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Advice and help needed from FReepers who've managed to quit smoking
me ^ | 4OVT11 | self

Posted on 10/04/2011 7:53:55 AM PDT by Marie

In January, I'm planning on having a major surgery and I cannot have this operation until I quit smoking.

I've been trying to quit for the last 17 years and I haven't been able to make it for more than a month.

I can get past the immediate horror of it all. I'm using Chantix to help me with that. (Chantix was the easiest way to quit that I've found so far.)

But what always gets me are the 'crazies that don't go away. Even after the habit is broken - after the cravings are gone - I find myself in a constant low-level anxiety. Grumpy. Pissy. Snapping.

The closest thing that I can relate it to is a state of constant PMS. Only it doesn't go away after 2 or 3 days. Noises are grating and too loud. everyone is getting on my nerves. I'm nervous and anxious all the time.

The thing that gets me, where I fall, is that I don't know how long this will last. How long I have to endure. I end up picking up a cigarette just to put an end this crap - and it's usually an act of mercy for my family. It really is a form of insanity.

I know that I'm not the only smoker that's gone through this. How long does this last? (I know that it's more than a month because I've made it for a month before.) What medications have worked for you? Are there any herbs or vitamins that I should try?

When will I be calm and happy again?

I've already had my dr put in a referral for a mental health professional, but it's going to take two months to get an appointment.

Please. ANY advice or insight would be helpful.

TOPICS: Chit/Chat; Health/Medicine; Miscellaneous
KEYWORDS: addiction; advice; pufflist; quitting; smoking; vanity
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To: Marie
I quit in January 2003 by using the following:

Many of the programs want to substitute another product ($$$) for cigarettes. That probably would seldom be effective. The person is just substitution the addiction from one form to another. Of course, the producer of the product -- gum, candy, patch, etc. -- don't mind one bit.

Most of these programs fail to understand or do not address the whole addition picture. Until the person does, he/she is going to have a difficult time quitting.

Aspects to consider:

Time. You wake up, you reach for a cig. You pour a cup of coffee, you light up. Throughout the day, you have an established routine. Probably, within a few minutes variation, you light a cig about the same time, and in the same situation nearly every day.

Distance. I used to measure driving distance by the cig. It was 3 cigs from home to the Infomart in Dallas. It was 5 cigs from Ft. Worth to Tulsa. It was 1 cig to the grocery story and 1 on the way back home.

Convenience. If the cigs are convenient, you probably light up remotely at times without even realizing it. I put my cigs in my bedroom. My lighter quit, so I used the kitchen stove. Whenever I wanted a cig, I had to get from from the computer, go to the bedroom and pull a cig out of the pack, and then go to the kitchen to light it. Ironically, and to show how remote even that can be, sometimes I would be at my computer with a newly lit cig. I had no memory of going through the process to get and light it. Once, I had a half-burned cig in the ashtray and a newly lit one in my hand, yet no memory of getting/lighting either.

These actions make you more aware of your habit and help you interrupt it. Much of the 'addition' is simply habitual.

Taste. Part of the addition is not to nicotine, but to the taste. Manufacturers flavor cigs. They use syrups and sweeteners and taste enhancers. That is why individuals like certain brands -- they are actually attracted to the flavoring. Also, some manufacturers bump up the nicotine content, so cigs in a pack may be mixed between high and normal nicotine content.

Keep saying to yourself that you want to quit. That you are going to quit.

Test Week. After you have done a lot of the recommendations above and have been on the naturals for a couple of months or more, try a week without cigs. When you feel ready, decide to try for one week. If you need, allow yourself one, maybe two, cigs per day, but try to go the week.

You should be finding the smoke from the naturals doesn't smell good. In fact, more and more it will smell like burning dry leaves. And the taste will be more like dried grass. That is what tobacco is, without the enhanced flavorings that hid the smell and taste.

Ceasing. When you fell ready, cease.

To say quit sends shockwaves. So, let's just say cease. You are going to cease for a while. Pick a date or day. Finish off any cigs you have. Empty the ashtrays.

Notice how you react. For me, I ceased at about 3:00 p.m. I found I had a strong craving about 7:30 p.m. I resisted. It lasted about 10 seconds. That was it. Hmmm, I thought. I can handle that. The next morning, I didn't have a strong craving until around 10:30 a.m. I resisted. It lasted about 10 seconds. The next craving came about 2:30 p.m. I resisted. I had gone 24 hours without, and I wasn't climbing the walls. The cycle of cravings continued, but became less severe. I also told myself that I went that test week and made it. Now, I went a week with no cig at all felt pretty good. I could handle the 10-seconds of craving three times a day. I went another week. Then a month. By the end of the third month, the cravings were very light. At six months, the cravings got very strong for about a week. After than, they were gone. Since then, the only time I think about a cig, not crave, is when I see someone on TV smoking. I started year 7 of being smoke free in January 2009.

Baking Soda. When you decide to cease, begin taking daily (for three or four days) a glass of water with one teaspoon of baking soda mixed in. The soda absorbs and helps remove nicotine in your system.

61 posted on 10/04/2011 8:51:56 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Marie

Don’t know if you ever get to Mass. but I was a heavy smoker for DECADES. I went to this guy and never lifted a cigarette again and never suffered because of it.

Several of my friends also went and same results.

62 posted on 10/04/2011 8:52:34 AM PDT by ModernDayCato
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To: Marie
In 2007 I tried everything including Chantix, to no avail. One day a read a thread here at FR and in the thread was a post stating to the effect; “My wife and I read this web page for three days straight and quit cold turkey- that was two years ago”.

The website is

I read the website for three days straight and also quit cold turkey. That was May 4, 2007. I walked away forma 2.5 pack per day habit an dnow enjoy running 5k, 10k, half and full marathons...not fast, just to finish and enjoy the breaths.

SO here's what I suggest...
Start with this simple 8-page pdf. Read it and you'll get the ideas...

Then, read through his website. There is a VOLUME of great info there, so read it all. By the time you've read the site for a few days you'll beging to read duplicate information. As you read each day, observe other smokers and their habits, including your own. The light will go on for you!

Finally, print the 164 page pdf. Keep it with you for the first week. Read it and re-read it, especially when you want a cigarette...

You will learn why you smoke more when you drink alcohol and caffeine and when you're stressed. How long does a craving REALLY last and what is the difference between a crave and a trigger and how easy a trigger is to kill. You will learn the laws of addiction (and that you are a nicotine addict) and why nicotine substitutes DO NOT WORK.

Mostly, you will be encouraged to know that you CAN quit and that after the first three days it gets MUCH easier.

I hate to hear other people say it but sometimes it simply is true...if I can do it (quit), then ANYONE can! ANYONE! really!

So, wear a watch (you'll understand later) and

v/r, JJ

p.s. drop me a note and let me know how it goes.

63 posted on 10/04/2011 8:53:38 AM PDT by woollyone ("The trouble with socialism is you run out of other people's money to spend." Margaret Thatcher)
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To: Marie


64 posted on 10/04/2011 8:54:03 AM PDT by unkus (Silence Is Consent)
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To: Marie
Try an e-cigarette.
I accidentally quit smoking using it.
Been smoke free for over 2 years.

Now we all just KNOW that the world's going to end! (Flagg quit smoking) ^
65 posted on 10/04/2011 8:57:18 AM PDT by RandallFlagg (Look for the union label, then buy elsewhere.)
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To: Marie will also learn why smokers can skip breakfast and lunch while non-smokers cannot and why when people quit they aften gain weight.

I could tell you, but rathe rprefer that you read the information for yourself.

best wishes!

66 posted on 10/04/2011 8:57:39 AM PDT by woollyone ("The trouble with socialism is you run out of other people's money to spend." Margaret Thatcher)
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To: oncebitten
Think of the money you will save and plan a nice vacation a year out for motivation. We figure we saved over $6000 and just returned from two weeks in Italy and France.

Every so often, I splurge on something and say "that is my cigarette money" I used to spend. I figure at today's prices, I would smoke about 3 cartons per month -- about $70 each, so I am saving around $2400/year. It adds up.

67 posted on 10/04/2011 9:01:24 AM PDT by TomGuy
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To: Marie
You have to say "I'VE HAD IT! I'M FED UP WITH CIGARETTES". You have to get MAD at it and say THAT'S IT!

I agree with the folks who say avoid where you can get them and people who smoke in your presence. Flee!

Do good things! Hiking, biking and what you love to do! Get pleasure in your spirit rather than from things or things you can put in your mouth. Life is in that smiling child you tickle or in that puppy that loves you! Not to mention the admiration of a spouse!

Far better than being unable to get a breath under an oxygen tent. Believe it.

68 posted on 10/04/2011 9:03:30 AM PDT by sr4402
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To: Marie

p.s. please get off the chantix. It is VERY mood altering!

