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Quitting Smoking - update and reassurance needed
self ^ | 12/4/11 | self

Posted on 12/04/2011 7:22:02 AM PST by Marie

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To: Marie

I tried to quit unsuccessfully many times before finally succeeding over ten years ago.

The first of two keys for me was knowing that time changes everything. You will for certain feel differently about smoking and in general one month from now, six months from now, one year from now, etc.

The second key is to know that the only way to get there is to not smoke a single cigarette. Not even one.

There are lots of things you can do in the meantime to help get your mind in order. I think vigorous physical activity is the biggest one. But that is treating symptoms.

The only cure is time, and the only way to make the time count is to NOT SMOKE!

This is what I did. I stubbed out the last one and never touched another. Now I feel like I have never smoked. I’ve forgotten what it is like to want one. I see or smell cigarettes and am revulsed.


51 posted on 12/04/2011 9:02:47 AM PST by rogue yam
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To: Marie
I quit taking the Chantix about a week and a half ago (horrible nightmares and seriously screwed up sleep) and I'm past the 'cravings' stage.

Chantix worked GREAT for me!

Smoked all I wanted and eventually realized that I wasn't smoking any more, no cravings or anything.

Did your doctor ween you off of the Chantix?

If I recall when I used it, my doctor gradually cut back the dose until I didn't take it any more. I don't think you are supposed to just stop taking it all at once.

I do remember that I was still taking it even after a week or more of any want for a cigarette was there.

52 posted on 12/04/2011 9:03:00 AM PST by EGPWS (Trust in God, question everyone else)
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To: Marie

I tried to quit unsuccessfully many times before finally succeeding over ten years ago.

The first of two keys for me was knowing that time changes everything. You will for certain feel differently about smoking and in general one month from now, six months from now, one year from now, etc.

The second key is to know that the only way to get there is to not smoke a single cigarette. Not even one.

There are lots of things you can do in the meantime to help get your mind in order. I think vigorous physical activity is the biggest one. But that is treating symptoms.

The only cure is time, and the only way to make the time count is to NOT SMOKE!

This is what I did. I stubbed out the last one and never touched another. Now I feel like I have never smoked. I’ve forgotten what it is like to want one. I see or smell cigarettes and am revulsed.


53 posted on 12/04/2011 9:03:03 AM PST by rogue yam
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To: Marie
for me, skipping the automatic ones was the hardest... the first one of the day, getting in the car, after meals, on the phone, having a beer, after that it was much easier

good luck

54 posted on 12/04/2011 9:11:27 AM PST by Chode (American Hedonist - *DTOM* -ww- NO Pity for the LAZY)
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To: Marie; All

It’s good to know that I’m not the only person who’s gone through the ‘crazies’ with this.

I’m going to go see a shrink to get some anti-depressants to help me through the next few months.

I’m having spinal surgery in January and if I smoke, the surgery is off. That’s what’s helping me hold it together right now.

If I’m still an anxiety-ridden, depressed nut-bar after the operation, I’ll try the gum or the patch rather than go back to smoking.

I promised myself that I’d quit for the next 20 years. After that, I can smoke all I want. (It won’t make a difference at that point.) I think it’s easier to say, ‘not now’ than it is for me to say, ‘never’. Right now ‘never’ means that I’ll never be happy or feel normal again.


55 posted on 12/04/2011 9:29:23 AM PST by Marie (Cain 9s Have Teeth)
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To: Marie
I quit "cold turkey."

First I kept smoking when I knew better -- mainly because so many wanted me to quit.

But I knew that I enjoyed smoking perhaps one in fifty cigarettes. I knew that I did not need a cigarette.

I knew the health risks BUT -- and this is important -- quitting alone will not end the threat. Studies have shown that ex-smokers can get lung cancer at a rate higher than smokers. See articles about Vitamin B6, Methionine Linked to Lower Risk for Lung Cancer.

I'm retired and the cost became a factor. I had that pretty much beat with "stuff (roll) your own" until the Obama administration raised the tax on loose cigarette tobacco 2300 percent, from around a dollar to $23 if I recall correctly. (My guess is the cigarette manufactures paid a huge amount into Obama 2012 campaign.)

