Skip navigation
All People > jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 > jonescarp.aka.dale.Jan_2007 Blog > 2016 > July
                     I grew up 5 blocks from the ocean. I would spend 10 hours a day bodysurfing on the South side of the pier. I used to love the smell of a cigarette wafting on the breeze. My head would lift up everytime I smelled it to see har far away it was. I most likely still would except there is no smoking on the beach. I don't feel that liking that smell is a betrayal of or a risk to my quit. I liked the smell 11 years before I began smoking and it had no bearing on my starting smoking.              
So what got me started?           
     When I was in high school, our music department got an invitation to send it's two best singers to audition for a  group in Los Angeles. I auditioned and was accepted but the competition was great. They had 36 spots and 150 people competing for them on a weekly basis.          
     I was going to high school full time and traveling 100 miles each way 3 or 4 times a week to rehearsal in Los Angeles getting home by midnight or later most nights.  We would get a break every couple hours and I found myself with the "cool people" smoking on the steps outside. I didn't stop for 40 years.        
We will all have memories connected to smoking, so what? We don't do that anymore.      

Quality Of Life


Quitting smoking is about quality of life. It's about not having your entire life ruled by smoking. People who are still smoking won't understand.

Consider our friend Betty who has lung cancer. She doesn't regret quitting smoking. She doesn't feel like she gave anything up once she found freedom. Why? Because her quality of life has been better since she quit.  Yes we might pay with with some malady caused by or related to smoking but today is today, no regrets.   

Live it the best you can!


He's a beaut, isn't he?

Over and over for nearly 10 years,  I've seen and  heard   "I can't seem to quit."

It is because you are undecided and unwilling. You get a craving and talk yourself into smoking.

Over the years I've been quit, I have created a number of sensory distractions that destroy even the toughest craving.

1. Stick your head in the freezer and count backwards from 20.

2. Bite into a lemon skin and all.

3. Fill your mouth with ice cubes and try to avoid brain freeze.

4. Laugh Out Loud. You can't hear yourself laugh and not be distracted.

5. Self talk:. Say "I don't do that anymore" out loud when you get a crave.

Today I am unveiling the latest in crave killers. I guarantee if you get a couple of these guys as pets and stick your hands into their tank when you get a craving, YOU WILL NOT SMOKE.

There are two reasons for this.

1. It's difficult to get a crab off one thumb while there's one on the other thumb.

2. You can't smoke with wet hands.

These tips won't work if you don't use them.

You just don't know it yet. :-)

This changing your routine can be serious business. It can be so dam awkward after that first month.

My three hardest days in a row were in the mid fifties and they were 3 IN A ROW.

Looking back on that now, was that the fight with myself to fight all fights? Were my emotions trying to force me back into slavery? I didn't know where I was.

You are in the middle of it and you are exposed TO YOURSELF.

It's a powerful moment when you realize your future is in your hands, when you realize you can see it for what it is and control the emotions that want to take you back.

I never had any depression or anxiety before I quit. I've always been a happy guy.

But in those tough days it was suggested by a friend that I might want to take a mild anti depressant.

I'm thinking smoking for me was self medicating but not just physically, it was dibilitating to let that go.

So I get it.

We all must go through it and it takes time.

One more thing, if you've had depression or anxiety before you quit, your chemical imbalance was not necessarily caused by smoking but like me, perhaps you self medicated with smoking also.

I did get on a mild anti depressant and I got a quick acting RX for something to drop the anxiety before the adrenalin took over and I couldn't stop it.

After I moved, I told my new dr I felt I could get off the anti depressent and per her instructions. I did.

So ( this was the point of the blog) for those who have never had depression before you quit, these drugs are not a life sentence. Once you have adjusted to not smoking you can have a talk with yourself and decide you don't need them. It's your option.

You will find there are many things you will look at in a new and different way.

It's called LIVING and

The only way out is through.

I've never figured this out.

I know why people think they are accomplishing something but what about when you hit that wall and can't seem to cut down anymore?

That would really be upsetting to me. That would really be frustrating to me. That would make me think I couldn't quit. That would make me focus on smoking even more when I smoked my allotment for the day and the day was only half over. That would make the focus of my entire day about when and when I could not have a cigarette.

So where's the advantage?

Here's another way to apporach your quit without stressing yourself out.

I spent 4 weeks cutting down but I NEVER COUNTED. I NEVER DENIED MYSELF.

I never put myself under any kind of pressure about how many cigarettes I was having a day.

All I did was say to myself "I'm going to wait a little longer" when I had the urge to smoke.

Do you see the difference here? Here's a softer way to approach getting off auto and preparing to quit.

I went from a pack a day to a pack every 4 days in those 4 weeks and never once counted. NEVER ONCE had a negative thought about quitting. Didn't even set a quit date.

After 4 weeks, I had proven I didn't need to smoke just because the thought popped into my head and gotten myself off smokers autopilot. 

People who pressure themselves by counting put themselves in a bad place before they even quit.

You can do this if you think things through so you aren't overcome by illogical emotions.  :-)

I drove an hour each way to see my gastroenterologist about my Barrett's Esophagus.

The most shocking thing he asked at the beginning of our appointment was, do you want me to set up a meeting with a surgeon to remove your esophagus?


This is after 2 years of treatments.

Smoking is a major contributor to gerd/acid reflux and I probably had it before I quit smoking but didn't realize it or know the damage it could do.

Evidently, the high grade dysplasia is pretty much gone except for one area that they have treated but the treatments created scar tissue and even though there is no hi grade dysplasia on the surface, it is beneath the scarring.

It's a problem because most of the work has been cutting out the bad areas with the reasoning that there is brand new mucosa    whereas, with the burning (ablation) they have to treat in layers and segments because of the intense discomfort after the treatments.

I highly suggest you quit smoking now and save what health you can.

You'll get the tools and a timeline of the beginning period of a quit when most fall back to smoking.

If you do what we say, you will make it through that time.

The lifetime part of it is in your hands.

I used to do custom remodeling after I got off the road as an entertainer

One time we had a big problem with parking at a project at the beach. Coastal zoning is rediculous whe you try to make any changes and they make you bring everything up to the new earthquake and other new code standards when you do any major work.

We were near the end of our project, there was still a huge nagging problem. there wasn't enough parking for the number of bedrooms. The square footage of the two buildings didn't change but we had to connect them some way or spend another 100 thousand to rework the 3 story garage building.

The problem was the two buildings didn't line up for a roof to connect normally and we could not impinge on the right stairwell opening (in the first picture's) height because it was the floor of the second floor.

you can see how I jogged the foundation to make up the difference in the offset but the tricky part was getting some kind of roof to work and not cut in to the head area of the rear stairwell.

The architect had a lousy solution which would have looked odd. I was sitting there studying the problem while the drywallers were doing the rear building and the roofers were tearing off the roof of the front house.

It came to me that we could skew the ridge and have the rafters shorter on that opening side so they  came down at a steeper angle and dudn't cut into the opening.

The owners liked my idea and that's what we went with.

I suggest that you can figure out the problems of your quit in the same way you solve any other problem and not be overcome by it.

Think about what you're doing, make your plan and carry on.

they won't quit for you but can be useful in helping arrest the physical need. They will not make you think of smoking any less because that is more the routine/habit/psychological addiction part of quitting..

Here's some basic information for those considering using an NRT.

Basically, you receive 1mg of nicotine from one cigarette.

With that in mind:

The strength of the patch you choose should be based upon how many cigarettes you were smoking at the time you quit,

a 21mg patch is equal to 21 cigarettes.

A 14mg patch is equal to 14 cigarettes

a 7mg patch is equal to 7 cigarettes.

a 2mg piece of gum is equal to two cigarettes

a 4mg piece of gum is equal to 4 cigarettes.

It's the same with the lozenges. 1mg equals one cigarette

If you are on the patch and using gum or lozenges, you may be getting much more nicotine than when you smoked which only deepens your physical need for more nicotine.

Be aware. If you are popping a piece of gum every time you think of smoking you are not disconnecting the routine based urge to smoke. That is part of unlearning smoking.

Self dosing NRT's are what some people become psychologcially addicted to simply because they are self dosing. I recommend the patch for that reason. You aren't in control. You are trusting the patch to do it's work and not popping an NRT in your mouth every time you think of smoking.

Did you have a magic day when you knew smoking was finished?
So many of us think quitting will never end when we begin. It does end, but, you have to let it happen.
I had my moment on day 126. I was driving to a job I had not been to since I had quit smoking. There was a straight away going up a long winding  road. It was the place I always lit up so I could have a last smoke before I pulled into that job. I reached for the pack that was always beside me going up that hill. The pack wasn't there and it made me laugh. I didn't think of going and buying a pack. I didn't long to be smoking.        I laughed because I knew it was over. My 40 years of friendship was done. That ghost pack was my messenger.
You can look for your moment but you won't know when it's coming, I didn't.
So, don't stress over it. Just give it the time it takes.

We had our fireworks last night. I took a video.

I've never figured out what for

They hide in the furniture

and lay on the floor

You try to contain them

and shout "WHAT FOR?"

They can travel under doors

The new breed of fleas is now immune

to hot spot treatments

that worked last June

Their constant change

They will adapt (as in quit smoking)

So be like a flea

and cut the crap

If you can get through the first month, you're most likely expecting the hardest days to be over.

They are and they aren't.

My hardest three days were the mid 50's and I had another really difficult one after I passed the 100 day mark.

What took me through?

The knowledge of No Mans Land from a post on the other site and a medical study that said if you got through 16 weeks of not smoking you were essentially through the most difficult part of quitting.

Give it the time it takes and you will be free.

Filter Blog

By date: By tag: