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need help with the science behind smoking cessation. need to quit smoking

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I am a smoker who has been trying to quit. I have been smoking about 2 packs a day. I often get very stressed out anywhere 1-2 days without a cigarette and break down out and get a pack and tell myself i'll try to quit after that pack. I have never made it past 3 days with no cigarettes. its very stressful, i tend to be bound to my bed for that time, and i tend to want to give myself a break by not quitting.

 

I am wondering if nicotine gum is a good way for serious smokers like me to quit ? seeing as i can't get past 3 days i'm wanting to use an aid instead of quitting cold turkey thinking i might be sabotaging my success.

 

I also worry alot about cancer. i am very weak with alot of discomfort in my chest. i have been smoking since i was 21. i'm 35. i know quitting is how one would avoid cancer but sometimes i feel so bad i wonder if i have it.

 

thank you

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I am a smoker who has been trying to quit. I have been smoking about 2 packs a day. I often get very stressed out anywhere 1-2 days without a cigarette and break down out and get a pack and tell myself i'll try to quit after that pack. I have never made it past 3 days with no cigarettes. its very stressful, i tend to be bound to my bed for that time, and i tend to want to give myself a break by not quitting.
Too bad you can't make it past that third day. Your body will have flushed most of the nicotine from your system by that time so the cravings change from physiological (your body wants you to smoke again) to psychological (your mind wants you to smoke again).
I am wondering if nicotine gum is a good way for serious smokers like me to quit ? seeing as i can't get past 3 days i'm wanting to use an aid instead of quitting cold turkey thinking i might be sabotaging my success.
Why wonder? Is it that expensive? More expensive than smoking or dying of cancer or emphysema? Try some.
I also worry alot about cancer. i am very weak with alot of discomfort in my chest. i have been smoking since i was 21. i'm 35. i know quitting is how one would avoid cancer but sometimes i feel so bad i wonder if i have it.
Quitting now increases the chances you won't get a cancer that usually attacks smokers. Every day you don't smoke increases your odds. Think of it that way.

 

 

 

I'll tell you how I quit. I smoked for 20+ years, 1-2 packs/day. I just stopped one day (I picked a special day for me; for you you should pick a day when your chest is really hurting) and told myself smoking was no longer an option. Like you, I would quit for a bit and then go back to it like a crutch. Metaphorically, when I stopped I didn't just shut the door on smoking. I didn't lock the door and throw away the key. I ripped out the door and put a nice blank wall where the smoking door used to be. Smoking was no longer an option for me. It's a crucial distinction, imo.

 

This allowed me to go out and enjoy friends and family who were still smoking. I was no longer eying someone else's cigarette and wondering how long I could hold out before asking for one. I moved on. Once my health returned it was easy to justify the choice I'd made. I felt great, like air had just been invented, that food was better tasting and mornings weren't all about coughing and emptying stinking ashtrays. I made a list of all the crap I no longer had to deal with, from the expense all the way down to wiping that scummy film off the inside of my windshield. It's easy to justify a smart decision.

 

I think you should see a doctor about the way you feel. Better to know the truth than to imagine all sorts of horrors. The doctor may have some tips as well on how to quit. Best of luck

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Replace it with something else. Every time you get the urge to smoke, get a glass of water and sip it slowly. Every time you get the urge to smoke, force yourself to wait 10 minutes and reevaluate the urge. Every time you get the urge to smoke, do something else (I would do pushups or jumping jacks... I sure didn't feel like smoking after 75 pushups... and I had a lot of urges, so did a lot of pushups...). Get something to put in your mouth, like carrots or lollipops or whatever.

 

Just don't smoke. Write down your thoughts and feelings when have a craving.

 

Evaluate your patterns when you have a craving, where you are and what you are doing and who you are with. Have a plan for the craving. When you know you are going to crave a smoke at the pool hall for example, before you even go to the pool hall rehearse what you are going to do when a craving arrives. You are going to get a drink of water. You are going to wash your hands... you are going to do something... ELSE.

