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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » SPEAKIN OF SMOKING... NEED HELP

   
Author Topic: SPEAKIN OF SMOKING... NEED HELP
paigereader
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I WAS GOING TO ASK IF ANYONE EVER QUIT... NOT SURE IF I COULD GO COLD TURKEY. IF YOU HAVE OR KNOW SOMEONE THAT HAS, HOW? ANY TIPS OR DO'S AND DON'T'S?
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pooka
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When I quit chocolate, it was cold turkey. But it was more I got to a point where I didn't need it, which was preceded by several years of 12 step work on food in general and later, anxiety.
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Achilles
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I did it cold turkey. Mind you, I had to try to do it about five times, but eventually I got it right.

This is completely anectdotale, however. I'm pretty pigheaded anyway, and once I get it in my mind to do something, I usually crack down and get it done.

I prepared very carefully. I cut back to four cigarettes a day for over a month (that was the hardest part). I chose the period to quit as a two-week vacation. I bought a couple of pounds of black licorice and sweated it out.

After about a week, the initial cravings started to lessen. I still had to actively think about not smoking for a month or so after.

Then it was the occasional pang, that had to be completely denied. It helped to stay away from secondary smoke, as that was a trigger for me.

If you do it, it is completely worth it. I haven't touched one for over seven years now, and my respiratory health gets better all the time.

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Shanna
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As I said in the other post, my boyfriend quit in January after years of smoking and failed attempts to quit.

Like Achilles, he said the difference about this time is that he really meant it. He was also half-way through his first year of teaching and even though he never smoked at school, he realized his kids could smell it on him and his clothes and he wasn't setting a good example.

He used the Nicorette gum to help. Probably used it the first two months. Now he runs or has a glass of orange juice whenever he gets a craving.

The most important thing he did was stop going to bars and being around people who smoke. His roommates smoke and that meant not hanging out on the porch while they were puffing away. And as much as we love pool and live music, we had to stay away from the bars. It can still difficult when someone lights up around him but he says that, more often than not, he finds himself being disgusted by the smell and the habit. I remember a few weeks ago, we met up with a friend after work to play pool, the first time in months, and we were both coughing and feeling sick after we came out of the bar and he asked me: "Did I always used to smell that horrible?!"

So far he's only messed up once which he felt pretty badk about, but I'm impressed with his stressload that he hasn't fallen off more. And if you do make a mistake, just accept it and get right back on the horse. Keep moving forward!

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scholarette
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My dad quit cold turkey. Every time he wanted a cigarette, he drank a glass of unsweetened grape fruit juice. We went through a lot of grape fruit juice.
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Belle
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Shanna, your boyfriend sounds awesome. Congrats to him on being so successful with his quitting strategies.
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Sean Monahan
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One of my friends who quit smoking was trying to help another of my friends quit. His first rule was, you have to convince yourself that you're not a smoker.

It was kind of funny, because every once in a while, friend#1 would say something along the lines of, "Man, I can't do this today, I need a cigarette." To which friend#2 would say somthing like, "No, that's silly, it can't be a cigarette you need, because you're not a smoker. Figure out what it is you *really* need."

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CaySedai
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My husband started smoking when he was 5. Yes, five years old. He's 46 now, so 41 years of smoking. He got a prescription for Chantix, which blocks the receptors that nicotine does. He hasn't smoked much since last October. A cigarette here and there, but he was a 2-pack-a-day smoker before. When he does have a cigarette, he doesn't get any pleasure out of it. Chantix is cheaper than smoking, even if his insurance didn't cover it.

Now, apparently he's only supposed to take it for 12 weeks and he's still taking it. So, I don't know what will happen because of that.

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Epictetus
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I called the Truth About Tobacco Helpline last week and was very impressed. I set my quit date at the 17th, so if it helps, you won't be the only Hatracker going through the tough times. [Smile]

If you feel so inclined, I'd recommend calling them up. Every person I've talked to on it has been an ex-smoker, so they're all great resources for tips and tricks. They've really helped me build up my confidence and they also sent me two weeks of patches for free.

So far, I've just been cutting back to practice resisting the cravings. I suck on a cinnamon stick while driving (this had really been a lifesaver since it's about the same size as a cigarette) and I've also started trying to learn Contact Juggling to keep my hands busy.

edited for clarity.

[ May 07, 2008, 06:20 PM: Message edited by: Epictetus ]

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ladyday
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I am coming up on 2 years as a non smoker. I had smoked on and off since I was 14. This is the longest I have ever been 'off' but I still have to watch myself to keep from slipping up. Sean Monahan is right about needing to think of yourself as a non smoker. I have to tell myself a lot that 'I don't do that anymore'. Smoking (and some other bad habits) used to be a big part of my identity. I saw myself as a smoker, and had for a very long time. I liked smoking, and being a smoker, but there are lots of reasons that I like being a non smoker better, and I remind myself of them often. Like when I'm sitting through a movie at the theater, I might think to myself 'wow, this is a good movie. I'm glad I'm not clawing my eyes out wanting a cigarette right now.' I used to have a hard time getting through a movie without a smoke break. Or when I'm running and my legs give out before my lungs. Or when I blow my nose and it comes out clear instead of black.

