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Smoking Cessation


Kurt Codean

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Hello Everybody. I quit smoking in December 2013, so I haven't had a cigarette in roughly 21 months now and yet I still get the idea of wanting to smoking quite often these days. Sometimes I feel like maybe I should buy a pack of cigarettes and smoke a few just to get these thoughts out of my head. I figure that if you quit successfully that should mean that you no longer have the desire to smoke, or at least have good control over your cravings and not really think about smoking that often. I'm sure occasionally even a successful quitter thinks about it, but for me I seem to think about it too often in my opinion. I think about the drawbacks but even though the price of a pack is now around $12.00 where I live, I still feel like that doesn't necessarily deter me. The only thing that really deters me is the fear that I might mess up my health somewhere down the line if I start smoking again. I just feel really bored sometimes and feel like I could go for a smoke though. Has anyone out there quit before or has quit and is still struggling with staying off cigarettes? When I was smoking in the past before I quit, I used to try and quit so many times and it took me a while to finally stop all together, but now if feels like I'm unhappy and it's taking me sheer will power even to this day to not smoke. I feel like I'm doing something wrong even though it would be probably more rational to stay away from cigarettes. Does anyone have any advice out there or know where I'm coming from? Thanks I would appreciate any feedback!

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I totally understand how you feel and I do have some advice for you.  I quit smoking for 6 and 1/2 years after smoking for 40 years.  The quitting wasn't as hard as I thought it would be and it was such a relief not to have that smoking addiction ruling my life.  By that I mean always being aware of how many cigs I have and when I get low when am I going to get more.  Also had to be in the hospital a few times and all I could think of was getting out so I could smoke.  It was a relief to be able to leave the house without any and it got to the point where I didn't think of them unless I saw someone smoking.  Here's the deal.  After almost 7 years of not smoking I was at a party where all the girls kept going out in the back yard for a quick one and I would go with them and then I wondered what it would be like to just have one after all this time.  It was the biggest mistake of my life and I will always regret doing that.  Because it's true that the smoking addiction never leaves you and is always waiting to pounce on you again.  Needless to say I started smoking again within a short time and ended up smoking again for years!!!!  Because this second time it was a million times harder to quit than it was before... and I was so mad at myself and wondered if I'd ever be able to quit again.  It seemed like the person who didn't smoke for  almost 7 years was someone else and I could barely remember what it was like.

I find it is helpful to view the addiction as a separate entity an evil entity that whispers lies into your ear and when I get a longing I say to the entity... lies, you are lying to me again and that helps a little.  Whatever you do don't give in to those urges because I guarantee you will be sorry and you will be smoking the same amount again as before you quit  in a short time.  There are things that you can do to help.  You can call the 800-quit now number and get help from them... or you can buy some nicotine gum for those times, or even get an electronic cigarette.

I struggled so hard to quit again and thought I'd never be able to do it and then a few weeks ago  I got the flu which affected my lungs mostly and I couldn't hardly breathe much less smoke.  By the time it got better two weeks had gone by and I threw away the cigs I had and told myself never again.  So we can help each other out.  It's a mistake to think  of cigs as your friend because a friend would not try to kill you.  I had a friend die from lung cancer so I have no excuse to have started again.  After I had that one cigarette at the party it took me 6 years before I could quit again so I know I will never have another one, it's just not worth it.  I have been physically dependent on drugs before and was always able to stop but with cigs it is 90 percent mental and the hardest addiction I've ever faced.  Hang in there, you are doing so good!!!!!  And when you get an urge like you described think of the urge as an evil entity trying to entice you back into it's clutches and you are strong and can fight that asshole!!! LOL  good luck to us both!!!

p.s. I know a lot of people who quit want a cigarette when something stressful happens in their life but I look at it like this:  I tell myself well this shitty thing just happened in my life but at least I'm still a non smoker instead of having the shitty thing happen and start smoking again which just makes the shitty thing worse.

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You could give an ecig a go, just a pen one woukd be fine, cheap starter kit, low nicotine e juice, and a nice flavour too, NOT tobacco flavours . I haven't smoked for well over a year, lung function improved,  feel great in comparison to smoking cigarettes too. Def stay away from the cigs if you can though. I endorse everything suzie has posted. You will feel worse for it. Keep up the good work. 

