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Addiction to cigarettes


Addiction & Recovery Recognizing, conquering, and coping with addictions, substance abuse & dependence.

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Old 28th November 2017, 8:22 AM   #16
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Cold turkey is the way to do it. I've known many smokers (friends, my mother, my ex) who have quit. It was always cold turkey that worked. "Cutting down" is just a way to allow yourself to continue smoking while deluding yourself that you're on the path to quitting. It works for some people but in my experience they are the minority.

Remember that every cigarette you smoke introduces the nicotine back into the bloodstream and maintains that physical addiction. Only by stopping altogether can you allow the nicotine to exit and begin the physical withdrawal stage.

The withdrawal stage peaks at around 3 days. Remind yourself that 3 days is nothing. Tell yourself, "I'm going through this hell, but after 3 days it'll get easier". And it will. Each day will be a tiny bit easier than the day before, once you get past the peak. After approximately 2 weeks you'll no longer be physically addicted and it will get easier still. At that point it's the psychological addiction you have to deal with.

Tackle your triggers full on. Don't hide from them. Have a replacement action that you do when you have a trigger moment (e.g. chewing gum). For example, maybe you're used to lighting up as you leave the house in the morning, so every morning that you're quitting you get a craving as you leave the house. Carry out your replacement action as a rule (whether you feel like it or not), so that it becomes the new habit. This is important, as it trains your brain into thinking it gets the replacement whenever the trigger occurs. Eventually your brain will go Trigger -> I want gum, because that's become the habit.
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Old 28th November 2017, 10:39 AM   #17
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OP as you get nearer to your quit date look for a book by Alan Carr. I think it's called "How to Quit Smoking the Easy Way" or something along those lines and its frequently available in pdf online for free. That book really helped me in the beginning. It's an easy read, only takes a day or two to get through and it really gets you excited about quitting. By the time you're nearing the end of the book you are looking forward to quitting instead of dreading it and instead of fearing your cravings and withdrawals you be psychologically prepared to face them and overcome them. That book was incredibly helpful to me. Please look for it.
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Old 28th November 2017, 10:59 AM   #18
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Keith Richards once said that it was easier to quit heroin than quit cigarettes
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Old 28th November 2017, 11:11 AM   #19
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It's nice to have support. I did my part over the holidays talking one recent quitter through some tough times. She's got the strong 'drink and smoke' thing and has the same general issue with her sons and friends also smoking. I came from a two-parent smoking household and knew the addiction well, though am a life-long non-smoker. I think part of being a support is being non-militant. Show concern and love, along with respect.

For most of my friends who quit, it was a combination of a bit of logic over the cost of the habit plus health concerns and some support to get through the tough parts. Everyone is different though. My mom woke up one day now some 50 years ago and decided no more. Quit that day and lived in a smoke-filled house the rest of dad's life, at least when he was at home. Never went back. Tough old broad She's gone now but I credit that choice, and will, with getting her to a few months shy of 90.

Good luck!
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Old 28th November 2017, 9:45 PM   #20
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Cool

Quote:
Originally Posted by anika99 View Post
OP as you get nearer to your quit date look for a book by Alan Carr. I think it's called "How to Quit Smoking the Easy Way" or something along those lines and its frequently available in pdf online for free. That book really helped me in the beginning. It's an easy read, only takes a day or two to get through and it really gets you excited about quitting. By the time you're nearing the end of the book you are looking forward to quitting instead of dreading it and instead of fearing your cravings and withdrawals you be psychologically prepared to face them and overcome them. That book was incredibly helpful to me. Please look for it.
I read some book on quitting when i tried to quit, it kinda empowered me to go with it. However i failed at the end..

thank you for the suggestion tho!!!
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Old 2nd December 2017, 9:17 AM   #21
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I had tried for years to quite. At one point I went 6 months (working out helped), but I would go to the bar one night and someone would have cigarettes and after a few drinks the thought, "only one is not a big deal" would creep in and then it was back to square one every time.


My brother smokes occasionally but he started vaping to cut that down. I had no interest in it until I tried it. It's hard to explain, but I immediately preferred vaping to smoking. Immediately when I started vaping I lost the desire to smoke, the bad taste, smelling like smoke etc. It's been a month and I have no desire to smoke at all, so far so good.


