questionsare you a former cigarette smoker and how did you…

vote-for42vote-against
vote-for8vote-against

I've quit twice. The 1st time I used the patches. (Stayed away from tobacco for a year.) The 2nd time I went cold turkey. Been smoke free for 5 or 6 years now.

vote-for15vote-against

You need to psych yourself up to do it. Running out of breath? Smell like an ashtray? $5+ for a pack of smokes?
Pick a day and just do it, if you can get a partner all the better. Crutches are okay, I used nicotine patches for 4 days then I was done, but I wanted to be done.
I thought I couldn't live without them but guess what? I live much better without them and so can you, you can do it. There are support groups online and real life, you shouldn't feel silly needing them if necessary. It's a big scary leap but it will be one of the best things you do for yourself.
There's my 30 sec. motivational speech. Good luck!

vote-for12vote-against

I waited for the day they just tasted yucky (you know that happens)~bought some habitrol gum and it has been 17 years now.

vote-for13vote-against

I smoked quite a bit, for the year I was in China. Mostly because all the other men did, and it was only 80 cents a pack for quality better than you can find in the states.

No matter how hard quitting anything is (it was harder for me to quit dipping two years ago), it's still a mind over matter game. Your mind is always strong enough to win, even if it kills your body to stop (which it won't).

There are some products out there that can help it along, which I recommend for many people, but when it comes down to it, it's still buckling down and telling your body that you know what's best.

Best of luck :)

vote-for9vote-against

I quit a couple of years ago (for good, along the way I had quit for a few months here and there). It wasn't really a planned thing - I got my semiannual smoking-related bronchitis and figured I'd stop smoking for the week or so that I was sick. I didn't really see any reason to pick it back up at the end. I did smoke a cigarette here and there for a couple of months (though I was very cognizant to keep it to no more than one or two a week) before stopping for good in May 2010.

I don't know if I'd recommend my method to anybody (sans the getting sick park). It was cold turkey for a couple of weeks, a cigarette here and there for a little while (with coworkers, which was probably a blessing in disguise because I never went out and bought a pack, just bummed one), before cold turkey for good. Either way, I'm happy it worked. As the poster above me (@dmaz ?) noted, it really is mind over body. You can do it, you just need to understand that you can and commit.

vote-for7vote-against

If you have a dependency, vs. just a habit, you will need help.
See a doctor.

j5 j5
vote-for7vote-against

I quit cold turkey the moment I discovered I was (unexpectedly) pregnant. Never started again, but I was always with my kids, so it wasn't an option to me to restart.

My (now) ex stopped 4 or 5 times while we were together, but kept restarting. He stopped a year and a half ago, and hasn't restarted. He had used wellbutrin, nicotine gum, and patches, but what seems to have worked best is...

One of my close friends lost her husband to lung cancer a year ago. My daughters are very, very close with her boys, who lost their dad. My ex happened to quit (again) right before friend's husband was diagnosed, and my kids pushed their dad HARD to not start again. He still used the gum, but that shock of seeing a smoker you know die of lung cancer, plus the hard sell from kids whose friends had just lost a dad, really made a difference.

vote-for2vote-against

I used the gum, it took me like 2 weeks to really get over it and I kept a piece with me everywhere I went, it's kinda funny cause I still smoke cigars

vote-for4vote-against

It's hard. Going it alone and without any kind of nicotine replacement is very hard. That isn't to say that it can't be done, it is just very hard. It is also unnecessary. There are many many resources out there, most of which are free or low cost.

An excellent place to start is here:

http://smokefree.gov/

This is the U.S. Government run site, with content from the CDC, NIH, and NCI. They aren't trying to sell you anything, and the information there is as trustworthy as you are going to find on the internet. There are also links to state programs, many of which offer free or reduced price nicotine replacement.

vote-for4vote-against

I quit 19 years ago by slowly weaning myself off of them. I always hated smelling smoke in my car, so that was the first to go. Then in the morning with coffee, I realized I was negating the clean smell by smoking so that went and I just kept going like that. Took about a month all told. The hardest to give up were the social cigarettes but I managed.
It's not easy. It will totally SUCK at times. But it is so worth it to be able to walk, run, climb stairs without having to stop to wheeze.

vote-for4vote-against

I quit "Cold Turkey" about 7 yrs ago. I was never a heavy smoker, not in the slightest, maybe a pack a week, mainly in the car, or socially around other smokers.

I did ween myself down with those reaaally girly looking (and I'm a 300lb Bald white dude-somewhere between Uncle Fester and Peter Griffin) super slim Virginia slims(about the size of a stir-stick)

My dad was a 1-2 pk a-day guy for 30+yrs, quit for good with wellbutrin and force of will( just finally made up his mind to do it).
his dad was a 1-2 pk a-day guy for 50+yrs, quit for good when, after having a leg amputated from poor circulation (which he had since childhood, not smoking related, though i'm sure it didn't help..), no one in the family would buy him smokes while he was stuck @ home convalescing. By the time he could go to the store himself, it was out of his system.

vote-for5vote-against

2 1/2 packs a day. I used the patch and thought it was wonderful. I didn't think it was doing much, but then in the 6th (or was it the 8th) week, you step down to a lower dosage. For a couple of days after that I was a bear (well, I was another B word, but I don't want to be censored). At that point I realized how addicted I was and it increased my resolve.

