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Thread: Quitting Smoking
06-12-2011, 01:25 AM #1
Well, I've been smoking for about 6 years now, and I would really like to quit. I'm at about a half a pack per day, and it's just making me feel crappy in general. I've tried to quit a couple of times before cold turkey with varying degrees of success- my longest without was about 3 months. Has anyone had any success kicking the habit?
06-12-2011, 01:40 AM #2
I quit cold turkey the day I realized that I was becoming dependent on cigarettes. The effects on my health were really a non-factor; I don't put a lot of stock in the idea of a "long and healthy life" because I'm a big cynic anyways. I realized that after a movie, or a meal, or sex (or any activity that precluded actually smoking) I felt like I needed a cigarette. I wasn't smoking for the satisfaction of smoking itself, I was smoking because it was becoming increasingly my habit to do so, and that really bothered me. I only smoked for about 6 months though, so maybe this won't apply to you. If you do quit cold turkey, try to avoid other people that smoke or find somebody else to quit with, otherwise you'll probably fall back into the same patterns.
06-12-2011, 01:50 AM #3
Yeah, it's become very much a habit. Just woke up? Have a smoke. Walking to class? Have a smoke. Just ate? Have a smoke. I don't know when I last actually enjoyed a smoke, it's just part of my routine.
06-12-2011, 03:19 AM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
Do some math: how much money would you save a month if you didn't smoke. If that doesn't make you quit, you're not ready yet.
06-12-2011, 06:35 AM #5
A lot of people recommend substituting cigarettes with candy or gum, but for me that never really worked for me because the social aspect of smoking was such a big part of the appeal. I was so bad at meeting new people at university that I started smoking pretty much as a conversation starter. I had an old guitar just laying around my dorm, so I decided to man up and finally learn to play it. The self-confidence and friends I gained in the process replaced any residual cravings I had. If music isn't for you, the only other substitute activities I can think with that social side are gaming (which I'm sure you've tried) and exercise. I mean, you could join a book club, but that doesn't really satisfy the compulsiveness of smoking. I'm assuming you don't want to replace one addiction with another, so weed and nicotine supplements are out.
The only other advice I have is to quit drinking for a while, at least if you have cravings when you do. I had such a hard time divorcing smoking from drinking that it was impossible not to smoke when I went out with my friends. A month or two later I could destroy my liver to my heart's content; no cravings.
06-12-2011, 07:26 AM #6
*The following does not constitute official healthcare advice, see doctor etc*
It sounds as though you can beat off the cravings (since you managed to last 3 months) so it's probably just the routine that's getting to you. Not sure exactly where you live, but I know that at least here in Australia there are devices which are basically plastic tubes to deliver the nicotine hit without the smoke inhalation. Can't remember what they're called, seen some of my patients using them though. That might help with the "routine" aspect of having to do something, which patches won't really help with.
You might also try your GP and see if they have any advice. Again not sure where you live but there's probably something similar to Quitline over here made up of clinicians and support workers who can give better guidance on quitting specific to you. Whatever you do though, do it now. You don't want to be struggling to breathe tethered to a bottle of medical oxygen every time you get up to take a piss.
06-12-2011, 08:34 AM #7
Cold turkey is really the best way. The main thing I'd recommend is avoid putting yourself in situations that where in you'd normally smoke (like going to a pub) esp if you have friends who still smoke (the temptation is usually too great) for quite a few months (smokers love nothing more to validate their own addiction by luring non smokers back). Also when you feel like having a cigarette instead have a small glass of water (even if that means holding two drinks). The the key thing is breaking that oral habit and of having something to do with your hands.
Also get a tin and put the money you would of spent on cigarettes into it daily (at the end of the day) and then cash it in after a couple of months. Visibly seeing what you've saved (rather than it existing in your bank account) is very powerful. Though naturally don't do this if you're massively OD.
06-12-2011, 10:47 AM #8
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
- Hamilton, UK
Have you tried/considered trying the electric cigarettes? I've seen people saying about them online the same thing a person I actually know has said, which was that he went onto them and without even particularly planning to give up as quick as he has. The guy I know was just intending to cut down at first but I think he was off cigarettes altogether in a matter of a two or three months, and he still is.A brave heart and a courteous tongue. They shall carry thee far through the jungle, manling.
06-12-2011, 03:15 PM #9
As an urbaner with lot of living pressure, I often consider that smoking is not that a bad health habit. I am serious. If smoking help to reduce stress, it would be much healthier than without smoking but under huge pressure. Of course, you have to keep it under control, smoking one to two cigarette would be optimal. More than that and all the problems come.
And quitting smoking definitely require medical consultation. Dont do it yourself. If you quit all a sudden, it could be the moment when cancer strikes you. I dont know the exact why but my doctor does warn me that. Some people may even require some medicine for assistance for their bodies to be adapted to smoke-free environment. The point being, you have to gradually reduce the rate of smoke. But at what rate? That you would need a doctor to answer that.
