Any former smokers on here?

Just wondering how you quit… Worst f*ing habit I’ve ever picked up, but I can’t seem to kick it - and I’m not even that bad (3-4 ciggy’s on weekdays, 7-8/day on days off). Problem is once that craving comes it just doesn’t ever go away. I can say no for ten minutes, but its so distracting I can’t get any studying done until I have one. And just because I want to quit so bad on sunday night doesn’t mean I’ll feel the same way on Monday morning (you know how it is).

So any tips to quit? I’ve thought about getting one of those nicotine mist things, to get the craving to subdue, but I have a hard time believing that’ll actually help. I’m still getting the nic, just skipping the smoke. Anybody been through this?

I quit once in 1998 after smoking for 3 years. Then in 1999 I picked up again and haven’t stopped. Smoke about 1/2 pack a day now. Used to smoke much more.

I never really gave ‘nicorette’ a good chance. I tried it, but then just smoked while chewing it.

Somehow I did quit for a full year back in 1998. Not sure how I did it. Cold turkey too.

I heard the ‘Chantix’ patch gives people crazy nightmares, and causes a significant amount of people to kill themselves due to these really f-cked up nightmares.

So all the prescription quits I’m wary of.

The good thing about being frugal is not wasting $$$ on garbage like cigs.

Very true. I spend way too much on cigs.

What is your take on alcohol?

Alcohol is a different story. Hard to have a fun night out sober, especially when you’re not very extroverted.

I smoked for about ten years. The last year, I was smoking at least a pack a day. On the weekends, or if I went out at night, that could climb to two packs pretty easy. I quit five years ago. Now I don’t even have a remote desire to smoke anymore.

How I quit: First, the old cliche “you’ve got to want to” is absolutely true. Don’t try until you’re really ready to give it 100%. Second: don’t be afraid to use chemical help. Quitting is quitting, however you do it. Don’t let some people tell you, “Oh, you used XXXX to quit. That’s cheating. Real men quit cold turkey.” That’s a bunch of garbage. Quitting by whatever means is better than not quitting.

A doctor told me the stats on quitting. He said, “If you use the pill (Zyban, Zoloft, or any other SSRI), you have about a 9% chance of quitting. If you use the patch, you have about a 9% chance of quitting. If you use both at the same time, you have about a 33% chance of quitting.” So there you have it–I got a prescription for Zoloft and used a nicotine patch. The patch takes away some of the physical cravings, and the pill takes away some of the anxiety. It’s not a panacea–you’re still going to have some cravings and have some nervous tick, but they will both help.

Some other helpful hints:

  • Avoid going to the places you normally buy cigarettes for a week or so. (EG–if you buy cigarettes at the gas station, then pay at the pump and don’t go inside–not for soda, coffee, or anything. Buy your coffee at Starbucks, or buy your soda at McDonalds, where they don’t sell cigarettes)
  • Load up on supplies from the convenience store that you will need. Don’t give yourself any excuse to go in. (EG - If you like to chew Juicy Fruit gum, then go buy 100 packs of Juicy Fruit gum. DO NOT go into the store to buy any–at least for the first week or so.)
  • Have something else ready to keep your hands busy. I used sunflower seeds. I went and bought several bags of sunflower seeds and some little cups to spit the seeds in. That mimics the “hand-to-mouth” motion of smoking, but it’s not really smoking. Eventually, you won’t need the sunflower seeds (or whatever you’re using) anymore.
  • Some people say to start on a Monday–others on a weekends. I prefer the middle of the week. Mondays kinda suck, and it’s difficult to stop on a weekend, because you’re bored and don’t have anything better to do.
  • Know your triggers. Avoid them if you can, and if you can’t, find some way to mitigate them. For example, if you smoke while drinking, then don’t drink. Tell your friends you can’t go to the bar with them for a couple of weekends. (For me, driving was the absolute worst. I could smoke every ten minutes while driving, but I had to drive to go to work. I just made up my mind not to stop for cigarettes, and kept my sunflower seeds where my cigarettes used to be.)
  • Know that after a few days, the cravings will still be there, but they’ll be fewer and further between. They will start to fade. I still got cravings even a couple of years later, but they were only once every couple of months, and they were gone within just a couple of minutes. They were gone before I could even get out the door to go buy smokes.
  • Once you do have the habit licked, don’t pick it back up again. Since I quit, I have never–not even once–taken another drag off a cigarette. Yes, some people can smoke “socially”. But why risk it? It’s not like cocaine or marijuana–it doesn’t make you feel better. It’s useless. Don’t do it–not even once.

