Im smoking about 3 cigs a day, am i just prolonging my cravings?
Welcome to the community!
By smoking just three cigarettes a day, you are keeping the addiction alive - but just barely - and making yourself unnecessarily uncomfortable, too. The idea when you quit is that those brain receptors that nicotine targets die off over time when you quit, and the physical part of the addiction withers and dies. By feeding them just three a day, you have done your body a favor by adjusting the chemical amount in your body and the physical withdrawal and body function impact should be lessened, but it's time now to just stop. Let me help you understand this with some good information on the nature of your addiction.
The most important thing you can do 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 easy and entertaining read provides a world of good information about nicotine addiction, most of which I was not aware. I credit it in large part with my success at quitting. You can search for it online or at your local library.
You should also read the posts here and perhaps go to the pages of folks who you think might be helpful. You might visit whyquit.com, quitsmoking.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. Here is a video to inform you further about nicotine addiction: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IpWMgPHn0Lo&feature=youtu.be.
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 after you have tried to delay and distract. 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. You need to start out with a plan to reduce use of them over time - which the patch does by decreasing the dose contained in them.. For the gum, you can start by cutting each piece in half, then in quarters, then sub regular gum of the same flavor in between, adding more and more regular gum. For the lozenge, you need to start subbing a mint in between to begin, increasing the number of them over time. I do not recommend the e-cigarette for obvious reasons.
It will be informative if you do the tracking and separation exercises recommended here on the site. As you track each cigarette smoked, note its importance, and what you might do instead. Put each one off just a little to prove that you don't NEED a cigarette just because you think you do.
The idea is to change up your routines so the smoking associations are reduced. Drink your coffee with your OTHER hand in a place different from when you smoked. Maybe switch to tea for a bit. 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. Keep a cold bottle of water with you from which to sip. 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: https://excommunity.becomeanex.org/blogs/Youngatheart.7.4.12-blog/2013/02/25/100-things-to-do-instead-of-smoke
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!
I agree with Youngatheart 100 % please do the recommended reading suggested above me and keep reading everything you can because there's a wealth of information right here on this site to strengthen your resolve to kick the nicotine poison to the curb permanently it's not easy by any stretch of the imagination BUT thankfully it's DOABLE....
As long as you're smoking you are prolonging.
I see you have a quit date picked for Oct. 05 That gives you plenty of time to read and learn about the effects of nicotine and the withdraw that was suggested above by Youngatheart.7.4.12 and Marilyn.H.July.14.14. Being prepared makes quitting a little easier as you understand what is happening Who knows after reading and learning you may quit sooner. You can do this.
You answered this question for yourself. Unfortunately, as long as you have nicotine in your system, you're feeding the addiction.
You are keeping those nicotine receptors alive & not only prolonging your cravings, you are keeping your addiction alive & ready to take over again. I used the mantra NOPE Not One Puff Ever when l quit. It was such a simple concept, l said it over & over again. It does get better but it takes time & no smoking.
As long as you have cigarettes available you are giving yourself permission to smoke. Please do the reading as mentioned and prepare yourself for your quit. Welcome to the EX community.
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