I dropped the nicotine level already and did not notice any cravings. My plan will be to drop down to 0 nicotine in about another 2 months. I have gone to bars multiple times and I take a hit or two before I go in and a hit or two after and I am completely fine being around smokers and while drinking I have no desire to step out and vape or smoke. If I do step outside with someone, 2 hits and I am good. I take less breaks during the day to vape than I did to smoke. I have a kit that measures the number of puffs and you can set the hit strength, so once I go to 0 nicotine, I will then start limiting the puffs per day.


From everything I have seen obviously it is not 'healthy', but there are a lot less chemicals, my lung capacity is much better and the cravings like I had with the patch or cold turkey are not there. The thing I think that works is the habit of stepping away and taking a break was what was killing me. When I was on the patch I would get antsy because I didn't have any activity to replace the smoke break and action of smoking.


It's hard to explain, but as soon as I started doing it I had no desire to smoke a cigarette again. The flavors are good and more satisfying and taking one or two hits was enough for me as opposed to smoking 2-3 cigarettes during a break at times.


I suggest getting a good kit though, because it allows you to set the level to where you are satisfied and then you can decrease that over time as well. Replacing the action of smoking especially when I am stressed was the major thing for me and I think where I failed in other attempts was I had nothing to fill the void of the action of smoking and the fact that I find I feel I "need" to do it less is another good thing. It's a lot cheaper too because $7 a day for a pack of cigarettes ended up being $14 a day because I would buy other stuff along with it. I just got 240 ml of the liquid for $30 and that will last me probably close to 2 months.


I'm starting to work out again and expect I won't have to worry about the negative mental impact of slipping and smoking half a pack one night at the bar and then working out the next day feeling like crap, so that is a plus as well.


I had tried everything too and always slipped back so easily every time. This is the only thing where I felt it was sustainable and at the same time I don't feel I am getting too "hooked" on vaping where I can't cut it down quickly and I am not just replacing one bad habit for another one permanently.
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Old 2nd December 2017, 9:50 PM   #22
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Hi OP...

I've quit 3 major (major, meaning I quit and stayed that way for 5 years or so) times.

1st time- I had to have major surgery so just put them down. No withdrawals.

2nd time- My SO quit and I could not handle him having one over on me (lol we were always in competition). Radical withdrawal, used the patch, lowest one with the least nicotine and cut them in halves and quarters because my system was was very sensitive.

3rd time (and last)- It was either food or cigs as my stomach said I was done.. I chose food lol. I used patches again.

Each time I started after quitting ... I was only going to have one cig. Also each time I quit my head was ready for it, so that made it a little easier. There were many attempts during these times and had to start again because I simply was not ready- you will know when it's time- oh and I was big time addicted, cigs were my friends lol.

I can guarantee you that if you are this far, meaning starting threads with the desire of quitting, YOU WILL DO IT. I know this for fact, so get ready ...
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Old 18th December 2017, 12:08 PM   #23
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Vaping for sure. I've tried a few different types of vape pens, the box ones don't do it for me. I've been using the MarkTen vapor sticks lately. They are affordable, the website gives great coupons and the stick is thin like a cigarette, so when I hold it it feels like I'm holding a cig. I also like the vape because you can slowly cut down the amt of nicotine in the cartridge to where like another poster said, you are no longer putting nicotine in your body and it's just the pychological thoughts of "smoking" which will make it easier to use the vape pen less and less.
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Old 18th December 2017, 12:34 PM   #24
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it's been three years to-the-day since I quit smoking. I feel great
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Old 19th December 2017, 12:50 AM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alphamale View Post
it's been three years to-the-day since I quit smoking. I feel great
No doubt about feeling great man. Plus all the savings youve made instead of giving it to tabacco companies lol
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Old 19th December 2017, 12:51 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alsudduth View Post
Vaping for sure. I've tried a few different types of vape pens, the box ones don't do it for me. I've been using the MarkTen vapor sticks lately. They are affordable, the website gives great coupons and the stick is thin like a cigarette, so when I hold it it feels like I'm holding a cig. I also like the vape because you can slowly cut down the amt of nicotine in the cartridge to where like another poster said, you are no longer putting nicotine in your body and it's just the pychological thoughts of "smoking" which will make it easier to use the vape pen less and less.
thanks, but my mind is already made up. Im going cold turkey
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Old 25th December 2017, 10:15 PM   #27
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Try wellbutrin.
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Old 28th December 2017, 4:39 PM   #28
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I'm going to make everybody mad here and tell you that I had very little trouble stopping smoking. But the key is I had to want to. I got sick of how much time and money it was taking, and it wasn't fun anymore. Started making me feel crappy. Didn't taste good. I just got sick of it. I had smoked from 16 to 40-something and I got me a bowl of hard candies one day and stopped. I never picked up another one. When I would get the "feeling," I would step outside and take a few long breaths of fresh air, and that genuinely helped fill that craving to inhale. Once I got to about 3 weeks, I stopped with the hard candies and the only time I craved after that was when I read the diaries I'd written decades before when I was drinking and smoking. Because I was immersed in that life again through reading about it. But I got through that same way.


