Ex-smokers?

17 posts | Original | Recent
 
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160 Posts
Sep 1, 2013 9:46pm
via iOS
I am an ex-smoker, it will be three months on the 12th that I have quit. I have smoked for 19 years. I never smoked that much, my worst being a pack a day, and before I quit, I was smoking about half a pack a day.

I could say I tried twice before, but in retrospect, it is not true. I didn't try, I only pretended. This time, I asked my doctor for help, and he prescribed Champix (or Chantix, depending on the country you live in). It was great help because my cigarettes have become uninteresting. I puffed, I puffed, but it was like nothing came out. Ten days later, I was a non-smoker.

I quit because it's been a long time coming. Nineteen years is long enough that you don't realize how sick you are. I am a generally healthy person, I don't have smoker's voice nor smoker's cough, but my skin was not at its best, my lungs either, and I am pretty sure even my sex life was suffering from it. Plus, my non-smoking partner had to keep kissing an ashtray. I just wanted to be healthy for the little youth left for me to live.

So, ex-smokers, how long did you smoke, how many times did you try and fail, why did you quit, how did you quit? I still feel like lighting one up and it is hard sometimes, so any good vibes from ex-smokers welcome.

Oh, and non-smokers are welcome, too! You might have fresh insight from a different angle, and you might have witnessed some successes and failures yourself, so feel free to post!
01 Sep
Please, do also tell how long you have been smoke-free, it is really important to me.
03 Sep
I feel like lighting one up sometimes, too. It's been about three weeks for me. I've finally gotten to the point were I almost don't think about it at all.
06 Sep
I started smoking when I was 18, I just now quit at the age of 25. The most I ever got to was just over half a pack a day, and that was still pretty brutal. I've been cigarette free for almost two months now, but have absolutely zero desire to smoke again, the smell actually grosses me out now :P My boyfriend is trying to quit now, he's been smoking for about 13 years I believe. He used to smoke 2 packs a day, he's down to 10 a day now and is considering taking medication from the doctor...
06 Sep
Lauren, I wish I could be grossed out by cigarettes, too. The medication worked for me, so your boyfriend might want to try it.
06 Sep
Ferrari, keep up the good work. I remember when my quitting was three weeks old. I was so nervous about it not working - but it did! You are getting over the hard part right about now. Cheers!
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11 Posts
Sep 2, 2013 11:49am
via Android

Walker G. Firstly, Congrats On Stopping. You Seriously Are A Better Person For It And Your Family Will Appreciate It More Than You think.

I Smoked For 30 Years. Sometimes Up To 40 cigarettes A Day (dending On What I Was Doing). I Tried To Stop 6-7 Times, But I Had More Excuses Not To Stop Than I Can Remember. What Hit The Nail On The Head For Me Was I Bought A Packet At A Service Station On It's Own ( Usually I Would Get Them With Something else), And When The attendant told me the price I instantly thought of my children's education which was financially awkward.  At That instance I said no and haven't had any since. Even though we don't sometimes want to admit it, I Guess that deep down there are more important things than yourself. I haven't had a craving in the eighteen months That I have stopped.
I Do MMA And All The Bells And Whistles That Go With It, Resistance Training, Regular Walking, Map My Fitness And Started This App, But I can't Run - Smokers lungs.

After All That Story, Being A Christian Actually Makes All The Difference. I'm not doing it alone. I Want To Stress That Everyone Has A Testimony, And This Is Mine.

Gunther (who Does autopsies), Said That If You Have Smoked More Than 3 Years, Your Lungs Will Not Fully Recover. The Longer You Have Smoked, The Less Recovery.  So Let That Be A Stern Warning To Those Who Do, Have Started, Think It's Cool And who don't Smoke.

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202 Posts
Sep 2, 2013 12:16pm
via Android

Hi Walker, firstly, congrats to you for deciding to stop smoking. I  know it is hard, but with will power you can do it, and stick to it. I started smoking when I joined the Navy, when I was16. Most of the time I smoked 20-25 a day, but, sometimes, often if we were ashore, and drinking heaps, I would easy go through two packs in a night. So, it was from 16, until 39 years of age I smoked. The last 10 or so, I used to smoke outside, so my first kids weren't affected with it. Bit hard in Can erra though, when it was commonly below zero in winter. The last couple years I started cutting down, to only a few each day ( unless drinking) and then , to one or two smokes. To then one pet day, then stopped. The last time I had any was Christmas party 2000. 13 and a half years ago and no smokes.
I don't know the technicality of repairing breathing capacity, but, I know you can get enough back to do sports. I started playing field hockey again , in 2003; after 27 years of not doing so. I am now the fastest guy on my team , and play a striker forward. I can run very fast, very often and play a whole ,70 minute game, no probs. It was hard to not have a smoke when drinking, or after dinner, etc, but, you get over that in a few months. The rest is mind over body. Take charge of yourself, and, in no time, you will be winning, and permanently a non smoker. All the very best and God bless you In your endeavour.