And if worse comes to absolute worst, just pop your pill, put on your patch, then go out on Saturday night to your favorite hangout and chain smoke yourself to death. The next morning you will get nicotine poisoning and be sick as a dog. This will cure you of wanting to smoke–for a while at least. And if you keep using the pill and patch while sick as a dog, you’ll find you don’t want to smoke for a couple of days, and this might be the last push to help you get over the mountain. (This is what I did–and it worked. I felt so bad on Sunday morning that I didn’t even want to drive to the store on Sunday. I still felt bad on Monday, and had to go to the doctor. He called me an idiot for smoking while wearing the patch. He was right.)

There is some truth to this. I did have some extremely vivid dreams while on the patch, even if I took it off before bed. It was never enough to make me want to kill myself, though. Maybe the Zoloft helped.

Also, I wouldn’t try to quit while studying for the exam. Wait until after the exam. WHEN you decide to quit is as important as HOW you decide to quit. (Three days after I quit, I drove home for Christmas–a four hour drive. Then another four hours back. That took a lot of willpower. I wouldn’t recommend.)

Whether it’s good, bad, or indifferent, smoking is a way that smokers decompress and relax, even if only for a few minutes. If you try to quit, you’ll just make yourself nervous, and you don’t need that while studying. You certainly don’t need it on exam day. The test is less than three months away. If you don’t already have lung cancer, you’re not going to get it in the next three months.

However, I WOULD do it as soon as you can thereafter. That way you can kick the habit before the next test.

I smoked half a pack a day for 2 years. My ex-girlfriend got me started. I quit Dec 2012. Prior to quitting, I was down to 1-3 cigs per day for about 6 months (so 2.5 years smoking total). I quit once for 2 weeks in 2012, then for 3 weeks another time, but went through some sh*t in my life that caused me to continue smoking.

A couple of things caused me to quit. I don’t get sick often (every 5-10 years usually), but in Dec 2012 I felt pretty bad and couldn’t eat or drink anything and couldn’t sleep either. I couldn’t even smoke half a cig without feeling like I was going to puke. Sometimes I felt like I would want to smoke and would light a cig and not even be able to take a full drag.

I started gaining my strength again through liquid nutrition and eventually vegetables and fruit. After getting sick I have not eaten meat or dairy since then or smoked a cigarette. I’m not sure if the vegan diet has helped eliminate the cravings, but I feel pretty awesome all of the time. I had some stains on my teeth from smoking and am somewhat of a perfectionist (I really despised that and although most people couldn’t tell, I could). I got my dentist to do a deep clean, went through 3 packs of teeth whiteners and have never looked/felt better.

It will suck for a couple of weeks after you quit when you’re coughing up all that phlegm. That was part of what kept me from giving into current cravings. Also, I am devoting much of my time to endurance training and want maximum results and potential.

Good luck!

Numi, did you change screen name?

^ well played, lol

The horrendous stories and images of cancer were enough for me to never start smoking.

Lots to consider here… I threw out all my smokes and lighters already, so for now I’ll just go a day at a time. I’d quit in August for about 2 months, but then I had to go spend a couple weeks fracking (they like to send us office guys out there) and it took about 4 hours of standing around on that first day to be back at it, worse than before. Haven’t been able to quit since. Driving and walking are my triggers, which is pretty unfortunate since they’re involved in literally everything I do.

“Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.” -Mark Twain


I am not quite sure about the use of pills. Quiting smoking by use of pills may lead you to hook onto the pills, which are as bad as smoking. Quitting these pills are even worse. What if you can’t quit smoking and then get hooked on these pills as well. Double Jeopardy!!!

The doctors recommending these pills, do they get any kickbacks for hooking more people on these pills?

Our medical expert, Ohai, whats your view on these pills to aid in quitting smoking.

Kudos Greenman!

I quit 6 years ago and it was definitely the hardest thing I’ve done in my life.

You must absolutely want to quit.

