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#246152 - 08/22/08 01:42 AM Quitting smoking
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
O.K.

I am trying to get healthier. I am not only a CSA survivor, but am also a recovering alcoholic that smokes. I believe, I smoke to stuff my feelings like I do with alcohol.

I am going to an A.A event and am planning on using a replacement therapy with my new girlfriend. Everytime I get a craving, instead of lighting one up, I get girlfriend, as a substitution. Something tells me that this motivation is going to work.

(Seriously)

My problem isn't quitting, my problem is staying quit.

Any advice from former smokers would be GREATLY APPRECIATED...!!!

I Have to go and pack now,and I will be back on Monday,to preview your replies. Which, will be the time, WHEN I GREATLY NEED YOUR ADVICE.

THANK YOU, IN ADVANCE...!!!


island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#246156 - 08/22/08 06:04 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: 1islandboy]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Have you cut down to light or ultra light cigarettes yet? Doing so will make to easier to quit. Nicotine and cocaine stimulate the same gland in the brain, and the cravings for coke can be at their worst 30-60 days after quitting. Maybe 10 years ago it was becoming common for a doctor to prescribe Zyban (a milder form of Welbutrin) for a few days after quitting to help with initial cravings. This strategy does not help the cravings much beyond the point where the drug wears off.

I quit for a week or two a hundred times. I made a month a dozen times, but only made it beyond two months twice. I used a combination of nicotine patches and nicotine gum, while still lighting-up for only a few puffs when my stress was at its worst. I am in a high-stress job, which hasn't helped much. Twice I was successful making it to the point where I had completely cut-out any cigarette use and had reduced the patches to their lowest level. In my experience, the jump from 14mg to 7mg patches was almost impossible. Try cutting a 14mg patch down in size with sissors to help bridge that gap.

Try to stay away from businesses that have outdoor public ashtrays. I found it almost impossible to make it past an old-style sand-type ashtray with 20 half-smoked butts sticking out. A lot of businesses are going to the smokeless cannister-type outdoor ashtray, which help a lot with this craving. And if and when you make it to the point where you are completely off of the patches, do NOT drop your guard. Dreams with smoking in them are quite common for as long as a year after quitting. Try to stay away from places and parties where other people might be smoking. (Good luck with AA meetings). I have a "Quitting Cocaine" workbook from the Hazelden Treatment Facility in Minnesota which would be useful if you were to substitute smoking for using cocaine. Number #1: You have to stay away from people who are using and places where people use.

Ronald Reagan used jelly beans to quit. I would weigh 500 lbs now if I had used jelly beans. But something like this may help with the worst cravings just to distract you, even for a moment. In my experience, just using the gum or the lozenge were a much less effective strategy, because the cravings can be immense when every individual piece runs out. Just using the patch by itself has limitations too. I would wear one to bed despite the chance for vivid dreams just to avoid the worst of the morning cravings. When are your worst cravings? Mornings, after meals, stressful time pressure, or urban rush hour traffic were the worst times for me.

I would recommend Hazelden's quitting book series. It is amazing how similar the strategy for quitting cocaine and dealing with cocaine cravings is to trying to quit smoking cigarettes. Hazelden has a large bookstore with a number of quitting titles available. I don't know their website address right off but their toll-free phone number is 800-257-7800, if you would be interested in buying some of their literature.

If you relapse just keep on trying. I went for many years smoking only 2-3 packs per week of ultra lights instead of 7-10 packs per week of full flavor, after initially trying to quit, which was a huge reduction in intake. I made it once to 7 months completely clean off of the patch just to blow it at a backyard barbeque where everyone was drinking and smoking. Somebody offered me a smoke and my guard was down, and the closest I had ever been was history. Still, over the last 7 years, my cigarette/nicotine intake has been down by 90% from where it was, which I consider a great accomplishment instead of a disappointing failure.

I still smoke, 2 or 3 packs per week of ultra lights. I still have a supply of gum and lozenges here and every day I still replace a few cigarettes here or there with a piece of gum or a lozenge. I made it a week just a few weeks ago. Your best chance of quitting is your first chance. After the first chance it gets harder to quit. Everyday I keep that hope alive though.

Just keep on trying. And don't be too hard on yourself if you slip-up. It is hell trying to quit smoking.

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#246159 - 08/22/08 07:20 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: Trucker51]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
I quit smoking at the end of April. I tried the Commit Lozenges, and they got me off the cigs, but I was afraid of just getting hooked on those instead. So I kept them around for when/if the cravings got really hard -- but the thing that worked best for me was to just stop cold turkey and push through the withdrawl. Drinking a lot water helped me a lot too. \:\) Flush that stuff out of your system. \:\)

The best way to quit is to want it. You have to want to quit or else it's a lot more difficult.

