Author Topic: Giving up smoking  (Read 1950 times)

dr_christian_troy

  • Golden Member
  • *****
  • Sapientia Sapienti Dona Data
    • PODNOSE - The UK's Leading Independent Entertainment Podcast Network
Giving up smoking
« on: April 04, 2021, 06:06:31 PM »
I'm 16 days without a cigarette. I've been more or less smoking since I was 18 (when I started working at a pub and the only way to get an extra break was going for a cigarette), and I'm 36 now. I was smoking about 10 a day up until around early last year, and then with the lockdown it went up to a packet a day.

I gave up cold turkey - I did this once before and didn't smoke for about three years, from around 2013 to 2016. The downside of this initially was this tied in with a very severe breakdown, when my mind went through a very bad phase and my anxiety was so heightened I was more or less terrified of everything for about 6 months. I suspect that's why I was anxious to try to give up again this time around.

I've also quit my job, with my last day on April 30th, to pursue creative endeavors and break out of the cycle of getting stuck in a job I hate every few years - I found the need to smoke was worse while doing this job because it was stressful and boring and anxiety-inducing. I feel that when I finish with the job that it may be slightly easier.

At the moment though, it's been difficult to not distract myself from the cravings by drinking alcohol instead (when I gave up in 2013 I didn't drink for the first month or so), which not too surprisingly hasn't been a very good move. The thing is, without the smoking and / or alcohol, I find it very difficult to distract myself from intrusive thoughts and I have a lot of trouble being able to focus on anything. In addition, today my chest has felt very tight which has made me more anxious. The first time I gave up there was a lot of coughing etc by around this point, but this time around it all seems to have been more of a mental reaction, up until now with the tight chest. These intrusive thoughts make me hate everything about myself.

To be honest, I feel awful. If anyone has any advice or positive suggestions as to how focus on things to get me through this, or ways to distract myself please I'd be very grateful. I'm at that point where I feel like crying but am too numb to emote.

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2021, 06:08:41 PM »
Using a quit smoking phone app definitely helped me (3 years this July) as I felt I had tangible "achievements" regarding my health and money saved that I could look at every day.

Neomod

  • .. and HEAVY EQUIPMENT
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2021, 06:21:33 PM »
I wouldn't advise anyone to give up cold turkey to be honest. My sister tried it and keeps falling back onto the old cigs.

I stopped (not gave up) using the Alan Carr book[1] and it was a piece of piss. Haven't touched a cig since and that was, checks calendar, 13/14 years ago now.

It's not for everyone and you have to want to stop smoking to get the most out of it but both my g/f and I used it at the same time and neither have gone back. It uses a form of self hypnosis which conditions you to see the cravings/rituals for what they are. I'm sure other people will give you other options that worked for them but this is my recommendation.
 1. and have mentioned it in every how do I stop smoking thread since

FerriswheelBueller

  • CaB rear of the year 2020
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Take it easy, but take it.
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2021, 06:26:14 PM »
Using a quit smoking phone app definitely helped me (3 years this July) as I felt I had tangible "achievements" regarding my health and money saved that I could look at every day.

Was about to suggest this exact thing. I used SmokeFree (I think?) and it was great, fed into my obsessive nature of tracking and “achieving” something every day. I stopped cold turkey in 2015 having smoked for 8 or 9 years prior (including a 1 year period of not smoking during that time) - if I can do it, anyone can.

You will be delighted you made the move to stop.

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2021, 06:31:23 PM »
Was about to suggest this exact thing. I used SmokeFree (I think?) and it was great, fed into my obsessive nature of tracking and “achieving” something every day. I stopped cold turkey in 2015 having smoked for 8 or 9 years prior (including a 1 year period of not smoking during that time) - if I can do it, anyone can.


My one is called EasyQuit free, but yeah having looked at a few they tend to all have the same kinds of useful stats.

I never smoked a massive amount, but it's still 2 grand saved and most of my health back to that of a non-smoker.

Elderly Sumo Prophecy

  • Your sleep paralysis demon
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2021, 06:37:44 PM »
I'd recommend using a vapouriser. Alright, so you won't be giving up nicotine, but at least you're ingesting it in a more healthy manner. Gave up fags completely in 2013 by switching to one. I think one of the reasons they're so successful is that they're mimicking what you do when you smoke cigarettes. You have to put something in your mouth (fnarr) and inhale something that looks like smoke.

Rizla

  • That's not another knife - THIS is another knife!
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2021, 06:41:46 PM »
Yeah, stopping dead is hardcore, I doubt I'd have managed that. I quit after over 25 years heavy smoking and toking but it took two goes,  first time using champix, which is near infallible - you keep smoking while it nullifies your brain's nicotine receptors til fags make you boak, due to you not getting anything off them. Soon as I stopped taking it though, I was easy prey, so next time I managed by strict tapering off - but I was highly motivated this time due to the fact that a) we'd just had a baby, and b) I'd been diagnosed with early onset COPD.

I really hope you can manage to stay off them, 16 days is an amazing stretch, so kudos. Don't feel it's the end of the world if you slip up, but please keep at it. Chucking the bastards is one of the best things you'll ever do - 3 years later I'm grateful every day for how much better I feel, and how much dough I've saved.

This may be unpopular advice, but I say - don't be afraid to be a born again wanker and tell all your smoking friends they're killing themselves. Use the smugness to your own advantage if you feel it helps you. I did, but then I'm a complete and utter cunt.

Speaking of which, I'm 60 days sober as of today, but you don't see me starting threads about it, do you? So pull yourself together you cunt. x


Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2021, 10:25:03 PM »
I stopped dead as soon as covid began, over a year ago, after thirty years on the fags. Covid and the fact that my oldest friend got throat cancer caused by fags. Fortunately it was successfully treated but he begged me to give up.

It has been hard at times and I find it odd viewing myself as a non-smoker, but not as hard as I thought. At first I didn't think of it as giving up for ever, just having as long a break as possible, made it easier to deal with. But now I'd feel a bit of a fool to get back on them. Maybe a cigar one day.

Why pisses me off though is that while I'm sure I am healthier for having packed them in I don't feel any different at all.

Anyway, good luck. Good start!

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2021, 10:41:54 PM »
Gave up just over 2 years ago.
My friend got me a vape kit for my birthday, so I gave it a go.
Moved to pods, gradually reducing the nicotine content, then nicotine-free ones.
Seems to have worked, but I'm far less cool now.

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2021, 01:46:57 AM »
Vaping is definitely a 'cheat code' for quitting smoking, in that it really works but you're not really quitting.  You get basically all the 'real smoking' things like:

Pissing people off with the smell and large clouds
Having to nip outside at random moments to get your nicotine hit
Related to the above, planning your day around when and where you can get more nicotine into you
Slight pangs of guilt when you spend money on nicotine products

The benefits are that it's probably less likely to kill you plus you can pretend you are putting R2D2's wing wang in your mouth and inhaling his cloudy jizz.

ETA:  Smoker for 15 years, took up vaping 5 years ago and have only touched a cigerette once, whilst I was pissed and was absolutely astonished at how nasty it was, but still finished the cigerette.

Ray Travez

  • we are puppets
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2021, 02:48:32 AM »
It sounds like the intrusive thoughts are your real problem at the moment, and smoking has been one thing that you've used to distract yourself and/or manage these symptoms.

Therefore, some way of addressing these thoughts may be helpful for you- with or without the continuance of smoking. They're at a level where they are making you miserable. I don't know what I'd suggest, but you could look into counselling or other avenues of dealing with these thoughts. Some rate CBT highly. Others, meditation.

I have found something that has been described as Experiential Non-Avoidance quite useful. Simply sitting with uncomfortable sensations, allowing them in the body, for maybe twenty minutes at a time. Sometimes an emotional release will occur, other times nothing overt happens.

Wishing you some relief from this, it's very hard to live with.

vanilla.coffee

  • Member
  • **
  • You end on reel one
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #11 on: April 05, 2021, 06:58:57 AM »
I’ve been smoking since I was 15 and now I’m 51 so I really should stop. (Cutters choice roll ups)
So began cutting down instead to 5 or 6 a day from the 20 ish per day before.
Don’t think I have the will power to just stop.

gib

  • i'll pay for the damage
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #12 on: April 05, 2021, 11:45:31 AM »
Vaping is definitely a 'cheat code' for quitting smoking, in that it really works but you're not really quitting.  You get basically all the 'real smoking' things like:

Pissing people off with the smell and large clouds
Having to nip outside at random moments to get your nicotine hit
Related to the above, planning your day around when and where you can get more nicotine into you
Slight pangs of guilt when you spend money on nicotine products

The benefits are that it's probably less likely to kill you plus you can pretend you are putting R2D2's wing wang in your mouth and inhaling his cloudy jizz.

ETA:  Smoker for 15 years, took up vaping 5 years ago and have only touched a cigerette once, whilst I was pissed and was absolutely astonished at how nasty it was, but still finished the cigerette.

also the plus side:

you and your clothes don't stink all the time
it's a fraction of the cost (about £5 a week for me)
you don't cough up dirty ectoplasm every morning

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #13 on: April 05, 2021, 11:57:20 AM »
Best of luck OP. I'm great at giving up smoking, me. I've done it loads.

I agree that a gradual nicotine reduction with an e-cigarette is quitting on easy mode.

Don't buy any tobacco again and don't have any in your house.

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #14 on: April 05, 2021, 12:34:11 PM »
I know this sounds like a naive question, and I don't mean to be judgemental, but what made you all start in the first place?

At least booze looks like it's a laugh, and you get that funny feeling of being drunk for the first time. Some drinks even taste nice. You can see the appeal. Same with a lot of drugs I suppose. Altered states of mind and all that. I can see someone looking at shrooms or whatever and saying "Yeah, that looks like fun" or "That'll take my mind off things". But fags just seem foul to a non-smoker, and they don't even do anything. I think I had one out of curiosity and it was rank. Never again.

How did you all get over than initial nastyness? Is there a point where it actually feels good, or does that only happen after you've developed an addiction?

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2021, 12:38:43 PM »
I know this sounds like a naive question, and I don't mean to be judgemental, but what made you all start in the first place?


Because other people were doing it. I don't think anyone starts because they liked the taste (which is objectively foul) or the effect (the enjoyment comes from easing nicotine withdrawal). I don't even think I inhaled for the first year or so, it was just something everyone did that went with having a beer or being a "rebel" behind the bike sheds.

An tSaoi

  • The Prodigal Cunt
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2021, 12:40:44 PM »
I understand the social aspect of it, the look of it, the rebellion, but there's no actual high or anything, is there? It must be challenging to get over than initial unpleasant phase. I had to give up drink, so I can sort of understand, but you get the full effect of alcohol right from the start, so the physical appeal is immediately apparent. You don't gargle it and spit it out for a year before you start actually drinking it.

So does the full inhalation sneak up on you? Like, one day you realise you're smoking properly, and not just to be social. Were you aware of the transition from doing because everyone else was, and doing it regardless of anyone else because you needed a fag? I suppose the real question is, if it tastes so bad, why did people start smoking in the very first place, when it was invented, compared to all the other drugs which are all fun and games from the get-go?

Jesus Christ, reading this back I sound like some sort of alien, or Mr Data who doesn't understand humans.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 12:56:59 PM by An tSaoi »

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #17 on: April 05, 2021, 12:56:02 PM »
Back when people started smoking they also used leeches. Smoking keeps the fleas off you. I believe they thought it protected you from some respiratory issues.

My first cigarettes were because of curiosity. I think I was already borderline addicted when I started hanging around with smokers and smoking every day at college. I'd definitely already smoked many cigarettes by that point. I must have liked them.

GoblinAhFuckScary

  • still freaks my nut to this day
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #18 on: April 05, 2021, 01:02:03 PM »
You can do it, OP!

Been ten years since I started smoking and I'm on my third major attempt to quit in the last four years (four months on this one) and hopeful this is final now.

Others suggested getting a vape and I think that's good advice. I've been ok not being around other smokers too much, but I know when things open up and I become more social temptations will creep back in, so at that point I think I will need a vape just to stop my fingers twitching.


Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #19 on: April 05, 2021, 01:24:49 PM »
Smoking is not one of my vices, but just wanted to say to the OP and other people: good luck and you're not the only person trying to kick habits and improve their health right now.

Jesus Christ, reading this back I sound like some sort of alien, or Mr Data who doesn't understand humans.

I would like to add to these "and tell me more about these strange beings" questions and ask what it feels like to really crave a cigarette. How would you describe it to someone who's never smoked?

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2021, 01:28:32 PM »
Do never-smokers crave cigarettes when they take ecstasy or amphetamines? I can't imagine they do. So I guess I'd say the sensation of craving a cigarette is similar to that non-specific craving feeling you get on ecstasy or amphetamines.

GoblinAhFuckScary

  • still freaks my nut to this day
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2021, 01:31:33 PM »
Do never-smokers crave cigarettes when they take ecstasy or amphetamines? I can't imagine they do.

EDIT: OH never-smokers. I misread. In that case yes I've been around non-smokers many many times where they want to smoke when they're up but don't usually, yeah

FerriswheelBueller

  • CaB rear of the year 2020
  • Silver Member
  • ****
  • Take it easy, but take it.
    • I am antsy for baseball in the off-season.
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #22 on: April 05, 2021, 01:56:32 PM »
I would like to add to these "and tell me more about these strange beings" questions and ask what it feels like to really crave a cigarette. How would you describe it to someone who's never smoked?

