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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 smoked since age 13. I quit many times and failed just as many times. I'm really not sure how long ago I quit for good, but it has been at least 10 years now. I'm 62 now.

Here is some free advice, worth just what you are paying for it.

First of all, get over the idea that the craving will EVER go away. It only diminishes with time. I would guess that after 4 or 5 years it is easily resisted. Even after all this time, I still crave a cigarette twice a year.

Every day it gets easier to resist. The trouble comes when you think you have succeeded and WHAM a tremendous urge overtakes you. Whether that is after a week or a year, you must be prepared to resist.

Avoid alcohol. Your determination will be weakened by booze. What goes better with a few drinks than a cigarette. You don't have to avoid smokers as this is impossible. Quitting because cigarettes just aren't available isn't quitting. If you have a spouse that still smokes, you have to do this for yourself. You can help them later.

After meals, after sex, first thing in the morning, or whatever your trigger times are, you must steel yourself against these times and don't dwell on them. “Boy, I could really go for a smoke right now”. DON'T GO THERE! or at least don't stay there long.

After a couple weeks, the frequency of cravings will diminish. The strength of cravings will vary. They will diminish, but can return with a vengeance. You must be prepared for this, so you won't fall prey to them. As time goes by, the frequency of cravings will continue to become less frequent and easier to resist. Don't fall for the idea that you have conquered this and that just one cigarette won't kill you. Silly rabbit, you can't have just one.

How do you get this strength? I got it from my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. I asked Him to give me the strength and to take away the craving. He helped me through the tough times. It was more important to me to not let Him down than it was for me to succeed. I had tried and failed so many times, gum, pills, the patch, cold turkey. I had even quit for two years and gone back to it. He was the difference between success and failure for me. With Him all things are possible. I hope you have success with this and your surgery goes well.

51 posted on 10/04/2011 8:40:52 AM PDT by faucetman (Just the facts ma'am, just the facts)
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To: Marie
I used electronic cigarettes to quit and they worked well for me. They gave me a nicotine fix, but eventually I got tired of battery charging and running 15 minutes to the closest store to pay for refill cartridges, so I weaned myself off in about 6 weeks.

When will I be calm and happy again?

That sentence breaks my heart. My wife experienced the same feelings. I got through it easier, but my wife was practically unbearable for months. To top it off, she actually seemed sick more often for the first four months after she quit then when she smoked. It was an emotional roller coaster.

Gets to a point where you ask yourself why everybody tells you you'll feel better if you quit, but you don't. You feel worse. You wonder, when does the "better part" come. It's been a month, shouldn't I feel better by now?

I chose to look at it as cigarettes making their last desperate attempt to drag me back. To convince me that I would be much happier with them then without them.

Just know that you are not alone with those feelings, that others have made it through, and you can too.
52 posted on 10/04/2011 8:44:06 AM PDT by mmichaels1970
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To: Marie
Pack a day habit for 35 years. Also, good cigars, and a rack of fine hand carved briar pipes. Loved tobacco, but it didn't love me. I immediately quit cold turkey after my first heart attack. Decided I wanted to live. That's what you must decide as well. It's been four years. Still vertical and breathing. Never missed the smokes. Neither will you. Will you be happy and calm again? Yes. Will you gain weight? Oh yes, but better chubby than dead, eh? Do you want to live? Then fight for it.
53 posted on 10/04/2011 8:45:38 AM PDT by PowderMonkey (WILL WORK FOR AMMO)
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To: Marie

I quit back in 1987. Began an exercise regimen of aerobics, weights and 4 mile daily walk. It was the best thing ever. Of course, you need to check in with your Dr. before you take on any kind of program to be sure you are healthy enough to do something like that. That should be your first move and then go by his/her recommendation. Good luck. :)

54 posted on 10/04/2011 8:45:56 AM PDT by cubreporter (Rush Limbaugh... where would our country be without this brilliant man?)
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To: Marie

1. Keep taking the Chantix. I heard it works.
2. Sweet Tarts. Get a couple of rolls at the pharmacy candy counter. They actually don’t have that much sugar in them and you can use them as a substitute for smoking while watching TV, reading or any other activity. Keep the cravings and weight gain down.

I quit cold turkey 13 years ago after 30 years of smoking. I am so glad I do not smoke and I never ever have a craving to do it.

Good luck.