But there was a way around the higher cost for loose cigarette tobacco: pipe tobacco.

Shortly after that I reached the point where I decided to quit.

I have long believed that we are images in our Creator's video game. Think about it, at a certain point all matter is electromagnetic waves of some sort.

Computer programs are constantly having bugs fixed. I had a bug (one of many of course).

I had decided to quit. I came to believe that our Creator's tech support made a quick visit - remote or on-site I do not know -- and applied the only patch that works by patching around the faulty code.

It's been a year and the only time I miss it is when I take a break from some burdensome activity (such tasks are rare nowadays for me) but I quickly realize that the price paid (in all respects) is absolutely not worth the rare benefit.

56 posted on 12/04/2011 9:37:23 AM PST by WilliamofCarmichael (If modern America's Man on Horseback is out there, Get on the damn horse already!)
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To: Marie
"Since I quit, I've been dealing with a constant, low-level anxiety. It's like a panic attack that won't stop. I'm very sensitive to noise and even mild stress pushes me into a horrible place."

I'm right there with you. Dog hearing. Fortunately I've never smoked. Whatever you can do to alleviate the heightened sensory perception issues that doesn't include smoking, do it. Maybe have your doctor give you a 2-night supply of a sleep aid...probably got samples...2 consecutive nights of deep rest may really help put this behind you.

57 posted on 12/04/2011 9:39:41 AM PST by StAnDeliver (=)
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To: Marie
I tried the Chantix once and the first night I advanced to the two pills a day I had the most bizarre nightmare too.........I still have the remainder of them but I'm scared to try them again.

Have you tried Welbutrin?

58 posted on 12/04/2011 9:43:24 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Be good, Santa is coming)
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To: WhyisaTexasgirlinPA
Is that really a nice thing to post on this thread? Not helpful to the freeper asking for advice

She doesn't mean it the way you're taking it and I suppose I could echo her.

It's the incredibly strong addiction that won't even allow us to attempt to quit.......

59 posted on 12/04/2011 9:49:46 AM PST by Hot Tabasco (Be good, Santa is coming)
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To: Marie
Maybe cut out a pic of this ugly libtard mug and carry it with you in your purse where your cigarettes used to reside. He left behind daughters and a wife too soon (for them) at 67.

He had given up cigs for a loooong stretch, then started again in 2001 and smoked until what is understood was a fairly horrific death from Stage IV lung cancer in 2005.

His excuse was '9/11 got him started again'. The nitwit used to break off the filters. You don't want to be regarded in this kind of company...


60 posted on 12/04/2011 9:55:53 AM PST by StAnDeliver (Sorry, I got the 'good cop, bad cop' thing reversed...put the good cop first lol...)
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To: Marie

Stop whining and looking for excuses. If you really want to quit, you can. If not, you’ll just keep on looking for reasons to fail.


61 posted on 12/04/2011 9:58:13 AM PST by Krankor (OR A WAY TO FAIL.)
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To: Marie
When I quit, some 12 years ago, I used the nicotine patch but only at the 14mg level for the first week and then going to the 7 mg level the next. It helped take the edge off the withdraw a bit but I still wanted to smoke after a few weeks. But since you went cold turkey and have been smoke free for a few weeks, you should be mostly over the physical withdraw symptoms and are probably dealing more with the psychological ones – not that they aren’t any less painful.

At this point it’s more a matter of developing new routines and habits and finding other ways to reduce stress. A few things that helped me get over the hump at the 3 to 10 week hump were;

Exercise! Exercise! Exercise! If you belong to a gym, go. If you don’t, consider joining one. But long very brisk walks are great too! Or you could get an inexpensive stability ball and some free weights, something you could do while watching TV. Exercise is a great stress reducer and will help you sleep which was a problem for me at first. Also after I was smoke free for a few weeks, being able to actually breathe in fresh air was wonderful!

I know some people are adverse to Yoga but even if you don’t do Yoga per se, long deep stretching and deep breathing, especially first thing in the morning or before bed are great stress reducers.

“If” you drink coffee or other caffeinated drinks, try cutting back a bit, but then don’t cut them out completely as you will be hating life even more. But do try some soothing chamomile tea.