You are addicted to nicotine, but also to the effects nicotine has on your brain caused by the chemicals nicotine makes your body release. Chantix only serves to replicate this same chemical release that nicotine causes. So while you may not be using the chemical nicotine to stimulate the pleasure center of your brain, the chantix is doing it for you and you are therefore still in the addiction cycle that nicotine caused. You have simply traded on mthod of addiciton for the other, wiht the exact same dependancy. Sort of like saying well I quit smoking crack because smoking is bad for me, but now a just stir some powdered cocaine in with my coffee to help take the edge off the crack cravings. Same addiction.

read up on it please.

69 posted on 10/04/2011 9:03:53 AM PDT by woollyone ("The trouble with socialism is you run out of other people's money to spend." Margaret Thatcher)
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To: Marie
Might wanna try ecigs.

Ask your doctor about them. Might be a decent interim plan.

70 posted on 10/04/2011 9:04:13 AM PDT by Huck (Save a pretzel for the gas jets!!)
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To: Marie

I smoked until I was in my 30’s. I’m now 50. I went to the funeral of my cousin who died in his late 20’s of throat cancer from smoking. I haven’t had tobacco of any kind since that moment. I’ve had urges, but nothing that overcame my resolve to quit. I gained a lot of weight, but have since taken in off.

My advice - resolve to quit and do it. The strongest urges and psychology play out in 30 days or so. Also, find out what your base metabolic rate is and stick to it. When you think you are going to lose your mind or give in to the urge to smoke. Go for a walk. Lastly, you can’t smoke cigarette’s if you leave them at the store!

71 posted on 10/04/2011 9:05:22 AM PDT by IamConservative (Government is the only institution that can add ink to paper and make both worth less.)
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To: Marie
More thoughts: Just accept the weight gain. You've got to prioritize. Any doc will tell you better to be an ex-smoker who needs to shed some weight than to be a thin smoker. Just accept it as a temporary problem (a year or so) and stop worrying about it.

All that's left is to manage your anxiety, which is the source of the behavior problems you mention. You could talk to your doctor about that also.

My advice is just to accept it. Accept in advance that there is no hassle-free way to quit. When you quit, you probably gain some weight, and you probably feel anxiety for a while. Accept it and manage it. Looking to avoid it won't work. Just accept it. It could be worse. You could be dead.

I wish you the best of luck. If you really want to quit, you can. It's a little uncomfortable, but you can handle it! Also, get some moral support! Some friends and family to talk you off the ledge when you're nerves are frayed.

You can do it!

72 posted on 10/04/2011 9:08:21 AM PDT by Huck (Save a pretzel for the gas jets!!)
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To: Marie
I used Zyban and have been nicotine free for over 7 years. I had to take Zyban two weeks before I quit. I had to quit taking it because it messed with my mind terribly. I have never felt that depressed and two days after I quit smoking I quit taking Zyban. I replaced a cigarette with ice cream or something sweet after every meal to quell the craving and gained about 20 pounds since quitting. Every now and again I get a craving when I see someone in a movie or get a whiff of good tobacco being smoked. There is a good smoke smell and then a nasty, ashtray like smell from tobacco.

In the first three days of quitting I felt like some heroin addict. I made so many excuses of why I should just pull over at a gas station and get a can of Kodiak or Marlboro Lights. Before I quit I made a list of the pro's and con's. While I was having the cravings I would mentally recite the pro's and con's and finally won the battle.

I always wonder why people start up after quitting for 5 or ten years. It doesn't make sense to me.

73 posted on 10/04/2011 9:15:01 AM PDT by Sawdring
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To: Marie

Trust me on this

Get some sleeping pills and some valium or xanax (only enought for a week)

I am amazed no doctors tell people this:

When you quit smoking your body experiences WITHDRAWAL SYMPTOMS.

If you know what they are and deal with them as a sign that the nicotine is leaving your body, you can hack it.

1) insomnia- you will not be able to sleep- this is what the sleeping pills are for.

2) nervousness- you will feel like you are crawling the walls- this is what the XANAX or VALIUM is for.

If you can use those two meds to help you make it through the first week- then you are golden

Drink lots of Orange juice (and some vodka in it helps- but NOT WITH THE SLEEPING PILLS)

Once you start to feel better you realize how bad the smokes made you feel you will be less likely to start back.

exercise AFTER about a month - you will want to barf your guts out if you do it while you are quitting- but once you have quit, exercize makes you want it much much less!!

Almost everyone I taught this to has successfully quit. You just have to realize what you are feeling is EXPECTED withdrawals and wait for them to subside.

PM me if you want more help.

I smoked on and off for 25 years- I was one of the lucky ones- I could take it or leave it and I began to notice a pattern when quitting. Then after a stressful time in my life I smiked worse than ever before (over 2 packs per day) and when I quit I thought I was going to die- but I recognized all the symptoms and slept through that first week. And barfing occasionally- also normal and to be expected if you are a really heavy smoker.

