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Old 09-06-2007, 01:52 AM   #1
Joshua Vernier
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Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

I'm trying desperately to quit smoking...tried Nicorette, and a plethora of other patches, lozenges, faux-cigarette things, shots, cessation classes...so far nothing has worked. Anyone have any other suggestions?
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:44 AM   #2
Robin Ince
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

Allan Carr's EasyWay to stop smoking is the best system I've heard about...
http://tinyurl.com/3269py [Amazon, WFS]

Worked for me and heard lots more anecdotal reports from friends etc. Just look at the Amazon reviews...

Personally I never had any luck with nicotene replacement - I just had to make a clean break. Make sure you'll be in a stress free situation for the first 3 days where you'll be able to control/escape anything that could wind you up (I found that to help) and just go for it... You just have to really want to, and the Allan Carr book helps to get into that frame of mind.

Last edited by Robin Ince : 09-06-2007 at 03:49 AM.
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Old 09-06-2007, 03:58 AM   #3
Cal Jones
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

I quit 10 years ago, using patches. I had the 24 hour ones - I found with the ones you take off at night, I always woke up wanting a smoke. You get some very interesting dreams while on patches, though!

What I did was give up on holiday to Florida. I knew I’d have an 8 hour flight (or so) to Orlando where I couldn’t smoke, so figured I might as well keep on going. Because I’d be doing lots of fun things (visiting amusement parks is absolutely my favourite thing to do – I’m like a big kid) I’d be distracted from my cravings, plus it’s harder to smoke in the US than the UK (or was then – smoking’s banned from public places in the UK now as well). The two people I went with were also non-smokers, so I wasn’t tempted by offers of cigarettes or the sight of other people smoking.
We did go out to eat at nice restaurants every night which also distracted me from wanting to put a nasty smelly thing in my mouth because I was shovelling tasty food in instead. The downside of that was that I put on about a stone (14lbs).

So that was the first week and it went pretty well. After that it got tougher because I went back to work where a lot of people smoked, and my job involved a lot of socialising. What I did then was I’d have a cigar. They’re not terrifically good for you but it gave me something I could smoke without inhaling so I wouldn’t feel left out or annoyed by other people’s smoke. Eventually I didn’t need them at all.

So, that’s what worked for me. The main thing, though, is wanting to give up. Yes, your chances of getting cancer or heart disease are much higher if you smoke, but most people have the attitude that “it’ll never happen to me” so carry on, in denial. What is guaranteed, though, is that your skin will age faster, your breath, clothes and house will stink, and you will waste a ridiculous amount of money on your habit. Additionally, and perhaps scarier than cancer for many men, is that you have a much greater chance of developing erectile dysfunction. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it – or rather, don’t!

Best of luck.
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Old 09-06-2007, 04:09 AM   #4
Joshua Vernier
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

Robin - Thanks for the link! I read the reviews and it looks like it could work. I'll have to wait another two weeks before I can get the book and try it out, though (I'm deployed, about ready to leave the 'sandbox').

Cal - Thanks for the advice...unfortunately, I already tried that when I went home on leave for Christmas. I spent two weeks without a cigarette, but when I got back to my base and started hanging out with my friends (mostly firefighters and a lot of them smoke), I found the cravings almost crippling and I couldn't focus at work...so I just went on smoking. I don't lack motivation either...I'm about to get custody of my 1 1/2 y/o daughter and I don't want her to be exposed to it. I just can't seem to find anything that helps.
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Old 09-06-2007, 05:54 AM   #5
Brad Thompson
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

Quitting smoking is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I have quit cold turkey once - for 5 years. I used the patch twice and have been nicotine free for 5 years this time.

