August 30
I'm just ... me. And this quote, from John le Carre, really resonates with me: "Coming home from very lonely places, all of us go a little mad: whether from great personal success, or just an all-night drive, we are the sole survivors of a world no one else has ever seen."


AnniThyme's Links
MAY 30, 2009 6:39PM

Quitting - any advice?

Rate: 20 Flag

Okay, I've roped another friend into doing this with me (we've agreed that anything that we may say to each other over the next few weeks won't mean anything when the smoke finally clears). What have I roped her into?

Quitting smoking. With me. June 1st. That's the date.

Any former smokers out there have any words of wisdom or advice? The last time I tried to quit I almost threw a stapler at a co-worker ...

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One day at a time - sometimes in increments of 2 hours. Just say no. To yourself.
I have no advice but I will certainly be cheering you on!
I quit over a long weekend. Stayed in bed feeling likemabsolute shit for 72 hours. Went to school on Monday and by Wednesday the process had gone from unbearable to torturous. By the following weekend, I realized I could do it. The week after wasn't that bad.
Last time I tried to quit I was a total bitch for weeks, everyone hide from me at work. LOL!
I believe it is a mind set and will power thing. I have been thinking about quitting it is on my list to do this year. I have two packs left and I just might Think about it.
I figure if i can quit drinking for a year and half I can quit smoking also. Might as well do it now while I am single.LMAO!!
Good luck!!
Thanks guys. I figure that if my grandmother could do it, I can too. (There's no way in hell that I'll ever say that that stubborn old woman could do something I can't.)
about three months in you'll have stopped feeling like shit, the coughing and the craving will be behind you, and you'll feel so good that when the opportunity presents itself to have just one for old times' sake, cuz you've kicked the habit so you can have just one cuz you don't need it - -


just don't, because before the night is over you'll have bought another pack and you'll be back on the treadmill

you'll know you're really over it when the smell of cigarette smoke makes you sick instead of nostalgic

good luck
one more thing

when your friend gives up, don't use that as an excuse to give up yourself
I used the patch. Gave me huge patch-shaped welts. I stopped using them, and the welts went away. Of course the smoking didn't. The second time, I kept up with the patches, because I knew the welts would go away eventually, and it was that important to me to quit. I also kept in mind some list that I read, of how your body starts recovering, within 20 minutes, an hour, three days, etc. The one that really stuck with me was something like, within 3 days, the cilia in your lungs start to regrow. That was a concrete picture I could have in my head of the good that I was doing for my body. The longer you go without smoking, the more you're invested in not undoing all the good you've done. I didn't even need to SEE the list for it to have an effect. Just knowing it was out there was enough. There's even a point where your risk of heart disease, or maybe it's lung cancer, is pretty much the same as never-a-smoker. Here's one version of the list:

The final advice is, whenever you feel like you can just have one cigarette, remember how hard it is to quit. You don't want to have to do it all over again! That has kept me from starting again I don't even know how many times. I would ask myself "would that one cigarette be worth having to go through the quitting process again?" and the answer is ALWAYS "no". Always.
No more incredible sex.
Uhm, Vac? I'm confused ... how so? (It could also be the cold/sinus meds I'm on right now that's making everything fuzzy.)
Try to avoid the situations that could spark a desire for smoking. That's easier said than done, I know.

And good luck!! It'll be one of the best things you've ever done once you've licked it.
Its the first 72-hours to a week that's really the worst-- that's the period of physical addiction. Do whatever you have to do to stay away. Go on a camping trip or something, somewhere far away from cigarettes-- have fun-- where there are no smokes no matter how badly you want them.

After that remember this:

There is no stress worth a cigarette.

That last lesson cost me three more years of smoking after having quit for a year and a half.

I have now gone ten years without a cigarette.

I still like the smell of a freshly lit match, and a freshly lit cigarette. Ocassionally after a really good meal, or accomplishing something with satisfaction, I'll get an odd urge to smoke. I resist the temptation.

You can quit too. I have confidence in you.
1. use a nicotine substitute like Commit lozenges (cost is about the same as for cigarettes)
2. keep your hands busy
3. if you don't currently exercise--start. even walking a half hour
4. avoid things and places where you usually smoke

Keep at it!!
And to quote Mark Twain--"giving up tobacco is the easiest thing in the world to do. I myself have done it hundreds of times."
You guys are awesome. Thanks.
The new anti-smoking drug Chantix ( is very effective.

Also, I used patches and gum at the same time. I read an article on the 'Net that recommended both at the same time; the success rate was much higher, so I tried it, and it worked for me. I found that I had so much nicotine in my system that smoking was a disgusting thought.
Good luck, Anni. I quit less than a year ago, on advice of my doctor. Weirdly, though I'd half-heartedly tried to quit two or three times before without success, this last time it worked. My working recipe: willpower plus fear. (Sort of. :-)
I've smoked on and off over the years, mostly off. I tend to be one of those smokers who craves a cigarette once I get a drink or two in me. A social smoker in other words. And a stress smoker. And if I smoke the good herb, it's an automatic trigger, so I rarely do it.