Good luck, man! I promise it gets easier with time. \:\)

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#246161 - 08/22/08 07:38 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: AndyJB2005]
Sans Logos Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/31/03
Posts: 5791
Loc: in my own world in pittsburgh,...
island:

partial repost of my response to hauser regarding quitting coffee:

'when i tried to get off of nicotine 15 years ago, i had a brain storm that i would trade a bad habit [smoking] for a good one [joined a gym]. that gave me a built in method for choosing a whole new lexicon of behaviors where there were no associative triggers waiting to derail me.

after the 72 hour period i was freed.

this was the first time in all the years it attempted to quit that it worked. and i think what really sealed it for me, was that that notion in my head that continually reinforced the thought "i'm a smoker....i'm a smoker' was finally snipped in the bud when i realized that for the first time in a long time, i realized that I COULD BREATHE!'

good luck,
ron

_________________________
  1. the past
  2. ReClaiming Now
  3. advocacy


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#246162 - 08/22/08 08:08 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: Sans Logos]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
When I quit I've noticed I smell things a lot better -- for better and worse. LOL

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#246169 - 08/22/08 11:12 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: AndyJB2005]
Hauser Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/12/05
Posts: 2962
Loc: United States
Cold turkey is the ONLY way to go. Seriously. Will you be miserable? Probably. Anxious? Probably. Jittery? Probably. Short-tempered and irritable? Possibly. Besides the health concerns, these are why we were always advised to never start the habit.

Let's look at it another way ok? One of the most common issues we as survivors face is a low self-esteem, it's a major hurtle for many of us to get over. Now, what's a useful tool that we can employ that will help us in this regard? How about becoming fit and healthy? It's another method for us to feel good about ourselves and our bodies. Consider that ok?

On actually quitting smoking:

It took me 3 serious attempts. Once when I was 20, and once more at 21, then...........at age 23........I finally did it. It CAN be done. Thousands of people do it every day.


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#246170 - 08/22/08 11:42 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: Hauser]
MarkK Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/02/07
Posts: 2503
Loc: Denver, CO
I would agree with Alan. Cold turkey is the ONLY way to go.

I was ... unbearable ... for the first week, then it started subsiding. It took me 5 attempts ... guess I wasn't as serious as Alan the first few ...

The hardest one was when I had quit for 4 years and started back up. Stopping THAT time was not fun!

M


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#246231 - 08/23/08 10:11 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: MarkK]
AndyJB2005 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 11/14/06
Posts: 1245
Loc: Saint Paul, Minnesota
Agreed, cold turkey is the way to go. It isn't easy, but it DOES get easier with time. Drink water!

The hardest part for me wasn't/isn't the physical withdrawals....more so the psychological ones. The wanting something in my mouth or hand feeling...or the habitual times like after meals or something...

It can be done! \:\) Woo!

_________________________
Life's disappointments are harder to take when you don't know any swear words. -- Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes)

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#246353 - 08/24/08 02:42 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: AndyJB2005]
Logan Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 04/05/03
Posts: 1238
Loc: NY
It already seems like have got the best advice so far.
1. cold turkey is the way to go-3 days of physical withdrawals and then the really hard part, staying quit. I will usually say, "wow that was easy" and start right back up again. It is so easy to fall into this trap.

2 the psychological addiction, at least for me subsided alittle bit but never fully went away and that was after 2 years.

3. Ron already mentioned this, but it is so true. The antonym to smoking is exorcise!!! If during the first 72 hours. you have a craving do some push-ups, as many as you can until you are so physically drained that you cannot do another single one. or go for a jog or use a treadmill--trust me, after the first 5 min. you will curse the day you ever started smoking.

after that 3 day period make exorcize a part of your weekly routine and you won't wanna smoke.

I hope this helps,
Logan

_________________________
"Terrible thing to live in Fear"-Shawshank Redemption
WOR Alumnus Hope Springs 2009
"Quite a thing to live in fear, this is what is means to be a slave"
-Blade Runner

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#279631 - 03/16/09 01:29 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: 1islandboy]
edward Offline


Registered: 03/16/09
Posts: 1
I quit smoking on Chantix though I have tried to do cold turkey on two occasions, but of no use. I have smoked for around 5 yrs with pack a day. Thanks to chantix and the supprot my family provided me. There is one thing which I would like to share and which helped me a lot initially, try having a glass of water when you feel craving the most. It a tough road but it's worth so best luck to all those who want to give up smoking.