The “oral” part of smoking is very hard to break so get some sugar free lollipops. I also ate sugar free Jelly Belly jelly beans for the first few months whenever I felt like smoking. Cinnamon chewing gum is also good. Stay away from mint gum especially if you were a menthol smoker. I heard that citrus fruits are also good and not bad for you anyway. I also bought a string of beads (worry beads) and kept some marbles around. Yea, I know that sounds silly but putting something in your hands to fidget with can be helpful when you are feeling stressed.

Constantly having something in your hand is also a big part of smoking so replace the cigarette with something else. Take up a new hobby. It doesn’t have to cost much. Knitting or needle point or any craft like paint by numbers; anything to keep your mind active and your hands busy. The weekend I stopped smoking, my 9 year old niece spent the weekend with me and it really helped. Not only did she encourage me but we did all sorts of arts and crafts projects together and it was great fun for both of us.

Calculate how much money you are saving each week by not buying cigarettes and use some of that savings to treat yourself; a new book, dinner out with a friend, some flowers for yourself, a new outfit, some new makeup, some perfume, a new hairdo, a massage, some really good dark chocolate ; ). In my case, my husband and I both quit smoking at the same time and when we figured out how much money we would save each month by quitting, we realized we could well afford a new car. But you don’t have to go out and buy a new car, but you should treat yourself.

And speaking of perfume, now that your sense of smell is starting to come back, get some nice scented candles or other “aroma therapies”. I found that Lavender is very soothing. And whenever you feel like you want to smoke, remember how much nicer your house, your clothes, your hair, your car smells.

Know your trigger points for wanting to smoke. Mine were in the car, while talking on the phone and during stressful days at work at the 11:00AM and 3:00PM hours. To help with the inclination to smoke while driving I bought and checked out from my local library a few audio books and some new music CD’s; while talking on the phone I used the afore mentioned stability ball and free weights or lollipops; and for the mid-morning and afternoon cravings at work, I instead indulged in walking outside or inside around the building at the times I had been taking smoke breaks and or instead snacked on some dark chocolate or even better eating healthy snacks like carrots and apple wedges with some PB or humas.

And finally, drink water, lots of water. I don’t know if I buy the “flushing toxins out” but it seemed to help me.

Hang in there. You’ve come this far. Congratulate yourself and don’t give up.

62 posted on 12/04/2011 10:16:06 AM PST by MD Expat in PA
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To: Marie

Nicorette will take away the craving to smoke, but you eventually one just craves the gum or lozenge instead of the smoke.

If you’ve made it this far, you can make it another day.

Keep it up.


63 posted on 12/04/2011 10:23:39 AM PST by Skepolitic
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.


64 posted on 12/04/2011 10:37:30 AM PST by twistedwrench
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To: Marie

I’m right there with you. I had quit for three years...until the day after that last horrible election...and I lost hope along with with my will to stay away from cigarettes. Fast forward to now...I am trying to quit again. The last time, I did it with Wellbutrin..and had no problmes.. But this time, I was given Bupropion and could feel myself geting more angry and tense by the day...even the dog was hiding from me. I stopped it. My doc now has me on a hopefully short course of Celexa..it doesn’t make me anxious but it tires me out by the end of the day. Zero hour is Tuesday...and I have a coast to coast flight, hopefully after those eihgt hours will be enough. I’m looking forward to the cost savings. I’d recommend spensing as much time as you can outdoors...walks with my dog ususally clear my head enough to face those anxious moments. I’ve had that symptom you’re describing before...and not necessarily from nictine withdrawal...just a nagging feeling. I have a prescription for an anti anxiety med..30 of them per year...for those times when I feel I need it...but it’s not a longterm sstained med kind of thing. I’d discuss it with your doctor. Mine told me to take a ‘News break” as well. I think a lot of us are overwhelmend daily by all that goes on. I’m trying very hard to take that advice and tune out for ahwile. So, give yourself a pat on the back for making it this far...and pamper yourself a little over the holidays. I wish you well!!!