 

 

Good luck.

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is there such thing as withdrawal syndrome? I want to get my father to stop smoking, but they said that if a heavy smoker quits smoking he would feel weak and be susceptible to illness.

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Yes, there is such a thing as withdrawal syndrome, but that won't make a person weak or more susceptible to illness. Not serious illness anyway. It might make a person more likely to catch a cold for a short time, but nothing more serious than that. Heavy smoking increases the risk of infections anyway, by reducing the levels of SIgA (Secretory Immunoglobulin A) secretions in the mucous membranes of the upper respiratory tract. SIgA is the first line of immune defence against environmental pathogens like cold and flu viruses, bacteria etc., so quitting will not have any notable effect in the short term. In the longer term, resistance to these infections will increase as SIgA levels return to normal but more important, the risk of much more serious illness will be significantly reduced.

 

Addiction has both psychological and physiological components. All addictive substances, through a variety of mechanisms, share a final common effect; they elevate levels of dopamine in the reward centres of the brain. This means that the behaviours leading up to administration of the substance are strongly reinforced and so become compulsive. This accounts for the psychological component of addiction: A compulsive behaviour that will be carried out despite knowledge of the harmful effect of that behaviour.

 

The physiological component comes from the fact that taking any psychoactive substance over time will produce long term neurological changes. In the case of nicotine (which is a nicotinic Acetyl Choline (ACh) antagonist), the body increases the number of nicotinic ACh receptors to compensate.

 

The result is that when nicotine is withdrawn, the central nervous system is over sensitive to ACh. Nicotinic ACh receptors are abundent in the symathetic system which is responsible for arousal and fight/flight response. Oversensitivity to ACh results in the physiological withdrawal syndrome for nicotine, which includes: Restlessness, anxiety, irritability, tremor, sleeplessness. These vary in intensity between individuals. Some experience very few and mild symptomes, others experience more and severe symptoms. These symptoms, if sufficientlky severe can make a person a little run-down which might make them more likely to catch colds or other mild infections, but as I said, it's short-term. The body readapts to the absence of nicotine in about three weeks (it reduces the numbers of ACh receptors to pre-smoking levels). This eliminates the physical symptoms, but the psychological symptoms (i.e. craving, which is the compulsion to perform the behaviour) remain, albeit to a lesser degree. Such a strongly reinforced behaviour takes a lot to extinguish.

 

Drug replacement therapy (e.g. nicotine gum or patches) is extremely effective, but not on its own. The idea of DRT is to 'take the edge off' the physiological symptoms and give the person a chance to address the psychological (behavioural) components themselves.

 

DRT won't provide the 'hit' of reward that smoking does, but it will deal with the withdrawal syndrom so a person does not have to suffer the physical side of withdrawal. However, to rely solely on DRT just means the person is addicted to that instead of smoking. Once on DRT, the person has to change their behaviour (i.e. deal with the behavioural compulsion).

 

Addiction behaviour, as I said, is strongly reinforced and the compulsion to perform that behaviour may never go away. Ex smokers of 10 years can still feel the compulsion to smoke (alothough they can deal with it easily). The technique is that the person has to teach themselves new behaviours to displace the compulsive behaviour, and these new behaviours have to be practiced until they become habit (unconscious and automatic), so the automatic response to a stimulus that results in an urge to smoke is something other than smoking.

 

It sounds a lot to do, but it really isn't. The explanation is more daunting than the actual process.

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my father is old (60), has asthma, hypertension, and diabetes type 2. i think it is very reasonable why he should quit smoking. aside from the effects smoking would bring to his health, i think he should allocate his resources to the medicine he is maintaining. but scaring him with what might happen doesn't really help.

i even tried reinforcement mechanism; told him that i would stop this if he would stop smoking. but his colleagues are smokers that he would always be tempted to take one stick.

he tried to quit once but he didn't get past a week.