55 posted on 10/04/2011 8:48:08 AM PDT by Georgia Girl 2 (The only purpose of a pistol is to fight your way back to the rifle you should never have dropped.)
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To: Marie
I quit over 4 years ago using the patch. It was probably my fourth or fifth attempt. My biggest problems were going places and doing things that smoking went along with. For instance, I quit going to the local watering hole for a while, because nothing went with a beer better than a cigarette. I also liked to smoke while driving. I found having something to sip on (other than a beer, obviously) was a good substitute. I gained about 25 pounds, but needed probably 10 of it. I also tried to deal with one problem at a time, so I let myself eat whatever I wanted. I have lost 10 of it in the time since. I didn't experience the prolonged irritability (don't ask my wife, though; she will disagree). That may be from the step method of the patch slowly decreasing your nicotine intake. For the time that I was irritable, my wife was very understanding, but pointed out when I was being unreasonably cranky. I had to make an effort to step back and realize what I was doing. Sometimes, I would have to leave and be alone for a while. As others have said, pray for strength and will power.

Good luck with quitting and your surgery.

56 posted on 10/04/2011 8:48:17 AM PDT by tnlibertarian (Things are so bad now, Kenyans are saying Obama was born in the USA.)
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To: Marie

Never say “I am going to TRY to quit”, say “I am GOING to quit”.

57 posted on 10/04/2011 8:48:46 AM PDT by CHEE (if I ever vote for another unconstitutional law I wish I may be shot. - Congressman Davy Crockett)
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To: Marie

I used to smoke two packs a day. I tried to quit cold turkey 24 years ago and didn’t get through the first day. My wife threw a pack at me and told me to smoke up because she couldn’t take me being irritable.

April of 1994 I prayed to GOD to help me quit. I haven’t smoked since that prayer, nor have I craved one from the moment I asked GOD for help.

I weighed 160 pounds then, 17 years later I weigh 175 pounds which I attribute to metabolism slowing down.

Good luck.

58 posted on 10/04/2011 8:49:43 AM PDT by dznutz
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To: Marie
Congrats on your decision. I was an athlete in HS and college, never touched a cigarette. Started when I went into the Marines...everyone smoked... in 68, and quit 5 years later..cold turkey...I was up to 2 packs a day..chewed a LOT of gum for several months...continuously..most people I talk to say that's the only way to do it. It sounds like you're finally ready to go all the way, and that's a big part of being successful.

Here are a few suggestions..some of which have been discussed

1. If you can find someone close..a friend, neighbor, who wants to do it along with you..that support is invaluable.

2. Find some form of daily exercise...dependiong on your ability..a walk..a jog..a swim..freeweights..whatever, and do it religiously.

3. Get a big clear glass or plastic container, put it on your kitchen counter, and each day, or week..put the $$$ that you'd normally spend on cigarettes into it, and every time you look at it, it's a very positive reinforcement.

4. Decide before you stop on some rewards you will earn after not smoking for one week, one month, two months..six months...then treat yourself to them when you hit that goal.

5. I assume that you are the only one in your household who smokes..because it's really impossible to stop smoking if anyone else in the house is still doing it. What you don't realize is that your house, your clothes, and your car, are infused with cigarette smoke residue odor. You have to eliminate that immediately. That means completely cleaning your car...especially the upholstery and the floor carpet, and getting strong deodorizer in it. Wash all your clothes, dryclean the rest..and wash all sheets, bedlinens and towels..they suck up may have to buy new pillows....maybe even rent a carpet cleaning machine. Find room scents, deodorizers, whatever.. that you like, and use them's important, because after a week or so of withdrawal, you'll have strong reaction to a tobacco filled when a non-smoker goes into a hotel room used by smokers.

6. Change the filters in your AC and any vent fans in your place. Not only will all this cleaning and sanitizing be very helpful, but it will give you something to do ..a BIG project for the first week or so...when you'll need something to occupy your time.

7. Take ALL the ashtrays in your house, put them in a bag, and break them with a hammer..and throw it away....a clean sweep. You'll ever need them again..if you have a valuable crystal one...sell it on craigslist or ebay..or donate it to a thrift store...

8. Get a roll of blue painters tape..the kind that doesn't stick/leave a mark when your remove it, and use strips to make the word NO in big letters everywhere in your house..refrigerator door..shower stall..every mirror in the house..inside of your front door... heck..on every wall in your house if your's a big visual reminder each day..several times each day...and soon you'll be able to take the tape down...

