I've seen many people's successes and failures on this site and collected many helpful links over time.
I'd like to present this as a reproduction of the information that was on my page to give new members links to that information.
"I don't do that anymore."
We offer what we've learned and wish we'd known, but, the willingness must be your own.
Successful quits are active. They have to be. You have to unlearn thinking of smoking and that means making other choices on the spur of the moment. It means planning ahead when you know you might be in a setting that would compromise your quit. In other words, waking up out of the dream world and being willing to change.
Spend as much time here as you can, reading the blogs, writing your own and asking questions. Some here have many years of helping people under our belts and we are here for no other reason but to help you quit.
I smoked at least a pack a day for 40 years, much more when I was younger, so, I know how to smoke as well as anyone. I have been quit and helping others quit for 12 years as of January 2, 2018. I've spent over thirty thousand hours on this and another site watching thousands and thousands of people try to quit.
By observing, reading, and asking questions of them, I've correlated what I believe makes both the physical addiction and the psychological addiction (habit) of smoking tick. It is a definable process.
What To Expect The First 4 Months
Here is a link to all of Sarah's No Mans Land Blogs.
For those who haven't started to stop smoking, make it a game. We will teach you what you need to know and get you prepared but please, if you are having difficulty getting started, please do what is suggested in the next link. This is the simple way I began my one and only quit without anxiety or stress. It makes you think before you smoke which gets you off autopilot without freaking yourself out.
Every moment missed to go have a smoke whether in triumph or defeat, joy or sadness is gone forever. We did not experience reality in the same context as those around us. (unless they were smokers too)
We simply were not present. We were thinking about smoking before and during those chunks of life we missed and, we just kept repeating it over and over and over and over.....
There are things we all experience to different degrees but in approximately the same timeline. I have helped many succeed and have yet to find a more rewarding or valuable way to spend my time.
You are worth it. We are here to help you succeed anytime you're decided.
Some Key Thoughts
Life keeps coming, good days and bad.
Smoking is not required.
No Luck Is Involved.
You have to do some cocooning to become a butterfly.
Time Is The Healer.
"Hope" is wishing, not doing.
Once you decide to quit, you can. Until then, you will flounder.
Quitting isn't about what you use or your exact plan. Quitting is about being willing. Willing to be honest with yourself. Willing to not let your emotions rule your quit, and then, willing to give yourself enough time to get over the first two humps; The first month, and the 100 days that follow.
There is no "magic" button but there is a fairly easy way to do it with understanding and the correct mindset.
Blame any physical or emotional discomfort on smoking, not quitting.
Remember, people who never smoked have good and bad days too.
Smoking does not make things better.
It is an illusion caused by the dopamine release nicotine causes when it hits the pleasure receptors. Nicotine has literally hijacked our brain and made it so we cannot experience pleasure in a normal way.
We want to help you get through this in the easiest possible way. You do not need to want to quit. You must however, decide to quit and then, be willing to unlearn what you've done for however many years you've smoked.
If you have had difficulty quitting in the past, you must stop doing it in the same way.
As children our favorite and most repeated question on any long road trip was, "are we there yet?" This is why I focus on what to expect and when.
What I've learned is once the nicotine is out of your system (and, even before,) it is all about approach, perseverance and simply knowing it will get better in time.
What To Expect The First 4 Months
The first 2-3 weeks are the worst time for most quitters. You may feel like you're in a fog, disconnected, shaky. Emotions are all over the map. Your mind and body are experiencing great changes!
At about 3-4 weeks many will start feeling better and think they're "over it."
Watch Your Back the 100 days following your first month.
During their first 130 days is when I see most people drop the ball. Cravings will come out of nowhere, and knock the quit out of you.
Don't Drop The Ball! You've already proven you don't need to smoke by making it this far. Why would you give in now?
I CHALLENGE EVERY PERSON QUITTING SMOKING TO WILLINGLY GO 130 DAYS FROM YOUR LAST PUFF AND THEN TELL ME YOUR THOUGHTS OF SMOKING ARE STILL UNMANAGEABLE.
Thomas posted a study on 8-27-12 in the following link describing the cues to smoke (craves) as being more intense in the first few months after the initial 35 days. This is ONLY a small part of the reason I focus on the first 130 days and exactly what I have described as "No Mans Land." (actually, years before Thomas discovered this link)
No Mans Land (Days 30-130 Approx. Study From Thomas Precedes)
And, Finally, two sets of seasons, the continuation of building new memories without smoking to strengthen your quit
Quitting is what you make it.
About laughing out loud
Nicotine keeps you coming back for more while you are a smoker but long after people have quit using it, long after the pleasure receptors we sensitized to nicotine have died off, it's the memories experienced during each of those smokes and the emotions we've connected to them that make people come back to smoking. Nicotine is the physical addiction but is 10% of quitting, the habit and years of repetition (the psychological part) I consider to be 90%.
Does the patch really double your chances of quitting? The patch can help take the edge off to help you focus on working through part of the initial unlearning of the habit but it will not quit for you and it will not keep you quit.
At 6 months people who used the patch the entire suggested course of treatment went back to smoking at the same rate as everyone else.
What about people claiming "Harm Reduction" using an Ecig? We don't, as yet, have enough studies as to what damage they do and don't do because ecigs haven't been around long enough.
If you are looking at using an ecig to quit smoking you may want to ask yourself what you are gaining?
If you are still getting nicotine you are still addicted to it. If you are unwilling to unlearn the psychological addiction, (The hand to mouth and inhale motion of smoking) how will you ever be free of the same thoughts as a smoker? You are simply replacing smoking with a different delivery device.
Smoking is slavery no matter how you do it. The only way to be free is to unlearn the hand to mouth and inhale motions.
The lining of your mouth absorbs nicotine from an ecig whether you inhale or not just like a cigar.
Question. Have you ever met someone who quit smoking using an ecig who is not still using an ecig?
My best suggestion I have is look in the mirror when you use it and tell me that's what you wan't people to see and judge you by.
On the double the success claim using nrt's?
I traced this claim to a Department of Health web page, which also claimed a 15 per cent success rate at 12 months for NRT. The evidence that was supposed to demonstrate this 15 per cent success rate and the "four times more likely to quit" phenomenon was not listed in the footnotes, so I wrote to the Department to ask for it.
It took over three months to get the information
When that information was finally forthcoming, the figures showed a 6.5% quit rate for those using NRT, and a 6% quit rate for those going "cold turkey, i.e. without using NRT." So much for the "15% success rate" and "four times more likely" claims. (see following link)
I've put in enough time here to know I can't save everybody. People talk themselves into smoking. It's not my fault. People put themselves in risky situations and choose to smoke. It's not my fault.
Every time people quit then choose to smoke, they break a promise to themselves and put another hole in their armor until there is no armor left. It's not my fault.
Hang on and you'll make it! Smoke and you don't!
Lighten up! Humor is good for your quit.
A sense of humor is vital!
For those of you who think you are going to do it "your way" and have one here and there along the way?
Nicotine receptors are not moral or ethical judges. They cannot be lied to. They tell your brain the last time they were fed, not you.
These receptors and are not desensitized or replaced with non sensitized receptors until you stop feeding them.
"If you've quit smoking and you're still smoking? You're doing it wrong."
Keep looking forward, eyes on the road. Don't get distracted, don't let go! (there's no such thing as a good slip!)
Everything you need to understand about cravings, habit, and memories
On Weight Gain
My Buddy Hoggie>We've Been Together Since His First Breath