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but his colleagues are smokers that he would always be tempted to take one stick.

It's much more difficult when you are always around smokers so the cravings get reinforced, and tobacco is available. It's not that smokers don't know smoking is bad for them, it's that the addiction is at a more primal/biological level than the rational thoughts telling them to do otherwise. It's difficult, but not impossible. Do what you can to help your dad, but don't frustrate him enough that you estrange yourself from one another. It's his choice to make, and your support and love will be the best thing for him to try and sway what that choice is.

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As iNow said, it's his choice and it's actually critical that he quits for himself and not for you. If he quits for you he'll always be tempted to borrow one from a friend (and misery loves company, so most smokers would oblige him even if they knew he was trying to quit). If he quits for himself he'll be more likely to resist even when he's around others who are smoking.

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People have already said it but from what others have told me the best way to go is cold turkey. I know a lot of people who used to be addicted and finally stoped this way. The gums and stuff never worked for them. You can't just start smoking less you have to quit completely. After two weeks you'll start to fell better and it'll be a lot easier to not smoke. So just commit yourself to two weeks and try to make it.

 

 

Man lol I like smoking cigars they're so fun but I think I'm running the risk of getting addicted by smoking them. Are they really so bad you can't casually smoke every once in a while or should you just stay the hell away from anything containing nicotine?

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Man lol I like smoking cigars they're so fun but I think I'm running the risk of getting addicted by smoking them. Are they really so bad you can't casually smoke every once in a while or should you just stay the hell away from anything containing nicotine?

It's different for everyone. Cigars are generally less addictive than cigarettes (relatively speaking) since the nicotine is absorbed mostly in the gums and throat region, and only miniscule amounts by the lungs. However, with cigarettes, nearly all of the nicotine is absorbed in the lungs so it gets into the blood stream and to the brain more quickly and completely.

 

I quit smoking cigarettes about 6 or 7 years ago, and I couldn't have ANY tobacco for about a year or so, otherwise, I would have unbearable cravings for a cigarette. However, now that I actually see myself as a "non smoker" instead of an "ex smoker" I can easily enjoy the occasional cigar... and, in fact, I do.

 

Cigars have nicotine, so do have addictive qualities. The thing is, when one grabs for a cigar it's not generally a result of the withdrawal craving, but due to a genuine desire to enjoy a long lingering smoke... Once a week or once a month is actually quite a bit for most occasional cigar smokers, so the issue of addiction is not as prominent.

 

Unless, you're my cousin... He smokes about 3 cigars a day. ;)

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As a former smoker many times over, I can say with some authority that the best stop smoking tool out there is the nicotine gum. There is something to be said for trading one habit (smoking to get nicotine) for another (chewing gum to obtain nicotine).

 

Stopping chewing is much easier than stopping smoking in large part I think because you don't get the bolus effect with chewing as you do with inhalation. No big rush of nicotine at once.

What caught me off guard many times was over confidence.....going a year or so without a cigarette and then thinking I could get away with just one.

BUT THAT (over confidence) IS A HUGE MISTAKE. THINKING YOU CAN GET AWAY WITH ONE IS A LIE.

I used the nicotine gum to quit the last time and I can proudly say that it has been over six years and counting. In the year or two after I quit, every time I almost fell off the wagon and thought I would have just one, I went for the gum instead of the cigarette and it saved me every time. I've now been over four years without gum either.

 

You must extract yourself from others that smoke or you'll drive yourself crazy and find it too easy to get a quick fix.

I have to stay away from cigars too because once I have that nasty taste in my mouth, I will crave a cigarette for days and days.

 

BEST OF LUCK. YOU CAN DO IT!!

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Smoking is an interesting phenomenon. It's "addictive" properties are largely psychological in nature.

 

In fact, there are no blinded studies where humans choose to self-administer non-tobacco forms of nicotine. This, and the dismal success rate of NRT, suggest nicotine may not play as large a role as once thought in smoking, and frankly, has little abuse liability.

