Expat Forum For People Moving Overseas And Living Abroad banner

1 - 20 of 67 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm wondering of there are people on the forum who would like to quit smoking and would like support in doing so? I have to quit smoking as I'm about to undergo treatment for cancer, and it makes absolutely no sense to keep smoking while undergoing treatment. We could share information for each other. Perhaps ex-smokers would like to share their experiences in how they succeeded? The only time I was really successful was in 2009, when I quit for 2-1/2 years without a puff. I'm a heavy smoker, smoking regularly since I was 13 years old. But I loved being a non-smoker. I absolutely loved it.

I just hope in starting this thread that it does not become a thread for insulting smokers. :fingerscrossed:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,249 Posts
I gave up smoking over 30 years ago. I was never a heavy smoker (less than 20 a day) and have no magic tricks to share, sorry. I gave up when I had a cold and sore throat and didn't feel like smoking anyway, and thought it would be easier just to stop, full stop, rather than cutting down gradually. I don't remember things like nicotine patches or gum being around at the time, although they might have been. To be honest I can't see the point of carrying on using nicotine if you're trying to break a nicotine addiction. It's not easy, though - nicotine is supposedly the most addictive drug there is, worse than heroin.
When I stopped smoking I went through a period of being starving hungry all the time and put on half a stone within 3 weeks. I crunched my way through packets and packets of polo mints every day instead of reaching for a cigarette, and if I felt restless which I often did, I got up and found something to do instead (such as tidying out a cupboard, my cupboards have never been so tidy:D) or went for a walk. For years and years, I missed having a cigarette after a meal or when out for a drink with friends.

Good luck with it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I gave up smoking over 30 years ago. I was never a heavy smoker (less than 20 a day) and have no magic tricks to share, sorry. I gave up when I had a cold and sore throat and didn't feel like smoking anyway, and thought it would be easier just to stop, full stop, rather than cutting down gradually. I don't remember things like nicotine patches or gum being around at the time, although they might have been. To be honest I can't see the point of carrying on using nicotine if you're trying to break a nicotine addiction. It's not easy, though - nicotine is supposedly the most addictive drug there is, worse than heroin.
When I stopped smoking I went through a period of being starving hungry all the time and put on half a stone within 3 weeks. I crunched my way through packets and packets of polo mints every day instead of reaching for a cigarette, and if I felt restless which I often did, I got up and found something to do instead (such as tidying out a cupboard, my cupboards have never been so tidy:D) or went for a walk. For years and years, I missed having a cigarette after a meal or when out for a drink with friends.

Good luck with it.
Hi Lynn. Congrats on your quit!

Weight gain is one of my problems too when I quit. They say a sugar fix is like a nicotine fix, so that's what we're looking for as a substitute. So this time around I'm just not going to reach for the sugar right from the start. Or at least that's the plan.

I agree with you about nicotine replacement. I used those when I quite in 2009, and I was just addicted to those as the cigarettes. They're expensive too! So this time I'm not using them.

I really miss the cigarette a lot too. It's like losing a best friend, albeit a very toxic best friend. Back in 2009 when I quit, I wrote this letter, which really helped me...

Dear Mr. Cigarette:

You know, it is time for us to say goodbye. Like so many people in my life, there comes a time when we have irreconcilable differences and we have outgrown each other. And when that time comes, it is best to just say our piece and leave. I know you had the best intentions right from the start, as I did. I was lonely and afraid, angry and hurt. You embodied all of that for me, and we set it to fire and transformed it into smoke and ashes for the world to see. But I’ve changed since we met. I have come to love a lot of the world and a lot of myself. So, you see, we’re not a good match anymore. I know it hurts to hear what I have to say, but I’m confident that you’ll find someone else to nurture you and someone else who needs you. You don’t fit in with my new life plan anymore, a life plan of health and longevity, a life plan of tranquility and contentment. You have not changed with me. So I am sorry that I have to leave, but it’s best for both of us. I don’t want to shout at you anymore for controlling me. I don’t want to play those destructive games with you anymore. I will never forget you, and I’m sure I’ll want to go back to you forever and ever, but I’m hoping we can just leave it at memories, and I will never actually have my lips wrapped around you again. Find another love, for ours has run its course.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts
Allheart, have you ever thought of writing erotic fiction?

I quit 8 years ago. I'd tried a few times before but always missed the 'hit' too much (the sensation at the back of the throat when you inhale). The NHS offered lots of advice and help, including prescribing a nicotine inhaler (to replace the 'hit') and weekly or fortnightly visits to see the nurse to get support. The nurse used to check my CO2 levels to make sure I wasn't cheating. As well as the inhaler, support and loads of self discipline, I also used to sip on ice cold water or suck on ice cubes. Plus lots of mints (I used to do that anyway and still do). Gradually, and it happened by itself, I wanted and needed the inhaler less and less until I stopped using it altogether. I had also stopped boozing because smoking and drinking were best buddies and one needed the other.

You know this already, but self discipline is the biggest requirement to giving up.

Good luck!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Allheart, have you ever thought of writing erotic fiction?
:D

I quit 8 years ago. I'd tried a few times before but always missed the 'hit' too much (the sensation at the back of the throat when you inhale). The NHS offered lots of advice and help, including prescribing a nicotine inhaler (to replace the 'hit') and weekly or fortnightly visits to see the nurse to get support. The nurse used to check my CO2 levels to make sure I wasn't cheating. As well as the inhaler, support and loads of self discipline, I also used to sip on ice cold water or suck on ice cubes. Plus lots of mints (I used to do that anyway and still do). Gradually, and it happened by itself, I wanted and needed the inhaler less and less until I stopped using it altogether. I had also stopped boozing because smoking and drinking were best buddies and one needed the other.

You know this already, but self discipline is the biggest requirement to giving up.

Good luck!
Hi Helenameva. :) Congrats on your quit! I like your idea of ice water and ice cubes. I never tried that. Thanks.

I've tried many times too - with this being my 12th serious attempt! Yes, self-discipline is the biggest requirement in my experience too.

There's lots of support in Canada too to quit smoking. In 2009, I used an online support site for Canadians, and they even called to check in on me! This is what I used: Smokers' Helpline - Home But I have to live in Canada to use that site. I'm not using any support here - other than the cancer treatment appointments being a type of support group. :eek:

I know what you mean about missing the hit. I absolutely love it. Takes my breath away! ;)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
I know a few people who quit by using Champix which work on the mind, seems very popular now. Only available through GP in the UK. Otherwise there is no easy method, just gets easier the longer you stop. Your biggest incentive to stop is having Cancer, you need to be as healthy as possible to fight it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17,566 Posts
I reduced my nicotine intake to using those Silk Cut Ultra (0.1 mg) and I had been smoking up to 60 per day. I was down to the point of only having about 5 or 6 of the ultra - that's less than half a B&H. SWMBO said to me "either you quit or I'm leaving" and I decided that I wasn't going to take the chance that she would actually do it. ***-free now for 10 years.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I know a few people who quit by using Champix which work on the mind, seems very popular now. Only available through GP in the UK. Otherwise there is no easy method, just gets easier the longer you stop. Your biggest incentive to stop is having Cancer, you need to be as healthy as possible to fight it.
Hi Isobella. :) You're right that fighting the cancer is my biggest incentive now. The rest of my lifestyle is already healthy, so that's the only thing I can do to improve my chances in this fight.

I've also heard of a lot of success stories in Canada with Champix, but I can't take it with my other psych meds.

It's soooo true what you say that it gets easier the longer you stop. I remember a turning point in my 2009 quit when I had less cravings as a non-smoker than I did as a smoker. It was about a month or two into my quit. That was so freeing! That's my goal in the quit this time around - to reach that turning point of freedom. :)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,009 Posts
I remember after a few months of quitting I suddenly realised one day I hadn't thought of a cigarette all day. I once did a stupid thing though, after quitting for years I was stupid and had one when my dog died. It was as if I had never stopped. Took years for me to try again but I learned my lesson and it has been 8 years now.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I reduced my nicotine intake to using those Silk Cut Ultra (0.1 mg) and I had been smoking up to 60 per day. I was down to the point of only having about 5 or 6 of the ultra - that's less than half a B&H. SWMBO said to me "either you quit or I'm leaving" and I decided that I wasn't going to take the chance that she would actually do it. ***-free now for 10 years.
Hi Baldilocks. :) OMG 60 a day?! And you're quit for 10 years. Wow. That's inspirational.

That was a big incentive for you to quit. I'm happy you made the right choice between SWMBO and Mr. Cigarette. :)

I find cutting back before the quit helps too, which I've done before. This time I'm doing the same as you did... I've got one more box of Marlboro Gold tobacco left, and instead of making fat cigarettes with my cigarette machine, I'm hand rolling the rest as skinny cigarettes. Then no more after that!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I remember after a few months of quitting I suddenly realised one day I hadn't thought of a cigarette all day. I once did a stupid thing though, after quitting for years I was stupid and had one when my dog died. It was as if I had never stopped. Took years for me to try again but I learned my lesson and it has been 8 years now.
I know what you mean about just having that one cigarette. That's how I failed all the other times before 2009 - just that one cigarette or one puff, which always put me back to regular smoking. I came to understand that not even a puff is possible. I came across this back in that quit, which was soooo helpful, and I'll be using it again this time around when I feel like negotiating with Mr. Cigarette:

Junkie thinking and wise responses - author unknown

One puff won't hurt . . .
RESPONSE: One puff will always hurt me, and it always will because I'm not a social smoker. One puff and I'll be smoking compulsively again.


I only want one . . .
RESPONSE: I have never wanted only one. In fact, I want 20 or 30 or more a day every day. I want them all.


I'll just be a social smoker . . .
RESPONSE: I'm a chronic, compulsive smoker, and once I smoke one I'll quickly be thinking about the next one. Social smokers can take it or leave it. That's not me.


I'm doing so well, having one won't hurt me now . . .
RESPONSE: The only reason I'm doing so well is because I haven't taken the first one. Yet once I do, I won't be doing well anymore. I'll be smoking again.


I'll just stop again . . .
RESPONSE: Look how hard it is to stop this time. In fact, when I'm back in the grip of compulsion, what guarantee do I have that I'll ever be able to stop again?


If I slip, I'll keep trying . . .
RESPONSE: If I think I can get away with one little "slip" now, I'll think I can get away with another little "slip" later on.

I need one to get me through this withdrawal . . .
RESPONSE: Smoking will not get me through the discomfort of not smoking. It will only get me back to smoking. One puff stops the process of withdrawal and recovery, and I'll have to go through it all all over again.

I miss smoking right now . . .
RESPONSE: Of course I miss something I've been doing every day for most of my life. I'd rather be an ex-smoker with an occasional desire to smoke, than a smoker with a constant desire to quit.

I really need to smoke now, I'm so upset . . .
RESPONSE: Smoking is not going to fix anything. I'll still be upset, I'll just be an upset smoker. I never have to have a cigarette. Smoking is not a need, it's a want. Once the crisis is over, I'll be relieved and grateful I'm still not smoking.

I don't care . . .
RESPONSE: What is it exactly that I think that I don't care about? Can I truthfully say I don't care about chest pain? I don't care about gagging in the morning? I don't care about COPD or lung cancer? No, I care about these things very much. That's why I stopped smoking in the first place.

What difference does it make anyway . . .
RESPONSE: It makes a difference in the way I breathe, the way my heart beats, the way I feel about myself. It makes a tremendous difference in every aspect of my physical and emotional health.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19,394 Posts
I also quit about 10 years ago after a few attempts before that. And I also had to learn that cutting down was not an option for me, nor being a social smoker, nor having the occasional cigarette because I deserved it or because I'd "been clean " for a year or any other excuses.
I didn't use substitutes, I didn't tell everyone so that they'd support me or do any of the usual stuff because I didn't want the disappointment of it all when I very probably failed. I think I finally realised that it was up to me and no one else.
I still fancy a cigarette every so often, but most of the time I can't stand the smoke and the smell which really nauseate me.
I've had 2 or 3 since I gave up and the effect is so strong. You can feel the nicotine zinging round your body. It frightens me to think my body had become accustomed to that. Even though it was risky to have those cigarettes it made me appreciate how dangerous smoking is.

PS The main thing I think is really wanting to give up/ stop/ not smoke ever again. If you are convinced of that, you're half way there.

What clinched it for me was a student of mine, smoked like a train as they say, and he gave up because he had a non smoker girlfriend and I thought if he can do it, so can I!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,639 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I also quit about 10 years ago after a few attempts before that. And I also had to learn that cutting down was not an option for me, nor being a social smoker, nor having the occasional cigarette because I deserved it or because I'd "been clean " for a year or any other excuses.
I didn't use substitutes, I didn't tell everyone so that they'd support me or do any of the usual stuff because I didn't want the disappointment of it all when I very probably failed. I think I finally realised that it was up to me and no one else.
I still fancy a cigarette every so often, but most of the time I can't stand the smoke and the smell which really nauseate me.
I've had 2 or 3 since I gave up and the effect is so strong. You can feel the nicotine zinging round your body. It frightens me to think my body had become accustomed to that. Even though it was risky to have those cigarettes it made me appreciate how dangerous smoking is.

PS The main thing I think is really wanting to give up/ stop/ not smoke ever again. If you are convinced of that, you're half way there.

What clinched it for me was a student of mine, smoked like a train as they say, and he gave up because he had a non smoker girlfriend and I thought if he can do it, so can I!
Hi Pesky Wesky. :) Congrats on your quit!!

Even as a smoker, I typically can't stand the smell of it. When I don't smoke, it's worse. But sometimes I still get seduced by the smell and I swoon over it and makes for the worst cravings. It's weird how it can smell so awful most times and so wonderful other times. :confused2:

I know what you mean about the horrible disappointment to myself and others when going back to smoking. Whenever I quit, I have horrible dreams about smoking and get all the feelings of disappointment of smoking. I wake up so incredibly upset, and then realize it was just a dream. :rolleyes:

Yes, I think I will probably always crave a cigarette too. Based on my previous failures and the cravings that will never go away, and based on experiences with Catholicism, I'll never consider myself a real ex-smoker, just a non-practising smoker. :)
 
1 - 20 of 67 Posts
Top