Think of it as similar to a hangover withdrawal symptoms after drinking- from alcohol... but that only lasts hours or a day.

You just gotta know what it is- Withdrawals. And it lasts one week.

74 posted on 10/04/2011 9:16:47 AM PDT by Mr. K (Palin/Bachman 2012- unbeatable ticket~!!!)
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To: Marie

I understand your anxiety. Every time I tried to quit it seemed harder than the last time. I finally quit by:

1.Chewing the gum (and I can’t chew gum and walk, so mouth sore constantly)

2. Eating an M&M or some such every time I thought about a’s been 25 years now and I am still addicted to M&Ms, and still gaining weight, but I feel good and my complexion is so much better plus age lines haven’t hit me as badly as my smoking friends.

3. Telling everyone I worked with I was quitting so that I would be embarrassed by my weakness if I didn’t succeed.

4. And this last thing seemed to do the most for me, taking deep breaths until I was about to pass out every time the urge became unbearable. It makes one a bit lightheaded, not unlike a cigarette does when you first start smoking.

For several years after I quit I would still do these breathing exercises when I felt the desire for cigarettes. I also tried to view a cigarette as a snake that would bite my mouth if I put it up to my lips. You can never smoke even one ever again!

75 posted on 10/04/2011 9:26:59 AM PDT by pepperdog (Why are Democrats Afraid of a Voter ID Law?)
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To: Marie

A few things I’ve noticed to reduce it:

I’m a smoker. I smoke about 1/2 pack a day. Here are some tips that help me cut it down:

1. Most effective. I had my car detailed. It cost me $300. Now I don’t smoke in it because I’ll ruin my investment.
2. I have “Side habits”. Coffee. I don’t drink a cup of coffee unless I have a cigarette, and I don’t have a cigarette unless I have a coffee (Or tea, or something. I never dry-smoke). It may be easier to cut out your own smoke triggers.
3. Ride a bicycle, or motorcycle. I ride a motorcycle. On the bike there is no time or ability to smoke.
4. Prepare your life. I too have stresses everyday to deal with. Mostly bills that aren’t getting paid. When I attempt to quit, I will pay those bills off - completely - so at least that stress isn’t there. Prepare a 3 week long list of things to do with the family (Bowling, fishing.. just don’t do it alone)
5. Habits and breaking them come in 3’s. 3 days for lack of nicotine to have effect, 3 weeks to break a habit, 3 months to declare yourself free of them. I haven’t made it to the 3 month mark yet.

Good luck !

76 posted on 10/04/2011 9:27:29 AM PDT by Celerity
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To: Marie

Marie I smoked for fifty years.

April 9, 2009 I took the pack of cigarettes out of my pocket, and put them up high in a cabinet in the kitchen, and about 18 months later I threw them in the trash.

Every now and then I get a craving, but ignore it, and it goes away almost immediately. Not dwelling on the matter.

We live in the country away from others so the only aggravation is willingly accepting aggravation by turning on a television, which I don’t do, or turning on the radio, and hearing a bunch of whiney liberals singing through their noses about how horrible they have it in life.

I leave the tv, and the radio off, work about the ranch as there’s aplenty to do around here, and yes I did put on about fifty, or so pounds, but I don’t pay taxes for liberal causes by purchasing, paying taxes on.., and smoking cigarettes anymore.

It’s nice not supporting the Left, and that’s the main reason I quit smoking, because I really did enjoy my cigarettes as I puttered around doing my chores.

77 posted on 10/04/2011 9:27:54 AM PDT by rockinqsranch (Dems, Libs, Socialists, call 'em what you will, they ALL have fairies livin' in their trees.)
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To: Marie

I’ve had three back surgeries in the last two years. I found that the patch they provided worked well. The doctor told me that smoking inhibits recovery after surgery. Good luck!!

78 posted on 10/04/2011 9:29:27 AM PDT by goseminoles
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To: Marie

Cold turkey. Sleep a lot the first 3 nights. If you need to take some sleeping pills to knock yourself out for those first 3 days, do it. Don’t drink any alcohol for the first 2 weeks. Start exercising far more often so you can compensate for eating more. Stock up on some not-terrible-for-you snacks. Keep busy; you’ll find yourself getting lots more stuff done and begin to associate that with quitting smoking which is another benefit and reason to keep away from tobacco.

79 posted on 10/04/2011 9:29:57 AM PDT by Longbow1969
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80 posted on 10/04/2011 9:32:05 AM PDT by TheOldLady (FReepmail me to get ON or OFF the ZOT LIGHTNING ping list)
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