This ain’t a game for dilettantes. If you’re committed to quitting, don’t beat yourself up if you don’t succeed in the first try, but remember to pick yourself up and not give up. Think of yourself in heroic terms - lifting mountains, jumping tall buildings in one leap, what have you. That’s what you’re trying to do. Don’t think “oh I have great will power, so this will be easy”.

The patch was too strong for me (and I used to smoke a pack a day i.e. 20 Marlboro 100s / day.) It messed with my heart rhythm. But I used Nicorette gum, successfully. It’s available without prescription in US, and also has generic knock-offs, so it’s pretty cheap too. I didn’t use any drugs like zoloft.

You will put on some weight as your appetite comes back and maybe due to all the Freudian oral fixation crap you eat more. Don’t worry.

Watch out for “let your guard down” moments like drinking, standing around with smokers, etc. Basically follow Greenman’s advice.

I smoked casually when I turned 18 but started smoking a lot heavier when I got into the rave scene. Someone had me smoke a menthol cigarette while I was under the influence - blew my mind. Next thing I know I’m smoking a pack a day. Went on for about 6 months but I had to quite before the summer. I was big into mountain biking back then. Anyway, I decided to smoke pot every time I had the urge to smoke a cigarette. I was one of the few people at my college that hated smoking weed but it was a perfect regiment for me. My friends couldn’t believe when I would ask if they wanted to smoke up with me but were more than willing to partake in my efforts to get off of tobacco. It took about two weeks, a half ounce of kine bud, and I was tobacco free.

I’ve never smoked a cig in my life so I have no concept of what addiction means. Someone put it into context for me - it is easier or harder than say resisting a hot chick who unzips and bends over when you’re h0rny and drunk.

I was a smoker too for around 10 years from 2002 till October 2012. Smoking around 25 cigs a day; over 5 times… Thats 5 cigs at a time, back to back! One fine day I just quit, I stopped cold - I never believed in these reducing it to 20,10 and 5 then 0. I always believed in Cold stopping it…

Some tips which I read over the internet and followed were -

  1. Letting a pal in office know about the decision and ask for his support. Sometimes when you have that cracing for a cig, all you need is a supporting voice telling you “Dont do it mate”…

  2. I never smoked at home, so that wasnt a problem. If you do and have a partner - ask her/him for the support you receive from the friend.

  3. Avoid eating oily stuff and dont completely full your stomach the initial days after quitting.

  4. I drank lots of Pappaya and Carrot juice during the initial week. And I was down with sever throat pain/cough and cold during the initial days. Some anti allergy tablets help too during these times.

  5. I purposefully drank around 3-4 litres of water each day as I read that this is quite helpful…

  6. I started running and even ran couple of half marathons till now and have couple lined up in the near future after my level 3 exams… I also avoid tea and coffee during these times…

  7. Most important with the money saved (for me it was around 1000 INR a week), I bought myself something which I always loved to have, but never bought because they were costly…

  8. Quit smoking TODAY, dont look for a better day. IMHO the best day is TODAY. I did something even more dramatic to prove to myself that I need to stop smoking; I dropped a CIG midway while smoking and gave the CIG packet to a shopkeeper I buy from without taking money from him… He wished me good luck as well :slight_smile:

  9. Always keep yourself occupied when you are going out of the house. I mean, if your friend is calling you for a dinner. Tell him/her you would be there only after he/she reaches. I found that I was smoking the most, when I was waiting for a bus/train or waiting for a friend at a public place…

Well done Greenman! I know how it feels…

Good luck my friend!

I can relate to that.

I smoked half a pack to a pack a day from 18 to 20yrs old. After starting to feel like my health had degraded (uncontrollable coughing in public areas mostly), I decided to quit.

I tried twice cold turkey, but I was going seriously nuts. It felt like my throat was infected and felt pain when breathing.

Realizing that it would be very tough to stop, I decided to put myself a date where I’d quit 3 months in the future. I used those months to really prepare myself mentally, then I got some nicorette and it SERIOUSLY helped.

The nicorette is the only hack I found. The rest is friends and family, all the tips that you could find on any website.

Its now been 3 years. I’d say the first year and a half is a real teaser to start again but at the end of the day its not a step forward to get back to such a negative NPV… so I never smoked again.

Actually I accidentally did thinking something else was in that cig :slight_smile: Doesnt count.

Good luck man, keep yourself distracted and soon enough you’ll stop thinking about smoking.