Do I miss it? Yes. To this day I could go to the store, buy a pack and light up. The only thing that keeps me from doing it is remembering that it's much harder to quit than it is to just not start again.

13 years clean....

vote-for4vote-against

Without the will power it is going to be difficult. The only person that can convince you to quit smoking is you. I quit recently, and it was rough, but totally worth it. Every time I feel a "nic-fit" coming on I take a deep breath and realize that I can breathe so much better now. The guy in the office next to mine is a smoker and I am embarrassed to know that I used to smell like that 10-15 times a day. He sometimes tries to cover it up with cologne, but that really just makes it worse.

On a side note, if you really want to quit but are having trouble finding the will, the e-cigs are a pretty good substitute. They kinda take some getting used to, but are great when the cravings get really bad. I used these for about a month to kind of ween myself off, only using them when the cravings are really bad and only using enough to curb the craving. Just a few puffs has enough nicotine to make you not want to kill someone.

Seriously, just do it. Best decision you will ever make.

vote-for6vote-against

I am it the process of trying to quit myself. I am at 9 cigarettes a day. EXACTLY NINE. Next week I will only allow myself EIGHT/day. The week after, SEVEN. That means that I am 9 weeks form ZERO.
I have eCigarettes sitting next to me that I have not opened yet, but will do so if necessary.

vote-for2vote-against

Stopped in January, willpower is key to it, you really need to want to quit. Half-ass it and you'll be back to the store for a pack before you know it. I got a bit more support than I'd like to admit just from three coworkers at my job that stink to high heaven and hack and cough constantly. Without them reminding me daily how nasty a habit it is, I might not have stayed vigilant.

Good luck!

vote-for8vote-against

As someone who has never smoked, I just wanted to pop in to wish you all luck without judgement or lectures. :)

vote-for5vote-against

Quit March 10th 2010. Woke up in ICU after a chest crackin' good time with the cardiac group. I though they couldn't give you more than 4x bypasses. Good thing I was wrong seeing as I needed 6.

vote-for5vote-against

I quit almost 4 years ago after 42 years of heavy smoking. I'd been trying to quit for years. For me, Chantix was essential & life-saving. My doc recommended it, I started on it even though I didn't want to try to quit yet again, and then I became an ex-smoker.

My experience is that quitting is murder, but that Chantix really helps. Doesn't work for everyone. Nothing works for everyone. But if you've tried everything else, talk to your doctor about using Chantix.

BTW, Chantix has a really nice support system in place in addition to being an effective (for some of us) medication. Every night, I got a (robo)call asking me whether I'd smoked at all during the previous 24 hours. So help me, I used to look forward to the call and the taped congratulations message. They also supply a phone number to call if you're having a strong urge to smoke. A trained human will help you if you call.

So. Not for everyone, but possibly for you.

And good luck. Quitting is worth it.

vote-for2vote-against

@morriea: I have a Volt e-cig that I got last Friday. Haven't touched a real cig since. If you want to use an e-cig and not completely hate it, go to http://e-cigarette-forum.com and find one to order online. The ones you buy at a drug store or mall kiosk will turn you off most likely. The people there helped me get off of analogs and there is a wealth of info there.

vote-for2vote-against

@gertiestn: Congratulations! My wife tried Chantix and she had such vivid weird dreams she had to quit using it. It really had a negative impact on her mood. But, a co-workers wife quit with it in just a few short weeks. It is certainly a YMMV path, but well worth it as you stated.

vote-for3vote-against

I was smoking 2-3 packs a day for a few years. One day it just kind of hit me: clothes always smelled of smoke, fingers stained, day revolving around when can I smoke next and realized I really didn't want to do it anymore. Crushed up the rest of my pack, tossed it in the trash and haven't touched a cig since (about 9 years or so).

Good luck! It's totally worth it.

vote-for3vote-against

I usually suck at doing anything, but I just woke up one day and said "I'm not smoking any longer", this was after 5 years of a pack a day. When I convinced my brain it was time to quit, I never thought about cigs again, never had a craving or anything - it was absolute will power. Now when I am around smoking I get physically ill. About a year ago I took a drag off a cig while drinking in a bar and nearly threw up

I've tried to apply that same thought process to other things, such as losing weight, but it doesn't work for more than a few days

vote-for4vote-against

Spite! I had a friend quitting at the same time and I had to win!

Okay, so mostly it was cold turkey. I informed myself of what to expect and how to counter it. Things like the length of cravings, ways to retrain the brain away from triggers... finding those triggers and being aware of them. (Say, that cigarette to finish a meal.)