65 posted on 12/04/2011 10:45:19 AM PST by SueRae (I can see November 2012 from my HOUSE!!!!!!!!)
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To: beebuster2000; Marie

Hear hear on the chocolate. Just prepare for some weight gain which is normal. Metabolism and hormones are getting straightened out, too. It will get better. I had urges every three months for a while. They will quit.


66 posted on 12/04/2011 10:52:55 AM PST by Ladysmith (The evil that's happening in this country is the cancer of socialism...It kills the human spirit.)
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To: Marie

First off, there are a number of things that are physically happening in your body as well as the psychological processes of stopping a long time habit. Don’t use the pharmaceutical option, as you have found that it’s not good for you body/health.

#1) You are experiencing nicotine withdrawal and require a substitute for it. Start taking Nicacin and increase as needed to overcome the craving. It won’t hurt you. Make sure it is Niacin and not the “non-flush” kind. Niacin is nicotinic acid and is good for you but may cause flushing or hot flashes after taking it. If so, take with food. The non-flush type is niacinamide, which is not nicotinic acid and won’t work the same way.

#2)Cigarettes are 18% sugar and that sugar is inhaled directly into your blood stream. When you stop smoking, you body is craving the sugar it used to get. Add fruits to your diet. Don’t add or use candy or such, as they will cause other problems. Natural fructose will substitute fine for the missing cig’s sugar and the fruit is good for you. Take as much of it as needed to overcome the sugar craving.

#3)Your sense of smell will be coming back after being deadened by smoking for years. This will allow you to “taste” the food that you haven’t fully smelled for a long time. Don’t overdo the food and use the fruits above to supplement as needed. But DO buy various different room scents and place different ones in different rooms of the house. This will let you smell and recognize the new scents and help get over the deadened sense of smell.

#4)Think about OTHER THINGS than being a smoker and craving the smokes. View yourself as a “non-smoker” now and reinforce that self image. Get rid of or dry clean the old clothes that you wore while smoking. The very slight residual smells can trigger subconscious habit desires. Plus like the different room scents, the new clothes will reflect the “new” non-smoker you.

If you find yourself thinking about smoking, change the thoughts into how happy you are to be a “non-smoker” now and visualize all the dirty, nasty, poisonous chemicals that used to be going into your body when you used to be a smoker.

Change your “smoking” associated habits. If you used to smoke right after a meal, do something else that will take your mind off that. If you smoked in certain places, don’t go to those places if you can help it. Make a list of the things you used to do along with the smoking habit and then do something, go somewhere or associate with someone else. These will break the habit associations mentally until you internalize that you ARE a non-smoker.

Take the opportunity to sit down and relax, close your eyes and visualize in your mind (day dreams) that you are now a non-smoker and visualize all those poisons that are going into a smoker’s body. Make it as repulsive a visualization as you can, but always end with being happy that you are NOW a non-smoker.

I used to teach stop smoking classes and these are the things that made the program one of the most successful around. If you do these things, you will be successful. If you don’t do them all or poo-poo them, you won’t be. That’s just the facts.

Freepmail me if you need more.


67 posted on 12/04/2011 11:34:44 AM PST by hadit2here ("Most men would rather die than think. Many do." - Bertrand Russell)
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To: Marie

Freeper DearoldDad suggested I try hypnosis - haven’t had a smoke for over 2years now - it really worked for me!

Cheers

Mel


68 posted on 12/04/2011 11:43:26 AM PST by melsec (Once a Jolly Swagman camped by a Billabong....)
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To: Dudoight
It altered my awareness to the extent I used no judgement at all

I know what you mean. A neighbor of mine was taking Chantix a few years ago and she wound up voting for Obama!

69 posted on 12/04/2011 11:50:50 AM PST by kevao
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To: Marie

E cigs are probably the best solution.


70 posted on 12/04/2011 1:34:06 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Stay involved..because stupid people are running America! - Herman Cain - Amen!!!)
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To: Marie

Thank you for this thread. I was doing e cigs for quite some time and was down to 5 cigs a day....then I stopped using it.

I just plugged in my e cig box and will now try again.

I’ve quit twice. My sister and I went to Staten Island for that electronic ear thingie to stop. I stopped for 2 days, she held on.