I can keep a pack in the freezer and have a cig occasionally -- don't hate me! But lately I have been craving cigarettes more and more, even when I'm alone. I am out of cigs right now and resisted buying them when I was shopping earlier today. But now that I'm sipping some wine, I am very tempted to drive down the hill and get some.

So, Anni, this isn't helping you at all. Sorry about that. I do think that you have been given great advice though.
I smoked (and loved it) since I was 17, started the day I found out the guy I lost my virginity was a married man. Anyway, I am NOT A DOCTOR...but I highly recommend that you ask your own doctor about Chantix. I do NOT work for the company either. I was lucky enough to get it free because my workplace was going smoke-free and was offering it to any willing to try. I experienced the upset/crampy stomach side effect, but it was sososososoSO worth it. I'll tell you why.

I quit smoking for a while with each of the kids, but I always started back. Even with no smoker at home, it just never left my mind. I still wanted it after meals, when drinking, when driving, etc. I never stopped thinking how nice it would be if only I could have a cigarette.

The difference with Chantix is that, even though I only took it for a few weeks and never finished the entire course, since maybe a couple of days after my last cigarette, I have never once wanted one. My man is a smoker--he doesn't smoke indoors, but I'm constantly around cigs and smoke. The ONLY time I ever really think about it now is when I dream, and sometimes I wake up confused...was I smoking?

I know others who have not had as good an experience with it, but even the chance of never wanting it again might make it worth a try.
Well I used to smoke when I first woke up, while making dinner, while waiting for the bus, after dinner, after sex, and talking on the phone, so those were all triggers. Try at first being really strong, like: Well I've never tried talking on the phone without a cigarette, let's see how this goes. I tried the first time cold turkey, going from 1-1/2 packs to 3 a day, and that actually did work because I took up cross-stitching and embroidery (which I still love) to keep my hands busy. But I did go back to smoking. I eventually used the gum, had runny noses, sinus headaches, and coughs. You should irrigate your sinuses daily, I think. Effexor might relieve some of the anxiety, but that's up to you. Yoga's good. That's my advice. BTW, sex was fine without cigarettes. You may also want to cut back on the coffee and alcohol at first, at least. I was about to tell you why but you know why. They were made for each other, cigs and coffee, cigs and alcohol. You'll do it. I smoked for 20 years and haven't smoked now for about 15.
I'm glad you asked the question - I'm working towards doing the same. I'm enjoying the responses also. JKBrady wrote an interesting piece on this:

Good luck, and keep us posted!
I've got three cigs left. I 'll tell you tomorrow.
Everytime the desire for a cigarette came over me I translated it into a visual of a bright green tennis ball and in my mind I imagined myself using a tennis racket and hitting it back over the net. In other words, I was having a tennis match with myself and the drive for nicotine was the ball, I actually won the match and haven't smoked cigarettes in many years. You can do it.
Stay busy and drink lots of water. LOTS! It gives you something to do with your mouth instead of smoking, it will flush the nicotine from your body, and it will keep you busy running to the bathroom among your other busy activities! And try not to think about it.

It worked for me. I quit smoking over 20 years ago. Now I'm one of those annoying non-smokers I so disliked I was lighting up!

Good luck!
I hope you can do it...I think announcing it here means that you can! I also hope you write about it.

A few months ago, I starting the process of quitting. I found that I became non-functional if I went too long without smoking. And I have a job that requires very high function, so I was cutting back gradually. I was making progress until stress from work and other things got very bad and I'm smoking more again. I feel pretty desperate about it.
Suzn - that's exactly why I made this public - so that I am accountable. That whole pride and stubbornness thing, yanno?
Go AnniThyme! Good luck and stay with it. Week by week, day by day, even minute by minute if that's what it takes. Here's a story that illustrates why everyone should join your effort to get off the smokes:
Good luck! I'll be rooting for you.
First, congratulations that you are doing it. You've made a conscious decision to do it.

I quit nearly a year ago, and I was obviously flirting with the quitting idea otherwise I never would have found the web site, but it pushed me over the edge and I never smoked again. I tried the lozenges, yeah I didn't smoke but I was still putting nicotine in my system and the cravings for a cigarette returned shortly after the last lozenge was sucked.

The web site?

Joel Spitzer is a Chicago guy who has conducted quit smoking seminars for years but there is nothing profit driven about this website. He believes, and I do too, that cold turkey is really the best way to go. Just as everyone says, the first 3 or 4 days are the worst but even those aren't really THAT bad. I even wore a rubber band on my wrist that I would snap when I wanted a smoke. The most important bit of knowledge that I gleaned from his website was this: the duration of even the strongest urge for a cigarette is never more than about 3 and a half minutes. Then it's over.

But there is tons of information to learn and check out there.

There are some heartbreaking stories as well, a good reminder of the biggest reason you are quitting, your health!

Oh, after about two weeks since I quit I took another suggestion of the site to heart and printed out a sign and pasted it prominently in a spot I would see it, nearly all the time. The sign said: Never Take Another Puff.

That's a big thing. You never can, it'll be a matter of days before you're smoking as much as were before you quit.

One thing I wish I had done was force myself to bank the nearly $6 a pack each day in a special fund. According to the quitmeter I'd have over $1,500 now.

