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(OT) any ex smokers out there? How did you kick it?

Post in 'The Inglenook' started by bfunk13, Sep 21, 2011.

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  1. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    I know this is off topic but didn't know where else to post.
    I am 38 and have a wife and two boys 6 and 19 months.
    I am a smoker for about 20 years now. I know i need to quit but really have a hell of a time.
    I have tried the gum, patch and chantix. The Chantix was the closest i have come to quitting.
    Just wondering who here has kicked the habit and how? Thanks!

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  2. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    I quit.

    It was before the stuff was available to help, and I did it pretty much cold turkey. I'd tried a few dozen times, made it an hour here, a few days there, woke up each morning intending to make today the day. Then one day I had a health care provider (PA) checking me out for something else, and she was one of those thorough people who look over the whole patient when they're in front of her. She said, "I can give you this for the ear infection, but I'm more worried about your cough."
    [hack]"What cough?"
    "You have an infection in your lungs. I can give you antibiotics to make it go away, but if you keep smoking, it will keep coming back."

    And somehow those were the magic words that I needed to hear. Reality was staring me in the face, and I had to admit this was stupid. I decided to quit.

    I offer that not as anecdote, but as central to the whole thing. Once I decided to quit, the rest was just details. Once I made that decision, I'd gotten through the hard part.

    I tapered off over the next week. I'd light up 3-4 times a day, smoke half a cigarette, throw the rest away. Did that for a few days, tapered down to a few puffs each time. Then no more. I spent a lot of time in places I didn't smoke--bathtub, bed. I brushed my teeth a lot. I ate a bunch of tangerines and drank grapefruit juice, because the idea of puffing up after the citrus was pretty yuck. I drank a lot of water. I took vitamins, especially C to help clean my body out, get rid of the toxins that were triggering the cravings. I took it easy on myself. And when the urge to smoke came, I learned to ride it out. I noticed it was like a wave on a beach. No matter how intense it was, it would peak and then pass. I grew more confident each time I won a small battle.

    I noticed that when I was in social situations, I was more tempted to smoke. I still remember a friend coming over to my house, sitting down and taking out a package of my brand and shaking out a smoke. I looked at it wistfully and said conversationally, "I haven't had a cigarette for a week." He didn't say a word, just put it back in the pack, put the pack in his pocket. When I assured him it was okay for him to smoke, he just shook his head. A small kindness that reinforced my resolve. I prioritized what I was doing.

    I did things that kept my hands busy, especially in the evenings. That's how you quit, in the end. You just don't light up the next cigarette. You do whatever it takes to not light up the next cigarette.

    A few months later, I learned that my father had just died, and I got a cigarette, and lit up. I smoked it. I lit up another, and smoked half of it, looked at it, and asked myself, "What are you doing?" I threw it on the ground and stamped it out, and I was done.

    For several years after that, I'd get the odd tingle--"Gee, it would be nice to have a smoke," but it was just a passing fancy, not a serious crave--almost like seeing a familiar face in a crowd. Surprising when it would hit. And then finally, gone.
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Not a smoker, but I've had friends and family who have quit.

    Brother-in-law's long-time girlfriend: Used and swears by Chantix.

    Fire Inspector/Friend: Quit numerous times without success -- tried everything. Then one day he stumbled on to a website here in Maine funded by tobacco settlement money and found inspiration in a blog or something he read at that site . . . said he just got mad at himself and the tobacco addiction and resolved then and there to settle in and fight the addiction. I honestly thought he wouldn't succeed, but he says he was just inspired and had a drive to quit that was greater than the addiction . . . he never looked back . . . for a time he sounded worse than when he was coughing, but today he sounds and looks a lot younger than he ever did before.

    My Grandparents: My Grandmother got very sick and she was a stubborn, old lady who decided that the racking cough was just made 10x worse due to her smoking. She quit then and there and used hard candy whenever she felt the urge to light up. My grandfather who was just as old and stubborn quit almost exactly a year later -- said to us, "If she can do it, I can do it." He chewed gum. Both were die hard unfiltered Marlboro and Kent smokers.
  4. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Almost forgot . . . good luck . . . you've got a lot to live for . . . and the one thing my sister (cardiac tech) and my wife (cardiac nurse) see over and over again in their line of work is one very common factor in cardiac disease . . . yup . . . smoking . . . my sister says 9 times out of 10 her patient is a long time smoker. My wife says she is even seeing patients now in their 40s and 50s -- patients without any past medical history or family history having heart attacks.
  5. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the replies!
    Sounds like you had quite a battle snowleopard!
    Like i said i have tried and tried and just looking for suggestions on how others have quit.
    You are right Jake i do have a lot to live for and the reason i get mad at myself everyday for not kicking this.
    People without this addiction really have no idea, my wife "just don't buy anymore". She has no idea because she is smart enough to never have touched them.
    I will do it, i am to the point that i really hate cigarettes and beat myself up every time i light up.
  6. blujacket