71 posted on 12/04/2011 1:51:41 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Stay involved..because stupid people are running America! - Herman Cain - Amen!!!)
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To: Marie

Thank you for this thread. I was doing e cigs for quite some time and was down to 5 cigs a day....then I stopped using it.

I just plugged in my e cig box and will now try again.

I’ve quit twice. My sister and I went to Staten Island for that electronic ear thingie to stop. I stopped for 2 days, she held on.


72 posted on 12/04/2011 1:51:45 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Stay involved..because stupid people are running America! - Herman Cain - Amen!!!)
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To: Marie

Thank you for this thread. I was doing e cigs for quite some time and was down to 5 cigs a day....then I stopped using it.

I just plugged in my e cig box and will now try again.

I’ve quit twice. My sister and I went to Staten Island for that electronic ear thingie to stop. I stopped for 2 days, she held on.


73 posted on 12/04/2011 1:51:53 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Stay involved..because stupid people are running America! - Herman Cain - Amen!!!)
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To: Marie

Thank you for this thread. I was doing e cigs for quite some time and was down to 5 cigs a day....then I stopped using it.

I just plugged in my e cig box and will now try again.

I’ve quit twice. My sister and I went to Staten Island for that electronic ear thingie to stop. I stopped for 2 days, she held on.


74 posted on 12/04/2011 1:52:04 PM PST by NoGrayZone (Stay involved..because stupid people are running America! - Herman Cain - Amen!!!)
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To: hadit2here

That is very helpful. I knew niacin helped, but I’ve been taking the wrong kind.

The smell thing is killing me. About a week ago, I discovered that I can smell *everything* and I’ve found that the planet STINKS! lol!

Foods taste very different to me.

Here’s an odd one for you: As a child, I never liked peanut butter. As an adult, I loved it.

I quit smoking and now I don’t like it again. It’s the same thing with milk.

But last night I ate the best steak of my LIFE... and I’ve had it before. Grilled cheese sandwiches are heavenly.

I can smell my dog from across the room and the bleach I used on my t-shirts two weeks ago. I honestly thought that scented candles were a stupid waste of time and money because you could barely smell them. Now they’re overpowering and wonderful.

Yes, I am definitely finding the smell/taste thing interesting.


75 posted on 12/04/2011 2:34:07 PM PST by Marie (Cain 9s Have Teeth)
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To: Marie
Stay strong Marie. 30 thirty years of smoking. At the last was dragging 3 packs a day. Cold turkey is what it had to be. Had tried the gum before but was getting more nicotine that way than with the cigs.

When the urge hit I would instead of just reaching, slap myself in the pocket where I carried. Hard, then say a prayer of thanks to God for taking this urge away and healing my body in Jesus's name. That was Nov. 6, 1996. Money saved? We are driving a new car right now...

Hang in there, it will get better!

76 posted on 12/04/2011 3:05:49 PM PST by Dust in the Wind (U S Troops Rock)
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To: Hot Tabasco

Then you are weaker than a 65 year old woman. My Mother smoked for well over 50 years and LOVED it - but she was able to quit. If she can, anyone can. Sure it was hard but she was determined to save her life. And this is a thread a fellow conservative has posted to ask for help, not for folks to say it is impossible or to exclaim how much they love their addiction.


77 posted on 12/04/2011 5:56:53 PM PST by WhyisaTexasgirlinPA (Congress touched me inappropriately, they should be put on administrative leave immediately)
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To: Marie

It’s not the Chantix causing the dreams; it’s the fact that you were not smoking. Cigarettes are a stimulant and prevent you from getting a proper night’s sleep.

The theory is that when you quit, you go into a deeper sleep than you are used to (more REM sleep), and thus have vivid dreams/nightmares. This eventually passes. As a matter of fact, look up the side effects of the nicotine patches-nightmares and vivid dreams.

One of the mistakes people make is that they quit the Chantix early. You really should have completed it, but what’s done is done. I do have several friends who used Chantix to quit and they were successful. One still gets cravings from time to time; the other gets nauseated when she smells an ashtray.

Just keep persisting. You can do it, and it will be well worth it.


