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Quitting Smoking

Quitting Smoking
July 08, 2012, 01:01:43 PM
I know, I should never have started, and I hear this process can get pretty ugly. Here's what I've noticed:

Day 1) General unease but very motivated to quit.
Day 2) Hacking up these unspeakable horrors. Terrible fiending.
Day 3) Lung function and dexterity of sinus cavities have improved. Mental addiction quite possibly has gone away.

One thing that I'm doing to help is that whenever I discover an urge to have a cigarette, I breathe very deeply a chestful of fresh, outdoor air. To remind myself what I should be breathing in, instead of the carbon monoxide and various other assorted chemicals. I hope the mods don't mind if I continually update the following hourly count as a visual reminder will keep me motivated.

Total hours without a cigarette: 57.

Any advice?

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 08, 2012, 02:30:48 PM
I quit chewing tobacco and I would advise to exercise more vigorous than usual for the next week or two.  You want your body to produce as much of its own natural high as possible these next two weeks.  Get up super early, pound some coffee, take a brisk walk or a brisk run, and exercise again after work if you have to.  You want to make sure your body is worn out at the end of the day.  When I got craving I simply took aspirin and I thought that took off a little of the edge as well.  I would say you probably need to get through 2 weeks before you are out of the woods.  Drink lots of water and eat some hearty, filling meals

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 08, 2012, 02:53:01 PM
This worked for me: when cravings hit do not fantasize, but have proper disgust at the habit and  hatred for how much you have wasted your life and health on it - like an enemy that fooled you. Symbolically destroy/dispose of anything related that you still own.

The caveat is you don't want to focus/obsess about it. You want related thoughts to slip freely from your mind as your attention shifts. If you force it out, it sticks more strongly. This is where being into meditation and queiting the monkey mind would be a great skill to have - but distractions may work too.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 08, 2012, 03:24:02 PM
The caveat is you don't want to focus/obsess about it.
This is absolutely the main thing. The physical side of quitting is quite easy, really. Nicotine only stays in your system for five days at the longest. It's the behavioral habit, though, that makes you return. The pleasure gained from the act, the responding to triggers. Jim's advice seems good to me as well, primarily because it involves being so fully active that it denies one's mind the opportunity to fantasize - this is actually a good way to resolve a lot of mood/behavior issues in one's life. The only real problem with that approach, at least for me, is that if you take it easy even for just a moment, it becomes a lot harder to get back into the rhythm. Maintaining the rhythm is easy.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 09, 2012, 03:32:29 AM
A week from now you will be kicking yourself over how easy it was and wondering why you didn't do it sooner....

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 09, 2012, 12:35:36 PM
Having quit nicotine just recently, I can say it is the hardest for the next several days after. I went through several different forms of ingesting nicotine, which can lessen the craving of for example smoking. Make of that what you will.

There is a positive side to nicotine depravation also, it creates a state of heightened aggression.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 09, 2012, 01:21:51 PM
lafindumonde makes a good point, I can't disagree.  But who I really agree with is lord.spam.  Everybody says it's so hard, but my experience was pretty painless.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 09, 2012, 03:11:27 PM
I smoked for about 5 years now. I used to smoke a few packs a week until 2 years ago. I had no intentions of quitting, more of a general disinterest or lack of desire to have a smoke. For the past two years I general don't smoke at all unless I am having a drink. Sometimes a cup of coffee. Either way, my intake is maybe 3 or 4 a week. Sometimes none at all.

I don't have much advice for you unfortunately because my cut back was not a conscious choice. I've completely quit for periods as long as 8 months in the past. Never experienced a single inkling of withdrawal or an overbearing desire to smoke.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 10, 2012, 12:06:26 AM
Just do it.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 11, 2012, 12:28:32 PM
I quit chewing tobacco and I would advise to exercise more vigorous than usual for the next week or two.  You want your body to produce as much of its own natural high as possible these next two weeks.  Get up super early, pound some coffee, take a brisk walk or a brisk run, and exercise again after work if you have to.  You want to make sure your body is worn out at the end of the day.  When I got craving I simply took aspirin and I thought that took off a little of the edge as well.  I would say you probably need to get through 2 weeks before you are out of the woods.  Drink lots of water and eat some hearty, filling meals