That being said, when I was ready to quit it was super easy. I guess the hard part is getting to the "ready to quit" place. It was, for me, a VERY tricky mind game with myself.
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:19 AM   #6
Craig Brown
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

I am told I am a bit of a freak....smoked for 25 years, stopped by toughing out the days and using TINY pieces of nicorette in the evenings/night- just enough to stop me from freaking out and get some sleep. Used about six pieces of gum over the course of a week.
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:39 AM   #7
Joshua Vernier
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

Craig - Ha, I have to agree with whoever told you that. I tried going cold-turkey when I went to AF Basic Training and made it thre quarters of the way through Fire Academy...I ended up not sleeping and almost failed too many academics because I couldn't concentrate. I think my biggest issue may be that I keep trying to quit during the most stressful times...
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Old 09-06-2007, 10:25 AM   #8
Tim Donahey
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

Joshua,

Some great websites I've found to reduce the quitting combat fatigue:

http://www.soyouwanna.com/site/syws/quit/quit.html - (WFS) A really helpful and humorous article on smoking cessation. required reading for all quitters! Check out their other topics too (but later).

http://www.quitnet.com/ - (WFS) this is where I found "the gadget," which looks something like:

Quote:
My Quit:
My Stats:
Your Quit Date is: 9/3/2007 2:25:00 PM

Time Smoke-Free: 3 days, 22 hours, 7 minutes and 28 seconds

Cigarettes NOT smoked: 80

Lifetime Saved: 6 hours

Money Saved: $16.60
Your stats will be sent to you every day for the first two weeks or so of your quit along with a newsletter that details your progress and offers helpful anecdotes and advice, and then every month on your quit anniversary after that. You can set your "quit date" ahead of time so that they can immediatly start sending you your motivational emails.

http://www.click2quit.co.uk/ - (WFS) here you can create a personalized "Quit Calendar". I used to hang mine on the wall so I could always see it. Offers helpful daily reminders and inspiration.

They also provide a free downloadable "Bad Day Button" that sits on your desktop like a panic button you can push whenever you feel the urge to smoke (don't worry, no electric shocks involved).

http://quitsmoking.about.com/c/ec/1.htm - (WFS) Quit Smoking 101, a free ten day e-mail course that lends encouragement and support. also the base address, http://quitsmoking.about.com, (WFS) has a ton of helpful links, personal accounts, resources, and articles on quitting.

My advice: Set a date in the not-too-distant future, less than 6 weeks and more than 2. This will be your quit date. Mark it off on a calendar and start counting off the days. Be very cognizant of each passing day and mark each one off somehow. Tell people you're going to quit, tell everyone, this is a big deal and everyone needs to know about it... the support and friendly expectation is a huge help, but also there's nothing more annoying then having your friends constantly offering you cigarettes after you've quit (even though they know better) so make sure they don't make that mistake.

Set up little prep activities as you get near the deadline, for example list making can be very constructive. Try making a PRO/CON list for smoking, or a list of how your life will be different after your quit, list your smoking triggers (ie. after a meal) and a correlating counter-attack for each one (ie. take a walk), list your quit goals and rewards for meeting those goals. Another good activity to do near your quit date is to dispose of all your smoking paraphanalia (ie. lighters, ashtrays, logo'd t-shirts and apparel). Think of it not only as clearing your space but also as purging your mind/body of tobacco. Read about and research quitting. Read about other peoples experiences quitting, subscribe to a "quit blog" (like this one (WFS): http://help-me-quit-smoking.blogspot.com/), or join a quit message board (like this one (WFS): http://www.cyberrecovery.net/forums/...splay.php?f=48). Start your own "quit blog."

Start psyching yourself up for the quit, savoring your final smokes and saying goodbye to them one at a time. Make a plan of when and where you'll have your final cigarette and how you'll dispose of the remaining ones. If you're left with extra smokes don't just give them away; destroy them, pulverize them, annihilate them. They're dead to you.