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First of all, top job! You've achieved an enormous amount so far already, it really is a difficult thing to beat but you are beating it. =)

I would definitely echo what Suzie and PTFC have said. It certainly never leaves you, and you have to be ready for the fight every day. I've been cigarette-free for just over a year now (apart from one blip which was three cigarettes when I was stressed) and I can pretty much thank e cigarettes for that. I know it's easy to look at them as just a novelty, but they are very effective. You might need to be cautious, though. Have you been 21 months without any nicotine at all? (including gum, patches etc) If you get a nicotine e cigarette it could make it worse, but you can get nicotine free ones. Maybe try a nicotine free one then go a step up if you feel like you definitely need to.

I'm on the highest strength one (24mg) but I went straight from a 15-20 a day habit. I did try giving up altogether, I never even lasted a day, partly because I have zero will power, but also because it is a very tough addiction, which is why I respect the progress you've made so far.

Keep going! =)

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Thanks for the words of encouragement everybody. I might give the E-cig a try, although I did try one type of E-cig back when I was still smoking off and on. I didn't really like it much but this was when E-cigs were still relatively new. The ones I had sampled didn't really feel like a real cigarette and all and those filters would not last long at all. I think today they have better ones that work more effectively so I will look in to getting one just to try to fight the cravings. I have been 21 months without any nicotine at all. I have to say yesterday I was going through some stress and I was thinking about buying a pack while I was working and having a cigarette after work. I guess what stopped me is I've been the habit of not smoking pretty long now, and even though I feel like I would like to smoke sometimes, the actually process of buying a pack and returning to that lifestyle deters me. I remember when I used to smoke, it was kind of annoying sometimes because you always have to have room in your pockets for a box of cigarettes, and that does take up a lot of room in your pants. Then you will want to try to find a way to step out for a smoke break as often as you can when you are working. Another thing is certain areas are very populated and it seems like it's difficult to have a cigarette with out blowing smoking towards someone and getting them upset. There just seem to be too many cons and at this point it's easier to just not smoke. 

I know what you mean Suzie about having that one cigarette that causes a relapse. The same thing happened to me about 15 years ago after the first time I had quit effectively. I was still in college and I quit for 3 months which was the longest I had quit for up until then. I was smoking pretty regularly since highschool, but in those days I would only have 4 or 5 cigarettes a day. In college I was smoking closer to half a pack or a pack a day. Anyway I quit one summer and was doing really well, I had no psychological need for smoking, but I was living with my brother for a while and he was smoking, so one day I figured I would have a cigarette, thinking that I could certainly control myself and only have one. Needless to say that one cigarette caused a severe relapse and I spent the next 12 or 13 years smoking off and on. It was mostly on but I was always trying to quit but never made it past 2 or 3 days. Until nearly 21 months ago when I finally said I've had enough and quit cold turkey. I feel like I might be still psychologically addicted but I fight it everyday and just try to enjoy my life without cigarettes. 

But thanks for the responses folks, I'm glad I'm not the only one out there who is battling this addiction. I know most people probably expect to see threads about stronger drugs here but I think cigarettes is a very difficult addiction to get over. Oh yeah one other positive thing about not smoking is your breath doesn't smell so bad, and your fingers don't turn brown. Also your clothes don't stink at much. 

 

I will check in later and let you guys know if I bought any non-cigarette smoking cessation aids. Take care everyone!

codean212

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Nicotine addiction is one of the toughest addictions out there, I think. I have zero will power, so maybe it's not my place to say this, but I gave up opiates for nearly a year (which I swapped for vodka every night, but anyway...) and couldn't consider stopping nicotine at any point. Now I'm on everything except alcohol, hm.

What you say about having the space in your pockets, going out for breaks etc, the same would hold true for the most part with e cigs, as a lot of places don't allow it indoors. Although sneakily I sometimes have my e cigarette in the train toilet, mwhaha.

You're right about the smell! When I had my relapse, that's what struck me. I stunk, I washed my hands religiously! Also, the taste of it, I didn't like it, I wanted my e cigarette that felt cleaner and fresher. Also, with that relapse, in reminded me so much of when I first started, when I was a very depressed teenager, and that was not a nice sensation. Those things made me go back to the e cigarette.

