Cut back, then quit or cold turkey? I've smoked a pack a day for 39 years straight, never quit and not sure how to go about this. Any feedback from a long term smoker would be helpful.
Welcome to our community!
We have lots of things to help you consider the plan that will be right for you. After you do the recommended readings, you should have a better idea of how you go about this. If you do end up with questions, we will be here to answer them.
The most important thing you can do right now is to educate yourself on what nicotine does to your body and mind. To that end, I highly recommend Allen Carr's “The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.” This is an easy and entertaining read. Here is a link to a free PDF version of it:
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go the the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmokingonline.com and livewell.com for the good information contained there. @https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/groups/best-of-ex has lots of blogs written by members of this site with their experiences and guidance. You should also do the tracking and separation exercises suggested in My Quit Plan http://www.becomeanex.org/my-quit-plan.php
After you have completed the recommended reading, it will be time to make an informed choice of the quit aid, if any, you will use. If you go that route, I personally recommend the aids that don't let the addict control the dose such as the available prescription drugs or the patch. If used properly, gum, lozenges and inhalers are fine, but they need to be used only as a last resort. I have seen folks become addicted to them if they substitute them for every cigarette they used to smoke - just trading one addiction for another. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for three reasons: 1) the vapor has been compared to the polluted air in Bejing on a bad day, 2) they just provide another nicotine delivery system while continuing the hand to mouth smoking motion, and 3) the batteries can spontaneously catch on fire. . But – any method that you think will work well for you will be best for you.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand. If you always had that first smoke with your coffee, try putting your tennies on right out of bed, going for a quick walk, then taking your shower and THEN your coffee! Rearrange the furniture in the areas you used to smoke so the view is different. Buy your gas at a different station. Take a different route to work. Take a quick walk at break time where the smokers AREN'T.
You need to distract yourself through any craves. You can take a bite out of a lemon (yup - rind and all), put your head in the freezer and take a deep breath of cold air, do a few jumping jacks, go for a brisk walk or march in place, play a computer game. Don't let that smoking thought rattle around in your brain unchallenged. Sometimes you need to quit a minute or an hour at a time. You will need to be disciplined in the early days to distract yourself when a crave hits. Get busy! Here is a link to a list of things to do instead of smoke if you need some fresh ideas:
The conversation in your head in response to the "I want a cigarette" thought needs to be, "Well, since I have decided not to do that anymore, what shall I do instead for the three minutes this crave will last?" Then DO it. You will need to put some effort into this in the early days, but it gets easier and easier to do.
Stay close to us here and ask questions when you have them and for support when you need it. We will be with you every step of the way!
Read and study. No one can tell you exactly how but the more you learn the easier it will be and you can decide if you want to do it Smart turkey or use an NRT or Chantix have more confidence and hence keep your commitment if you have a strategy.
Nancy listed a lot of great resources another good place to start is right here. Click on "My Quit Plan" in the top right of your screen and read everything. Here is a link to a site that I find very helpful.Learn How to Quit Smoking (and Make it Stick)
Welcome to the community. This is a great place for education and support. Read the above from both Nancy and Freeneasy and do a lot of reading here in the community. Have you set a quit date yet? Is the best gift to give yourself.
It is up to you to decide what is best for you. We can give you the information for you to work it out. Education is the key to a successful quit. Here is a little information to get you started. Disregard if it is duplicated.
Welcome to EX. You have come to the right place for a new day and a rebirth.
Congratulations on making the decision to quit smoking.
This is all about you and what you are willing to do to be smoke free. Quitting smoking requires hard work. It can be challenging at times but you will learn that it is doable if you adhere to NOPE not one puff ever no matter what.
Start First, by educating yourself about nicotine addiction. Education is the key to a successful quit.
Read: Freedom from Nicotine My Journey Home and Nicotine Addiction 101
Here are the links http://whyquit.com/whyquit/LinksAAddiction.html and http://whyquit.com/ffn/
Also Read Allen Carr’s book, “Easy Easier Way to Quit Smoking”.
The link is here: http://media.wix.com/ugd/74fa87_2010cc5496521431188f905b7234a829.pdf
Go to http://www.becomeanex.org/how-to-quit-smoking.php#thl and get started. We will support you. You are in your journey for freedom
Welcome A'board. Begin with commitment, let curiosity lead you, keep an open mind and maintain a sense of humor. The journey is one YOU create for yourself through education and discovery. You cannot read too much on here. Trust your instincts. You know yourself better than anybody else. Glad you've joined us!
Welcome. What "method" to use is up to you. Do ALL the readings recommended..... I assure you, you cannot know too much about this addiction. The information is key. I found whyquit.com to be my favorite.
We all say no one can tell you what to do------but I will share my own experience.
I know myself and cutting back for me would never work. It's just not the way I do things. It works GREAT for some and maybe for you...but not me. I smoked as I smoked until the last one.
I also do not care to take pills, don't like gum or lozenges (be they nicotine or other) and patches on my skin are just not for me. So I quit cold turkey (or as we like to say on EX----Smart Turkey). Again----this was my path and my reason for taking it; it does not have to be yours.
Whatever you choose, you have just made one of the best decisions of your life. this is adeadly addiction and has already taken a health toll on many here in our community. Don't wait too long to decide------tomorrow is promised to no one.
