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giving up the tobacco addiction

federicafederica seeker of the clear blue skyIts better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator
edited May 2016 in Diet & Habits
This discussion was created from comments split from: binge eating and electronic cigarettes?.

Threads over a year old are generally closed off and new ones begun. :)


  • RatBoyRatBoy St. Louis area New

    I don't know exactly how she did it, but my mother quit "cold turkey" at age 75, kicking a 55-year habit. Said she simply got tired of coughing herself to sleep. She used to say having something in her hands lessened the cravings - gardrning, doing puzzles, writing letters.

    She slept with oxygen starting about age 80, but led a full, active life until her death three years ago at age 95.

    She seemed most Buddhist-like, in retrospect.

    (Congrats, Laughing Lilac! Best of luck.)

  • shanyinshanyin Novice Yogin Sault Ontario Veteran

    I smoke about 8 packs a week.

  • silversilver In the beginning there was nothing, and then it exploded. USA, Left coast. Veteran

    @shanyin said:
    I smoke about 8 packs a week.

    and it doesn't seem to be presenting a problem for you, right? do you want to quit or what?

  • DairyLamaDairyLama Veteran
    edited May 2016

    @shanyin said:> I smoke about 8 packs a week.

    Only 8?! Bleedin' 'elf-freak. :p

    But seriously, if you can't quit cold-turkey ( it can be very difficult ) then consider NRTs like gum, lozenges, patches or e-cigarettes. Or even hypnosis.

  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    My grandma smoked for 60+ years. She was of the generation where they were told it was healthy to do so, and despite all the later evidence she continued to believe they were not harmful. She never ended up with lung cancer, but she ended up with significant colon troubles as a result of smoking. She had to have a colostomy bag for the last few years of her life, and the time spent in the hospital because of that emergency and surgery is what made her kick the habit. So if you don't want to quit, you can always wait for the emergency where you spend weeks or months in the hospital, it might help you a long the quitting path. I'd recommend skipping the colostomy bag though. No fun there. It's not just your lungs that smoking screws up.

  • FoibleFullFoibleFull Canada Veteran

    I quit smoking (after 40 years of a pack-a-day-habit) by climbing into a car with a non-smoking friend and going for a 4-day drive through the Rocky Mountains. We stopped only for gas, restrooms, foods, museums, and hiking trails/viewpoints.

    I ate a lot of oranges (cigarettes deplete the Vitamin C in our system) and bought a pop-top water bottle. Everytime I wanted a smoke, I sucked water from the bottle ... satisfying the sucking urge AND detoxing.

    I had only a big of fuzzy-headedness for the first two days, and no stress or strong cravings. Even though I had tried to quit several times and found the withdrawal too dreadful.

    And when I got back home, whenever I DID have a passing urge, I just sternly told myself, "I don't DO that anymore!" No brain message/urge lasts more than 90 seconds before it ends, and it if seems to last longer than is only because as soon as the first message ends we immediately start a new one. So it was a matter of being aware and when an urge started, distracting myself so I didn't start a new one when that one ended. It was pretty painless.

    I was inspired by someone who told me how about they had quit their addiction to heroin (which has a ghastly withdrawal). He finally decided to gather 3 months' worth o camping supplies, and had a friend drive him way up into northern Canada into the wilds in the spring, with the instructions to come get him in 3 months; either he would have kicked the addiction, or we would be dead.
    Turned out that with no available source for his addiction .. he didn't have a SINGLE withdrawal symptom.

    I had a similar experience, once I removed myself from the ability to buy cigarettes. I think there might be some conclusions about the mechanism of why we have withdrawal symptoms at all (but with only 2 examples, my sample size is too small to be sure).

  • personperson Don't believe everything you think the void Veteran

    This short video gives an interesting perspective on the importance of a positive social life in addiction.

  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    The info about the overeating on the post from Dec '14 is actually quite useful, too. I've got some major anxiety issues which usually vent themselves in the form of Tension Migraines, knee shaking, BFRB like pulling my eyelashes or chewing my lips, etc. Sometimes when I am at my worst, the only thing that will distract me in a healthy way is Hatha Yoga, because I can meditate on the movements, which calms my mind and allows for a better mindset in general. This year, I also started using Nic-free e-cigs (I have never been a smoker), which help me to divert the nervous energy into a different habit, one which seems mostly painless and unproblematic.

    Overeating/ bingeing is a new thing for me, and I haven't been able to pinpoint the cause. In the last 9months I have gained 20lbs. I know that isn't really that significant of a gain, but going from a steady 140 to a steady 160 has been frustrating and demoralizing for me. Dieting hasn't been working, partly, I think, because starving myself makes me more desperate for food than before. I am currently experimenting with different healthy snacks to find one that fills me up with good nutrients without adding a lot of calories or sugar to my diet. @lobster mentioned lightly salted or spiced popcorn, which is one of my favorites, along with carrots and hummus, or watermelon slices, to snack on and not feel guilty. If I can rid myself of guilt, I think that will be the first step toward success. <3

  • MutleyMutley Somerset UK Explorer

    I never enjoyed smoking all that much so perhaps that helped me give up. The end of smoking for me came when I bought a packet of cigarettes, smoked one and somehow lost the rest. (Lack of attachment?). That was about 2002 and I have never smoked since.

