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The Only Way I Was Able To Stop Smoking

124

Comments

  • I return today to report I have been one year without a cigarette or nicotine substitutes. That means I've not smoked and have not used a patch, gum, inhaler or any other form of nicotine delivery system during that time: it was as cold turkey as cold turkey can be.

    Some days it was a rough row to hoe. Other days it was pretty easy.

    During the past year I thought about cigarettes at least once every day. Although that is a true statement it isn't as horrible as it might sound.

    At first I thought about my beloved cigarettes almost constantly, hour upon hour and day after day. As the days crept past I thought about them less and less. Today I can go most of the day without thinking about cigarettes at all, but at some point I still think about them.

    As I've said many times, my motivation to quit was pain. A surgeon told me he would not do back surgery if I had nicotine in my system because nicotine interferes with healing. To give myself the best chance of healing I quit smoking. I had also said that another reason I quit was, in the event I did not heal right, nobody could say I didn't heal because I wouldn't quit smoking.

    I feel like a reformed alcoholic or someone who has lost 500 pounds: Every day is another victory for me and I don't want to go back to where I was before I quit.

    Still, I don't feel healthier. I'm sure I am but honestly don't feel like it.

    My wife says I complain that everything has a funny taste to it, even the food that I loved while I was smoking. I sometimes wonder if I can actually taste the food now and THAT'S why I don't like it.

    Here are the numbers that kept me focused:

    365 days = 365 packs of cigarettes not smoked.
    10 packs per carton = 36 1/2 cartons of cigarettes not smoked.
    $6 per pack per day = $2,190 not spent.
    20 cigs per pack = 7,300 cigarettes not smoked.
    Each cig weighs approximately 1 gram.
    1 gram per cig x 20 cigs per day = 20 grams per day.
    20 grams per day x 365 days = 7,300 grams.
    7,300 grams to pounds = 16+ pounds.

    Amongst the things I got with the money saved is a new camera and then a new lens, and I have my eye on another lens.

    This has been a profitable quit for me in more ways than just my health.

  • Sheri76: Thanks for your kind words. I'm surprised at how many people say they took time to read this and it makes me happy to hear it's made someone smile.

    Yes, I still get that cigarette smell but it not every day. I've also "smelled" burning wires and  a couple of times have wandered through the house to make sure it wasn't real. Sometimes I even "smell" smoke on me when I haven't left the house or been around any type of smoke. I've never heard of anyone having the phantom odors as long as I've had them. Weird, but there it is.

    Until someone comes up with something that will replace nicotine with no side effects and leaves absolutely no desire to smoke, each of us will have to find our own incentive to quit.

    Hang in there and don't give up on your sister.

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  • Thanks for your kind words too, MariaVincent.

    I don't know of anything that will convince a smoker to stop short of a devastating diagnosis that nobody wants. In my mind I was a man full growed and if I wanted to smoke I was going to smoke. I had often wished I had the will power to quit but never thought I had the courage to follow through. As I said many times I quit only because I felt like I was backed into a corner and basically forced to stop smoking.

    One thing I used in my defense (when quitting came up) was my doc commented on how clear my lungs were. Not "kinda" clear, and not "relatively" clear and not clear "considering you smoke": very clear. I had no question about ciggies being harmful, but nobody could convince me it was really hurting my lungs when different doctors kept telling me how clear my lungs were. Matter of fact, the surgeon had said he could schedule me for surgery in two weeks and then asked if I smoked. He said he was suprised when I said yes. My smoking days were finally numbered from that point.

    I have an aunt in her mid-80's who stopped smoking 20-some years ago. She was recently diagnosed with COPD and is now on oxygen. Her past smoking is, of course, blamed. I always thought the lungs repaired themselves and they do regenerate to a certain extent but not totally. Some of the damage from smoking is permanent, and that worries me much more today than it did before I quit. At the same time I'm convinced if I DO get diagnosed with something nobody wants to be diagnosed with it will come much later than it would have if I'd not quit.