Like I said before, be careful with the e cigarette if it's low nicotine, you don't want to tease your reward centre, if that makes sense. Even a nicotine free one might just 'tease' you, so be careful, and keep going! You're doing what many people can't! =)

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Hey Smoka90,

        I just went back and read your first post in this thread over again, and I think I misread it the first time. I thought you were promoting E-cigarettes as an alternative to smoking real cigarettes, but now I think you see you were saying to be careful about it. I certainly think E-cigarettes are a better alternative to actually smoking, if you can't quit cigarettes and need some help then I would say it is a good option. I went cold turkey and it wasn't easy, it still isn't easy, but somehow I managed to will myself to not smoke anymore. So yeah perhaps at this point trying an E-cig that has nicotine might be a step in the wrong direction for me. I've been able to cope so far so perhaps it wouldn't be a good idea to use any aids right now. And you're right if you use E-cigs frequently, then you might have some of the same problems as a real smoker, like having to carry around that equipment in your pockets and all of that. I'm not sure what the best E-cigs are like or how strong the ones you mentioned are with the 24mgs of nicotine, but I gather that if it's strong enough then you might develop a dependency to that. However If the E-Cig with the high level of nicotine is comparable to the buzz you get off of a real cigarette, then I can see some advantages to smoking the E-cig. Since it's vapor mist, I think you can smoke those indoors without creating any second hand smoke for other people in your home or your neighbors, is that correct? The second hand smoke from cigarettes was another reason why I quit, I have family members who didn't appreciate the second hand smoke and I felt bad for exposing them to that. Also I think the vapor from E-cigs probably isn't damaging on your lungs like actual cigarette smoke. So I think there are some good things about the E-cig, I just am not sure how much they cost. Last I checked they weren't really cheap and if they become a habit then it may be a costly hobby. 

Aside from Cigarettes, I used to switch to skoal snuff tobacco, which in my opinion gave me a pretty decent nicotine buzz, and didn't create any second hand smoke. The only problem with that is I think if you do it long enough you can get oral cancer, or tooth loss and gum disease. That wouldn't be a pretty picture. I can enjoy cigars too, but they are hard to smoke because they produce a ton of smoke and you really need to be outdoors somewhere to smoke one of those without bothering someone with second hand smoke. I find Cigars and Skoal to be pleasurable, but not as addictive and habit forming as cigarettes. They're just too nasty to smoke or chew. I tried nicotine gum also but didn't find that helpful. I didn't feel any nicotine buzz from that. I guess the bottom line is there is no safe form of tobacco. 

You're right about nicotine being one of the toughest addictions to break. For me that is certainly the case. It is the only substance which I have had a lot of trouble quitting. The only other substance which I find difficult to quit is sugar, but I guess your body needs some sugar sometimes. I never got addicted to alcohol, or any other drug. I smoked a lot of Marijuana in the past but didn't have any trouble quitting. I've done opiates and amphetamines, and I will admit the opiates are pleasurable, but even with those I was able to quit without much trouble. I think one of the reasons cigarettes are hard to quit is because they are so readily available. You can walk into any grocery store and buy them.

Also I didn't notice this before but it seems like every time I watch a movie, the lead character is always a smoker. I don't know if they are trying to subliminally promote smoking in movies, but It's kind of strange how in almost every movie the main character, or other lead characters are always smokers. They constantly light up. Does anyone else notice that? I think maybe the tobacco companies contribute money to the filmmakers in exchange for them having the lead character smoke on tv. 

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codean... you are doing great and have a good attitude so I'm sure you will make it.  I just wanted to add that if you had a cig now it wouldn't be like you remember.  It would taste bad and it would make you dizzy like when you first start smoking.  I have found that if you have a resolve to not smoke no matter what the addiction leaves you alone and you never think of it until you see someone smoke but if you think there is even the smallest chance that you might have one then the opposite is true and the addiction is there whispering lies in your ear every chance it gets.  When I see someone smoking instead of being jealous I feel sorry for them because they either have not been able to quit or their health is at risk.  So these are little tricks that help me.

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Sorry Codean, I'm often a bit unclear...

I was trying to advise caution e cigarettes, yeah, they are a blessing, but since you've been cold turkey for so long, it might be different for you. They're nowhere near as harmful, nowhere near. The only potentially damaging thing is the nicotine itself, maybe as risky as drinking lots of coffee. There's still a bit of research going on, but I am wary of my health now (...ish) and I don't worry about the vapour. It certainly won't be damaging to friends and family. At first I used to go outside for my e cigarette, because I had my pet rabbit inside with me, and didn't want her to get nicotine poisoning (!). Then someone at an animal shelter told me to stop being daft.

So yeah, 24mg is as strong as they get, and it satisfies me in the morning, but it's not quite the nicotine hit as a cigarette, but enough to satisfy craving. It goes as low as 6mg, I'd see 6mg as pointless. But nicotine free ones are out there...

As far as types go, I got a bog standard one as my first, one that looks like an actual cigarette, it's good if you can't be arsed with buttons. But recently I upgraded to the EVOD starter kit, good god, I love it, it's not that expensive either.

Sorry, I love talking about e cigarettes, so I ramble. As you suggested, it's a new addictive ritual. I used to roll my own, now I fill the e cigarette with e liquid, it's still an addiction.

So be careful, but I'd definitely say keep going as you are. There's lots of people here for you should you need our help.

=)

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It depends on the amount of vapour you are producing, I recently upgraded to a 50 watt beast e cig, but dropped down to 3-6 mg nicotine liquid because you are producing so much more vapour per puff. I was using 12mg nicotine on my pen e cig for comparison. It was a very good quality setup too though. 

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It depends on the amount of vapour you are producing, I recently upgraded to a 50 watt beast e cig, but dropped down to 3-6 mg nicotine liquid because you are producing so much more vapour per puff. I was using 12mg nicotine on my pen e cig for comparison. It was a very good quality setup too though. 

How high do you set your wattage or volts?

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If I am using 0.5 ohm coil, I can go from 15-50 watts, 20-25 watts gives me a few days battery life, but it's a nice medium between flavour, heat and vapour production.  The 1.2 ohm is 10 to 25 watts max, gives me even longer battery life, I can't really tell the difference with the vapour to be honest though. I go straight to lung and exhale now too. 3mg nicotine a lot smoother also. I find the 6 suits perfectly. For now anyway. 

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I was in the doctors office last week and I saw this guy puffing on some kind of electronic cigarette device, I don't know if it was an e-cig or some kind of hookah but it was shaped kind of like a square with some sort of smoking pipe attached. I also overheard him saying it cost like $350. I was thinking wow that is a lot. Has anyone tried those hookah sticks they sell in smoke shops? I'll look into that brand you mentioned Smoka90. I also thought about trying that blu brand they sell in the drug stores, or the hookah sticks. Unfortunately i caved a few weeks ago and got into smoking tobacco again. I think it was the overall boredom/loneliness/unhappiness that made me do it. I have to admit I seem to like smoking, and I don't feel that bad that I broke my attempt to quit, but I believe there is a right way to quit and a wrong way. The way i did it was basically cold turkey and using nothing but will power without trying to figure out why I was smoking in the first place. Honestly thinking about the cravings all this time was kind of driving me insane. I was thinking that if I have to live another few years fighting these cravings I might really lose my mind. However I think when you relapse you get a glimpse into why you wanted to quit in the first place. Like right now it feels good, but it's been only three weeks and I'm starting to feel the physical effects already. I noticed that my lung capacity is a little weaker, my throat hurts a little and I feel like I wheeze sometimes when I climb a flight of stares. Also I feel like it is messing with my heart and I worry that it will eventually cause a heart attack if I don't quit again. So I'm not really depressed that I relapsed, I'm a little relieved actually because I was starting to feel insane fighting the cravings, but now I feel like although they feel good, I don't want my health to decline rapidly within the next few years. So I know I will have to give this up again eventually. I just have reinforce my reasons for quitting and try harder next time. 

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I think I am going to try to quit smoking again today. I have half a pack of Marlboro reds left. I'm thinking about just breaking them up and flushing them down the toilet. Or just quit after I finish smoking the last one. I'm not sure which would be better, but either way I think it's time for me to quit. I've been spending too much money on cigarettes and also I am not a young man anymore, I am in my mid 30's, so I don't want to have health problems when I'm 50 or 60 years old. Smoking takes like 10 years off of your life I think. instead of dying at 71 you end up dying at 61 from lung cancer. Or you can have a sudden heart attack or stroke at this age. I think I can do it cold turkey. I feel like I think more clearly when I don't smoke. When I smoke i feel less productive and lazy. Right now I need to be at the top of my game and can't afford to slack off anymore. 

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I quit drinking (used to drink a qt. of vodka a day) and after a year or so had no cravings. I quit meth (again daily user) and after 6 months or so I had no cravings. I quite cigarettes over 12 years ago & I still have times when I crave a cigarette and can even recall the taste of it. The mechanism by which you become addicted to nicotine is actually different than any other substance. I quit using the patch for the chemical addition, which helped some but I was also just a nasty bastard for a while. I found chewing toothpicks all the time helped with the urge to put the cigarette in my mouth.

 I imagine vapping is better but it's still going to increase your risk of heart disease and some other problems (like insomnia), which are results of the nicotine. 

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