, you can succeed. Just tell yourself for every day that you are smoke free, that is one more day that your lungs and your kids lungs are healing. What better motivation is there than that?
Good luck and take care!