    My wife never nagged me about smoking and never once made a snide remark if were out somewhere and I decided to slip out for a quick smoke. She is tickled to death I've made it this far and there's no doubt in my mind I could not have done it without her support. She's my sweet angel.



  • 391 days
    391 packs
    7,820 cigs
    1 gram per cig x 7,820 grams = 17.2 pounds
    $2,346

    I STILL smell cigarette smoke now and then and wonder if it's normal to have that issue after this length of time.

    I was at a big extended-family Christmas Party a couple of days ago and there was smoking (outside). I did eyeball the different brands that were lying on the outside table and THOUGHT how easy it would be to open a pack, flick a ciggie out and fire it up but that's as far as the thought process went: I didn't have the desire to actually do it.

    The journey continues but it's the weirdest one I've ever embarked on.

  • I used Chantix to quit and at the time was not covered under health insurance but was so worth the cost when you think of the price of smokes these days and the price of your health. Smoking dries up your spine and left me with using an inhaler. Chantex gave me the crazy nightmares as well as the withdrawal. It just took away the addiction just like that and never thought of it again to smoke.

    Good for you to quit! I drink water a lot and sip sip instead of puff puff. Congrats to everyone who quits and to actually never start. I lost my Stepdad when he was only 59, he was a heavy smoker. yes stick around longer and quit. I found that I had really didn't care about myself and didn't care what smoking did to me and it's a self hatred thing and an addiction so strong. for me at the time.

    Wellbutrin worked for my friend. People can ask their Dr. and they even give free nicotine patches etc. in some states or free samples from your Dr.  

    Congrats! One day, one year at a time. 

    DDD of lumbar spine with sciatica to left hip,leg and foot. L4-L5 posterior disc bulge with prominent facets, L5-S1 prominent facets with a posterior osteocartilaginous bar. Mild bilateral foraminal narrowing c-spine c4-c7 RN
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  • Thanks Charry. I quit cold turkey and still had the weird dreams, so I wonder if it was the Chantix that causes the dreams or if it's a result of nicotine withdrawal or whatever. I got a script filled for Chantix but never used it because I was afraid of the dreams that everyone told me about. Turned out I had them anyways. Never had any nightmares but the dreams were so VIVID and real, more realistic than dreams I've normally had. The worse part of any dream I had after quitting was how real it seemed when I smoked in them... the odor and everything was right on... and it was several minutes after I woke up that I realized it had only been a dream.

    I was one of the few smoking holdouts left in my circle of friends. There are some in-laws that still smoke, but none of them smoke in their own house anymore and that helps me stay longer when we visit compared to if they smoked inside. Been to other houses where they still smoke inside and, although they make it a point to not smoke while we're there (and I appreciate that greatly), I can hardly stay inside very long because of the cigarette odor. I don't preach or make a big deal about it, but after a while we just gotta get out of there... gotta get home to check on the cat or let the dog out or whatever. Just gotta get out. But being "trapped" with a smoke for any length of time has turned out to be an occasional experience. Because of the surgery I was never in a position to break and have a cigarette because I was home bound.

    Even though recovery from surgery wasn't what we all hoped for and it ended up with my taking early retirement, the end result has been a true blessing for us and we're grateful for where we are and what we have.







  • MudflapMudflap Posts: 286
    edited 01/23/2019 - 3:11 PM

    Having said all that, today is 418 days since my last quit. That's well over a year! When I first quit I wasn't sure I'd make it another 30 minutes, but here I am... I've made it another half hour 5,016 times and I'm still smoke free.  Woot! Woot!

    418 days is 418 packs
    41.8 cartons
    8,360 ciggies
    18.4 pounds of tobacco (one gallon of milk weight approximately 8.6 pounds)
    $2,508 not spent on cigs

    On top of all that, I've not consumed the tar and nicotine contained in those 8,360 cigarettes.

    My health HAS to be better than it was 418 days ago.

