General Question

loser's avatar

Any ex-smokers out there with any tips on how to quit?

Asked by loser (15027points) March 25th, 2009
29 responses
“Great Question” (3points)

I know this has been asked before but with all our new members, I thought maybe I’d ask again as I really want to quit and I’m hoping someone might have some new and wonderful insight.

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fireside's avatar

The only thing that worked for me was to stop buying them and just avoid anyone who smoked for a few weeks or so. Eventually I noticed that I didn’t even want one when other people were smoking.

Good luck!

lefteh's avatar

Speaking as someone who tried the patch, the pill, and everything else:
Just quit smoking. The only way that I could quit was to just quit. I threw out all of my cigarettes, and dealt with the withdrawal. Within four or five days, I was, for the most part, okay. Literally just stop smoking. You can really do it if you just throw everything out, keep yourself busy, and chew a lot of gum.

jrpowell's avatar

It is OK if you need to have one. Don’t tell yourself that “I can’t do this” if you have one. Shit, I quit a while ago and have one every once in a while. Now it is two a week instead of 30 a day.

Aethelwine's avatar

Quit cold turkey. I did it six years ago and haven’t had one since. I did develop a habit of popping tic-tacs though. Seriously, I hold a box of tic-tacs like a pack of cigarettes. They comfort me when I’m driving because that was when I always wanted to smoke.

rooeytoo's avatar

I don’t know if they still do it, but the American Lung Association had a 6 or 8 week course on preparing yourself to stop and then stopping. It worked for me when nothing else did. I have been off for almost 19 years. I tell you what though, if they ever decided it was a mistake and smoking is not bad for you, do not get between me and the nearest convenience store because I will run right over you to get a pack!!!

Milladyret's avatar

The biggest eye-opener for me was when I realized that smoking really IS an addiction! It’s like heroin, cokain, alcohol and pot, only WAY worse, and statistics say that it takes more tries to quit smoking than any of these other horrible things.

But remember this:
Smoking is not a treat or a pleasure. Sigarettes don’t taste any good, and they smell rancid. Smoking is expencive, anti-social and a sign of low selfcontrol.

And here’s the trick: You don’t have to smoke! You don’t have to put the sigarettes in your mouth, you don’t have to light them, and no one is gonna preassure you into having one if you don’ want it.
Just quit! Smile and say: Hey, I can do this, it’s gonne be a lot easier than I’m afraid of, and I’m gonna feel GREAT when I’m through with it!

I did this on august 21, 2008, and I haven’t touched them since, and it was the best thing I ever did! I feel fantastic, I smell good, food tastes great again, and I NEVER have to go outside in the freezing cold winter again to get my fix.

Keep a positive spirit, tell yourself that you can do it, an have a ritual burning of the rest of your smokes; Light them up in an ashtray, and smile as you see your worst habit slooowly go up in smoke! (Sorry about the pun :P )

timeand_distance's avatar

I quit because cage is always around me and gets mad at me when i smoke, so. not counting a few drunken cigarettes, i haven’t smoked for about three weeks, so i’m not sure if that counts as being a non-smoker quite yet.

asmonet's avatar

Okay, I’m gona nitpick. @Milladyret pot is NOT physically addictive and should not be included in that list.

asmonet's avatar

@timeand_distance: How is Cage? He’s visiting us all over here in the colonies yes?

Milladyret's avatar

Nitpick all you want ;)

But remember that addiction (or so says Wikipedia) is both a physical AND a psychological phenomeon, and so it fit’s on my list after all. Tell a pot-head that he may never smoke again, and you can bet he’ll go into withdrawal…

timeand_distance's avatar

@asmonet yep! he’s been here for about a month, and leave on the 23rd of april.

asmonet's avatar

@Milladyret: Um, no. Not really.

@timeand_distance: Aw, too soon for you guys I’m sure, say Hi and all. :)

Milladyret's avatar

Well, I guess that depends on the person, since I’ve seen the anxiety it brings to log-time pot-smokers… But hey, let’s agree that we disagree ;-)

asmonet's avatar

Fine with me. :)
That topic been beaten to death around here anyway. :D

Milladyret's avatar

I know…
And not just here, but afk as well. (But despite of what it looks like here, I’m FOR legalization of pot. Just so you know ;) )

aprilsimnel's avatar

Read Allen Carr’s Easyway, @loser. I hope there’s a copy at a library in your town.

casheroo's avatar

I know there are certai antidepressants proven to help people quit.
I personally just stopped one day, but I never had any addiction to I know some people have. I think it takes sheer will power. You can do it!

steve6's avatar

Get really drunk. Sleep off your hangover for two days. Make sure you are sick enough so the thought of smoking makes you want to throw up. On the third day you will feel better and will have gotten through the withdrawal from smoking and should be able quit for good. Just make sure you don’t smoke at all during this time. It is OK to smoke the night you are drinking but that will be your last dance with…

Jack79's avatar

I have said that story here before. I used to smoke like a chimney for many years, and actually enjoyed smoking. Which meant it was unthinkable for me to even try quitting.