Okay that might have been tmi. But even two years later I still try to appreciate being a non smoker every day. For some reason it helps to say it out loud to supportive people. A lot of people (even almost strangers!) were really happy for me when I quit, and it was so much better to focus on that than on the people who didn't believe me, or 'forgot' and tried to offer me a smoke, or whatever little attitudes people have.

The biggest thing that has to change is attitude. There are other little changes that help - for me, drinking water (a lot a lot -a lot- of water) and getting outside often were good. I put in a lot of miles on the exercise bike. But it was really changing how I thought about smoking and myself that made the biggest impact. A lot of people say that you can't quit for other people - you have to quit for yourself. I don't know if that's true for everyone, but it was true for me. I tried to quit for others' sake and ended up feeling like I was hiding some awful filthy thing inside of me. I think that outlook did more harm than good. It was better for me to think of quitting in terms of changing some negative aspects of my lifestyle and sort of reinventing myself. This is something I personally enjoy doing, so that made it easier. I like that I can do whatever I want and don't have to be stuck with any label I don't like. This might be why I change my hair so often. For me it's a relief - I can just totally give myself a clean slate any time I want. I understand the flipside of that though - it can be hard and scary to change. It can threaten who you think you are. That's where having your reasons in order, out where you can see them, in your face every day, comes in.

I kept a low profile until I had a few months of non smoking under my belt and then shared my success on my terms. I realized that in previous attempts, I got wrapped up in a lot of the social bs involved in quitting, like people expecting me to act psychotic and just not being cool and supportive. Once I had a little success and perspective it was easier to see that most people want less smokers on the streets, and my family and friends found it easier to get behind me when I was able to say 'hey, I quit smoking' than when I was all 'omg tomorrow I'm going to quit and it's going to suuuuck.' And the few jerks didn't seem like as big a deal.

I went cold turkey, from about a pack and a half to two packs a day to 0 overnight. I don't anyone else has to do it the way I did, but I have heard a lot of success stories about cold turkey. You just can't expect to have two hellish weeks and have it be over, though. I -still- crave cigarettes. I don't think I'll ever be able to let my guard down fully. Some people quit smoking but enjoy a cigar once in a while, or go to a hookah bar, but I know I wouldn't be able to handle that. That 'just one' mentality can be a real pitfall.

I wish the best of luck to anyone at any stage in the quitting process. I feel like I've done a lot of rambling without saying much. After how supportive hatrack has always been about my smoking struggles (even when I was a real pain in the butt about it), I really would like to help any way I can. So if anyone needs a quitting buddy , or the opposite, someone who will just talk and not mention smoking at all, do holler.

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MightyCow
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I've heard it said that if one starts smoking pot, it's much easier to quit smoking cigarettes. Not sure if that's GOOD advice, but it's advice [Wink]
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Orincoro
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It was easy for me to quit when I finally decided to. I smoked less and less for a few months, then switched to 72's, then after a few packs of that, just didn't buy any more. I had cravings for a week or so, but now I barely think about it.
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Luet13
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Tomorrow, when I'm slightly more coherent, I have plently to say about this subject. (Mainly, I fight the fight. I fail repeatedly, but I keep on tryin'.)
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Juxtapose
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I found it was a lot easier to quit buying cigarettes than it was to quit smoking them.
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Pegasus
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quote:
Originally posted by ladyday:
A lot of people say that you can't quit for other people - you have to quit for yourself. I don't know if that's true for everyone, but it was true for me.
..............
I kept a low profile until I had a few months of non smoking under my belt and then shared my success on my terms. I realized that in previous attempts, I got wrapped up in a lot of the social bs involved in quitting, like people expecting me to act psychotic and just not being cool and supportive. Once I had a little success and perspective it was easier to see that most people want less smokers on the streets, and my family and friends found it easier to get behind me when I was able to say 'hey, I quit smoking' than when I was all 'omg tomorrow I'm going to quit and it's going to suuuuck.' And the few jerks didn't seem like as big a deal.

Both of these statements resonated with me. I smoked for 5 years and have been off for 4 years now. I definitly had to do it for myself, and I didn't tell anyone for a couple weeks. I tried not to think about it for the first couple days. Actually, one day I realized I hadn't had one for most of the day so I thought to myself, "can I go all day without?". So I did, and then again the next day. I think the biggest thing for me was that I didn't put any pressure on myself. I figured if I failed, then no big deal. I think when I did this I had gotten down to like 4-5 a day, instead of about a pack.

The weird thing is that I do miss it (the activity, not the chemical dependence), as something to sit back and do, or do while driving. But I certainly don't crave it and the smell disgusts me now.

One motivation for me was that I was moving very close to my family with younger siblings still at home and I didn't want to set a bad example. No one else in the family smokes, so I had been trying to hide it.

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Orincoro
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quote:
Originally posted by Juxtapose:
I found it was a lot easier to quit buying cigarettes than it was to quit smoking them.

Yeah, buying them sucks... although there's something nice about a big fresh pack.

Not having to smoke is like half the motivation to stop. If smoking just involved the pleasant parts, then no one would quit.

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