    I'm far too vested to quit my quit, and it is MY quit. I own it.

  • This might be my last entry in the stop smoking forum. It's been over a year since I quit, and people who are a year into their own quit don't need a stop smoking post. Those who are just now thinking about quitting are more focused on the next day or two, not about what might happen a year from now. Might not get that far anyways. That's how I felt about it. Besides, my quit doesn't consume me as much as it did when I first quit and I no longer need the therapy I had by keeping track of every day.

    BUT...
    I recall how scary it was to even THINK about stopping
    I recall when I put a cigarette out and, as I was still blowing smoke out of my lungs, thinking "That was my last cigarette" and immediately having an insanely strong urge to fire up another (which I usually did)
    I recall wondering if I could make it through another minute without a smoke
    I recall wondering if a minute would be long enough to give the craving time to pass
    I recall thinking how easy it would be to just smoke a cigarette and put myself out of my misery
    I recall my quit was literally measured one minute at a time
    I recall thinking that a week or even three days were too far away for me to contemplate being without a cigarette, so I didn't allow myself to think that far ahead
    I recall that I barely allowed myself to think about making it to bedtime, much less a week or longer
    I recall that going without nicotine was comparable to suffering through the Biblical plagues (all at once)
    I recall making it through that first day and wondering if I could make it through a second day
    I recall going through everything listed above on the second day, too
    I know how happy I am to have made it this far

    I recall how slowly and how difficult each day was, and suddenly it's one year, two months and five days later. If I'd taken some type of nicotine replacement therapy (like the patch, gum or vape stick) I'd still have to beat the nicotine addiction at some point. Now that all the nicotine withdrawal misery I suffered through is behind me I'm glad it's over. I don't want to go through it again.

    I've talked to people who quit smoking 20 or 30 years ago and they have said they still have cravings. That worried me. During the difficult first couple of weeks of my quit I was thinking that if the people who quit three decades ago had cravings like I was having I wouldn't make it. It turns out that yes, I have cravings, but they are NOTHING like the cravings I had when I first quit. I can easily deal with the cravings I now have.

    Instead of my desire for a cigarette being like a monkey on my back constantly SCREAMING directly into my ear that if I would just fire a cigarette up I would no longer be victim to the self-imposed misery I was subjecting myself to, the craving is more like seeing a monkey in a cage across the road and knowing it's too far away to fling poo. In other words, the desire is still there but it isn't in my face anymore and it's much easier for me to deal with.

    As an off the wall comment, my wife and I were shopping for health insurance quotes recently. I was very happy to mark NO to the question "Do you smoke?" and then mark NO to the follow-up question: "Have you smoked in the past 12 months?" THAT was a good feeling!

    My numbers:
    1 year 2 months and 5 days without smoking = 432 days
    432 days x 1 pack a day = 432 packs
    432 packs x 20 cigs per pack = 8,640 ciggies
    8,640 ciggies x 1 gram per ciggie = 8,640 grams
    8,640 grams converted to pounds = 19.04 pounds
    $6 per pack x 432 packs =$2,592 not spent

    I'm very thankful to be where I am today but I regret I can't find the words to help those who really want to quit, but when you find your motivation to quit nothing will be able to stop you. You can do it.

  • steveradarssteveradar Posts: 1
    edited 03/01/2019 - 9:23 PM

    Really Very Impressive Post, I am also an occasional smoker but I generally use E-cigarette But I found out recently  on a news site the(edit)that E cigarette can cause heart stroke. But I do not think this is true because who knows 

  • steveradar Yah, "Who knows?" . Will inhaling water vapor hurt us? Probably not. People use steam for clogged sinuses and have been doing so for who knows how long. But the vapor from e-cigs is more than just water vapor; is has chemicals to give it flavor and other chemicals to make clouds of "smoke." Inhaling water vapor is surely less harmful than inhaling burning tobacco, but it still can't be good to draw the chemicals into our lungs. I dunno.

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