Good luck, and I agree with Roy Jimenez, as nice as it is to do something like this with a partner don't fall off the wagon if/when they do.

Never Take Another Puff! (of cigarettes :)
Here's a little snippet that explains why Joel thinks nicotine replacement therapy sucks:

"To many, cold turkey conjures up visions of torturous pain, suffering and general drudgery.  In fact, it is easier to stop smoking using the cold turkey method than by using any other technique.  Cold turkey induces less suffering and creates a shorter period of withdrawal.  Most important, cold turkey is the approach by which the smoker has the best chance of success.
Smokers must recognize that they are drug addicts.  Nicotine is a powerfully addictive drug.  Once the smoker has smoked for a fairly long time, the body requires maintenance of a certain level of nicotine in the bloodstream.  If this level is not maintained, the smoker will experience varying degrees of drug withdrawal.  The lower the level, the greater the intensity.  As long as any nicotine remains in the bloodstream the body will keep craving its full complement.  Once the smoker quits, the nicotine level will eventually drop to zero and all physical withdrawal will cease.  Cravings for an occasional cigarette may continue, but this is due to an old habit not to a physical dependence.
Cutting down on cigarettes or use of nicotine replacement strategies throws the smoker into a chronic state of drug withdrawal.  As soon as the smoker fails to reach the minimum requirement of nicotine, the body starts demanding it.  As long as there is any nicotine in the bloodstream, the body will demand its old requirement.  Smoking just one or two a day or wearing a patch which is gradually reducing the amount of nicotine being delivered will result in the smoker not achieving the minimum required level, creating a chronic state of peak drug withdrawal.
This state will continue throughout the rest of the smoker's life unless one of two steps is taken to rectify it.  First, the smoker can stop delivering nicotine altogether.  Nicotine will be metabolized or totally excreted from the body and the withdrawal will stop forever.  Or, the smoker can return to the old level of consumptions accomplishing nothing.
Therefore, cold turkey is the method of choice.  Once the smoker stops, withdrawal will end within two weeks.  If you smoke, we can help you over this crucial period of time.  Once it is past, you can rest assured that you will never need to smoke again.  Then, to stay off you will simply need to remember to Never Take Another Puff!"

Well, I spent an hour and 45 minutes getting caught up on my good friend's account of her sister's lung cancer treament. She's been through a year and a half of medical advocacy for her beloved sister whose lung cancer became brain tumors, adrenal gland tumors, and pelvic tumors. She has endured many treatments and is dying but trying more.

The thing that REALLY struck me was how the dying woman never could have navigated this course of treatment without her sister. Her husband had to work and perform child-care. My friend has invested 100's of hours in her sister's life, and is still likely to lose her.

If you get cancer, who are you going to impose upon to help you?

It is the one thing that is finally making me seriously see why I MUST quit smoking too. I started once the other night. But I have started 100 times. June 1st. I agree with ablonde about cold turkey. I wouldn't touch Chantirx with a 20 foot pole.

Not saying I am but I will let you know. But you definately should.
Kelly - if you do, let me know. You can join our "grrr. really want a cig right now. I hate you, I hate everyone. Did i mention I really want a cig right now?" online bitching group.
Sorry. I only quit things that are good for me.
Sorry. I only quit things that are good for me.
I wish I could help, but coming from a long line of addictive personalities, I did all I could to avoid picking up the habit. (My brother, alas, succumbed.)
Here's one more link.

This poor woman isn't even 40 yet and she is at the end of the line from lung cancer.

I read her story last summer and it was the final kick in the ass I need to just STOP. I sent her an email a few months ago, telling her that she might have saved my life by writing so candidly about her awful struggle.
I quit for 5 years or so and recently just started again. It's the worst thing I could have done. When I quit, I found that after 4 or 5 days it was a lot easier. The cravings come and go in waves - as long as you keep in mind that they will pass, you can get through them.

Good luck!
I am not disputing that smoking is bad for one's health, but I know of two people who never smoked, never worked in a smoking environment, and still died of lung cancer before they were 50. Both were women. It is a genetic roll of the dice to some extent. My Welsh grandfather worked in the mines, started smoking around age 11, smoked until he was in his late 80's and died of old age. He was a miserable old bastard and smoking was the only thing he enjoyed.
It's not just lung cancer. It's throat cancer and oral cancer, many others are also very linked to smoked. And yes there are many people who die from cancer every day that never smoked, I don't doubt that there is strong genetic predisposition that may be triggered by cigarettes or not even need them to trigger the disease.

If there is one single thing you can do to reduce your risk of cancer and enhance the daily quality of your life, that thing would be to quite smoking cigarettes.
Sorry, I continue to smoke.

Don't bar-b-cue... the second hand smoke could kill someone.

Don't turn on you air conditioning since the coal fired electricity will affect global warming.

Don't buy a Prius, it takes a ton of energy to produce it.

Throw the stapler this way...
my favorite things (quit a long while ago, and still use them) are the lozenges. For some reason those work for me where the gum just feels annoying in my mouth.
and of course you can do it! Good for you for even trying :)