You have to really want to quit. The physical addiction is NOTHING. I mean, I had a headache quitting caffeine. I had nothing physical quitting smoking. It's all psychological. Also, stay busy. I was busy typing, my new profession at that time. I needed my hands free for that. So plan on staying physically busy doing something next time you quit. Riding a motorcycle or horse would be ideal for me, but I didn't have that at the time. Take up knitting. Whatever, but keep yourself physically busy. Make a schedule to be sure you are before you smoke your last one. Good luck.

P.S. I was inspired by my mother who also stopped cold turkey after 40 years. I figured if she could do it, so could I. Honestly, it was just not that hard. Make up your mind.
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Old 28th December 2017, 5:10 PM   #29
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I quit about 4 months ago after smoking about half a pack everyday for 15 years. I tried quitting twice or three times before but it didn't work. I think the biggest hindrance was mymentality. If I think about it, there were very few times in my day that I "needed" to smoke such as when I wake up in the morning or after meal, but other times I really just smoked for the hell of it. One of the most difficult thing to swallow when quitting is that you start thinkin about how you can NEVER have one EVER for the rest of your life. If you don't think this way and just think eh I will have one if I really want it but will try to see how long it takes to get that feeling, it's not as bad.

I think the key to quitting is taking your battle one day at a time instead of looking months/years ahead. you win several small battles by fighting the urge for like a week or so, not only you start losing taste for it, but coupling that sense of achievement with noticeably improved physical condition (cleaner face, easier to breath, less tired waking up in the morning, etc..) and not wanting to undo your hard effort, there's higher chance that you will stick with it.

As weird as it sounds, I was so preoccupied thinking about my failing marriage and looking for ways to fix it during the time I was quitting, it constantly made me forget oh it's time to go out and light one up.
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Old 28th December 2017, 5:56 PM   #30
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Since CA is about to start legal sales of marijuana in a few days, I have a question which may or may not have impacted anyone....

If one has managed to quit smoking tobacco, has occasional use of marijuana (smoking it) created temptation to return to the tobacco? Or are they two completely discrete processes? Was total cessation of smoking of any kind the key or OK on the MJ by itself? When I'm talking MJ I mean the traditional THC stuff, not the new designer stuff.

I think I found another angle, image. How smoking affects the skin. That could have play in the support realm, like hey you're considering this cosmetic stuff at a hefty cost but if you totally quit today perhaps you could avoid it and not only save that cost but also the cost of the tobacco and smoking related health risks.

I noted, as a caregiver, even after some 30 years of smoking, quitting at a young age left my mom with pretty pristine skin, even her face, in her 80's. Maybe that's genes, IDK, but I've seen enough habitual smokers showing premature aging to wonder about the effects and traction of appearance as one avenue of encouragement, especially when image seems to be valued so much in our society.

I put this all together when out for a walk with my support charge and getting the 'cosmetic surgery' talk and also the admission of slippage on the tobacco thing. Hey, I did my part. I've got a couple other angles to work but as always it's up to the person themselves. All we can do as friends and loved ones is offer support and encouragement and, sure, for some, 'tough love'.

Going back to the OP, one thing which came to mind, not regarding cigarettes but rather addition to the bottle and remembering my female friend who died from it, is making the choice to alter one's social circle to that more in line with one's choice to be tobacco-free, same as an alcoholic leaving drinking friends and family and choosing to socialize more with people who don't drink, whether temporarily or permanently. The lady in question always had temptation in front of her with her chosen social circle and, sure, she made the choice to put the alcohol in her body but the social dynamics enabled and/or encouraged that. Does that apply to smoking? IDK, depends on the person I guess. My sample from prior seemed to fail her program when confronted with friends or family who smoked. It was a pull she couldn't resist. Yet. Perhaps in time.
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