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Thu Jul 5, 2012, 07:28 PM

Do we have any smokers here?

I have got to quit. A guy at work who I'd say is around 55 has COPD. There are a few different illnesses that fall under that category. The way he described it, it sounds like emphysema. But he still smokes. He told me to quit before I ended up like him.

I'm 39 and I've smoked since I was 16. I've smoked 1.5 packs a day for a long time now. I have a bit of a cough here and there and sometimes I get a little phlegm. I can also tell that my lung capacity is not what it used to be.

A lot of people who have a mental illness smoke. I don't know what it is. Maybe it's the medication. Maybe tobacco helps ease symptoms. Maybe it's a bit of both. Anyway...

I have got to quit.

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Arrow 16 replies Author Time Post
Reply Do we have any smokers here? (Original post)
Tobin S. Jul 2012 OP
elleng Jul 2012 #1
Tobin S. Jul 2012 #4
fizzgig Jul 2012 #2
Tobin S. Jul 2012 #5
fizzgig Jul 2012 #7
mopinko Jul 2012 #3
Tobin S. Jul 2012 #6
limpyhobbler Jul 2012 #8
Tobin S. Jul 2012 #9
fizzgig Jul 2012 #10
mopinko Jul 2012 #11
Tobin S. Jul 2012 #12
efilon Sep 2012 #13
Tobin S. Sep 2012 #14
Tobin S. Sep 2012 #15
Denninmi Sep 2012 #16

Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 09:23 PM

1. Please quit, Tobin.

I know its not easy. My 'stranged husb was/is a smoker, lost 2/3 of his tongue as a consequence, and tho cancer's gone, still suffering consequences of the surgery.

Not sure whether he's 'cheating,' as he did for a long time, but he used the patch, in fact numerous ones, in ways not recommended.

I know its a terrible addiction, maybe worse than alcohol, but please stop.

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Response to elleng (Reply #1)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:13 AM

4. No cigarettes for 12 hours now...of course, I was asleep for 7 of them.

But that still counts in my book.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 10:47 PM

2. my husband used the patch and gum last time he quit

he was quit for close to three months but picked it back up. i blame myself a bit for that because i continued to smoke and i know that made it harder.

i know some people like the e-cigarettes, the gum did get me across the atlantic a couple of times.

du has a smoking cessation group. not very active, but there might be some helpful information.

i know i have to quit, but i am not ready yet. it's a ritual, something you can concentrate on when you can't concentrate on anything, something to help get your head back on straight.

good luck to you

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Response to fizzgig (Reply #2)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:24 AM

5. Thanks for the link

I think I'm going to quit cold turkey. I've tried the gum and e-cigs and they didn't do much for me. Nothing beats that nicotine and tar laden smoke. It's just not the same.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #5)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 12:25 PM

7. have you tried the patch?

it did the job for me when i was in the hospital. also check with your county's health department, ours offers low cost smoking cessation assistance, my husband met with smoking cessation counselor for a couple months and it helped.

keep us posted

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Thu Jul 5, 2012, 11:31 PM

3. heard this interview this afternoon

New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg discusses his book "The Power of Habit", as well as how habits are made (and broken.)

http://www.wbez.org/blogs/bez/2012-07/afternoon-shift-july-5-2012-100664

it was very interesting, and i would recommend giving a listen. it's a long show, but it was a nice long interview. and they talked about smoking, and quitting.
one thing they said was that attempts to quit are part of quitting, and shouldn't be seen as failures. also talks about finding the cues and rewards of addictions and bad habits.

i think that a lot of people with mental illness smoke because they like the relief of the anxiety that lighting up brings. even tho that relief is just part of a loop of nicotine addiction or not, it is relief of anxiety.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 04:26 AM

6. Thanks for the link

I'll check it out this evening.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Fri Jul 6, 2012, 09:59 PM

8. I quit 18 months ago.

Still smoke free and much happier for it.

What worked for me was cold turkey. Plenty of relaxing the first week. plenty of juice and water. Took vacation from work, stayed in the house for the first few days.

