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» Hatrack River Writers Workshop » Forums » Grist for the Mill » Advice on quitting smoking?

   
Author Topic: Advice on quitting smoking?
Foste
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Any ex-smokers here? I really want to quit since 2 euros for a pack of Marlboros is an expense I could do well without.

I especially smoke a lot while writing. Just started my novel today, and hoo boy, the grits keep dwindling.

Any good techniques you'd like to share?

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redux
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I've never smoked, but family members have quit after having been long time smokers.

This is what I've learned through vicarious experience:

Think about what makes you smoke. Is it the first thing you want when you wake up in the morning? How long can you go without smoking? Do you have to leave in the middle of a good movie to go out for a smoke? If so, you're probably addicted to the nicotine which will make quitting hard, but not impossible. What happens is that the nicotine binds to your serotonin receptors - so you start needing that "kick" for a false happiness. The non-prescription method is to exercise - exercise helps release natural endorphins and relieves stress. It will also build muscle and make you attractive to the ladies [Wink]

Are you a "social smoker?" Meaning, do you only smoke at a party, when you have a drink? You say you tend to smoke when you're writing so it sounds more like a bad habit Basically, identify your personal triggers. Is it stress? Boredom? Do you like the feel of a cigarette in your mouth? Do you just like holding a cigarette? Try replacing it with a toothpick, or munch of raw veggies (celery/carrots, etc). Try sucking on one of those Thrive/Nicorette lozenges/gum (I'm not sure if they sell it where you live - sadly they usually cost just as much as a pack of cigarettes).

The most important thing to remember is that you might fail but count every failure as a success.

What I mean by this is that you might quit for a time but end up smoking again. There is no shame in that! Every time you quit is actually a success because it means you can go without smoking for a while and then you can simply extend the time in-between and every little success will eventually help you to quit permanently.

Over a period of 5 years my husband quit about 15 times before it stuck. He had been a smoker for almost 20 years - he started as a teenager. What eventually worked for him was a combination of Thrive lozenges and willpower. He pretty much turned into a scary jerk when trying to quit - very antsy and angry. He wasn't violent but just had a dark cloud over his head all the time. Eventually the dark cloud cleared and he hasn't reached for a cigarette in over 3 years. Early on he still craved a smoke, but eventually even that faded and now 2nd hand smoke bothers him.

So basically, exercise, nicotine-replacement, (I've even heard hypnosis/accupuncture has helped some people) but in the end it boils down to whether you want to quit. Those therapies are just there to help you cope with the withdrawal symptoms. In the end, you have to want it, cope with it, remind yourself that you do want to quit, and just roll with the punches.

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LDWriter2
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I haven't smoked either but I know some people have been helped by the gum or patch. Or E-cigs now. Before the Nic gum some people were helped by chewing regular gum.

A huge number of years ago my dad smoked and he just quit. My mom on the other hand never did quite. I believe she never wanted to.

So like a lot of habits it depends on how much you want to quit. And like a lot of habits don't worry if you fall back every now and then. Almost everyone does, just keep going.

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Jess
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I've never been a smoker. I've heard that grapefruit juice (not the sugared kind but straight up grapefruit juice) kills cravings. Also, I've heard that cinnimon gum and mouth wash helps (mostly because it makes for a nasty taste combination)
Also giving yourself something to do besides smoking so that you aren't feeling lost like you need something in your hands.
Good luck!

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MartinV
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Never smoked or used alcohol or drank coffee. Never tried either one.

I did have quite the sugar addiction though and getting over that wasn't easy. The best advice I can give is find something to do that keeps your brain busy so you don't have time to realize you're missing something.

Some people try to reduce their intake slowly so they can quit more quickly. To others this makes it harder to quit and it's best to quit suddenly. Try both and see what kind of person you are.

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Robert Nowall
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Boy, we have a lot of "never smoked" people around here---me included. But every time I've tried to give up my filthy and disgusting habits (junk food, excessive soda drinking, nailbiting, writing science fiction) I've always backslid sooner or later.

The only thing I can recall successfully breaking myself of the habit of, was a nasty tendency to pluck hairs from my head and try to floss my teeth with them. [Ewwwwwww! Gross!] A plague of my teenage years, I'm afraid. I did that cold turkey, though.

I wouldn't undervalue the benefits of smoking...I gather from a lot of people who do that it's something of a stress reliever...if you can't unwind at your spa or resort you can unwind by smoking a cigarette...weighing that against the risks to your health as you light up and smoke, of course...

[edited 'cause I messed up the italics of it all...]

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Pyre Dynasty
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From my sister and brother-in-law: find something else to fill the hole. They are also proponents of cold turkey. One more thing, if you fall back into it don't beat yourself up, just keep trying. (Notice I didn't say try again, if you're writing a story and put a comma in the wrong place do you scrap the whole thing and start over?)
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Merlion-Emrys
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Drink tea.

Move in with a non-smoker.

Just stop in order that I won't be forced to fling Steerpike's monkey across the international date line to bite you on the neck.

Switch to e-cigs and use them to ween yourself.

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rcmann
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Still smoke. My wife quit cold turkey after more than thirty years, but she is superhuman. I cut back from three packs a day down to less than a pack. One trick is to keep your cigarettes in an inconvenient place. Like an awkward cabinet in the other end of the house. Or in the basement when you work upstairs. That way you will only force yourself to get up and go after one when the nicotine craving gets really bad, which will cut down on habit puffing. I also find that hard mint candy helps postpone the need sometimes.
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