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“Cigarettes Have No More Power Over Me!”

Local Musician Dan Maloney Shares His Personal Struggle and Victory Over Nicotine. 

Published in September 2015

By Nathalie Landry - NBATC Communications Coordinator

Dan “the piano guy” Maloney’s talent has been impressing audiences since the age of 15.  An accomplished musician, this Saint John (New Brunswick) native has shared his joie de vivre and musical talent through shows in piano bars, nightclubs, conventions, trade shows, private parties and weddings with a mixture of classic hits, top star impersonations and comedy routines.

Now at 57 years of age, Dan is set to inspire others with a catchy anthem about quitting smoking. The song has a universal appeal, yet is profoundly personal, for his proudest accomplishment to date is his victory over his nicotine addiction, which had for far too long affected his health and well-being.

“I first started smoking when I was 30,” recalls Dan. “You know, it’s funny, because I was always so dead-set against smoking. I never related to people who smoked. I always wondered why people would want to inhale all those toxic chemicals. I never imagined I would become a smoker one day myself!” 

“I started to smoke because of a weight issue,” he admits. “I was struggling with my weight and desperate for a quick fix. I had this misinformation that if I smoked, it would help me lose weight. It would curb my appetite and help me eat less. It’s the only reason I started. I thought I would just try a cigarette now and then when I craved food, and it would help me manage my weight. I thought that if I only had one once in awhile, it would not do much harm, and that I could control myself.” 

But, nicotine’s powerful addictive properties soon took over, and before he knew it, Dan was smoking more than that one casual cigarette. 

“I ended up loving the idea of smoking. I was addicted from the start; I had no idea nicotine was so powerful. I started smoking only a few cigarettes now and then, and soon, I was up to a pack per week, then a pack per day. When I finally quit for good, I was up to 48 cigarettes per day! That’s three cigarettes per hour! All that time, I was in denial on how much I actually smoked.”  

As is the case for many ex-smokers, it often takes a drastic wake-up call to find the right motivation and willpower to quit smoking.

“I tried quitting a few times throughout the years. I even had two heart attacks before I was finally able to quit for good. You would think that the first heart attack would have been enough of a wake-up call, but no, it was only after the second one that I realized I was getting close to death and cigarettes were killing me.”

Thankfully, Dan was able to make a full recovery. Through the support of his friends, family and a renewed faith, he found the willpower to quit and he is thankful for being given a second chance at life. He reached out to Smokers’ Helpline for advice. He also relied on the love and support of his loved ones and his church as he started his smoke-free journey.

“It was May 23, 2013. I told myself this was it. I had to quit cold turkey. The first four months were the hardest. I had to deal with my cravings one hour at a time. I would call the Smokers’ Helpline often, when I had cravings. Slowly, four months turned into six months, then into a whole year. I was starting to feel good, healthier, a whole lot more energized. Now it’s been two years.  I’ve truly never felt so happy and healthy in my entire life!” 


Watch Dan perform songs on his website and YouTube channel

“Quitting smoking has saved my life,” he adds. “It has changed me for the better. It has motivated me to take better care of myself. I eat healthier. I walk every day. I’m not gaining weight; rather, I’m losing weight. I’ve lost 35 pounds since this past Christmas! I’m also a lot more in touch with my spirituality and I feel the love and support of my friends and my community at Church. They’ve been instrumental in helping me achieve my goal of quitting smoking. It’s a blessing.” 

Mr. Maloney has captured his smoke-free passion in a song, which he hopes encourages others to overcome their nicotine addiction.

“I wrote a song called Cigarettes Have No More Power Over Me in 2008. I imagined myself free from cigarettes, which was a vision of the future I wanted, and wrote down how I thought I would feel if I quit smoking. Now, when I sing the song, I’m truly living its message. I hope it inspires others who are struggling with their nicotine addictions to take those first steps towards quitting. The song truly is a celebration of living a healthy smoke-free life.” 

The song is also a great anthem for ex-smokers to celebrate their achievements. (Listen to it on Dan Maloney's website: danmaloney.ca/recordings.html. Buy it on his CD Baby profile: cdbaby.com/Artist/DanMaloney.) 

Cigarettes Have No More Power Over Me
I am free with no regrets; I have quit those cigarettes.
I have gained a brand new life; a natural high!
I have money; no more debts since I gave up cigarettes
And now living has more meaning; I'm alive!
I'm alive, and I'm free! Nicotine has no more power over me!
I've been rescued from my rut; I have thrown away my butts!
Cigarettes have no more power over me!  
(Lyrics and Music by Dan Maloney)

Dan also has some sage words of advice for smokers who are thinking of quitting. “I was able to quit smoking finally, after all those years, because I was truly ready. I tried a few times and failed in the past. So, I want to let others know that it is important to not stop trying. You may sometimes fail, but every time you make that effort to try and quit, you get closer to finally kicking the habit for good. The number one thing I want to encourage smokers to do is to seek help. For me, it was the Smokers’ Helpline and the love and encouragement of my friends, family and church. Seek help. Don’t do it alone.”

“Nicotine is an illusion – it makes you believe you are happy,” he concludes. “When I used to smoke, I thought I was a happy smoker, that smoking was an integral part of my persona. I was in denial. It’s wonderful not to be a slave to cravings, to have to constantly step out for a cigarette. My breathing is much better, I’m healthier and I have an extra surge of energy. Now, I am truly happy, it’s like I’ve been given this whole new lease on life and it’s wonderful. Just like my song says, cigarettes have no more power over me!” 

Want to download Cigarettes Have No More Power Over Me? Click here to purchase the song

Find out more about Dan Maloney and listen to his music by visiting his website: www.danmaloney.ca

Photos: Courtesy of Dan Maloney

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