27 votes

For those considering quitting smoking

Right about the time I was gearing up to quit smoking three years ago, I saw an ad* for a Harvard study looking for people wanting to quit. They gave you free nicotine patches, as well as counseling and support, which sounded great. They had an office in downtown Boston, right by the site of the Boston Massacre. The researcher who ran it looked like Natalie Portman.

One thing she emphasized was to set a quit date, pysch yourself up for it, and keep it. The date I chose was 12/11/10. I thought that was a cool date, and that it would be easy to remember. Then it turned out that the Boston Tea Party was going to be on the 12th, and I knew I was going to see a bunch of Ron Paul supporters, the vast majority of whom smoked. I wanted to be able to enjoy the day, and the cigs, so I changed the date. I moved it to the 13th, which became my quit date instead: 12/13/10.

Now here we are three years later, without a single cigarette. 12/13/13! Woo-hoo!

I had probably tried quitting 20 times before it finally stuck the first time. Then I was quit for 6-1/2 years and ended up backsliding. But here I am again, 3 years on and doing just fine.

Here’s are some process strategy and tips that I remember from the counseling sessions leading up to quitting. I hope they can be of use to at least one person here. Feel free to post any questions / comments below and I’ll do my best to answer them.

Best of luck to anyone considering doing the deed!

  • Set a quit date. Set it a few weeks in advance, and burn that date into your mind. That is going to be the end of your life as a smoker, so start imagining that date as your point of transformation.

  • Know why you want to quit. Take some time to commit all of your reasons to paper. Think about all the money you're wasting, how you're damaging your health, how your clothes stink all the time (you don't even know!), how your teeth are getting yellow and rotten, how you increase your chances of all kinds of cancer. Just sit down and write, write, write. Let yourself go and you'll be surprised at what comes out.

  • Tell everyone you're quitting. Doing this 1) helps put social pressure on you. You don't want to let your friends and family down, not to mention look weak! And 2) it puts your smoker friends on notice that you're making a change. Ask them for their support in not offering you cigarettes. You might even motivate some of your friends to quit with you!

  • In your last few weeks as a smoker, observe your behavior to figure out when and why you smoke. What are the triggers that make you reach for a cigarette? First thing in the morning? With your coffee? After meals? When you drink? When you drive? All of those were triggers for me. Become aware of them. Forewarned is forearmed.

  • Consider a nicotine substitute - the gum and the patch were both helpful for me.

  • Taper down your smoking as you approach your quit date. Maybe switch to lights. But definitely count the number of cigarettes you smoke, and on each successive day, smoke fewer and fewer. This will help make it easier on your quit date.

  • Throw out all of your cigarettes especially your hidden cigarettes. The last thing you want is to find a pack in your glove box, or the nightstand when you're feeling an irresistible craving. Get rid of all your lighters and ashtrays. Wash you clothes, clean the house, vacuum out the car. All of these activities raise the cost of you smoking again.


  • Quit date! Yay! From this day forward, you're a non-smoker!

  • After you quit, being aware of your triggers, and being able to interrupt your patterns is important. If you smoked with your coffee, drink tea instead. If you smoked after meals, get up immediately and take a walk. If you used to smoke and drink beer, have wine instead. Break these patterns and associations. Make new ones. You're a non-smoker now. Own it.

  • One foot in front of the other. Every day, every hour, every minute there is a potential temptation. Be on guard and ride it out.

  • Riding out the temptation: Don’t deny the feeling that you’re jonesin’ for a cigarette. That only makes it worse. What you resist persists. Give into the feeling, without giving in to the temptation. Ride that feeling like a wave. You’ll see it swell, rise, then crest and dissipate. It is just a passing shower. It will pass.

  • For additional insight & strategies, read this book: The Willpower Instinct - it is really helpful.

I hope that you will make the commitment to be a nonsmoker once again. If so, let me know in the comments below. I’ll do what I can to offer my support and encouragement.

Good luck! Three years feels great!

- - - - - - - -

* Because there are so many hospitals and research labs in Boston, there are ample opportunities to participate in weird medical research experiments here. You see them advertised on the subway and in the back of the The Metro, Boston’s little freebie newspaper (which now claims to be the city’s largest). Some pay good money. The best paying one is a sleep experiment where you go live in a lab for 28 days, devoid of any time cues while they do experiments on you, and watch how your circadian rhythm gets all turned around. That one pays around five grand. I considered doing it, until one of the researchers told me that there was a period that they'd keep you awake for up to 52 hours.

She said it so offhand that I nearly missed it. "Whoa, whoa, whoa. Waitaminute, did you just say 52 hours?"

“Yes, but it's not that bad. There are people there who will talk to you and help keep you awake.”

I was speechless. I considered just hanging up the phone then and there. Thanks but no thanks!



Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Been there..done that

It didn't work. I have been told by a few docs that its going to take hypnosis for me to quit. They've told my husband..if she didn't smoke..you'd be dead..for real.
I cant afford the 250.00 up front fee, the 150.00 each week for 10 weeks, the gas to get there (its 90 minutes away) oh and if it doesn't work..I don't get my money back.
Cold turkey for me has always been easy week 1 and 2...but 3..5..12..19..Im ready to go postal.
But good luck..I hope you make it.