    blujacket Minister of Fire

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    Cold turkey for me. That first month was brutal, but easier as the time went by. I can't believe I smelled so bad all those years. I gag whenever I'm around a smoker now.
  7. wdenton

    wdenton Member

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    I quit 16 years ago

    I tried the patch but at the time I smoked 2 -3 pack of camel filters a day so the patch was not strong enough.
    I ended up smoking lights and using the patch and the doc said my heart would explode if I kept that up.

    So I quit the patch and an few months later on January 3 I woke up and threw the carton of cigs I had in the fridge away and went cold turkey.

    I had tried this in the past with no success. But I wanted to get married (to an no smoker) and didn't want to smoke around the kids (when I had them) so I quit and did not look back.

    It was one of the hardest things to quit for me and to this day if I picked up a cig I would start again.
    I loved the smell and taste of them and the brning paper on the cig.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    One of the very best things you can do while becoming a non-smoker is to begin a new exercise routine. One that will cause you to use those lungs. After the initial first few days of the exercise you should find it easier and you'll notice almost daily an increase in your ability to do the exercise.

    Also, one of the most difficult things is that when becoming a non-smoker, you still tend to think about lighting up. For some folks this goes away quickly and for others it may take months to stop thinking about it. Watch yourself and see how many times you get ready to go somewhere. Do you check to see you have enough smokes on hand? Or matches? Those little things mean a lot.


    Remember that to break one habit it is very helpful to begin a new habit.....so long as the new habit is beneficial to you. Hence, one reason for exercise. Riding a bike, running or walking can go a long ways towards helping you.

    Good luck and I sincerely hope you join the rest of us non-smokers.
  9. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    I have thrown away countless packs of smokes.
    Crushed them and said thats it. 4 hours later either buying more or digging them out of the trash.
    You are right backwoods, total lifestyle change including exercise. I will do it.

    Thanks for the support!
  10. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    Been off for over a year and a half, not drinking beer worked for me! Seriously, that was part of it, but my twin boys were the biggest reason. I just got to a point where I was more and more miserable, and chantix helped me get over the first month or so. If you're to the point that you seriously want to do this, you are more than half the way there. Always remember that when it gets really ugly, it WILL change in a few minutes. Just hang on for a few minutes and it will be tolerable, and easier each time. Make it personal and take it head on "Yeah, you want a piece of me urge? Bring it baby, I'll kick you ass you piece of chit". Ummm, can I swear in here? Ah well, you get the idea.
  11. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks Czech, i like your approach!
  12. abrucerd

    abrucerd Member

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  13. SolarAndWood

    SolarAndWood Minister of Fire

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    +1000. I went cold turkey. Really sucked as I was bartending and waiting 6 nights a week when you could still smoke in restaurants here. Riding for an hour plus every day got me through it and provided another reason to quit other than my doctor telling me that asthma combined with smoking would be the end for me. Good luck.
  14. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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  15. Flatbedford

    Flatbedford Minister of Fire

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    My sister taught me how to smoke when I was 11, back in 1981. By the time I was 17 I was a pack-a-day +. I stopped for a bout 1 1/2 years in my early 20s, but started up again when I hooked up with a smoker who ended up being Mrs. Flatbedford a few years later. She stopped in '98 or so and I kept on going. She hated it. In the fall of '02 we got engaged and planned to marry in May '03. Around the holidays I decided that I would stop after the wedding knowing that I would be off work for two weeks. I knew that two weeks out of my routine of two smokes on the drive in ( I could tell if i was on time or not based on where I was when i lit up), One after coffee break, during lunch, etc. would help. In the time between the decision and the big day I worked at smoking less, but still allowed myself to smoke a whole pack if I was out drinking or something, because I knew i was gonna stop anyway. On my wedding day, I had my last smoke with my best man and stopped. Since then I have "snuck" about a dozen smokes and every single one of them was just plain disgusting! I still miss smoking and think about it almost every day.
    For me, I just had to finally decide that I was done and simply stop. A major change in routine helped a lot too. I consider it one of the great accomplishments in my life.

    Another thing that might help you stop is to see the difference in the cost to a smoker or non smoker for the life insurance policy you buy to provide for your family if you can't.
  16. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Great posts here, i appreciate every single one!
    Truth is, if it were just me i would probably never quit. I enjoy smoking plus the addiction makes it a real SOB.
    These two are my inspiration to quit and start a new lifestyle.

    Attached Files:

  17. laynes69

    laynes69 Minister of Fire

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    I smoked for 10 years. After having my lungs collapse many times and the apical portion of my left lobe removed I decided for my wife and kids I needed to quit. They explained I would have emphysema by the age of 35 due to lung scarring. I'm 30 so it would have been close. I quit by switching up my normal smoking habits. After that I started reducing the amount I smoked. Since surgery and quitting I haven't had any problems. I tried gum and decided it was too much. You have to want to quit.
  18. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    One more little trick. Stand a single cigarette up on the table. Look at how small that thing is. Now, will you continue to let some little piece of crap like this ruin the rest of your life? You are bigger than that little thing so don't let that little thing control you any longer. You call the shots. Get tough but don't feel sorry for yourself. Remember, you are starting a new habit here. That is, becoming a non-smoker. Your later life will be much easier when you don't have that stuff going into your lungs. Watch a lot of smokers and how much they cough. What about all the crap they also get out of their throat and spit away.

    One more advantage of becoming a non-smoker is that your sense of taste and smell will wake up again. Food will start tasting much better.
  19. GAMMA RAY

    GAMMA RAY Minister of Fire

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    They are beautiful children!!!
    You must be proud...
    Best of luck on quitting... :)
  20. bfunk13

    bfunk13 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks so much!
  21. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    another cold turkey here.

    I had been "trying" to quit for two years, could go the weekend but noon time at work on Monday I'd be buying a pack.

    Was in the hospital for two days for a procedure and decided this was it. I'm not a smoker any more.
    I am no longer a smoker. I think that was my mantra for a month.

    The smell of some one else smoking doesn't bother me.
    That ash tray smell on some people and in cars is AWFUL, though.
  22. Thistle

    Thistle Minister of Fire

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    Started smoking at 15,was barely 32 & in otherwise great shape but was having trouble breathing when carrying things up 3-4 flights of stairs at jobsite before the elevators was installed.Quit cold turkey Thanksgiving weekend 1995,havent had any since.Wasnt much fun to be around the first week or so,but that changed.Everyone told me "Jon...even as active as you are,you'll gain 30 pounds blah blah..." I replied "BS no I wont!" Though I did gain 5 pounds the first 5 days after quitting because I was eating everything that wasnt nailed down (quit on Sunday night),I soon lost it & kept it off.

    To this day I cant be around those who smoke,outside is no problem but inside a vehicle or closed building really affects how I breathe & gives me instant headaches.Just yesterday was carrying 50-60 lb Red Oak rounds up a fairly steep 50 ft long slope to gravel driveway where tractor & cart was parked.Though I was 16 yrs younger,it wouldnt have been any easier back then when I still smoked a pack of Marlboro Reds daily.1 month ago had to take physical & breathing test to fit for respirator to remove mold at a local elementary school.Passed the test,lungs were 104% of capacity,best score of those in my test group,regardless of age.SOOOOO glad I quit!!
  23. snowleopard

    snowleopard Minister of Fire

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    Those kids are beautiful. Yep.

    You want to around to be the man they call "Dad", right? Then man up and do this thing, or somebody else may have that privilege.
  24. DuckDog

    DuckDog Burning Hunk

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    I smoked for 17 years. Started in high school. Tried to quit many times because I should and because needed to. Those all failed.

    I quit smoking July 4 2010. Lol, I am Canadian so the date was not intentional but Independance Day none the less! I have not had a single puff since. The only difference between this time and all the other times...... I HONESTLY WANTED TO QUIT THIS TIME.

    I don't want to sound negative but if you genuinley do not want to quit then quitting will be a million times more difficult. You have to find a way to make yourself WANT to quit.

    It's a dirty, tough addiction to get rid of but you can do it!!!

    Good luck
    Drew,
  25. jimbom

    jimbom Combustion Analyzer

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    Great picture of the kids.

    My dad had two kids like that. My brother and I were sitting on his bed at the big out of town cancer center when the doctor came it and said - terminal lung cancer. Dad said it must have been from the feed dust, the fertilizer dust or the hay, I am a farmer you know. The doctor said no, this type of cancer only comes from smoking.

    I hated that he had to die with regrets. I am glad you will not be in that spot.
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