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Old 12-12-2010, 01:12 PM   #21
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Quitting was one of the hardest things I've ever done.
Tried many times without success, and I was up to more than two packs a day by the time I got back from Vietnam.

In 1973, I came down with a bad case of pneumonia, and literally couldn't smoke for about a week. After that, I felt as if I could tolerate one, and I certainly had the craving for it.

Instead, I decided to try resisting the urge, one day at a time....
Similar to my experience with the pneumonia (or maybe it was flu.) That gave me the start. Shortly thereafter, I was going on a 4 - 5 week TAD/TDY trip on a submarine. Unlike surface ships, subs didn't have any ship's stores. So you had to bring all your supplies, cigarettes included, with you. I made a decision not to bring any cigarettes, knowing that there was nobody more hated than a cigarette mooch on a sub. By the time we pulled back into port I was pretty well cured. (Note: you can't smoke on subs any more. I'm not sure how it is on surface ships - certainly not inside the "skin of the ship" - maybe on the weather decks.

I had tried numerous times before then without success. As with you, this was all in 1973, so I guess we're both cured now.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:18 PM   #22
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I started smoking as a teenager and quit when I was 25. I don't suppose I ever smoked more than 1/2 a pack per day; most days were less. This is my quitting story.

It was August 1984. I was a Navy lieutenant and my submarine was in the shipyard in Bremerton, WA, in the process of defueling and decommissioning. Joan Benoit had just won the very first women's Olympic marathon in Los Angeles. Inspired by that feat, my friend Greg came into the wardroom a few mornings later to tell us that there was a marathon the day after Thanksgiving in Seattle and to suggest that all the boat's officers should run in it. There was universal agreement that we should do just that. The next day we all brought in running clothes so that we could run at lunch to start training. After finding myself on the verge of lung failure after about a block, I decided that the first thing I needed to do was stop smoking. So I did.

That was it. I just quit cold turkey and never touched another. I was helped by the fact that I was running everyday, as well as the fact that my new young bride was a non-smoker.

The epilogue -- I continued training, entering a 5k race, then moving up to a couple 10k's. And slightly more than three months after I stopped smoking, I ran the 1984 Seattle Marathon. It took me over three hours, but I finished under my own power. I subsequently moved on to running triathlons for several years.

And of those 12 eager beavers who thought the marathon was such a great idea? Only Greg, me and one other ran it. The rest quickly found other interests.
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Old 12-12-2010, 01:53 PM   #23
 
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I was smoking 3-4 packs a day. In Feb 1982 a friend and I had a contest to see who could stop smoking. We both stopped cold turkey, he lasted a few days I still don't smoke.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:07 PM   #24
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How can someone smoke 2+ packs a day? Did you really inhale, or just light up the cigarette and let it burn?

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+1. The fact that it was on fire always seemed to me to be a clue that I shouldn't insert it into any bodily orifice...
If you tried, perhaps you inserted the wrong end...
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:11 PM   #25
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How can someone smoke 2+ packs a day? Did you really inhale, or just light up the cigarette and let it burn?
I had a BIL that smoked 3 packs a day but I think half of them burned up in the ashtray as he worked.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:18 PM   #26
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That's what I thought. Always a frugal guy, when I smoked, I really really smoked! Nothing goes to waste with this uncle Scrooge.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:51 PM   #27
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I quit in 1969 at age 25 or so. When I was in Vietnam a pack of smokes cost about 25 cents or so at the PX. My assignment was in such a remote location that we had no access to a PX so the Army provided us with "SP packs" which contained tobacco, candy, tooth paste etc at no cost. No cost is a good reason to smoke.

When I got home I was stationed in Syracuse NY and was amazed that smokes there were 50 cents/pack! I refused to pay that price and have never smoked since.
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Old 12-12-2010, 02:55 PM   #28
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How can someone smoke 2+ packs a day? Did you really inhale, or just light up the cigarette and let it burn?
I know a guy who went from 3 packs (60 cigarettes) a day, to zero. He's a baker, so his lungs must have looked like zebras.

He did it on Zyban. I asked him how that works. He said, "The doc just says to take the tablets. No other instructions. I took them for a few days and nothing happened. Then I woke up on day 5 and the thought of a cigarette made me feel ill. So I didn't have one."