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

Celebrate

Michael, if I was you I would celebrate with a smoke. lol

Thanks Michael

You have motivated me.

I will ask my wife to set a date with me.

I cough so hard every morning, nearly throwing up, I know it is time.

Good For You

Im glad you where able to do it....And I wish I could but..no.
A few years ago..my last try...I just laid them down and walked away from them.
The first 2 weeks, I was doing great. Had no craving at all.
When week 8 hit..I was as jumpy as a cat on a hot stove
I added eating crackers, peppermints,lollypops ...no good
Week 10..anger set in..Every tiny thing pissed me off to the max, so I got a bit of a natural relaxer and toked..oops..tried that...
Week 20..I had not cheated one single time..no smokers had been allowed in the house in all that time..I stayed away from smokers..all my laundry had been washed..everything in my house cleaned, 5 times, to get rid of all the smells
Week 22..my nerves where shot..I was shaking, couldn't eat, drive, hardly could stand up. I begged the doctor to give me some mild nerve pills to help me relax..the doc refused and said I would be better in a few days..and that I had to be lying when I said it was getting worse not better
Week 23 1/2....PHUCK IT..I bought a carton...Later went to a different doc who told me what I went through does happen..its rare...and said the only way I could change it was 10 sessions with a hypnotist...I still smoke...

I believe in Hope & Change..I Hope the government will Change
Spindale-Rutherford County-North Carolina

I hope I can

offer you some encouragement! I smoked for 44 years and finally put them down March 26, 2012--to my amazement! I did not think I had it in me to quit. I had tried numerous times to quit and reacted the same way it's been for you, being that as time went on, it got worse, not better! I'd always become an emotional wreck as a non-smoker! I frequently wondered if there was something (BENEFICIAL) in cigarettes that my body needed, and if that was the reason why I seemed unable to put them down for any length of time.

I find your comment about the hypnotherapist interesting. Years ago, I had bought a stop-smoking SUBLIMINAL tape. I had tried using it before, but never with (I believe) enough consistency and, of course, continued smoking. In early March, 2012, I played the tape regularly prior to again putting the cigarettes down. Perhaps that is what was needed to make it work for me this go-round?!

I haven't had a cigarette since 3/26/12. Yes, I can be moody, grouchy, you name it. I believe cigarettes were my 'coping mechanism', and now I have to learn new 'coping mechanisms'. What's that they say about 'teaching old dogs new tricks'? LOL I get the craving now and again, and it's as powerful as ever. What helps me is going past a store and seeing a poster advertising whatever brand for $6+ per pack--that takes the craving away.

What also helps me abstain is that I was diagnosed with a rare fatal lung disease March, 2013. Since I want to stick around to 'pick at' my new great-granddaughter, and since I know experts are trying to find a cure for this lung disease...if I continue to be cigarette-free, perhaps I will be able to live another decade or two!

I hope I've been helpful, hon...

O.P.O.G.G. - Fighting the attempted devolution of the rEVOLution
Ron Paul 2012...and beyond
BAN ELECTRONIC VOTING!!

"being aware of your triggers, and ..."

"being aware of your triggers, and being able to interrupt your patterns is important" <===should say VERY important.

Try it one day. Rather than getting out of bed and reaching for cigarettes (come on, FIRST thing?), make yourself wait until after a shower, or breakfast. Rather, than breathing smoke, right after a meal (for dessert? really?), try an apple, or anything not self-destructive, instead. Enjoy some real flavor, then have the smoke later if you still want it, or make yourself wait thirty more minutes. You have that much will don't you? Don't pressure yourself to stop something you "enjoy?" [LOL]. Only, put it off for a little while longer than usual. It's really easier than you think. Don't think about it. Just do it. I guarantee, you will find yourself wanting them less every time you pick them up.

My mom uses the E Cig. She

My mom uses the E Cig. She hasn't has a cigarette since. Plus they are very trendy looking and come in neat flavors like candy apple and chocolate mint. She has also been able to significantly reduce her dependency on nicotine all together. You all can give those a try.

Just think about the taxes

you won't be giving Big Gov to enable your enslavement. That's what really helped me when I quit 4/20/09 after Obama raised the Tobacco tax.

Exercise Your Rights. If You Don't Use Them, You Will Lose Them.
My News Twitter http://twitter.com/sharpsteve
My YouTube http://www.youtube.com/user/sharpsteve2003

Tobacco additives are the real problem...

w/ over 4,000 chemicals modern corporate tobacco is deadly.

Here in Summit County some of the best growers of cannabis in the world compete to create the most amazing strains using cutting-edge techniques with loving care. By contrast the corporate Big Tobacco scum add benzene to their product killing their customers slowly . . .

Visualize organic tobacco

nascigs.com

R.Y.O.

