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How can I stop smoking?

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  • #46
    Ten year smoker, now five years as a non-smoker. I quit after I was standing outside the cancer hospital having a cigarette after my mother's third cancer surgery (not smoking related cancer, but still). I'd tried quitting before, but my final, successful quit had a few differences from my previous attempts:

    -I took the time to examine why I smoked. For me, it was to deal with emotional situations (positive or negative) because the nicotine sort of levelled out my feelings.

    -I joined a support community (quitnet.com, but there are others online). Sharing the experience with other people helped. I didn't want to do 12-step, but having other people to talk to and be accountable to was important.

    -I had just started dating someone who was allergic to cigarettes, and kissing him was only going to happen if I hadn't had a smoke. I don't suggest you race out and start dating a non-smoker, but it helps to find something that you can't do if you smoke.

    -I celebrated the cool stuff about quitting. I quit in spring and learned that lilacs smell amazing once if your nose isn't messed up by smoking. Food tasted so much better. I could be active in a way that I hadn't been able to be in years.

    -I started doing martial arts to deal with the stress I used to manage by smoking. As a bonus, my instructor knew I'd joined after I quit, and if I'd started again, I know he would have made me do a ridiculous number of pushups to remind me I should stay quit.

    -I learned that I can never, ever touch tobacco again in any form. I cannot have "just one puff" because for me, that will turn into a whole cigarette, and then a pack, and then more.

    -I thought of myself as a non-smoker right off the start. Even if I'd only been one for 24 hours, I was still a non-smoker in my mind.

    -I developed a pack-a-day cinnamon gum habit. Now I can't chew gum because it reminds me of feeling icky when I quit smoking. Two habits with one stone, I guess!
    “If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.” --Audre Lorde

    Owly's Journal

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    • #47
      All of the recent advice is sound. There is an excellent, free, eBook available at whyquit.com called Freedom From Nicotine. It is a fascinating read. When people ask me what I'm using to help me quit I reply with one word, knowledge.

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      • #48
        smoked since I was 16. 35 now, quit last year. Literally woke up one morning and never bought another pack. Still hang out with friends who smoke but don't go outside to join them when they do. For me, I realized it was a combination of things

        1) chemical - I was convinced after 7 days nicotine would leave my body. 3rd day sucked. 5th day cravings and agitation went away.
        2) habitual - smoked while I drive. Now I have bottled water or tea handy.
        3) social - this was hard to pinpoint but it's the same sort of subconscious social programming that happens when someone wants to fit into a group...you do as they do. It's human nature. If you hang out with people who smoke, chances are you'll pick it up even if no one offers it to you or pressures you. If you can be your own person around those people without them nagging you, they are your real friends.

        In a nutshell:

        When you smoke you are creating a nicotine addiction. Everyone's chemistry is different but you have to realize that when you continue to smoke you are merely temporarily satisfying the nicotine craving you created in your body from your very first cigarette. The illusion is that nicotine relaxes you or relieves agitation but the truth is nicotine created it to begin with. Not saying nicotine is the source of all your anxiety but if you are agitated and reach for a cigarette, you are fixing an agitation created by nicotine. Does that make sense? Of course that only covers the chemical side and like I stated earlier I was told it leaves in 7 days of cold turkey. No patch. No gum. Cold.
        Currently dabbling in: IF, leangains, Starting Strength, 5/3/1

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        • #49
          How I quit smoking:

          1) Moved in with a boyfriend, was forbidden to smoke in the apartment.
          2) Winter came, and it was too cold to go outside.
          3) I then hand-washed my sweaters from the year before and watched as all the toxic crap I'd been putting in my body went down the drain. One of the sweaters I wore most every day for my smoke break at work had to be washed 5 or 6 times. Grossed me out.

          I did slip a time or two at parties, but it wasn't a problem for the most part. I was working as a flight attendant at the time, so there were literally 10 hour stretches where I could not smoke. That gets the poison out of your system, plus you're too preoccupied to worry about smoking. I really feel for people who are so addicted by habit that they can't quit. Once you're past the physical addiction, that's the hard part.
          Motherhood: When changing from pj pants to yoga pants qualifies as 'getting dressed'.

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          • #50
            I had smoked off an on for twice as long as your age. There are not many methods out there that I had not tried. Finally a friend told me about a book. Yeah, I know, how does reading a book help you through all of the things you encounter on the path to giving them up. Well all I can tell you is that it does and it works.

            I have since referred many friends to this book and most seem to find in it the answer and the way to give them up. What have you got to lose, other than a habit and maybe a few bucks less than the cost of 2 packs of cigarettes.

            "THE EASY WAY TO STOP SMOKING"

            Amazon.com: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking: Join the Millions Who Have Become Non-Smokers Using Allen Carr's Easyway Method (9781402718618): Allen Carr: Books
            "Every Day is A Bonus" "Discovering Primal Blueprint is an Added Bonus to the Day"
            Cancer tries to suck the life out of the day ---DON'T LET IT

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