    I like the smell of good pipe tobacco (Holland House, Borkum Riff) or a really good cigar but to me it never tastes as good as it smells.

  • row37row37 st pete, fl Explorer

    I really loved to smoke. And I must have loved to quit, because I sure did it a lot. Finally kicked it 12/07/1992. How? Well, you have to be motivated of course, and I'm the sort of person that needs facts on addiction, not just motivation and the fact that smoking was going to kill me. I knew that, and still smoked, so that didn't have much worth.

    What I discovered was that the physical side of addiction needed to be addressed, not just the psychological side. I learned that it was smart to wean yourself off slowly vs stopping all at once, which had been my usual way to quit. I also learned that after 3 weeks or so all the physical addiction was gone. So I tried to buy that nicotine gum, but at the time, you had to have a prescription to buy it (but not to buy the cigarettes that I was addicted to. Go figure). So I went into a tobacco shop and said "I know this is heresy in here, but I want to quit smoking. Do you have anything that will allow me to put the nicotine into my system w/o smoking and allow me to slowly wean myself off it?". He said "I have these", and handed me a small tin of flavored tobacco plugs. I bought a lot of those.

    Whenever I wanted a cigarette I took out my gum, The stick was about the same size as a cigarette, and you opened the pack the same way, by pulling that little string like tab. Then I unwrapped the gum and put it in my mouth. That took care f the oral thing, and gave me something to do w/ my hands. I also put one of those tobacco plugs in my lip, and it took about 6 or 7 a day to keep my nicotine level steady. Over the course of weeks I weaned myself down to one plug a day, and that's the point where I quit. Not at the beginning, when I was using 7 plugs a day.

  • yagryagr Veteran

    My dad retired earlier than he had originally planned because, after thirteen years together, he couldn't stand to be away from my stepmother for the eight hours a day he had to be at work. A week later she was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer due to smoking and died twelve days later. The day of her funeral, dad had a massive coronary and ended up having emergency quad bypass heart surgery. I flew out immediately.

    I brought him home from the hospital and cared for him for a week before flying home, loading up the car and driving cross country to stay with him till he recovered. In retrospect, I probably should have told him I was coming back. Anyway, I ended up staying with dad for nine months and nursing his body back to health - emotionally he never did heal and ten years later he has still never missed a day at my step-mom's grave.

    About a month into my stay with him, he sat me down and said, "You're a grown man and have more than earned the right to live your life as you please. I've never told you how to live your life and I'm not starting now. But. I just lost your step-mom to cancer from smoking. Every time I see you light up..." at which point he choked up and I threw my cigarettes away.

    Dad said that he never saw someone quit without a change in their personality before that but that I was as peaceful and calm as I always was. Wasn't so calm on the inside though - I can guarantee you that. Thing was though, it was easy in spite of the cravings. Four packs a day for almost thirty years, suppose having cravings was to be expected. Funny though, how love can make the impossible feel easy. And in that experience I found a question that I'm still trying to answer: What impossible things could I do if I loved myself that much?

  • RuddyDuck9RuddyDuck9 MD, USA Veteran

    @yagr that was such a beautiful story :proud:

  • IchLiebteIchLiebte US Veteran

    My brother first started smoking at 12. He's weening himself off with e-cigs. He quit all the hard stuff (meth, heroin, ecstasy, bath salts), but he still goes back to cigarettes. It perplexes me, but I've never smoked myself.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I know, @IchLiebte , it's strange how or why things work out: My parents used to smoke. My mother gave up first, and my father eventually followed suit. My elder brother smokes and as far as I know is also weaning himself off, I know for a fact my younger brother smokes and maybe does weed, although he denies it. But me? Never, ever touched the stuff, never tempted, never wanted to even give it a try.

  • Tara1978Tara1978 UK Veteran

    I gave up last year after 20 years, it was ok apart from the cravings which resulted in the munching of much chocolate, so lungs and heart healthier but a big increase in butt size! So now I am weaning myself off the chocolate, which is proving much harder, mainly as it is socially acceptable and actively encouraged by my family =)

  • DobsDobs Explorer

    Ah smoking! One of the few things in life I did well, as in two+ packs a day for 25 years. I can remember thinking that I couldn't imagine myself ever being nicotine free. Well after a number of tries finally quit it for good fifteen or so years ago. Took a while but finally made it. Best thing I ever did. Thanks for all the patches and gum!

  • IchLiebteIchLiebte US Veteran

    @federica I've thought about trying smoking, especially when I'm stressed, but I'm incredibly self-monitoring. Plus, I did promise Leonard Nimoy that I wouldn't. Not that I ever met him -- he tweeted something about not wanting people to smoke like he did, before he died. Kind of silly, but still, I did promise I wouldn't.

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