The American Spirit cigarettes you buy in packs, pre-rolled, have the FSC (aka carpet glue) in their papers. The only way to get just their tobacco is to buy their pouches and roll them yourself.

I'm stuck on the part about the Natalie Portman lookalike.

Does she have a thing for much older, bald men with no money? If so, I am a catch!

I was stuck on the Natalie Portman lookalike as well - lol

I think that was the key to Nystrom quitting cigarettes. I could see Natalie having that effect on a person. :)

I am 2 months without

I am 2 months without analogs... patches, gum never really worked for me, and found them to be cost prohibitive.
I find the vaping to be easier and am actually pulling in less nicotine. Cheaper too... saving over $100/month.

-A
New Membership Levels with Greeneville Outfitters - Gear at Cost:
http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/bring-back-mom-pop-stores

I kept

a pack of cigarettes in the freezer, and one time I did get one and go outside and light-up, sort of like I was sneaking it, and then I realized how stupid that was and you could not fool my body; it knew I was smoking. So I put it out and that was that; never tried another one. (Oh, pack a day smoker for 15 years, quit for 33 years).

E-Cigs

I was a 30 year smoker, and have quit for about 6 months now. (after about a dozen previous failed attempts). This time, I went with a e-cig (Apollo brand to be specific: www.apolloecigs.com) The stumblingblock which prevented my success in previous attempts was the fact that I really do enjoy the ritual of smoking. There's just something about the habit of picking one up, and puffing it. So this time, I was able to retain the ritual, and then reduced the amount of nicotine in the E-cigs as time went by until zero. Now, I only occasionally even use it but it's there in a potentially stressful moment. All I can say is that for me, this was a MILLION times easier than any other method I have tried. I never once had a horrible withdrawal! Give it a try if other methods have failed. Good luck!

Peace

Resemblance to a Moneybomb!

All I can see is that the first three steps are just like a successful Ron Paul Moneybomb! No wonder it worked!

What do you think? http://consequeries.com/

Thanks Mr. Nystrom!

Bookmarked/Bumped

My Political Awakening: I Wanted to Change the World...
I am NOT Anti-America. America is Anti-Me - Lowkey
How to Handle POLICE STATE Encounters

Quit cold turkey on April 1, 2013

It's been almost 9 months. What MN lists as #2 above "Know why you want to quit" was the key IMO. Unless you're sick and tired of being sick and tired, prospects for success are probably limited. In the past I made many half-hearted attempts to quit which failed. These attempts were usually "to get healthy" or "feel better" or whatever but it wasn't because I didn't want to smoke. I still wanted to smoke but I didn't want the negative consequences. Once the nicotine devil starts tugging on your sleeve those lofty ideas go flying out the window.

Cold turkey is the only way that truly works IMO. Substitution of patches, smokeless, chew, etc. just transforms the problem into something else. Eventually in order to have "quit" you must stop entirely so why drag it out and increase the pain? IMO the shell-game approach doesn't work. Substituting seems to work for some but it's not for me.

What helped was having a simple reward system. If I was dying for a cigarette I'd eat a piece of chocolate. Yes, I gained some weight but gaining weight is hard to avoid when quitting anyways so at least try to direct the desire to an alternate. Scooby snacks!

A friend recommended the Allen Carr "Easy Way to Quit" book. I never read it but she was adamant it helped her out.

Grapefruit

For those people looking to quit, grapefruit has known drug interactions, specifically, inhibiting the metabolism of many drugs (nicotine is among them, according to this abstract http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17112808). However, the nicotine WILL enter your system through your mouth, just not be metabolized. It may be a way to purge your body of nicotine faster than without it, abbreviating the withdrawal symptoms significantly. This is a bit of a non sequitur for you at this point, but if you ever find yourself wanting to quit again, this information may be useful.

I can see this post...

helping out a lot of people. As you already pointed out, just think of all the people who are addicted to cigarettes and have spent an enormous amount of time, energy, and money trying to quit ... only to relapse later.

You might also like to check out the Frolov Breathing Device to help address the physiological component to addiction. It's said to help clear the lungs of tobacco and chemical residues that have built up over time as a result of smoking. These residues often trigger a relapse unless they are permanently removed from the lungs.

On a side note, I heard Charlotte Gerson mention that drug addictions can be addressed effectively through juicing and coffee enemas which similarly help cleanse the system. However, the Frolov Device probably has a more direct action (targeted physical exercise) on clearing the lungs and juicing would aid in cleansing and healing process.

Best of luck to you sir

Listen guys. I feel that these e-cigs need to be embraced by those who are trying to quit. You buy a vape pen and go buy e-juice. The e-juice comes in hundreds of flavors, the nicotine levels you can choose are from 24mg Nicotine to 0mg Nicotine. This gives a good way to taper off. You can get them all made with safe 100% Vegetable Glycerin. Anyone who smokes, really needs to look into these. I got two of my friends some full setups for their birthdays and they have completely quit smoking cigarettes. They are now on only 6mg Nicotine level and soon will step down to 0mg. In which you are vaping pure vegetable glycerin. Now getting off of some of those fruity flavors might be a problem......