9. Examine your life, disability and medical policies...depending on what type you have, many companies offer NON-smoker are eligible to get the lower rates after you've been tobacco-free for a period of time ( varies from company to company) and you have to take a blood/urine test to prove. it. But the savings can be BIG,a nd you can calculate that, and add it to your new piggybank..

10.I think you'll have a LOT of replies to this thread...FReepers are good people..and very supportive. So, when you do decide to take the big step, that monumental day when you stop..however you start to do should post a new thread...and make a ping list of everyone who responded to this thread..and each a new blog entry on the same thread...IOW..a continuous thread..just write what happened, briefly, or in detail, accoriding to how you it went..the ups and downs..and ping the list each will be good for you to do, and you'll no doubt get lots of support each and every day.

59 posted on 10/04/2011 8:50:15 AM PDT by ken5050 (Save the's the ONLY planet with CHOCOLATE!!!)
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To: Marie

Try the water cigarettes...they only have the nicotine and none of the chemicals from the smoke...after a few weeks on the water cigarette you can gradually taper off and you are only getting rid of one chemical ... nicotine.

Finiti is a brand that is $10 and is the equivalent of two packs. Just carry it with you and when you have a craving, take a puff from this, but don’t buy another pack of cigarettes. Learn to identify your cravings and practice going longer from the time you identify one until you give in. Try to beat your last record. You will find that you have more control than you think. You might even start getting some endorphines from the pride you feel when you start to overcome your cravings!

Good Luck!

60 posted on 10/04/2011 8:50:31 AM PDT by willyd (your credibility deficit is screwing up my bs meter...)
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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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To: Marie
Hubby quit cold turkey over 2 years ago and it was very hard for him at the beginning. First, you really have to WANT to quit and commit to it - keep telling yourself there is no going back and pray to God for strength. He would chew minty gum (for some reason minty gum and a cigarette tasted awful together for him). He also chewed on those coffee straws. He exercised more (walking) and kept busy (carpentry work). He didn't gain much weight at all. He said once the nicotine was out of his system, his anxiety became less and less.

My sincere prayers that God will give you strength and willpower to overcome the habit.

81 posted on 10/04/2011 9:33:37 AM PDT by Gerish (Feed your faith and your doubts will starve to death.)
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To: Marie
I smoked from the time I was ten until I was 68, last May 1, 2010, and I decided that I'd rather be able to breath without coughing, so I put down the cigarettes, {used to use a pack to 1.5 packs per day} and quit.

Don't smoke cigars and weighed 178 last May and weigh 180 today.

It's called will power, who runs your life, you or a piece of paper wrapped around several strands of expensive tobacco?

If you choose to quit, you will, if you want excuses you will use chantix or other chemicals but it comes back to you.

It is as easy or as hard as you make it.

You can whine and say it's torture or you can say you rule your mind and body, and you choose not to smoke.

It's no harder than that.

82 posted on 10/04/2011 9:36:03 AM PDT by USS Alaska
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To: Marie
Good Luck !
I may need to consider quitting one day. . ▲
83 posted on 10/04/2011 9:37:38 AM PDT by ▀udda▀udd (7 days - 7 ways a Guero y Guay Lao << >> with a floating, shifting, ever changing)
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To: Marie
Several years ago, mom was in the same situation (although she had a single fusion).

We found lobelia (lobeline) flavored honey sticks for her suck on while she went through the various stages nicotine withdraw. Coupled with the worked!

I'm not an herb guru you may want to try a google search. Here is a link I found: Expect 10 to 20 lbs weight gain....good luck!!

84 posted on 10/04/2011 9:38:49 AM PDT by califamily4W
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To: Marie

I smoked for 20 years (a pack or more a day when I quit). I haven’t smoked for 20 years. I quit cold turkey and my husband joined me 2 days later when I told him (I waited to see if I could make it for 2 days). We both have not relapsed.

I chewed a lot of gum in the beginning. Later when I had the urge (I think it was more learned behavior at certain times of the day) I did something different than whatever it was I was doing.

My best advice to you is, when you feel you want a cigarette know that feeling will go away. If you dwell on it it will stick in your head. Instead remove that thought by doing something to distract yourself and that urge will quickly pass. Stop thinking about it. Do something you normally wouldn’t do while smoking.

As time passes the desire to have a smoke will recede. Any habit (and I do put this more into the habit column than in the addiction column) needs to have you relearn how to occupy your time and your mouth and your hands.

Good luck. You can do it and you will feel so much better and freer — smell better and have more money in your pocket! Weight gain is more a symptom of eating to satisfy that oral thing. Chew gum and take a walk.