Day 6) Interesting. Before I even got a chance to read this, I think my body was communicating the want or need for these things. Aside from taking the Asprin, which I don't really think I'll be trying, I've been doing these things, along with constantly reminding myself how much of a positive choice this is. My activities aren't interrupted anymore by the urge to smoke a cigarette and by proxy my concentration has improved. I think that the act of cigarette smoking was my last vestige of quick-fix/ sense pleasure from my childhood. I've essentially cast out and banished all other forms of such, as I focus more of my time on activities that involve investments, and thus the working towards a goal becomes pleasurable in itself. I don't even think listening to metal is sense pleasure, as listening to the right metal involves concentration and an attention span above average. I can especially appreciate that Hell Awaits is not longer interrupted by cigarette breaks.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 11, 2012, 01:07:39 PM
any truth to the radioactive plutonium in the fertilizer used to grow Tobacco being the real cause of cancer?

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 13, 2012, 01:41:59 AM
I know, I should never have started, and I hear this process can get pretty ugly. Here's what I've noticed:

Day 1) General unease but very motivated to quit.
Day 2) Hacking up these unspeakable horrors. Terrible fiending.
Day 3) Lung function and dexterity of sinus cavities have improved. Mental addiction quite possibly has gone away.

One thing that I'm doing to help is that whenever I discover an urge to have a cigarette, I breathe very deeply a chestful of fresh, outdoor air. To remind myself what I should be breathing in, instead of the carbon monoxide and various other assorted chemicals. I hope the mods don't mind if I continually update the following hourly count as a visual reminder will keep me motivated.

Total hours without a cigarette: 57.

Any advice?

Hello Nightspirit,

I do have a few ideas for you.

After a few days, which you seemed to have endured, all the nic will be out of your body. All that are left now are the mental processes involved with the drug. These are the real culprits in addiction. Mine were anxiety and desire. They were defeated by knowing that they are responses to the drug, and not inherently mine, so with time they faded.

Taking steps now to improve your health will help you build up defenses against wanting to smoke. Heavy lifting, solid diet based on primarily natural foods, lots of water and tea, 8-9 hours of honest sleep, all these will help you feel better than you thought imaginable. Know that returning to the habit will only undo all the good work, and if you want to quit again you must labor on to return to this basic state.

Avoid alcohol. It will dampen your reason and invigorate your desires. Only after you have quit for a while should you attempt drinking. As an aside, health not withstanding, a hang over while abstaining from smoke will be far more tolerable.

PST me if you need encouragement. Fight the good fight.

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 15, 2012, 09:23:00 PM
Day 10) Thank you very much for your responses. Unfortunately alcohol seems to follow my life regardless of if I'm trying to avoid it. I've noticed that the alcohol doesn't necessarily increase or trigger my cravings, but I'm drinking more, and faster, which is a bit scary. I think it's my body attempting to replace the stimulant with something that's been mentally paired with it for so long. All of this shows me exactly how nasty drug addiction is, and the knowledge that I am an addict, or former addict on the road to recovery is very reinforcing for my decision to cease the use of cigarettes. I feel a profound amount of shame that this type of "trap" has happened in my life in that for the past 10 years I've been a drug addict, and yet the whole while that term was the furthest thing from what I would consider myself; but it's true.

Nearly 10 days with no great craving attacks and today I experienced the worst one. Sitting at home, thinking about how to plan my day with activities, I began to have a deep and powerful craving for a cigarette. My reasons to stop were fading quickly, which is when I decided to head to a buddhist monastery (no joke)  and offer some volunteer work to the guy who maintains the property. 3 hours landscaping later and an hour in the main temple in deep, unbroken meditation, my craving lessened greatly until I returned home, which was when it hit again. Then I saw this on youtube and I'm remotivated:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0TL2Vh7goJc

What an excellent video. That combined with all of your responses and advice has re-motivated me. Today I conquered the challenge and did not give in to the craving.

Edit: this video is amazing how the guy beaks down the interaction of stess, nicotine addiction and ph levels in urine for smokers.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=vjyjKzPu2fc&feature=endscreen

Re: Quitting Smoking
July 18, 2012, 12:58:17 AM
Allen Carr is fantastic for quitting. He will help you re-frame your addiction in many ways, and in certain stages it is perception that is the remaining attribute.

If it is your house that is triggering cravings, you need to scramble that impulse somehow, otherwise you will be fighting the 100,000 memories of you smoking in your home in addition to the physical dependency.

Continue on!