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How did you quit smoking?
Old 04-30-2014, 06:17 AM   #1
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How did you quit smoking?

Three days ago I tossed out the ashtray and the lighters and quit cold turkey. I have some nicotine lozenges on hand but have not had to use any (yet). Over my lifetime I've 'quit' before: once for 3 years, and more recently for 1 year .... then gone back to smoking. I know I need to make it permanent this time: I'm too old to be smoking! Anybody have similar experience with advice or tips?
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:35 AM   #2
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I quit cold turkey during a travel abroad. I remember looking for a tobacco shop while wandering the streets in Monaco, then deciding that I should quit smoking for real. It was 11 years ago.

See How did you ex-smokers quit?.
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:42 AM   #3
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smoked for 42 years... finally quit last August..used the patch and it was easier than I thought it would be. I attribute that to making up my mind and committing. Didn't chew my arm off or kill anybody... good luck!
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Old 04-30-2014, 06:56 AM   #4
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It took a few times quitting cold turkey then starting up again before I finally gave up for good, which was about five years ago. I don't even desire a smoke anymore and now wonder how I ever was so controlled by those little sticks of fire.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:05 AM   #5
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One day at a time was my mantra. When I quit (just over 40 years ago), I was up over two packs of cigarettes a day, so it was far from trivial.

Also, the problem of what to do with my hands was at least as big a concern as the nicotine intake. I found myself going for a cup of coffee, since that was the most readily available substitute. Far from ideal, but far less harmful.

Three weeks after quitting, I found half a pack of cigarettes in the pocket of a jacket, and suddenly became intensely curious about whether I would still enjoy it as much. So I found an ashtray and lit one up. It was exactly like the first cigarette I ever tried, many years previously: dizziness, nausea, and a complete downer. So three weeks off were enough to make me lose the craving forever.

Best of luck!
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:12 AM   #6
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I quit ~ 1976........dumped a half pack & lighter in the waste basket next to my desk....never smoked again.
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:28 AM   #7
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Quiting smoking was the hardest and best thing I've ever done!

First of all you have to commit to NEVER having another smoke.....I can't imagine your pain if you have stopped twice before. My primary reason for stopping was a medical exam that showed a spot on my lung. The Doc told me to come back in a week....if the spot didn't move I'd have surgery the same day, probably losing my lung......this was years ago when I was in my early 30's and smoked almost 2 packs a day.

I went home, prayed, walked the floors at night and swore I'd never have another cigarette, again. I did. It took me almost a year to finally break the habit. Here's what helped. 1. Before I lit a cig I spent a minute thinking about the misery of a cancer death from smoking. .....God, that was scary. 2. I made a bet with a friend that also stopped smoking. The bet was whoever lost would shine the others shoes in the lobby of our office every day for a year......neither of us ever smoked again.

There were three of us that started with mega corp at the same time and were very competitive.....I'm the only one alive. One of the others smoked.....he died of lung and brain cancer. The other couldn't give up his Krispy Creme's......he died of diabetis after losing both legs because of gangrene......both were a few years younger than me.

You are the boss of yourself.....you can do it. I wish you all the luck in the world....think of what you enjoy in life....who you love....do you want to lose this?

On final thought.....my son started smoking.....the next Christmas I gave him a rock.....and, told him that's all he would get.....even from my will....since I doubted he would outlive me by very long......he stopped and thanks me every Christmas. Also I had my company support stopping smoking by giving anyone that stopped for 6 months $5000 if they didn't have a cigarette for 6 months BUT they had to give it back if they quit or had a smoke in the following 6 months. Sorry if I sound passionate.....it's the best thing I've ever done in my life....I'm here, I'm alive, I have a great family, had a great job, travel.....have fun..... love my kids and grandkids and my life. The very best to you!!!!!!! You can do it!
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Old 04-30-2014, 07:57 AM   #8
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I smoked a little more than a pack/day for 10 years in my 20's. I quit about 30 years ago, using a workbook that had daily activities for 20 days, and an option to quit after 8 days. I don't know which organization put out the workbook, I can't find it anymore, I think it was Cancer, Heart or Lung Assoc -I know it was one of the biggies. I quit at 8 days, and never went back. That said, for me making the personal decision that I needed to quit was the determining factor. I don't think any method can work until the smoker is determined to quit first. I've watched many others attempt to quit simply citing cost, doctors recommendation, 'cause I should' and all failed.

And what triggered my timing for quitting? It was back when cigarettes hit a $1.00 per pack. That seemed outrageous to me at the time, just augmented my health and self-control reasons for quitting...
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:15 AM   #9
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I agree that you have to have the commitment and desire to quit to be successful.

I smoked for 25 years and unsuccessfully attempted to quit a few times during that period then 20 years ago I convinced my best friend who was also a long time smoker to attend a group hypnosis session with me. I never smoked again but he never stopped. He now suffers from COPD and emphysema.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:20 AM   #10
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I'm enjoying reading the success stories about quitting. I'm a non-smoker but my dad died as a result of smoking.
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:26 AM   #11
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I tried to quit a few times, and went to a local addiction treatment center when I was really feeling serious. They demonstrated their technique of aversion therapy in the form of electric shock to retrain the mind into relating smoking with a bad feeling. Guaranteed to free you from cravings in five days. The treatment was around $500 back in 1989. That was a fair chunk of change for me, so I decided to try one more time on my own, and if I couldn't quit within three months, I'd go back to the center.

I made myself a little shock box, applied the techniques the center used, and it worked. I was free from cravings within a few days.

My only regret is that I didn't invest that $500 in Microsoft!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:35 AM   #12
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On final thought.....my son started smoking.....the next Christmas I gave him a rock.....and, told him that's all he would get.....even from my will....since I doubted he would outlive me by very long......he stopped and thanks me every Christmas.
great idea... a little tough love!
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Old 04-30-2014, 08:51 AM   #13
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Quit repeatedly, often when sick and it hurt to have a drag on a smoke - that would get me out of smoking for a few days and I'd struggle on, then have a few smokes in a bar weeks or months later and be back to it. Finally quit in 81' in the middle of first year law school finals - quitting smoking took; law school didn't. For me it was interesting to feel the inner compulsion and to recognize the difficulty I had controlling myself. I really don't like feeling that I can't control myself.

My gal, OTOH, shifted to nicotine lozenges about 5 years ago and continues to use them. Lots. Not optimal IMO, but I weigh in on how she should conduct her life too much anyway, so I just enjoy being able to ride a train with her or drive for an extended period rather than stopping repeatedly for smoke breaks.
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Old 04-30-2014, 09:18 AM   #14
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Smoked for 25 years. I quit one day after visiting a neurosurgeon. I'd been off work and in severe pain for 3 months. He couldn't help me, but did promise me I could look forward to more of these episodes if I continued smoking. Last cigarette I had was the one before that visit.
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How did you quit smoking?
Old 04-30-2014, 11:15 AM   #15
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How did you quit smoking?

My Grandpa died of lung problems from smoking. So when I was in grade school some kids asked me if I wanted to run around in the woods after school. I said sure and they brought out some cigarettes. I wasn't gonna smoke them because of my grandpa. So I hung out for a bit and then got out of there. So for me it was mind over matter. I have never smoked a cigarette.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:31 AM   #16
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pack-a-day for 45yrs. last Aug picked up a one use ecig. stretched a pack to 3 days. next day went & got an ecig system (rechargeable, refillable). haven't had a cigarette since and don't care. ecig satisfies 1. nicotine addiction 2. feeling of inhaling smoke (but it's vapor) 3. the hand reaching toward my pocket urge.

I know the arguments against and the uncertainty of long term effects, but considering 9months ago I swore I'd never quit, I (and my doctors) are happy with this move.

<ducking the expected barrage of chastising/nay-sayers>
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:41 AM   #17
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I quit in 1977, because I wanted to get pregnant and didn't want the baby "smoking in the womb", so to speak. That was great motivation and helped a lot.

But I was terribly addicted to cigarettes at the time, and had already tried a million times to quit but couldn't. Also I couldn't afford the gum or patches (or maybe they weren't even available yet? I don't recall).

Anyway, the way I did it was to substitute Pep-o-Mint lifesavers, which I bought by the case. Honestly they seem to work for some reason.



After you quit, do not EVER have another cigarette or you might relapse! The desire to smoke was not completely gone, for me, for several years but now I never think about it. For me it did lessen to the point of being quite easy to handle after only a few months.
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Old 04-30-2014, 11:59 AM   #18
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Some of this you might not like to hear. I smoked over about a 13 year span before I quit cigarettes for good. Some of those yrs were heavy, some light, and during some of that time I had "quit" or attempted to.

I finally quit in 1993 cold turkey. I remembered many people over the yrs say things like "the first 3 days or 3 weeks etc.. are the hardest but then all the nicotine is out of your body and you don't have the cravings anymore". That was bullshot. It was at least 3 or 4 months of cravings and trying to keep myself distracted before I could go most of a day without feeling I needed a cigarette. I think I might have gotten some insight into how a heroin addict can kill somebody for a dollar.

Also, the web link is gone now but about 5 yrs ago I was reading a medical study that mentioned a link between how easy it was for some people to quit cigarettes and a higher susceptibility to Alzheimer's later in life. If there is any connection, based on my experience quitting cigarettes, I should keep my mental faculties till I'm 120
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:27 PM   #19
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I smoked for about 12 years and was up to almost 2 packs/day when I quit. Hands down it was the hardest thing I ever did. I was super addicted and I loved smoking. I loved the nicotine, the social aspects of smoking (work breaks with other smokers, nights out with friends, etc). It was the first thing I thought about when I woke up, and the last thing I did before bed. I never ran out of cigarettes, because I always had backup. I know regular smokers understand what I'm saying when I say smoking consumes your life. Every few hours of each day that you are awake you are going to smoke. You look for places to smoke, you make sure you have cigarettes, you plan your meeting schedules so that you can smoke before a meeting, during a meeting if it is long (quick smoke break!). It is just always there, something that you do all day, every day, year after year. And, at least for me, smoking was enjoyable.

It isn't until you are a former smoker that you realize how your addiction has taken complete control of your life. I agree that in order to really be successful you have to have total commitment and you must realize that you will have cravings and you will be very, very, very tempted to give in to those cravings. You have to win the inner mind battle over the craving battle, for sure. Having said all that, when I decided to quit I also decided to do so using the patch system. I figured anything that might help me succeed would be good. I think the patches worked really well and over time they reduced the nicotine delivered. The early patches sort of match the amount of nicotine I was getting via cigarettes, so it allowed me to focus on figuring out how to distract myself when the cravings hit.

Hardest thing I ever did, but the BEST thing I ever did. GOOD LUCK!!
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Old 04-30-2014, 12:33 PM   #20
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I quit in 1977, because I wanted to get pregnant and didn't want the baby "smoking in the womb", so to speak. That was great motivation and helped a lot.

But I was terribly addicted to cigarettes at the time, and had already tried a million times to quit but couldn't. Also I couldn't afford the gum or patches (or maybe they weren't even available yet? I don't recall).

Anyway, the way I did it was to substitute Pep-o-Mint lifesavers, which I bought by the case. Honestly they seem to work for some reason.



After you quit, do not EVER have another cigarette or you might relapse! The desire to smoke was not completely gone, for me, for several years but now I never think about it. For me it did lessen to the point of being quite easy to handle after only a few months.
P.S. - - I forgot to say that the only way that worked for me was to go "cold turkey"! I tried cutting back and smoking milder cigarettes and none of that worked at all for me.

If you are ever tempted to smoke another cigarette, even one, remember how terribly difficult quitting has been for you and remind yourself that you never, ever want to put yourself through that level of agony again.
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