_________________________
Chantix is FDA approved drug.

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#279746 - 03/16/09 09:31 PM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: edward]
Trucker51 Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 05/20/08
Posts: 2826
Loc: Denver, CO
Hi Edward:

Welcome to MS. Glad that you found us. I have a box of Chantix here, which I am going to try when I run out of patches. I quit once for 7 months using a combination of the patch, chewing the gum, and continuing to smoke a few puffs here and there when my stress level got to be too much.

Did you have any side-effects with Chantix?

Mark

_________________________
"We stay here, we die here. We've got to keep moving". Trucker Mark



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#279795 - 03/17/09 08:32 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: Trucker51]
Riley Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
Hi Edward,

I too have heard great stuff about Chantix. I work with a guy who was a true chain smoker, 3 or 4 packs a day. He fully quit within a month with Chantix.


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#279857 - 03/17/09 07:18 PM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: Riley]
michael banks Offline


Registered: 06/12/08
Posts: 1755
Loc: Mojave Desert, Ca
Guys,

Like with everything the hardest part is to stay smoke free once you quit. You have to address the underlying issues that caused you to use that particular substances in the first place. Until this is addressed you will return to that substances or a different one.
True of all addictions.

Mike
Smoke Free since 1979.
Alcohol and drug free since 1989

_________________________
To own one's shadow is the highest moral act of a human.
-Robert Johnson-

"IT ought never be forgotten that the past is the parent of the future" John C. Calhoun

WOR Alumni Sequoia 2009

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#280024 - 03/19/09 05:00 AM ... [Re: Trucker51]
St3v3n Offline


Registered: 11/26/08
Posts: 102
...


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#280216 - 03/20/09 09:36 PM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: edward]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
I feel the need to elaborate.

I guess what makes quitting so hard for me, is that some of my co-workers
think it is their god given right to smoke in our job shack (the only building on the job site that has heat).

That being said, with the state and fedral taxes being levied, a pack of ciggarettes (on this island) is over $10.

This unexpected...ludicras type of overpricing/taxing has inspired me to redoubling my efforts in quitting.

If I make it to the pillow...Today I will have FIVE WHOLE DAYS.

This may not sound like much...but when your doing it...one minute at at time...



Fighting in the war...

The Empty World (The Cure)

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#280225 - 03/21/09 12:12 AM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: 1islandboy]
Riley Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 01/11/09
Posts: 597
Loc: USA
OK, I wasn`t going to go here but something enticed me to tease the idea of quitting. First off, conrats islandboy, the one time I tried quitting I made it 3 days before I lit up a cigarette. Good mentality, minute by minute.

I was heading down a very bad road a few years ago with alcohol and narcotics but I was able to catch myself before things really got out of control and stopped drinking hard liquor and taking any kind of narcotic. So I do have an idea about beating addictions.

I have smoked probably 10-15 cigarettes a day for about 5 years now. I smoke for primarily two reasons now: to reduce stress and I primarily work outside with smokers. If it matters, I grew up in a smoke friendly environment: mom, dad, uncles, brother, friends, neighbors, pretty much everybody I knew/know smoked/smokes.

Right now the stress it reduces out weighs the detriment to my health. In some ways I want to quit but I dont really know why. It is going to be difficult because I am around it all day, everyday. If I decide to quit I need a real reason, not the detrimental health reasons because as I said the stress it reduces out weighs that. I feel like if somebody can prove to me that it is really for the better I will be able to, so, please, give me your best shots. Why did you guys quite?



Edited by Riley (03/21/09 12:14 AM)

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#280337 - 03/21/09 10:10 PM Re: Quitting smoking [Re: Riley]
1islandboy Offline
Member
MaleSurvivor

Registered: 06/23/08
Posts: 862
Loc: washington
Riley,

I've smoked between one and two packs a day @25yrs and I now have emphysema. This didn't happen overnight...more like a constant barrage that added up to accumalative damage. Fact of the math is, there are a lot of variables... exposure to second hand smoke, smog and toxic chemicals to name a few.

I can't prove, nor am I out to prove anything...the writing is on the wall...and odds are eventually stacked against you.

I will share that I know someone (in the program) who is breathing on one lung and has terminal cancer. I can't prove smoking had anything to do with it, as there are people who get lung cancer and have not smoked a day in their life. This person smoked a lot...for a long duration of time...

I am not here to force my opinions, so please draw your own conclusions...

...but if you want my best shot ---

I have intimate knowledge that smoking leads to erectile dysfunction... (period)


Harmonica - Killing me softly with his song - Flack

island

_________________________
Rise above the storm and you will find the sunshine ~ M.F. Fernandez

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#280349 - 03/22/09 12:54 AM . [Re: 1islandboy]
GoFigure12 Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 09/22/06
Posts: 72
Loc: USA
.


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