I am newly quit and I decided to learn everything about the addiction! And I continued to smoke of course while I learned, that way my head could be into what I was reading and not freaking out about cigarettes! But I tell ya, once I learned how the addiction works and what to expect during my quit, especially in the early stages of it, I was gun ho to quit! I went to Joel Spitzer's videos on youtube, they are quick videos explaining the addiction and what to expect during the first part of the quit, how to deal with it etc....... And coming here to read read read, and to continue coming here to protect ones quit, especially at the start! The Elders will continue to encourage you and support your quit! So for now, don't worry about quitting today, first take the steps to learn all you can. You will then notice in a short time that you want to quit and you will set your quit date! Welcome to group, you did good coming here!
I set my quit date 6 days out and then smoked just a puff or 2 every few hours until I ran out of Sickerettes right on schedule. Others say they smoked up a storm and then went to bed waking up the next day smoke free. One of our leaders suggests that we just delay - don't schedule just wait a bit and then a bit longer.... So there are lots of ways to go about launching your quit day.
The main thing we all share is that we did have a quit day in mind and when that day came - without any exceptions we were 100% stopped smoking. You can't quit smoking and then a week later have "just one." We are Addicts and it simply doesn't work! So read, read, read! Make a plan and stick to it! As you get closer to your Quit Date your Addictive Brain will go bonkers but stick to your Plan!
You can do this and we'll be here for you every step of the way if you keep the communication open!
There is no right or wrong way to quit. You need to determine what works for you. Some people can cut back (I am not one of those people). Some people can go cold turkey (I am also not one of those people). I am kind of an all or nothing type of gal. So I am choosing to do medication and NRT. I figure if I pile all the methods of quitting on top it, I should have better odds. I will smoke up until quit day. I will wake up and not smoke.
I would recommend reading around on this site. Learning your triggers. Read Allen Carr's The Easy Way to Stop Smoking.
Why do you want to quit? When you are faced with temptation, will you remember those reasons? Look forward and try to see situations that may make you slip. Can you face those head on right away, or do you need to be more secure in your quit?Talk to other Ex's. Find out what was hardest for them. (I am a gatherer of knowledge, I like to be prepared).
Have a support system! (AKA - US!)
Plan, prep, then get it done. I look forward to quitting with you.
(Soon to be Ex in May -date not determined)
Allright Vincent!!!! If you only knew just how much valuable information you just tapped into this morning....wow! You don't know me, and that's okay, but you know my story, as I know yours as well. Yeah, we each have our own idiosyncrasies, but in the end...we are all the same....addicts trying to survive the lies that we have been living with for most of our lives. The links you received, the suggestions, the names of the people who responded to your query...all of those things are now yours. Think of them as tools. Tools for you to carry around with you. Get yourself a sturdy and easily carried toolbox and use it to keep those tools close by during your travels. They just might, and often do....save lives. Not smoking is not a task to be taken lightly. At times it seems insurmountable in nature, and yet other times...it's almost like "what was I so worried about? This is nothing!" There will come a time when you are going to need help. Please come and blog a plea for help. Someone will be here for you....
Good luck to you,
I am Pops, feel free to reach out to me anytime...Pops
Vincenta. I'll be straight. I've quit many times. Used the patch mostly and it worked once for a year quit but I was never really committed, I guess. This time I started with the patch but I get such a bad rash, I took it off and just bit the bullet. It's not easy but you get the worst part over with right away and then it isn't prolonged and for me that has been really positive. I did listen to Carr's book on audio and it just about drove me nuts but it must have planted a deep seed to help me realize some fundamental truths. I wish you the very best. Laura
I smoked for 47 years with the exception of the times I quit for pregnancies...and some other short term quits that failed for any number of reasons. I have been smoke free now for over 3 years and I did the reading, I prepared for my quit by tracking cigarettes and rating the triggers that accompanied my smoking, I PLANNED for what I would do instead of smoking when a trigger happened. I gave up coffee for several weeks and drank green tea instead, I planned my life, I planned what I would do and how I would keep busy. I came to this site every morning and every evening...some mornings I was late for work because I was reading the blogs and commenting. I learned so much from the people here, I learned how THEY got through difficult times and I learned how important education about nicotine addiction is. I am a retired nurse, I already KNEW what I was doing to myself even though I denied it. I quit in January of 2014 and had both of my upper lobes of my lungs removed in November of 2015 because the damage I had done was so severe that I was constantly short of breath. Actually, removing the diseased tissue helped. Not that I am in great shape now, I'm not, I have COPD and it is progressive, all I can do is to try to take care of myself by exercising, eating right, NOT smoking and avoiding things that make my breathing harder. Thomas3.20.2010 has a COPD group where I have learned an enormous amount about what to expect and how I can make things better for me, not everyone who smoked even long term develops COPD, it is just ONE of many things we are at higher risk of developing...none of them are good.
Welcome to EX VincentA you have come to the RIGHT place for education, support, love, friendship, and everything you could possibly need for a successful quit.
I think you are amazing! Thank you for coming here! Welcome!
The replies above me are awesome and informative. Read, prepare, Read, talk to people, make the commitment, stay close to your supports and away from triggers.
For me it took a long time to want to quit more than I wanted to smoke. I joined this site in 2008, and I practiced a lot before I figured it out. I had to WANT to quit. I had to KNOW that smoking didn't make anything better - not how I felt, not how I dealt with things - nothing. I think I would have gotten that sooner if I had stayed here and read more and relied on those who had walked the road before me.
You CAN do this! I know you can!
I have just not smoked every single day for 1315 days in a row.
My mother had a saying, "try it on and see if it fits."
Can't decide which method to use to help ensure your quit is successful? Pick one. Now imagine you are quit. Imagine every little detail of facing a cigarette. Does the method you picked do the trick? If yes, great. If not, put it down and pick up another one.
If you have prepared yourself, have a plan and know where to get support, any method you pick will work just fine. Do it now.
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