06 Sep
Funny how things can be relative. I live in Montreal, Canada, and I have spent the past nine years smoking outside in -10 °C to -25 °C six months per year! :D
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67 Posts
Sep 6, 2013 1:56am
via Android

Congrats on no longer smoking Walker!

I am 43 now and have been smoking since I was 18 on and off ! About a half pack a day. Some days a little more depending on various things.

I quit smoking for all 3 of my pregnancies with ease!
Started up again due to some stressful times ... andddd then quit again for my kids for about 5 months.

I worked at a place where EVERYONE smoked and my will power was zilch!
I again was sucked back in due to my own weakness!

I have almost a year under my belt smoke free! Oct 30th to be exact!
                 [Feels AMAZING!]

I finally gave it up cold turkey because I was tired of feeling so blah!!
I don't have a smokers cough or voice. I was feeling run down all the time!

Made a trip to the emergency room the afternoon of Oct 30th of 2012... thought I was  having a heart attack. It turned out to be stress/anxiety/ panic...... due to..... Smoking!! Every time I lit up... I thought about what I was doing to my body .. my kids... cancer... I worked my self into a fit!
I walked out of the ER that night and never touched another cig ever!!

My husband, kids & family are proud of me and that feels good! But most of all I'm proud of me!!

Keep on keeping on Walker ... it gets easier and you will feel Amazing!! :) :)

06 Sep
According to the Canadian Cancer Society's information packet, improvements keep on happening for fifteen years after one quits. However, most of the improvements happen over the course of the first two years.
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160 Posts
Sep 6, 2013 4:28am
via iOS
I was beginning to think I was the only person in the universe wanting to get fit and healthy after quitting smoking! It feels good to know there are others in my situation. Duncan's story is really encouraging as well, it seems that recovering is feasible.

I have also never really had symptoms from smoking except dentists detecting it in my mouth and the cosmetician telling me about lack of oxygen in my skin (she was a tiny bit instrumental; she said my skin colour would change and become more even if I quit). But I have been feeling under the weather for a very long time, and now that I have quit, I am wondering if part of that was not caused by smoking.

I am surprised that I was able to quit and that it has been almost three months (September 14th will be my quarterversary). I was quite determined when I went to the doctor's, but I did not really believe it was going to work. What has helped me a lot is the hard times, stressful moments when all I could think of was lighting one up. I kept telling myself there is no way I had to live through all that crap only to start smoking again.

I cannot begin to say how many things have improved since I quit. My lungs are definitely better. It is hard to say what improvement and how much of each improvement has to do with quitting, but I am pretty sure a lot of it is solely attributable to that. It is kind of good to not know what improvement came from quitting, so I am not tempted to minimize the actual improvement.

I do have a burning question, though! I still feel like smoking, although it happens less often. Moments when I feel like smoking are considerable stress (people getting on my nerves) and boredom. Working out helps with the boredom, but not with the stress.

I would like to know if eventually you stop entirely to feel like smoking, ever, and if so, how long did it take you to achieve that after quitting. I am really hoping I will one day be rid of the thought for good, but I am also kind of afraid it will never happen.
08 Sep
The cravings only stoped for me when I have them to God I realize now that I was useing smoking as a cruch ..something to fill a void or emptiness ,the truth is that we were created by God and naturally our spirit longs for him and until we accept him into our heart that void will never be filled ,no matter what we try to fill it with drugs,smoking,drinking,even,relationships all these things only cover for a moment ..God only can fill that void....
08 Sep
What you say is true, Brandi. It is really a way to fill a void. I had to stop smoking to realize that. Luckily, you figured it out sooner and got motivated to stop.
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953 Posts
Sep 6, 2013 5:14am
via Android

My uncle says he still misses smoking and it's been years since he quit. On the other hand, I've been quit for almost 2 years and I have not missed it once. I think, for me, the difference is mentality. What reasons did you quit? Did you quit cuz you actually wanted to stop smoking or did you quit to avoid the consequences?

I read a book called The Easy Way to Stop Smoking and it helped me get my head around some simple facts in a way that changed my attitude just enough to actually make it way easier to quit.

I would recommend that book to anyone who had ever smoked even if they've quit, especially if they still have cravings.

I was a pack a day, on again off again smoker for 10 years and the weird thing is I never really considered myself a "Smoker"

I never bought cartons, just single packs, always thinking i will quit... Ridiculous. There were days I would chain smoke for hours...

It's never too late, I feel much better now. I don't get sick like I used to.

06 Sep
Well, you might have an easier time not thinking about cigarettes because you smoked on and off to begin with. My guess is that dopamine levels are very relevant in how easy it is for an ex-smoker to not look back. Your smoking on and off suggests that you were harder to get addicted, probably because your dopamine levels were higher. Did you know that people with depressive tendencies (and thus, lower dopamine levels) are at higher risk of getting addicted? Chances are this thread will be filled with posts from depressive, sensitive or otherwise nervous people. ;)
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11 Posts
Sep 6, 2013 7:30am
via iOS
I quit 30 years ago and never missed it once! I am here and many are not!!! Not worth the money and health consequences...I used acupuncture and it was amazing!
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202 Posts
Sep 7, 2013 5:23am
via Android

Hi Walker, glad you liked my previous response. It was indeed intended to motivate you, and encourage you and is truly my self testimony. I can't remember for certain how long it was before I never even thought about having a smoke. I'm sure it wasn't long but. Since whenever it was, I have never wanted one. Not one, ever. Even when at a party, if dudes are smoking, at a bbq, or whatever, no way Jose. Every single thing about smokes sickens you after a while, and there's no way known you can let yourself go back to them, and as I said, you end up not even wanting to go back. Again, all the best with staying quitting. God bless you.

07 Sep
Thanks so much for telling me this! There is hope after all! I still have a hard time imagining never thinking of it, but I also had a hard time imagining even quitting, and lo and behold, I did! Why should it be different when it comes to smoker's instinct?
07 Sep
My pleasure Walker. I'm glad its helped you. And, although it was nice of Rebecca to reply to you, I must take exception with her. There is such a thing as an ex addict. She hasn't been given up long enough yet to know. I smoked seriously, chronically, as hard as I could (coz it was so cheap in the Navy, coz we always got them for duty free price); and often smoked more than 50 a day, and, if out on the drink, often 50 or so a night).. This was for 23 years. Its now been all but...
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11 Posts
Sep 7, 2013 5:34am
via iOS
Not a ex-smoker but trying to be! Im 14 and i smoke weed! Please no one talk shit to be about it or comment about it if its negatve! (Excuse my lang.)
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160 Posts
Sep 7, 2013 7:05am
via iOS
Alyssa, smoking up is not at all the same as smoking period! I don't want to be the devil's advocate, but if your problem in life is to stop smoking weed, you don't have much of a problem. Lucky for you, you don't have to know the scientific details of the mechanism of addiction to tobacco products. Here's a hint: it messes with your head big time. You don't want to know, because you don't want to go there, and I hope for you that you never will. While smoking weed regularly for no reason is also a bad habit, it takes a lot less to quit that than it takes to quit smoking tobacco products.

As for your not wanting to hear negative comments about weed, if you are so defensive about it, you might not have a clear conscience about it.  Moderation is key!
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10 Posts
Sep 7, 2013 9:56am
via Android

You never truly quit smoking. It's an addiction, there is no such thing as an ex-addict there is only a recovering addict. Everyday is a fight to not return to that addiction. I smoked for 4 years and quit when I found out I was pregnant. Quitting was always easy for me, I could stop as the drop off a hat but staying stopped is what's hard, especially since my financee smokes. He's smoked for many years and has tried stopping several times. He was supposed to stop when our son was born last October. I know how hard it is for anyone who smokes or smoked. Good luck with staying quit!

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10 Posts
Sep 7, 2013 5:13pm
I'm going by professional knowledge of there not being any ex-addicts. It has nothing to do with my quitting or staying quit. It was a medical professional diagnostic.
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160 Posts
Sep 8, 2013 1:25am
via iOS
I don't know, Rebecca...

If my partner smoked inside the house while I am trying to quit, I would never manage to quit! The way I see it, his smoking is insrumental in your not quitting. He could go outside... Better yet, he could try to quit with you.

How long did you manage to stay smoke free after you quit at the drop of a hat? 

A professional opinion is just that: A professional opinion. It isn't THE professional opinion. There are most likely professional opinions that are just as valid that contradict what you are saying. I have searched for professional opinions (been searching on and off for a couple of months), and there are none to be found online. If you find any, do tell, I would love to look them up. The best I got was a doctor who told me some people desire cigarettes until they die while others never think of smoking again. And a cab driver who quit but smokes one with a glass of something twice a year without needing it (seemed like a case of alcohol-associated smoking to me).
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10 Posts
Sep 8, 2013 1:37am
via Android

My quitting at the moment I wanted has been for 2 years now because of my son. The medical professional I am referring to is a doctor of TCM, acupuncture and a previous rehab physician. The reason he says there is no such thing as a fully recovered addict is because of the association your brain makes with the substance you were addicted to. For instance, if a recovering alcoholic is put under stress that person has fight to not drink which is what they would have done before seeking guidance for their addiction. Just as smoking, if you are a social smoker and have decided to quit, going out for just a drink would be difficult because you would have the urge to smoke. It's a never ending battle to not relapse especially a habit your brain automatically associates with another habit or a familiar task. I know it's difficult for me to be in a car without wanting a cigarette or being stressed out and having to distract myself so that I do not relapse and smoke a cigarette or two.