Make the recovery process as much a part of your life as your smoking was and construct an environment that will promote your new, healthy, smoke-free lifestyle. Your cigarette smoking rotuine was built around your life before (or maybe your life was built around it) and you can't just leave dead space there, so fill in the gaps. Hang signs, talk to people, chew on toothpicks or gum, whatever. You can't go overboard when it comes to quitting; the more reminders, motivators, and support you have at your disposal the better... with all of the triggers and associations we have with smoking it's crucial to counter-balance that with as many positive distractions and substitutions as possible. Think of it as your arsenal of wellness.

And, speaking from my own experience, when I took Zyban during my quit I had zero physical withdrawl symptoms. I still had to overcome the mental aspect, which is tougher, but I never felt "sick" from not smoking. It's worth a shot... Zyban also has a thermogenic effect on the body, so there won't be as much weight gain either, which is a nice bonus. Many of the links above go into detail about various treatments for smoking cessation so investigate them all.

I attached some pics that I hung up on the walls for motivation when I quit.

Remember, don't focus on quitting for forever, focus on just getting through for today. One day at a time is all we can ever do.

Good luck and beat the beast!!!
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Old 09-06-2007, 11:24 AM   #9
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

These are all great suggestions.

I was a heavy smoker and I quit during a very stressful time---my first year as an attending physician when I was suddenly promoted to medical director of the emergency room. I quit because I wanted to get pregnant.

Some of the things I remember helping in the beginning:

1. Avoiding triggers and planning alternative responses to triggers. I stopped drinking coffee, because the association between coffee and a cigarette was powerful. I drank herbal tea instead, that didn't seem to bother me. I also gave up alcohol for quite a while, since that was another association. I couldn't escape looking for an after-meal cigarette, but I learned to just get up when finished and take a walk.
2. Understand a craving is like a wave. If you can "surf" it, it dissipates. I found when a craving hit, I would have to stop what I was doing, close my eyes, and do deep belly-breathing. I would breathe through the peak of the craving the way you breathe through a uterine contraction in childbirth. (Ummm, well, take my word for it..*smile*) A craving actually passes in a minute or two.
3. When my thoughts would start with the "just one cigarette now" seduction during a craving, I would tell myself that I could have a cigarette tomorrow, but not now. Tomorrow never came. (It's been 19 years now)
4. Since you've quit and lapsed before, you know that it's that "just one" cigarette that gets you. Don't worry about all the cigarettes you can't have. Just deal with that first one.
5. Stop telling yourself "nothing works" and "I can't." Yes, it's very hard and it's a painful addiction to kick, but other people have done it, and you can, too.
6. See your doctor. Some people are successful using Wellbutrin (an antidepressant). It seems to work in the brain to increase dopamine. Dopamine is thought to be important in the mediation of pleasure in the brain, and it drops during withdrawal from psychoactive substances like nicotine or cocaine. So taking wellbutrin can 'soften' the withdrawal syndrome.
7. A quick anecdote: when I was withdrawing from nicotine, I was cooking a vegetable stew and my husband came over to the stove and told me to look into the pot. I was irritable and yelled at him to leave me alone but he insisted. I looked into the pot, and saw a paper towel floating on the tomatoes. My husband told me he'd seen me wipe a spill, toss the paper towel into the pot, cover it, and walk away. I had no idea. Yes, there is an altered mental status with nicotine withdrawal!!!!!
8. Best of luck to you. You will feel so much better when you break free of this addiction.

Susie
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:56 PM   #10
Robert Olajos
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Re: Any ex-smoker CFers out there?

Quitting smoking is easy, I must've done it 10 or 20 times....

But seriously. I smoked from about 17 years old and had my last one at 31. I never "smoked like a chimney" but was around 1/2 pack a day for much of that time. At about the age of 25 I went from being a regular smoker to an irregular smoker. So it took me 6 years to finally quit.

Three things helped me quit. First was my wife, an ardent non-smoker. Second was CrossFit. The endorphin rush of CF has replaced the tobacco addiction. And the third was just being ready to quit. It was time.

If I had to do it again, I'd go see my doctor. Those internet resources sound great too.
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