Patient : Hi there, my name is Natalie and I'm 20 years old. I am in a situation which is greatly self inflicted and I am to blame, but I'm also scared. I'm a singer who began smoking early last year, around march time. Stupid I know, especially as my voice is very powerful. I really wish I hadn't and now I've become upset and terrified after reading the damages they can have on the vocals. What I'm not sure of however is how long you have to have smoked in order for your singing voice to be totally destroyed. I don't want to suffer the same consequences of Charlotte Church and Whitney Houston. I'm not a casual smoker, I mostly smoke when I drink which isn't often, and I don't go out too often. When I first started smoking I wanted one quite regular and could smoke easily 10 a day, but after 3 months I decided to quit. The first 2 weeks I went cold turkey and it drove me insane. So the next night out I HAD to have to cigarette, and miraculously, ever since, I've been able to control my craving. I can go for months without them, provided I don't drink which is when my temptation comes back. Then if I'm offered I will take. I wish I had the will power to say no, but I need a cigarette when I'm out. My new years resolution of this year was to quit entirely, I made it up until april, then started again on a night out. However, the issue here is that my smoking habit is a strange one. I'm on and off with them, very much so. It's now October and since last March I've been on and off with cigarettes like crazy, but on a plus I'd say majority of the year I've gone without them. Can my voice still maintain it's power? I sing songs of Whitney, Mariah, Christina etc and I don't want to lose that power. I'm talented and I'm very ashamed and wish I'd never smoked at all. How long will it take for my vocals to improve? When will I begin to notice any improvements? Will my voice ever get better or have I ruined it? It's still powerful, but I think I have caused strain a little. Do I need to get help? What do you think? Thanks! xx
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