It's hard, and it does suck for a few days, but after that it quickly gets better. I still remember walking down the street and wondering what this amazing, intoxicating, delicious smell was. Something so intense! Turns out, it was some half dead flowers two blocks off. That blew my mind.

vote-for2vote-against

I dialed down to an ultra light brand, and one day I got irritated enough that it seemed like my whole life revolved around that next cigarette ( I'll go do xyz after I have a smoke etc..), I had run out of cigarettes, needed to go to the store and just didn't feel like going. I had reached that point where it was just like, screw this. So, I went to a big box store, grabbed some nicotine gum, some sugar free gum, dum-dum lollipops to help with the withdrawal symptoms/oral fixation. The 4th day was the worst. I've been quit for over a year now. I still have the nicotine gum in the house, I rarely think about smoking now, but when I do, the craving last maybe 15 seconds so it does get better.

A carton of cigarettes $60, I bought 3 of them a month - $180 mo. x 12 months = $2160 <-------o_O

Also? ^5's to every quitter. It's no walk in the park, but gut out the first 4 days however you can and know it does get easier every day after that.

vote-for3vote-against

Started at 15, smoked socially or when driving for most of my life. 42 now, and have just passed the 90 day mark without any sort of smoking. Did the buddy system with a friend... it helps to have someone that keeps you honest!

vote-for-2vote-against

Just stop buy cigarettes, duh.

vote-for3vote-against

Patches.
Quit ~12 yrs ago for the last time. Became addicted to the patches and used them for a year (!), but kept trimming them smaller and smaller.
My best advice is, you have to be super strong for the first 3 days. After that, you CANNOT have "just one". It's so easy to think you can just have one, but that derailed me so many times. Stay vigilant, drink a glass of water when the cravings hit, and remember that after the first few days it's the habit you're breaking, not nicotine addiction.

You can do it!

vote-for3vote-against

Cold turkey - had tried cutting down and hypnosis and all matter of little suggestions by people who had done it. I finally had to just say NO MORE EVER AGAIN. I have to tell you it was one of the most difficult challenges I had faced. That was 46 years ago!! Now, to be able to stick to a diet and lose more weight -----not so easy.

vote-for3vote-against

I tried cutting down. I tried cold turkey. The problem is, nicotine is a drug, and the receptors in your brain get really used to having it to latch onto. If you're heavily dependent as I was, the withdrawal from nicotine can make you feel worse than the flu.

Chantix blocks the receptors for nicotine, and as you ramp up the dose slowly and continue to smoke, you're not trying to adjust habits while dealing with withdrawal. Within a few days, the med kicks in and your smoking no longer is feeding the beast, even if you keep going, so you can much more easily just ... well, stop lighting them up. They're not doing anything for you anymore.

As for the dreams, I actually enjoyed that part. :) They were vivid, and strange and wondrous. Like watching late night cheap movies all the time.

I was also in a great mood most of the time, which was NEVER part of any attempt to quit in the past. Just the opposite in fact.

gwp gwp
vote-for4vote-against

Chantix Part II:

One caution with Chantix -- a small portion of those who use it may find that their mood changes after stopping the medication. These changes can manifest themselves as panic episodes, or suicidal thoughts. Doctors aren't sure if this is directly related to the Chantix itself, or a result of changed brain chemistry after stopping nicotine addiction. The good news is, they are aware of this potential side effect, and as long as you talk to your doctor about it, it can be managed.

I truly think I could not have successfully quit without the help of Chantix. Dealing with the side effect is still WAY better than the side effects of smoking.

[b]And[/b], I was able to quit in time for my mother to see me smoke-free, shortly before she died of lung cancer.

gwp gwp
vote-for2vote-against

Count me in as a patch winner!

vote-for3vote-against

I quit Jan. of last year. I'd realized that I hated the taste & that I only smoked to comfort myself when I was bored, depressed, or anxious. So I just stopped. Sure, there were times after quitting when I sighed "damn, it'd be comforting to have a cig right now," but I never had any real cravings or needs. A year & a half later & I actually get nauseated & headache-y when I'm around cigarette smoke. My continuous recovery & rediscovery of scent & taste is glorious!

On the other hand, my brother tried to quit many times over the years. Cold turkey didn't work, weaning himself off didn't work, & Chantix made him suicidal (truly suicidal: once he admitted to the disturbing fantasies & urges he'd been having about killing himself, we took all his Chantix away & got him to the Doc). Then 8 months ago he got a water vapour e-cig & actually stuck with it. He gets his nicotine fix with no bad lung stuff at all. It's just plain what works for him.

Of course, we're both early days/years yet.

vote-for0vote-against

I was a chain smoker before. Had to smoke at least two boxes a day, mostly due to work-related stress.

I found this e-cigar and it really helped me.

Here's a quick review of the cigar, you should try it. I have stopped smoking completely after one month.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdJQLz9DcI8