78 posted on 12/04/2011 6:08:30 PM PST by Born Conservative
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To: Marie

I quit a number of years ago. I found that chewing gum, or sucking on a piece of hard candy such as a tic tac or even a small square of dark chocolate, a small snack of nuts, celery or carrots or something similar really helped me over the hump. When I am around smokers I sometimes have a piece of nicorette gum.

I have been cigarette free now since about April 2004!


79 posted on 12/04/2011 6:17:17 PM PST by Flamenco Lady
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To: Marie

2 suggestions

1. Give yourself a two part(preparatory, execution) command, like a “don’t smoke”, after 40 some years of nail biting, “don’t bite” worked for me, and I’ve been bite free for 17 months

2. Get a power juicer, ala Jack Lalaine, (actually, look at Amazon for a juicer) and have fresh juice 3 times a day, I find it puts the mind and body in harmony, and look for noticeable changes about every 3 months-celery, carrots, pears, and ginger root, keep it simple, dice(even the cheap juicers work fine dicing), let the juicer do the work

Enjoy every day and best of luck and strength!


80 posted on 12/04/2011 6:18:58 PM PST by Son House (The Economic Boom Heard Around The World => TEA Party 2012)
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To: Marie

Marie. I quit smoking by cutting down gradually. It took about a year, but that was about 30 years ago. I got down to one cigarette a day and kept them in the refrigerator. After awhile I didn’t want one.

Now, it annoys me if people are smoking around me.

You have to choose the method that works for you. But if you have family and loved ones, it is so important to stop. I have sadly seen a number of people pass away from lung cancer.

Once you quit, you can breathe easier, smell better, and taste your food. The air smells wonderful.

Good luck, Marie. If you need help, Freep Mail me.


81 posted on 12/04/2011 6:26:16 PM PST by BunnySlippers (I LOVE BULL MARKETS . . .)
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To: Marie

Here’s a link to the book I used to quit smoking. I loaned out my copy years ago - or I’d send it to you. Every person I know who read the book and followed the steps was able to quit.

http://www.amazon.com/How-Stop-Smoking-3-Hours/dp/0446350060


82 posted on 12/04/2011 6:26:51 PM PST by GOPJ (Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, Than a fatted calf with hatred - Proverbs 15)
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To: Marie

Smoked for thirty years, one pack a day ultra lights. I quit many times for two to three weeks only to start smoking again. My wife would be so upset when I started back. One night three years ago we were driving home from a visit with my son, 90 miles on back roads in rural south GA. I ran out of cigs and there was not a store open for 70 miles. As you know smoking and driving go hand in hand. I decided to quit that night and I told no one. Cold turkey, I went thur a month long depression. My wife had a friend whose husband committed suicide a year before, and they were comparing notes. I was confronted by a worried wife and I had to confess. I came out of that state shortly after and I have been smoke free since. It does get better hang in there and take B’s and C’s for a supplement. Sunflower seeds in the shell have been by driving partner since.


83 posted on 12/04/2011 6:59:21 PM PST by TinCan
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To: Marie

I threw myself into working out in the gym, getting winded helped with wanting a cigarette, the exercise and the new routine helped with both the occasional bout with a strange sort of hybrid boredom-anxiety as well as the inevitable weight gain. You’ll still gain but it’s well distributed and muscle instead of fat.

Just going for a walk helps, too, if that fits your life better than joining a gym. Strong mints helped satisfy that sensation of inhaling cigarette smoke.

Could be that the sudden absence of Chantix has something to do with the anxiety too, as others suggest. I don’t recall it being a strong sense of anxiety, just occasional bouts. Not sure why it struck me that life was boring without a cigarette, but it did. Getting physically active is the solution to that if you’re experiencing it, imho.


84 posted on 12/04/2011 7:08:25 PM PST by RegulatorCountry
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To: kevao

LOL!

I never voted for the O....that is for sure!


85 posted on 12/04/2011 8:00:06 PM PST by Dudoight
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To: Marie

I quit cold turkey last May 10th.
My secret was to not dwell on it, not talk about it and if the urge to smoke came i would put it out of my head fast and think about something else.

Sems to have worked. not a single puff since early May, I will never smoke ever again.
Just thinking of all the cash i have saved makes me smile.


86 posted on 12/04/2011 10:43:48 PM PST by mowowie
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