I read this book before hand: The Easy Way to Stop Smoking
http://books.google.com/books/about/The_Easy_Way_to_Stop_Smoking.html?id=cN_xAuodABgC

And I watched all these Joel Spitzer videos:
http://www.youtube.com/user/joelspitz?feature=results_main


It took me 2 attempts using that method. Before that I had tried to quit maybe 50 times with gum, patch, etc.
Was a 20 year pack-a-day smoker, started at age 16.

Good luck I wish you success in quitting cigarettes~!

If it doesn't stick, don't get discouraged. set a new date and try again...

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Tue Jul 10, 2012, 06:33 PM

9. UPDATE

I've been tobacco-free since a couple of hours before I wrote the OP. I've heard that you break the physical addiction after 72 hours of abstinence. After that, it's all in the mind. I already feel a whole lot better. Now I just have to watch out for those cravings.

I think of myself as an intelligent person, but using tobacco doesn't seem like a very intelligent thing to do if you are aware of the hazards. But this is an addiction and I was hooked long before I started gaining wisdom. Had that first cigarette, stolen from my step-father, when I was 11. Started smoking regularly when I was 16. Those bastards at the convenience stores knew I was underage, but they went ahead and sold that shit to me anyway. I remember buying a pack of cigarettes when I was 13. The guy told me to stick them in my pocket before I left the store.

Anyway, you can be smart and still be an addict and I think that people who have mental illnesses are particularly susceptible to becoming addicts. A lot of mentally ill people self medicate with street drugs and alcohol. I think tobacco also falls into the category of self medicating, particularly if you have troubles with anxiety. I've met a lot of severely mentally ill people in my time and many of them have what's called a dual diagnosis- that is, drug addiction and mental illness. That's probably more common than not.

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 12:46 AM

10. excellent job!

keep it up

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #9)

Wed Jul 11, 2012, 07:15 PM

11. good work. keep it up.

be looking for your triggers, and figure out how to diffuse them. when my sister quit, she had to change jobs because working in a bar was all trigger, all day.
remember this, too- the longer you smoke, the longer it take for those cravings to subside. so, it may seem like you have been smoking forever, but if you were in your 50's you could look forward to having cravings for the rest of your life. you are doing the best thing.
i never had that habit, but i always thought i would do that- put the money you would be spending on cigs in a jar, and buy yourself something great with it. with cigs so expensive these days, just think what you could buy in a year.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sat Jul 21, 2012, 09:21 PM

12. UPDATE

It's been 16 days now and I'm still a non-smoker. I haven't really had a hard time with it with the exception of the first three days and then the Saturday after that when I got all stressed out over something else. But I'm okay. I think this quit is going to stick this time. A couple of people here suggested the web site www.whyquit.com and that is an excellent resource. They even have a message board over there that you can post on as long as you are nicotine free. I'm a member and I go by Tobin over there, too. It's a lot more restrictive than this place, but they are single mindedly focused on one thing: NTAP. Never Take Another Puff!

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #12)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 11:56 AM

13. Good for you Tobin

Keep it up. I think the single most helpful advice I ever got from an ex-smoker was the craving will go away whether you have another cigarette or not. The craving lasts about five seconds. Usually just getting up and moving a little will get you through.

Former 2 pack a day smoker. Smoke free for 4 years this month.

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Response to efilon (Reply #13)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 01:32 PM

14. 10-4. Thanks for kicking this up there. I'll do another update.

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Response to Tobin S. (Original post)

Sat Sep 8, 2012, 01:43 PM

15. UPDATE. 9/8/12 and still a ex-smoker

It's been over two months now and I feel great. Not only am I healthier, but I've also saved almost $600 since I quit smoking.

I went from a pack and a half a day to no nicotine all at once. I didn't use any nicotine replacement products. I put on a little weight, but not enough to make me have to buy new clothes, and now the weight is coming off. I don't have cravings now and just about the only time I even think about smoking is when I see someone else doing it, and then my thoughts are along the lines of, "Boy, I'm glad I don't do that anymore."

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Response to Tobin S. (Reply #15)

Sun Sep 9, 2012, 04:49 AM

16. Every ex-smoker I know always says it's one of the best things they ever did for themselves.

So happy for you about this. Way to go!

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