I smoked roll-ups, so it was impossible to know exactly how much I smoked, and people kept telling me it was “too much”. So I decided to count them, and realised I did an average of 33 cigarettes a day. The weirdest thing was I couldn’t ever remember doing those 33 cigarettes. So I decided to keep smoking, but consciously.

This is the big secret: the reason you can’t quit is not a rational one. You are addicted, both physically and psychologically, and you have to accept that and deal with it accordingly. Once I started smoking consciously (no more cigarettes on the PC while typing, or rolling one up while driving, or watching TV), two things happened:
1) I overcame the physical addiction (my blood became cleaner)
2) I enjoyed smoking more, since I had a cigarette when I really felt like one, and not unconsciously.
When you reach that stage, you’ve basically won. Because you’re in control of the situation, and even if you don’t eventually quit, you can enjoy smoking with minimal effects to your health. As soon as I made that “conscious smoking” rule, I dropped from 33 to 4 in a couple of days. Because I only really needed 4. One in the morning, one at work, one after dinner and one before bed.

Since I was no longer addicted, the number soon dropped to 1, and that was when I first thought of quitting (I had not even imagined it possible before). I admit that was actually the hardest part, and I’d go around with tobacco on me for weeks, or roll one and not light it, or even light it and throw it away without inhaling. But it worked, and I have not even had a puff in over 5 years.

steve6's avatar

@Jack79 Congratulations! That is a wonderful technique. You may have just saved many lives.

mpjt2005's avatar

I just quit in August, i used the patch for a week it made me extremely ill with nightmares, fatigue, and headaches, but when I stopped using it I just kept telling myself I could do it. It has been 7 months now and I feel so much better. I think the key is that you really just have to be ready and want to it, not having someone tell you “you have to” or they “want you to”. You have to want to do it for yourself.

bea2345's avatar

It’s different strokes for different folks. What works for me might not work for you. In my case, at the end of 20 years’ hard smoking, I was consuming 40 cigarettes per day and sometimes more. Then, at the age of 41, I became pregnant. It was not until six weeks into the pregnancy that it was confirmed (January 1986) and that day I stopped. The following five days were uncomfortable, very uncomfortable, and during that time I did a lot of patchwork – I had to keep my hands occupied. Mine was considered a high risk pregnancy, so eating as a substitute for tobacco was not on. After the five days, it became much easier and I have not smoked since. Although – and this is the kicker – very occasionally I get a craving, as sudden as it is unexpected. I ignore it and continue with whatever task is to hand.

Jack79's avatar

mpjt2005 is basically describing the opposite process of what I did. The logic is that you fight the psychological addiction first (ie believe you are not an addict) and then deal with the physical one. I’d find that a lot harder to do, but as bea2345 says, different things work for different people.

I had a cousin who quit cold turkey after 40 years of doing 100 fags a day. He was the heaviest smoker I’ve ever met (he’d get up in the middle of the night for his dose). And then he just quit. He was a great inspiration to me. I thought “if he can do it, so can I”. I just can’t imagine doing it his way. I quit alcohol that way, but I was not addicted, which makes everything so much easier.

mpjt2005's avatar

@Jack79 I thought the whole quiting process was easier with anything if you are able to admit that you have the addiction in the first place. But that’s not for everyone as I see in your case. I still believe that you really wan’t to have to make that change. I smoked for more than 1/2 my life and I am 34, maybe now I can look forward to 34 more years :).

Jack79's avatar

Well I guess for me quitting was accidental, because I never tried to quit. And perhaps that’s why it worked. One of the biggest problems people face is that they make the effort, then fail, then stop believing in themselves (I am currently facing that problem with dieting, though luckily my problem is not that big yet as you can see in the photo).

All I wanted was to see how much I smoked, and when I did, it felt stupid that I had paid for 33 cigarettes, got the health damage of 33 cigarettes, stank of 33 cigarettes, but only remembered the pleasure of 2–3 of them. By making a conscious choice to smoke only when I felt like it (as opposed to whenever the previous cigarette was out), I automatically enjoyed the cigarettes I did smoke, and smoked a lot less.

It was because I smoked so little that I decided to quit altogether, and not vice versa. But I think for me it worked because it happened smoothly. Then again, I am sure that “cold turkey” works better for people who might reduce for a couple of weeks and then start going up again without noticing.

bea2345's avatar

Well, you have your work cut out for you. It can be done, and has been done, and you can do it too. I read many books on the subject, some quite fraudulent and even went to see a psychiatrist. But in the end, it was because I wanted to quit quite badly, I was scared of losing the baby.

bea2345's avatar

And please, don’t call yourself loser. That does not help.

Jack79's avatar

btw I also read Alan Carr’s book and it’s pretty good. I’d recommend it anyday. It is NOT what you’re afraid it would be: preaching and telling you to quit, and how bad it is for your health and all that crap. Smokers know that. Instead, it’s a book that starts by telling you to light up a cigarette. And smoothly guides you from being a smoker (that may or may not smoke) to being a non smoker (that happens to smoke, but can quit any time).

lasermike026's avatar

I read this book call “The End of Overeating”. The authors basic principle was that in order to eat correctly you have to learn new patterns. Maybe this idea could be adapted to quiting smoking.

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