06-12-2011, 03:53 PM #10
As far as I was aware, the only addiction that can kill you with withdrawal is alcohol, everything else you can suffer through
06-12-2011, 04:32 PM #11
06-12-2011, 06:01 PM #12
I smoked for years. I quit cold turkey a year ago. It's not as hard as people make it out to be, but for me I was in college and grad school and I absolutely needed to smoke while I was writing. I couldn't write without it. So finally getting out of school helped me as I had less daily writing to do.
But yeah towards the end I just felt really shitty all the time and smoking wasn't fun or enjoyable as much as just something I had to do. When I lived in dorms it was more managable as I couldn't smoke in doors, which limits how much you can do, but when I got my own place I was smoking constantlly--like a pack a day. So I thought it was time to quit. Plus, I always wanted to quit before I turned 30 as while smoking is fun in your 20s, a 30+ person who still smokes is just kind of sad to me.
I do miss it, though. There was nothing more fun than getting hepped up on coffee and cigarettes and playing a twitch fest first person shooter.
06-12-2011, 06:15 PM #13
06-12-2011, 06:16 PM #14
I've tried to quit unsuccessfully more times than I can keep track of so I switched from cigarettes to snus, which is not much better but at least I don't bother others and don't walk around smelling like an ashtray.
Going cold turkey really seems to be the best way to do it, but If you really want to quit but keep falling back, talk to a doctor. There are no miracle cures but there are plenty of things that can help and what's needed to make it seems to differ a lot from person to person.
Also Squirrel, that entire post just sounds.. mad.
06-12-2011, 07:20 PM #15
As for quitting smoking... Cold Turkey can be done, though it is difficult. About 10-11 years ago, me and a friend both managed to quit smoking through Cold Turkey... we agreed that, if he caught me smoking, he would get violent, and if I caught him smoking I could insult/lambast/ridicule him as much as I liked. It worked... for about 18 months or so, and then we started again for some reason.
I do still smoke these days... but it's really my only vice (no chemicals/drugs, don't drink except for special occasions, eat well, sleep well etc), and I don't smoke that much (I don't smoke it for the tobacco, but something else), tend to only smoke a couple in the evening, when I'm finished with all my work and the like.
I'm somewhat wary of any of these e-cigarettes and the gum and things like that. Yes, they possibly could make quitting easier, for certain individuals. But, on the whole, I think they're just a way to squeeze a little more money out of you when you're trying to quit.
Last edited by Unaco; 06-12-2011 at 07:22 PM.
06-12-2011, 08:55 PM #16
I know there hasn't been any health studies done on them, but apart from just nicotine, they can't be as bad as cigarettes given that they don't have all the tar and additives and what not.
06-12-2011, 09:41 PM #17
I've been playing instruments since I was 5, so can't start that as a replacement.
@soldant and Ian
I've seen those tubes, can't remember what they're called, they might be worth looking into. I think they're similar to the e-cigarettes.
I'm pretty sure that's false, abruptly cutting out a carcinogen doesn't prompt the onset of cancer as far as I know.
In general, I'd rather just stop without adding a new substitute to spend more money on. I suppose I just need to man up and quit, picking a date and all that. Unfortunately, final exam season isn't exactly a great time to do so.
06-12-2011, 09:51 PM #18
Actually looking at the neglect of willpower alone in studies, because all of these other methods have lots of money behind them to run and publish studies into them. 2/3 - 3/4 of people who quit smoking each year, do it without assistance. It can be done.
I'll concede, from a cursory look at the research, assisted cessation does seem to be more effective than unassisted. They can help... but, then, assistance could mean some kind of behavioural therapy or something else, non-pharmacological. Something other than Nicotine Replacement Therapy. It's the pharmacological solutions I have a problem with, as I think they're unnecessary.
07-12-2011, 12:06 AM #19
That said, nicotine replacement therapy does help with the cravings through stimulation of nicotinic receptors. I don't think replacement therapy is necessarily bad, because if it helps people stop smoking that's a hell of a lot better than demanding that they use willpower alone and fail several times. In my state's public healthcare sector patients are prohibited from smoking on the wards and are offered nicotine patches. Or they go off the property to smoke. Or they try to smoke in the bathrooms where there's medical oxygen, which usually results in a PCW sitting there watching them so that they don't wipe out the ward in an inferno.
Originally Posted by Squirrel
07-12-2011, 01:50 AM #20
- Join Date
- Jun 2011
I smoke the occasional cigarette or cigar, but when I say occasional, I mean it. I last bought a pack of cigarettes in, oh, July, and I still have half of them, so that's what, one every two weeks? I just like a bit of a nicotine rush every now and then. Knowing how extraordinarily terrible it is for me keeps me from smoking any more often than that.