However, the side-effects of Zyban (which was originally designed as an anti-depressant, cf Viagra which was designed for, IIRC, circulatory issues) are potentially quite severe. I have a colleague who smokes 15 or so cigarettes a day and her doctor will not prescribe her Zyban. She can give up by herself, or smoke another couple of packs per day.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:27 PM   #29
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How can someone smoke 2+ packs a day?
Not hard at all. In the first place, they cost $2.10 for a carton of 10 packs at the commissary. Leaving one burn for a while in the ashtray was no big deal.

Second, most people smoked, so most of us had an ashtray on the desk, and there was no pressure to avoid smoking.

A different time. I left for work in the morning with two full packs in my pocket, and they were usually gone by the time I got home in the evening.
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Old 12-12-2010, 03:32 PM   #30
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I remember guys in the Navy using the old cigarette to light a new one. You could easily go through two packs doing that.
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Old 12-12-2010, 05:06 PM   #31
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So, it appears that very few if any truly smoked 2 or 3 packs. If those people really inhaled all that smoke instead of just letting the cigarettes burn, they would die of nicotine overdose or carbon monoxide poisoning.

The above means that my 1/3 to 1/2 pack-a-day former habit might be just as bad as that of other heavier smokers because I inhaled more. Egads!
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Old 12-12-2010, 06:43 PM   #32
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I smoked three to four packs a day for 20 years. I quit almost 28 years ago and I am still here. Cold turkey is the way I done it. Really hard for 3 months and then good to go. I would not light one up for any price. oldtrig
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Old 12-12-2010, 08:44 PM   #33
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Every smoker I've known well, claims to have had no difficulty quitting smoking once they made up their mind:
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In my experience, quitting was extremely hard once I had made up my mind. If I had not made up my mind, I'm pretty sure it would have been impossible.
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Old 12-12-2010, 09:36 PM   #34
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I was a smoker from 18 to age 42. I installed patches to quit. First, had to learn a new lifestyle without the withdrawal symptoms. After I had the new day-to-day life down without cigarettes, then got off the patches. It worked for me by separating the physical from the psychological aspects of smoking. Conquer the psychological part first, then the physical withdrawals will be easier. Worked for me.
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Old 12-13-2010, 03:38 AM   #35
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It seems to me, reading all these posts, that none of you ex-smokers felt when quitting that you were giving up something crucial in/to your life. That it didnīt sadden/depress you.
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Old 12-13-2010, 04:15 AM   #36
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It seems to me, reading all these posts, that none of you ex-smokers felt when quitting that you were giving up something crucial in/to your life. That it didnīt sadden/depress you.
In my case, definitely true. In fact it was a relief from a constant hassle factor of: where are my cigs?
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #37
 
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It seems to me, reading all these posts, that none of you ex-smokers felt when quitting that you were giving up something crucial in/to your life. That it didnīt sadden/depress you.
It also felt good to not have to spend the first 5 minutes after waking up trying to cough up a lung.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:36 AM   #38
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The only drawback (if you can really call it that) was gaining weight.
Nicotine is an appetite suppressant, and the smoke also deadens your taste buds. When you quit smoking, if you were a heavy smoker like I was, you suddenly discover that most food tastes much better than you thought it did, and that fact, combined with the increased appetite and the need to occupy your hands with something, makes for a triple whammy. I gained 20 pounds in the first six months after quitting, and I've had trouble managing my weight ever since.

In fact, I've known people who deliberately went back to smoking just to control their weight.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:44 AM   #39
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I smoked from 1971 until I got pregnant in 1977. Lit up a cigarette right after I delivered the baby, 04/08/78. Smoked until 12/31/85 and quit cold turkey. I can not imagine lighting up a cigarette now.
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Old 12-13-2010, 11:55 AM   #40
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I smoked on average a pack a day, but that went up to 3 packs when I had to investigate the suicide of a good friend. One day I ran out of cigarettes and it was too cold to go out so I decided to wait until I went somewhere to buy more. I kept forgetting to buy some for a few days then simply decided I didn't want to buy any cigarettes any more. Prior to that I had tried to quit 10-15 times over a four or five year period. I had a slight relapse right after 9/11 that lasted three years. I never smoked over 5 cigarettes per day during that period. I decided I needed to quit so I just quit smoking.
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