It was cool when I was a teenager, you get hooked very easily, and they’re low barrier to entry.

Re: craving a cigarette. It’s probably not a good thing to go on about too much in this thread, but I can give a description[1].

Your body has adjusted to require nicotine and your day to day homeostasis needs a certain amount. Of course, you don’t actually need it to live but your stupid brain doesn’t know that. It feels like being very hungry - your body is doing everything it can to signal that it needs more nicotine to maintain its current operations so get more and quick! Imagine being very hungry and not eating for 3 days until the physical effects finish, your body adjusts, and it becomes social/psychological only.

The main thing for me was counting down and staying distracted for 3 days until the physical stuff was over (by far the hardest bit - once that’s done, it’s a lot easier), then reprogramming your brain to not think about cigarettes when out drinking or whatever.

It wasn’t fun but I’m delighted I stopped, and I’ll never ever smoke again because I know how addictive it is and what my personality is like.
 1. I had cravings for the first time in fuck knows how long last month when Ferris Jr was in the hospital but I wasn’t allowed in (one parent at a time, thanks covid) so I was stuck in the parking lot under a lot of stress watching the hospital smokers come in and out and thought I’d kill for a smoke. You can give up and go years without even thinking about cigarettes but I think on a psychological level you still live with the addiction, as over the top as that sounds

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #23 on: April 05, 2021, 02:06:53 PM »
I wouldn't advise anyone to give up cold turkey to be honest. My sister tried it and keeps falling back onto the old cigs.

I stopped (not gave up) using the Alan Carr book[1] and it was a piece of piss. Haven't touched a cig since and that was, checks calendar, 13/14 years ago now.

It's not for everyone and you have to want to stop smoking to get the most out of it but both my g/f and I used it at the same time and neither have gone back. It uses a form of self hypnosis which conditions you to see the cravings/rituals for what they are. I'm sure other people will give you other options that worked for them but this is my recommendation.
 1. and have mentioned it in every how do I stop smoking thread since

I've known smokers who tried every quiting method under the sun and found none worked until they tried just going cold turkey. I know people who have really struggled to quit and others who say "Stopping smoking is easy- you just stop doing it, simple". I think everyone's different but I have noticed a pattern of people really struggling with nicotine replacement and those people trying cold turkey next and finding it worked for them.

My mother smoked 40 a day for about 50 years and also did it by using the Alan Carr book, having tried all the nicotine replacement methods and then slowly cutting down and then cold turkey and finding nothing worked. She said the book was badly-written and she found it laughable and a bit annoying at first... but then noticed that it was just working somehow, those poorly-written lessons were going in and changing her behaviour.

Anyone tried hypnosis? I know three people who tried it once, one lit up as soon as they got out to the car park and it didn't work for the other two either. Seems a bit less popular these days.

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #24 on: April 05, 2021, 02:18:17 PM »
Craving is like when it's 4pm on a pre-covid Friday and you try to keep your mind distracted and do your work but all your lizard-brain wants to do is scuttle out of the door. Kinda like that but in your chest too.

So for smokers, every day is Friday!

Glebe

  • It was just a bad fortnight.
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #25 on: April 05, 2021, 04:01:11 PM »
As a non-smoker I've no advice to offer Doc C_T, but wishing you the best and stay strong mate.

Blue Jam

  • Last of the great avuncular magicians
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #26 on: April 05, 2021, 04:24:30 PM »
Yeah, me too. Never-smoker here but I've witnessed how addictive nicotine can be and I wish you all the best, Dr CT.

vanilla.coffee

  • Member
  • **
  • You end on reel one
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #27 on: April 05, 2021, 04:37:38 PM »
I was going to give up last year until rumours began spreading about how smokers were less likely to catch the Covids.
So I carried on smoking and didn’t catch the Covids.

Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #28 on: April 05, 2021, 04:43:15 PM »
Whereas I quit AND caught the Covids.

Light up and save yourselves!

Ray Travez

  • we are puppets
Re: Giving up smoking
« Reply #29 on: April 05, 2021, 07:36:39 PM »
I know this sounds like a naive question, and I don't mean to be judgemental, but what made you all start in the first place?

A very attractive woman, who one year previously had been my girlfriend, put one in my mouth and lit it. I thought, “oh why not?” It was Budapest in 1989, the Berlin wall had just come down; her name was Barbi and she was an artist, and as she flicked the lid on the heavy silver lighter she said, “You are the black sheep of your family.”

She then corrected herself- “I am the black sheep of my family.” Thirty one years later I am still on the nicotine, and frankly, I am the black sheep of my family.

Tags: