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How to quit smoking?

reefedjib

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I have been a smoker for 27 years. Never really quit except for during basic training. I need to quit, as it is affecting my health and it is a nasty habit and addiction. However, I don't want to quit. My recent attempt, using Chantix, saw me smoking within a day. What are some psychological factors that can help me remove this desire the continue smoking?
 

jamesrage

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I smoked for probably about 11-12 years(I started smoking around 15-16 years old) before finally quitting in late in 2005. I used a combination of prayer and icebreaker mints. I prayed for help to and every time I felt a craving I just popped a mint and let it dissolve slowly in my mouth even taking a few slow deep breaths. At first the mints did not take away the craving for cigarettes and eventually I convinced myself that it is the mints I craved and not the cigarettes. So I think the trick is to replace your smoking with something else that stimulates or keeps your mouth busy. This is why smoking is not just a physical addiction to nicotine.


It did take multiple tries before I finally did quit. The first time I used nicotine patches, which probably lasted a few months, then other times I went straight cold turkey which probably lasted about 6 months.Then there was basic, which most of us smokers said we could use this as an opportunity to quit smoking but about a week into 11M school they let us go off post and me like other smokers bought a pack Marlboros at a convenience stores off post, they were very stale but at the same time the best tasting cigarettes ever. Then when I was first stationed in Korea I went cold turkey for about a month and then picked the habbit back up. Of course what made all those attempts fair was the fact I slowly picked smoking back up. It started with one a week,two a week, then one a day and finally back to a pack.So when I quit back in late 2005 I just made sure that I did not touch a cigarette a again.
 
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OscarB63

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It's a matter of will. If you don't want to quit, nothing will help...you aren't going to quit. You know it is bad for you, you have admitted it is affecting your health...just quit. smoke whatever cigs you currently have and just don't buy any more. if you don't have em, you can't smoke em. Yes, you will probably be a miserable bastard to live with for a couple of weeks but then it will start to get better.

I smoked for nearly 30 years and quit this past June. I promised myself last year, before deploying to Iraq, that if I made it home safe and sound I would quit. I smoked my last cigarette the morning we got on the plane to leave the demobilization site for home.
 

hiswoman

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I'm not a smoker, but everyone in my family smokes except me. What everyone has said so far, that willpower is the key, is absolutely right imho. Most importantly, don't ever give up! Keep going until you succeed. I know you can do it :)

In the meantime, maybe you can find some help on this site:

Smokefree.gov: Find Tools to Help You Quit


 

ARealConservative

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You need to want to quit for yourself and not because others want you to.

Once that happens, you just have to stay strong and understanding that the first few weeks are the hardest. If you are the type of person that can fight through a few weeks of hell, you will be fine.

And prepare to gain weight. Some don't, but they are ther minority. Don't worry though. your body will adjust and you can take the weight back off once you have a better handle on the addiction.
 

reefedjib

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Thanks for all the great answers everyone! It is definitely a willpower thing, once I have determined that not only do I need to quit, but in fact, that I want to quit. Oscar said it best:

If you don't want to quit, nothing will help...you aren't going to quit.
This is my problem, I don't want to quit. How can I change this?
 

ARealConservative

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Thanks for all the great answers everyone! It is definitely a willpower thing, once I have determined that not only do I need to quit, but in fact, that I want to quit. Oscar said it best:



This is my problem, I don't want to quit. How can I change this?
As a prideful person, I eventually viewed my nicotine addiction as a major weakness and flaw

Once that realization came about, it was pretty easy.

Then I used that pride, and made sure to let everyone know I was quitting and to give me **** if I fail.

I only failed off and on for a few years after that, but only because I was still going to bars too frequently. :)
 

liblady

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Thanks for all the great answers everyone! It is definitely a willpower thing, once I have determined that not only do I need to quit, but in fact, that I want to quit. Oscar said it best:



This is my problem, I don't want to quit. How can I change this?

good question.......i quit because i wanted to be healthy, because cigarettes STINK and cost so much, and i just wanted to be free. cigarettes enslave you, and in some cases make you a pariah.
 

reefedjib

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As a prideful person, I eventually viewed my nicotine addiction as a major weakness and flaw

Once that realization came about, it was pretty easy.

Then I used that pride, and made sure to let everyone know I was quitting and to give me **** if I fail.

I only failed off and on for a few years after that, but only because I was still going to bars too frequently. :)
I view it as a major flaw. I still don't want to quit.
 

reefedjib

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good question.......i quit because i wanted to be healthy, because cigarettes STINK and cost so much, and i just wanted to be free. cigarettes enslave you, and in some cases make you a pariah.
It is the enslaving part of the addiction which bothers me the most.

PS - did you get your license, liblady?
 

liblady

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It is the enslaving part of the addiction which bothers me the most.

PS - did you get your license, liblady?
I did...I aced the tests. Thanks for asking! When you quit, and you will, you will feel so free!
 