08 Sep
Disagree. Having smoked heaps, for yonks, as previously detailed, I still drink, still have celebratory drinks after hockey, still hang around dudes who smoke when they drink, but I do not feel any need to or desire to be smoking too. I am reformed. I am not an addict. I am an ex smoker. That form of doctor is wrong. The end.
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10 Posts
Sep 8, 2013 1:40am
via Android

Also, we don't smoke inside. He does go outside and he doesn't smoke in front of me because he knows the difficulty of quitting and staying quit. He has tried quitting 2 times since I was pregnant and he is currently in the process of quitting for good.

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160 Posts
Sep 8, 2013 3:06am
via iOS
I used to have my morning coffee with my first cigarette. They were inseparable, and I am sure all of us know the drill.  When I quit, I naturally, unintentionally stopped having my morning coffee. At first, it took me longer to drink. Then, I started consciously not feeling like finishing my cup. In the end, I was struggling to drink it only because I stupidly thought I would get a headache if I didn't (I used to get headaches from skipping coffee; yep, it's another drug). About a week after quitting, I gave up coffee because it just had no interest for me (similar to the effect of Champix on my smoking). Another month later, I started to feel like coffee again, with absolutely no thought of smoking (incidentally, I started nearly having orgasms from eating sushi around that time). Now, I have the exact same coffee habit back, minus the cigarette, and it feels fine.

I used to feel like smoking after eating, when I woke up, when I was bored, when someone got on my nerves, when I was soaking in my bath, when I finished doing something (finished cleaning up, finished work, finished cooking), when switching tasks, every time I got off the bus or the subway, when I drank... Now, I mainly feel like smoking only when I am bored and especially when someone really gets on my nerves. I don't think about smoking when I get up, I hardly ever feel like smoking when I finish eating (only when I am stuffed), I don't need a cigarette to drink (I actually feel like drinking really blocks it out), not when I get off public transit...

Quitting therapy stresses that whatever dopamine you are losing by not smoking should be compensated for by dopamine through other means. I took up working out exactly for that reason, and I am very pleasantly surprised. My partner has actually started working out as well and he has paid for the pro account for the year (he just tried his new yoga mat today). We made workout love on Tuesday. No, you dirty minds, I don't mean kinky workouts but working out together, duh!

If you understand the brain chemistry of smoking, you also understand that cigarettes are just an artificial way to have normal brain function, a lot like a Red Bull, a coffee, Ritalin or a chocolate bar, if you will. If instead of just quitting you compensate for the chemistry imbalance, you are conditioning yourself to have normal brain function without using cigarettes. It truly is a drug in the strict sense!

The idea of compensating for cigarettes by something else that allows you to calm down, be happy or feel good is also scientific, as in a bunch of doctors, shrinks, chemists, neurologists, etc., studying the idea for decades. You need to understand that not all addictions are created equal. Alcohol doesn't affect the same neurotransmitters as cigarettes, doesn't have the same rate of absorption, is not metabolized the same way, etc. My disease is not addiction, it is tobacco product addiction.

I was assuming your partner smoked in the house as you said his smoking was not helping you to quit. Do you see him smoke? Do you smell his second hand? You obviously smell it in his hair and clothes, taste it in his mouth and see his smoking gear...
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10 Posts
Sep 8, 2013 3:47am
Not everyone makes the connection. It's an addiction and a habit, the two are not synonymous but you cannot ignore that it is an addiction outside the mind. The habit in itself is addicting. Substituting a cigarette with a healthier habit is a great way to stay quit. I knit. If I'm at a point where I almost can't fight it, I distract myself and usually clean or focus on my music. Yes, smelling it on his clothes and breath makes it difficult but it's just as difficult as seeing people smoke. I enjoyed and often miss the taste of certain tobacco blends but as you have pointed out you can only truly stay quit if YOU want.
08 Sep
I do still react to TV cigarettes, but not as strongly as I react to stress. It would be interesting to study whether the desire to light one up has a psychological, chemical or neurological origin. Then, we would probably know how people get stuck with that cruel feeling and would be able to start curing the condition.
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