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Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:13 PM   #1
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Want to stop smoking

I hate to admit that I have smoked for many years and am still at it. I want to quit. I know all the reasons why I should, but when I think about not smoking, it makes me want to light up again.

I'm the kind of person that when I make up my mind to do something, I just do it. However this is the toughest thing I've ever tried to do. I do not want to take meds or aids for this. If anyone has stopped cold turkey, could you tell me what you did...what went through your mind?

I have to quit. Any help will be appreciated.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:37 PM   #2
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Re: Want to stop smoking

I did stop cold turkey and you are right - it was very hard. Aside from all the stuff you should have already read to do, the only other thing I remember that helped me was reminding myself evey time I really wanted a cigarette how long I had already gone without one and that if I gave in I would have to start all over. Telling eveyone you know that you are stopping reinforces this and also helps on its own.

Stupid as it was, I also started smoking again. The second time I stopped I used the patch to help. You do whatever works for you, but the patch really did make quitting easier, although it was still not easy.

After quitting for good, one thing that I found helped me cope when occassional cravings did come up was the pleasure of giving everyone I knew who still did smoke a bad time. You will have earned the right to do that.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:38 PM   #3
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI
I hate to admit that I have smoked for many years and am still at it. I want to quit. I know all the reasons why I should, but when I think about not smoking, it makes me want to light up again.
Tough. Try this link for starters. Check with your primary doctor about nicotine patch or bupropion (I am not crazy about the latter but it works for some).

I work in a huge cancer referral center. If you only knew how much it matters...

Good luck.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:45 PM   #4
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Re: Want to stop smoking

bbam1,
Sorry, I can't give you any firsthand tips--I've never smoked. My dad did (he died of lung cancer when I was 20) and my mom smoked (died of heart disease when I was 17).

First, congratulations on your decision, and on your realization that this is gonna be a struggle. Can I ask why you are against medications? You've got a physical addiction to nicotine, and a lot of folks find it best to kick the "hand/mouth" habbits while they substitute the nicotine from another source, then taper off on the nicotine.
Quitting cold turkey may be great--folks have done it. You can probably do it, too. But, if things don't work out, I think you might want to reconsider the idea of chemical assistance.

Gum, support groups, and drinking lots of water--that's about all I can offer by way of specifics.

Let us know how it goes!
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:46 PM   #5
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa
Tough. Try this link for starters. Check with your primary doctor about nicotine patch or bupropion (I am not crazy about the latter but it works for some).

I work in a huge cancer referral center. If you only knew how much it matters...

Good luck.
My aunt, a nurse, quit smoking in the '70s after working in the cancer ward and seeing people smoking while dragging around an oxygen bottle or smoking through the hole in their throat.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:50 PM   #6
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
bbam1,
Sorry, I can't give you any firsthand tips--I've never smoked. My dad did (he died of lung cancer when I was 20) and my mom smoked (died of heart disease when I was 17).

First, congratulations on your decision, and on your realization that this is gonna be a struggle. Can I ask why you are against medications? You've got a physical addiction to nicotine, and a lot of folks find it best to kick the "hand/mouth" habbits while they substitute the nicotine from another source, then taper off on the nicotine.
Quitting cold turkey may be great--folks have done it. You can probably do it, too. But, if things don't work out, I think you might want to reconsider the idea of chemical assistance.

Gum, support groups, and drinking lots of water--that's about all I can offer by way of specifics.

Let us know how it goes!
A friend of mine quit smoking by first rolling his own cigarettes using pure tobacco and getting unaddicted to all the additives, then tapering off. That's what he told me, I've never smoked.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 09:51 PM   #7
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Re: Want to stop smoking

I can remember when I was a kid going to see a friend of my Dad's in the hospital suffering from lung cancer. I couldn't believe it but he was lying in bed smoking via the hole in his throat. How crazy is that?
I forgot about it until Kahn just reminded me.

My Mom was a long time smoker and she died of lung cancer 15 years ago. Still hurts.

I never smoked but it must be some bad stuff, oh yeah it really stinks too.

Good luck trying to stop.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 10:13 PM   #8
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Thanks for the replies. Maybe I'll keep a bottle of water where I usually light up.

I haven't totally eliminated the drug option, I'll just have to wait and see. I feel like I smoke because of habit and stress. When I go somewhere that I can't smoke, it doesn't bother me at all. I sometimes think it's the deep breathing and solitude. I know how weird that sounds.

Yes, I too have lost loved ones to cancer. It hurts and the guilt I feel makes it worse.

Thanks for the link Rich, I'll look at it in more depth tomorrow.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 10:25 PM   #9
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI
Thanks for the replies. Maybe I'll keep a bottle of water where I usually light up.

I haven't totally eliminated the drug option, I'll just have to wait and see. I feel like I smoke because of habit and stress. When I go somewhere that I can't smoke, it doesn't bother me at all. I sometimes think it's the deep breathing and solitude. I know how weird that sounds.

Yes, I too have lost loved ones to cancer. It hurts and the guilt I feel makes it worse.

Thanks for the link Rich, I'll look at it in more depth tomorrow.
At least at first, try to avoid the triggers: move the computer, move the TV, eat different foods in different places, define a certain out of the way area where you are allowed to smoke (back porch, garage, basement).
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 10:36 PM   #10
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Re: Want to stop smoking

I used hypnosis to quit a 20 year 2 pack per day habit.
One 2 hour session and I was done. I used the gum for another 2 weeks as reinforcement, but I never smoked again. That was 20 years ago.
It is important to understand that there is no magic bullet. I sincerely believe that success in quitting is at least 75% desire. For years I BS'd myself into believing that my failure was because "it was just so hard to do."
Well it was hard to do simply because I didn't have the strength of desire to get me there. When I did my session I was to the point that I could not fail--it just was not an option. It is difficult to explain, but that was the first time in my life I truly believed that I could not allow myself to fail. That's as close to a magic bullet you can find.
I've never known anyone who quit 100% cold turkey, and from what I've experienced if someone tells me they really are ready to quit I tell them they don't have a chance until they ramp that desire up about 200%.
When your desire gets where it needs to be, I strongly recommend hypnosis (in a medical setting) as the crutch to get you over the top.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 10:42 PM   #11
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Nothing wrong with an AID...Smoked for many years(3 packs a day) tried various things but the one that worked was nicoret gum or lozenger...You don't want the cigarette you want/need the nicotine...So get the nicotine some other way and then ween yourself slowly off the nicotine...You are already at the most important step..."You Want To Quit"....Good luck.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-08-2007, 11:42 PM   #12
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Been over 2 years for me since I quit. I used the patch and started eating better plus exercising. I told my wife If I start again I will never quit. It was terrible to quit smoking Its hard to express in words how lousy it was without using swear words. Just make sure you want to do it and just suck it up.

My sister just quit using hypnosis. Seems to be working well for her.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 01:13 AM   #13
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Quote:
Originally Posted by bbbamI
Yes, I too have lost loved ones to cancer. It hurts and the guilt I feel makes it worse.
My parents smoked for years. Quitting was easy-- they did it hundreds of times.

My father didn't have any trouble quitting cold turkey after my mother died of cancer.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 06:16 AM   #14
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Re: Want to stop smoking

I quit for the last time 15 years ago. A friend I worked with had a medical book that described what happens when you smoke, that helped make it not so appealing, then once I was ready I did the hypnosis route.

The other important thing you need to do is change your routines. All those things you do automaticly, like have a smoke with your coffee, or after dinner or in the car, do something to change that habit.

Good luck, it's hard but well worth it.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 07:41 AM   #15
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Re: Want to stop smoking

I think the simple answer is: if you want to quit smoking, just keep trying to quit. I quit seven times before it became final. The first six times I went back to smoking, each time, more disappointed in myself. The seventh time was the charm (its been 30 years now). You will eventually reach the point where the urge to smoke disappears. Good luck.

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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 08:23 AM   #16
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Re: Want to stop smoking

Smoking is a very strong addiction. It isn't necessarily "better" to try to quit cold turkey than to use a nicotine replacement for a while. Just do what you need to do to quit, if you need nicotine for a while, big deal. I quit 21 years ago using nicotine gum. Even with the gum it was hard. And then it took me a year to get off the gum. But I had asthma and I couldn't breathe unless I was sitting up at night. No good for someone only in their early 30s.

Every once in a while I have a dream that I accidently start smoking. . .



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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 08:50 AM   #17
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Re: Want to stop smoking

It took me several times to quit, it ranged from a few months smoke free to up to 5 years. Keep trying until you get it right.
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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 10:07 AM   #18
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Re: Want to stop smoking

My Dad finally quit smoking 8 years ago, cold turkey. He had quit numerous times before for a few months and then would always start again.

The last time he quit, our family doctor actually yelled at him and told him to find another doctor if he wasn't going to take it seriously. The past few years he had gotten high blood pressure and Type II diabetes and the smoking on top of everything was not helping :P Well, the doctor yelling at him seemed to do the trick...he hasn't had a single cigarette in 8 years. In addition, he's been eating better and the high blood pressure and diabetes is controlled with his diet.

Luckily, I never started smoking..tried it in junior high and couldn't figure out what the fuss was about...I thought it tasted disgusting.

Good luck!

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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 12:00 PM   #19
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Re: Want to stop smoking

I've quit twice, once for seven years, then picked it back up like an idiot. I quit for good 3 years ago. I think that as long as you remember how hard it is to quit, you can keep to it. I think it is for good this time, because we've made so many other healthy changes to our lives. I used the Wellbutrin the first time, but had an allergic reaction after 2 weeks, and it made my husband paranoid. He used the gum when we quit the last time, but I didn't like it. I'm more like you, a cold turkey this is it sort of person.

Motivations: why are we saving for a retirement that we won't live to see?
How much is this costing me? Another odd but effective one: what is the effect of the secondhand smoke on my pets? We had a pregnant dog and I was worried about the puppies...

I will say that you have to avoid the people and situation triggers for a while when it is fresh. But I kept saying it is just like when you first started wearing a seatbelt, you had to remember every time, but then it becomes automatic.

And the biggest motivation? Ego! You are better, smarter, bigger than this addiction, and it will not have dominion over you! That was to me the biggest kick in the pants. Southern girl rebel-yell of "you don't have ahold of me anymore!"

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Re: Want to stop smoking
Old 04-09-2007, 12:24 PM   #20
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Re: Want to stop smoking

i quit that totally stupid habit 15 years ago. still remember my very first drag after years of complaining about my father smoking, especially in the car. i started smoking because i thought it would help me become part of a certain group. we had moved to a different part of town which put me in a different school for two years. when the schools then recombined in junior high, friends i had from preschool had formed new groups and i was out of the loop. many of them picked up smoking by then. to fit in, i started smoking too. what an idiot i was.

i stopped after i lost my partner to an overdose. ironically, he never liked my smoking and would never even buy me cigs when he went to the store. his death made me realize, finally, that i was not indestructable.

i first tried to stop using a patch but i kept smoking. i think i tried the gum too. took me three attempts to stop.

the third and successful try was by cold turkey. i decided i would eat as much as i wanted to fullfill the oral fetish and cut out other things that triggered my smoking. i quit smoking pot and i quit going out to bars and having drinks. i also stopped drinking coffee & soda.

stopping smoking was probably about the best thing i ever did for myself. good luck to you.
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