ARealConservative

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I view it as a major flaw. I still don't want to quit.
I know. There is an enjoyment to it. I rememer that much!

funny story. I quit for about 3 months at the end of my wifes first pregnancy. The night her water broke and we went to the hospital I pulled into a gas station. I was in such a panic, the only thing I could think about was caving in, and I did. My wife was furious!

I quit again the next day. She forgave me much. much later then the next day.
 

sokpupet

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Smoking is disgusting. I wish tobacco would be outlawed. IF I get a whiff of cigarette smoke it makes me nauseated and I have a physical reaction of sinus drainage and inner ears stinging. I guess I am now allergic. I see parents smoking in cars with children and I feel incensed. That is child abuse IMO. WTS, I smoked until 2000. I was ready and wanted to quit so that helped a lot. Zyban did the rest. Two weeks and done; never looked back. I've heard some bad things about Chantix so I do not recommend that drug. Best wishes for your success in quitting!
 

reefedjib

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I did...I aced the tests. Thanks for asking! When you quit, and you will, you will feel so free!
Woot!! Congratulations!! Now you can charter a bareboat in the Dalmations and invite me! I always wanted to go to Dubrovnik.
 

reefedjib

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Smoking is disgusting. I wish tobacco would be outlawed. IF I get a whiff of cigarette smoke it makes me nauseated and I have a physical reaction of sinus drainage and inner ears stinging. I guess I am now allergic. I see parents smoking in cars with children and I feel incensed. That is child abuse IMO. WTS, I smoked until 2000. I was ready and wanted to quit so that helped a lot. Zyban did the rest. Two weeks and done; never looked back. I've heard some bad things about Chantix so I do not recommend that drug. Best wishes for your success in quitting!
I tried Zyban and it worked really well for completely eliminating the craving. If I use anything I want to use that. First I have to get my mind right, wanting to quit.
 

marduc

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I cannot really tell you how to change the attitude from "I should quit" to "I am quitting", but I have been down that road myself, it took several attempts over many years to finally get to the point where I finally said "I am quitting" instead of "I am trying to quit".

I have not smoked in over a year now, and it was the subtle change in attitude from " I am trying to quit" to "I am quitting" that made the difference.. that and nicotine lozenges/gum. How to get there I cannot tell you definitively, my point of "this is enough" came after I had a irritated weird perma-phlegm feeling in my throat and upper chest that would not go away regardless of how much i tried to clear my throat - that plus I finally was to the point where I was convinced that if I don't quit I am a prime candidate for cancer or an early heart attack otherwise (maybe not true but it helped).

Tell yourself "I am quitting" and keep telling yourself that, in time you will have a subtle but important shift in mindset where "I should quit" and "I am going to try to quit" changes to "I need to quit", "I will quit" and "I am quitting". It still is not easy, but when the desire and determination to quit is stronger than the desire to smoke it makes it much easier to resist those urges (which although quite strong, usually are short lived if you can distract your mind from dwelling on them)

its kind of cliche but Yoda was wise. "Do, or do not, there is no try"

set a time period a few weeks in the future, or a few months if needs be, and in the interim keep telling yourself "I will quit" and "I am quitting"
 
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Ockham

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It's a matter of will. If you don't want to quit, nothing will help...you aren't going to quit. You know it is bad for you, you have admitted it is affecting your health...just quit. smoke whatever cigs you currently have and just don't buy any me. if you don't have em, you can't smoke em. Yes, you will probably be a miserable bastard to live with for a couple of weeks but then it will start to get better.
^^ This.

I smoked from age 16 until I was 30 - at least a pack a day and I smoked through basic training. :)

The only thing that works is making up your mind - and being determined to stop. I'm 43 now and I haven't gone back. I loved everything about smoking and I used all tobacco products and loved them all from Red Man, to Hawken, Pipes, Cigars, Cigarettes and my personal mix of burley and long cut virginia for my multiple pipes. I tried patches, hypnosis, gum, you name it. Nothing worked until I just stopped. I had urges for 2 years ... and still do every now and then. But I promised myself I will not go back until I'm 65 and then it will only be a pipe --- if I feel like it.
 

OscarB63

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For the first several weeks, I took the "guts" out of a plastic ink pen and chewed on the empty barrel every time I felt the need for a smoke. looked kinda silly but it helped. I still get the urge every now and again for a smoke and I will probably have an occasional cigar with the fella's after drill but my days of regular smoking are over.
 

Marilyn Monroe

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Thanks for all the great answers everyone! It is definitely a willpower thing, once I have determined that not only do I need to quit, but in fact, that I want to quit. Oscar said it best:

This is my problem, I don't want to quit. How can I change this?
By realizing that you are a weak woose with no willpower. You are letting the addiction win. Nobody really wants to quit because they're ADDICTED.Another thing to think about is look at how many alcoholics and other truly super addicted people have quit and you don't really want to. When my friend's mom quit, (and I mean this woman was a super big drunk) I thought, "you've got to be kidding me, if she can do it, you've got to do it". When I quit I bought some herbal cigarettes (no tobacco in them), and one night I really needed a smoke bad, so I went outside to do the deed. First puff, nothing. Second puff, nothing. Third, the same thing. It was then it hit me, "it's the nicotine that you are craving, not the act of smoking". From then on, I knew, I needed to stay quit. I think you'll do better with a support group. I had a lady at work. She's the one that really did it for me. When I'd say, "I'm really needing a cigarette", she'd move in with her reasons why I needed to stay quit. She never smoked, and despised smokers, so it was easy for her to be convincing. Also, as someone else said, get stuff to put in your mouth. I liked cinnamon sticks cause they stay, and you can chew on them. You can also pretend you're smoking with them, which may sound dumb, but the act of blowing air out helped me.

:):)Good luck!:);):)
 

liblady

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Woot!! Congratulations!! Now you can charter a bareboat in the Dalmations and invite me! I always wanted to go to Dubrovnik.
actually i could do that already. this license let's me charge people......and charter my own boat. just in case we run out of funds down in the islands.........
 

cAPSLOCK

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I view it as a major flaw. I still don't want to quit.
First thing, quit saying that. ;) That is you tricking yourself.

You DO want to quit. That is why you started this thread. But it is not a simple black and white thing.

Here is the rub. It is not your lungs, or heart, or skin, or muscles which are addicted to nicotine. It is your brain. In fact the rest of your body wants desperately for you to stop. But your brain has actually changed structure to handle the neurotoxins in tobacco. The chemical nicotine is the nightshade plant's way of fighting off insects. It is a strong neurotoxin, and was the main ingredient in Black Flag for years.

So one thing your brain has done over the years is grow extra acetylcholine receptors. This is something that deals with the extra nicotine in your system. Your dopamine and nor-epinephrine levels have also been artificially elevated for years. It is as if you are taking an antidepressant when you smoke. Many of us nicotine addicts (former here) are likely "self medicating" somewhat. And even if we aren't the resulting drop in these brain chemicals when we quit is a fairly bad feeling. Which is why depression, anger etc show up.

Since your brain needs you to smoke your brain will do what it can to convince you to. Your brain is a powerful foe. It can make you *THINK* thoughts like "I don't want to quit" and you are going to just believe them... "No really I like to smoke", because its you thinking them after all "It makes me feel calmer" and though you may lie to others, you don't lie to yourself "No seriously... I just enjoy the habit".

Wake up call. You are an addict. You are lying to yourself. YOU WANT TO QUIT.

Here is the first little tool to start to digest. Every craving or temptation only lasts a few minutes, and then they are over. You only have to endure a few minutes. The frequency will decrease over time until you are no longer tempted. This can take months. But each isolated craving will only last a few minutes or even less.

Just let that roll around in your head as you consider the goal of quitting. It will be useful later.
 

jamesrage

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MKULTRABOY

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I tried acupuncture and it seemed to work well with significantly reduced cravings. But after a couple weeks I just felt like smoking again. No serious craving I just threw my 'quit' away. I have also weened myself off with skoal and the like. I'm able to quit for a month or two at a time then I pick it back up. Now I just smoke. because I like it and will just start again. :shrug:
 

Barbbtx

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By realizing that you are a weak woose with no willpower. You are letting the addiction win. Nobody really wants to quit because they're ADDICTED.Another thing to think about is look at how many alcoholics and other truly super addicted people have quit and you don't really want to. When my friend's mom quit, (and I mean this woman was a super big drunk) I thought, "you've got to be kidding me, if she can do it, you've got to do it". When I quit I bought some herbal cigarettes (no tobacco in them), and one night I really needed a smoke bad, so I went outside to do the deed. First puff, nothing. Second puff, nothing. Third, the same thing. It was then it hit me, "it's the nicotine that you are craving, not the act of smoking". From then on, I knew, I needed to stay quit. I think you'll do better with a support group. I had a lady at work. She's the one that really did it for me. When I'd say, "I'm really needing a cigarette", she'd move in with her reasons why I needed to stay quit. She never smoked, and despised smokers, so it was easy for her to be convincing. Also, as someone else said, get stuff to put in your mouth. I liked cinnamon sticks cause they stay, and you can chew on them. You can also pretend you're smoking with them, which may sound dumb, but the act of blowing air out helped me.

:):)Good luck!:);):)
Thanks for the thread guys. Seeing all that have been successful at quiting gives me some hope that I can too someday. I quit drinking a year and a half ago, cold turkey, thanks to the 12 step program. I've been thinking, now that I'm comfortable with that maybe I'm ready to tackle my smoking in the near future. My health really sucks and I know I'd feel so much better if I quit.
 

Wiseone

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There were periods where I had to quit smoking for months, I found that I went through packs of Big Red gum like nobodies business. I also drank more at the end of the day, but hey no one's perfect.
 
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