85 posted on 10/04/2011 9:42:57 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Marie
Regular exercise, and not just the resistance training/slogging away on a treadmill kind. Find something that occupies the mind as well: yoga, Tai Chi, martial arts. I found my way back to a karate dojo about four years ago, and can't really understand how I lived without it. Every care in the world disappears for the hour and a half that I'm there, and when they come back, they seem more manageable.

I started quitting cigarettes about 3 years ago. Did several rounds of Chantix (miss the dreams). Finally quit for good (so far) about a year and a half ago. Keep with it. Good luck.

86 posted on 10/04/2011 9:44:28 AM PDT by Jack of all Trades (Hold your face to the light, even though for the moment you do not see.)
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To: Marie

Looks like tons of good advice already. So I’ll just encourage you.

I quit cold turkey and didn’t look back, I was very busy at the time doing a lot of singing - that helped clear my lungs and gave me something to do, along with other things that totally kept my mind off of the habit.

About 9 years later I started running (for heath, not competition) and coughed black crap out of my lungs for a while. I would suggest when you are recuperated from your surgery to get moderate exercise and do lots of deep breathing to help clear your lungs out.

Find something to do with your hands that you like to do, or learn something. If you are a Catholic do rosary more, I do a similar prayer with beads and that helped a lot. Embroidery, knitting, something with your hands.

I wish you all success!!

87 posted on 10/04/2011 9:45:56 AM PDT by little jeremiah (We will have to go through hell to get out of hell.)
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To: Marie

I will never take another puff again..never.

I am over 4 years out. I was about 2 ppd when I quit cold turkey. I did not do it alone. I used the quidence of a professional. His name is Joel Spitizer. He has a website. It is free and no registration..nothing..sells nothing. I promise. Joel will explain to you why you are feeling what you feell, how long it will last and what to do about it.

It does get better. Whatever you are feeling now passes as long as you never take another puff.

Joel Spitzer has provided smoking cessation and prevention services since 1972, first as a volunteer speaker and then a member of the professional staff of the American Cancer Society. Later he served as smoking programs coordinator for the Rush North Shore Medical Center’s Good Health Program, and then as a consultant for the Skokie Illinois Health Department and the Evanston Department of Health and Human Services, providing state funded smoking cessation clinics and seminars for the two Chicago suburban communities. Here at WhyQuit, since June 2000 Joel has served as education director at Freedom from Nicotine, a free education oriented nicotine dependency recovery messageboard support group.

88 posted on 10/04/2011 9:51:05 AM PDT by FarmerW ( - Milton Friedman - The government solution to a problem is usually as bad as the problem.)
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To: Marie
and I haven't been able to make it for more than a month.

I had the same problem. I finally left a half pack of cigarettes in the glove compartment of my pickup during the summer. I wanted one so bad, I grabbed the pack and fired up one of those dry cigs. It burned so bad, I put it out and threw the rest in the trash. Never lit up another one since. I never gained a pound after quitting. I actually went from 200+ to 185 and now back down to 178. I am a 6' 1" tall male.

89 posted on 10/04/2011 9:54:40 AM PDT by Arrowhead1952 (Dear God, thanks for the rain, but please let it rain more in Texas. Amen.)
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To: Marie
I developed pneumonia some years back and wound up in the hospital for five days. I was on oxygen and couldn't sneak a smoke. My ‘roommate’ was in a coma (90+ years old) and for five days I listened to him gurgle as his lungs filled with fluid. The nurses would aspirate every eight hours or so to remove the fluid and keep him from drowning.

When I went home I quit cold turkey, I did gain some weight but never went back to smoking. The old man was still hanging on when I left. Tough old buzzard!

Good luck,

90 posted on 10/04/2011 9:59:15 AM PDT by Gandalf_The_Gray (I live in my own little world, I like it 'cuz they know me here.)
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To: califamily4W
I forgot the most important thing she did...........pray.
91 posted on 10/04/2011 10:04:06 AM PDT by califamily4W
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To: Marie
You don't really want to do what I did to quit. Last summer my aorta ruptured (aorta is the main vain from your heart that provides blood to all your main body parts ie; kidneys, brain, etc). Was rushed to hospital where they immediately started surgery. Worked on me for 12 straight hours. Woke up 25 days later, with wife standing over me in either CCU (Critical Care Unit) or SCU (Surgical Care Unit). She wasn't sure which, as I went thru all 4 Care Units. She said I had been hard-piped; to life support for about the first 2 weeks. Spent a total of about 7 weeks in hospital, then had home health nurse coming to house 3 times a week for 2 months, along with a therepy nurse twice a week for a month.

HAVEN'T WANTED, NEEDED OR HAD A SMOKE SINCE THEN (July 3, 2010). If I get around smokers, the smoke smells good, but I have yet to think I'd like to have one.

FYI....I had never heard of a ruptured aorta before, but State Dept's Richard Holbrook later had the same thing happen to him, but he died on the table after 24 hours of straight surgery. Conway Tweety just plain fell over and died from one, a few years ago.

I'm sure there are thousands of stories like mine that all say 'quit smoking while you can'.


92 posted on 10/04/2011 10:12:03 AM PDT by jmax
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To: Marie

I quit in Jan of 1987 and haven’t had one since.I quit cold turkey but had a massive cold then and frankly did not feel like having one.The things that helped me was to go brush my teeth after each meal so the urge would not be so strong...I never liked to smoke right after brushing my teeth and I found carrying around a pencil or pen gave my hands something to do.

93 posted on 10/04/2011 10:32:51 AM PDT by chris_bdba
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To: Marie

Congrats on deciding to quit! I don’t know where you live, but PA has a free quitline with lots of great suggestions and tips, as well as telephone support with trained cessation counselors. People tend to get demoralized with every attempt to quit. Many people require several attempts before they finally succeed permanently. Don’t give up! For medical reasons, quitting smoking will definitely improve the prognosis of your surgery being a success and ensure faster healing. Good luck!

94 posted on 10/04/2011 11:02:38 AM PDT by toothfairy86
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To: Marie

There is only one way to quit smoking.

***** DON’T SMOKE. *****

Nothing else is as important. JUST QUIT.

95 posted on 10/04/2011 11:22:15 AM PDT by OutbackBob
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To: Marie

Because smoking is such an “all body systems involved” phenomenon, I believe that whatever replaces it has to occupy as much of or very nearly as much of your being as did/does the original habit.

You already know that your hands, your eyes, your lungs, your breathing, your neurosis level are all involved.

It may be that you have to get all of those elements involved. It is a viciously and seriously insidious habit and I know, as a smoker and half a dozen times unsuccessful quitter, that you have to have a fully “theatrical” plan.

By theatrical, I mean that you have to have the stage, the orchestra, the building, the actors, the producer, the really have to construct a multi-front attack on the habit. You’re going to have to become a full-on Nazi on yourself if you really want to quit....assuming you’re not one of those lucky people who can just decide. The truth is that all of us can just decide but it is awfully difficult to make that decision and have that decision come out the same way each of 173,528 times you will want to smoke over the next several years.

The things that have come closest for me but ultimately failed are:


Poliacrix gum

The things that have completely irritated me so that I want to smoke a cigaret or three just out of irritation are:

“” the whole support group and making a diary and bowing to the East and tying rubber bands around your pack of smokes and all that stupid nonsense.

Now that does not mean that those things will not work for YOU.

I think you have to become quite systematic and orchestrate upon yourself a complete program.

You can search for subliminal hypnosis downloads and burn them to CD. My suggestion: try a couple of them. If you blow $10 - $20, that should be worth it. IMO this is superior to going to a live hypnotherapist. To use them, you have to have a quiet room in which you can be uninterrupted for about 1/2 hour, headphones, and a comfortable chair. Doing it at the same time every day is allegedly a plus.

The gum, I usually have to cut the pieces in half or they sicken me to chew.

I think exercise is also important. Did I mention that I HATE exercise?

Those are my thoughts. Best of luck to you. It’s a massive bear to quit.

96 posted on 10/04/2011 11:42:59 AM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (Madoff screwed the rich. Bernanke screwed us all.)
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To: Marie

Looks like many of these suggestions will help you :)

I was a 3-pack a day smoker and what finally got me to quit was a website someone setup that showed how quickly their mom and dad got sick and died from smoking. Complete with bedridden photos. So from that link I followed other links with more *detailed* photos that were pretty gross. All stuff that I had laughed at before and pretty much made fun of.

I researched what other folks had gone through and found that the physical withdrawal symptoms last about 72 hours. After that it is all in your head. For me at least, that alone was enough to keep me going after 72 hours.

I was doing the gum and lozenge. Following their instructions it was pretty clear that what little nicotine I was getting from them was NOT on par with what I was getting while smoking 3-packs a day. So they were pretty useless until I tallied up how much nicotine I was getting from 60 cigarettes a day and then that determined how many gum/lozenges I would take. I’m sure this isn’t recommended but it worked for me :)

However, after the 3d-day, (remember the 72 hour withdrawal) I decided that I was not going to suck on gum or lozenges for 12 weeks as the program suggested so I just quit. On the third day. I was jumpy for about 12 hours after that and then - fine.

For years after hearing about how hard it is to quit smoking, and how addictive it is, comparing it to heroin, who the hell wants to go through that? And then I found out, at least for me, it was a piece of cake. Hell, I would have quit years ago had I known it was going to be that easy for me.

97 posted on 10/04/2011 11:47:19 AM PDT by VeniVidiVici ("Si, se gimme!")
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To: Marie; humblegunner; All
Marie, your story reminds me of both my mother and father. Mom was a three-pack-a-day smoker beginning back in the 1950s when women reporters needed to prove they were as tough as the guys and often took up smoking to do it; dad was a two-pack-a-day smoker who started when the Army gave him virtually free cigarettes, as was standard in that era when most servicemen smoked.

The biggest reason my mother kept smoking is her behavior became horrible when she stopped. When you say the “crazies” keep causing you to go back to smoking, I hear your pain; I saw it myself firsthand and it's not pretty. As others here wrote, it can sometimes seem like a mercy to your family to start smoking again.

Some “mercies,” however, have consequences far greater than the benefits.

My mother died about a decade ago of what the doctors said were the consequences of long-term smoking; my father said she had quit smoking but the medical tests showed otherwise. I have no way to know whether the tests were wrong or whether my mother was sneaking cigarettes my father didn't know about. What I do know is that my mother's inability to handle the anger and rage — not just mild irritability but outright rage — resulted in her being unable to quit and led directly to her death.

Personally I love the smell of cigarettes. I'd smoke today if it weren't for the fact that they cost too much and will kill me sooner or later. What I saw my parents go through with obvious addiction was more than enough for me to decide not to take up the habit, even though to this day I love to inhale smoke, especially some good aromatic pipe smells, or to sniff a freshly opened pouch of tobacco. I need to realize that wonderful smell is not something good for me but rather a powerful addiction waiting to pounce if I would permit it to do so.

Why do I say this? It's to rebuke in the strongest possible terms what Humblegunner wrote. Smoking **WILL** kill you eventually. It's already messing up your life and draining your pocketbook.

Fortunately not one person on this thread on Free Republic agreed with him.

Surround yourself with people who hate smoking and will encourage you to quit. Don't listen to people like Humblegunner who will give your addicted mind the idea that maybe, just maybe, he's right and you don't need to stop smoking to have the surgery you need.

Lots of good practical advice has been given. Some of it is probably better than others; some of it may work better or less well for you than it did for others.

What counts is that all of the advice is better than what you're getting from people who want to keep you from quitting. If they stop you from quitting, they are helping you kill yourself. Flee such advice. You're obviously addicted or you would have been able to stop on your own, and you need to surround yourself with encouragers, not discouragers and excusers.

Best wishes to you.

98 posted on 10/04/2011 12:25:20 PM PDT by darrellmaurina
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To: darrellmaurina
Don't listen to people like Humblegunner who will give your addicted mind the idea that maybe, just maybe, he's right and you don't need to stop smoking to have the surgery you need.

Darrell, you never fail to show up at the most unexpected
times and provide "insight" into things you imagine that you
understand. Not the least of which are my motives and the
underlying reasons behind them.

You may provide this fine service to others, I'm not intrigued enough to check.

I've been meaning to thank you for your concern and for the
thirteen (on average) paragraphs you devote to either explaining
or debunking my statements. I'm glad you are not my parent.

I'd run away.

99 posted on 10/04/2011 12:58:26 PM PDT by humblegunner (The kinder, gentler version...)
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To: albionin
Thank you for that description of your wife's experience with the e-cigarette. I've been wondering about them and haven't taken the time to look for reviews.

I quit cold turkey five years ago on the 28th of October. To this day, I will have a craving that comes out of nowhere and lasts for a second or two and it is gone.

I don't miss the smell, my stamina and health in general has improved, the money is spent on something better, etc. etc. etc. Thing is that I really enjoyed something about smoking and have been curious about the e-cigarette.

100 posted on 10/04/2011 1:06:48 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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