 

It will take a major effort for you to quit smoking.

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Smoking is an interesting phenomenon. It's "addictive" properties are largely psychological in nature.

While any addiction is "largely psychological in nature," nicotine is, in fact, largely physiologically addicting as well. It binds closely with our nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (as pointed out earlier in the thread by Glider), basically mimicking action of a substance our body produces naturally to assist in movements of our muscles.

 

http://www.nicotineguide.com/addicted.php

 

 

The beauty is, research has shown that after 72 hours the physiological craving fades, and the rest is all mental... It's beautiful, but not necessarily easy.

 

http://www1.umn.edu/perio/tobacco/nicaddct.html

 

 

 

When I was a senior in college, I began working with the American Cancer Society doing research on a pilot study for quitting smoking. I worked there for several years after graduation as well. The program consisted of a series of self-help booklets designed with the help of some of the nations top cognitive behavioral therapists (one of whom was a professor or mine), and a series of telephone counseling sessions. I'd imagine the program has evolved somewhat since the time I was there, but the early results which my team captured and published suggested this program was enormously successful.

 

If you are so inclined, here's a link to the site. If you have the option of getting help, overcome your pride and recognize that just about anything in this life is easier to do with the help of others than on our own, and check it out. It was called "Quitline."

 

http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_10_13X_Guide_for_Quitting_Smoking.asp

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In theory it takes about 14 days for the CNS to replace the neurotransmitters that had not been being produced because the nicotine took their place. Muscle stiffness results while this imbalance is being corrected. It is possible that muscle relaxant medications may help through this stage, but you need to be careful not to replace one addiction with another. The gum and patches just transfer your addiction from the nicotine in cigarettes to the nicotine in the gum or patches, but that may still be helpful if you taper them off. Generally, the tapering plans the pharmaceutical companies suggest are a bit slow - they have a financial interest in stringing it out a bit.

 

I accidentally got addicted to a synthetic narcotic post-surgery - dextropopoxyphene - when I realised the returning pain was not an indication to take more because it was rebound pain caused by narcotic withdrawal I tapered it off over 6 days and flushed the rest. Now I only take Panadol.

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You can get patches, gum and those little sticks (they look like cigarettes) that are infused with a bit of nicotine that you "smoke" (it delivers a dose of nicotine and gives you the feeling of holding a cigarette)...I've never smoked before so I'm not sure how well they work.

 

But recently, our federal government has decided to offer a subsidy for these drugs, because these smoke-quitting aids are rather expensive. Great move! Though some would argue that it's the smokers fault for smoking in the first place and government revenue shouldn't be used to pay for them.

 

Oh by the way, it's the Australian government I'm referring to when I say "Federal government".

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You can get patches, gum and those little sticks (they look like cigarettes) that are infused with a bit of nicotine that you "smoke" (it delivers a dose of nicotine and gives you the feeling of holding a cigarette)...I've never smoked before so I'm not sure how well they work.

 

But recently, our federal government has decided to offer a subsidy for these drugs, because these smoke-quitting aids are rather expensive. Great move! Though some would argue that it's the smokers fault for smoking in the first place and government revenue shouldn't be used to pay for them.

 

Oh by the way, it's the Australian government I'm referring to when I say "Federal government".

 

 

 

WHy the goverment is doing that is smoking has brought huge income to the gov.

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People have already said it but from what others have told me the best way to go is cold turkey. I know a lot of people who used to be addicted and finally stoped this way. The gums and stuff never worked for them. You can't just start smoking less you have to quit completely. After two weeks you'll start to fell better and it'll be a lot easier to not smoke. So just commit yourself to two weeks and try to make it.

 

 

Man lol I like smoking cigars they're so fun but I think I'm running the risk of getting addicted by smoking them. Are they really so bad you can't casually smoke every once in a while or should you just stay the hell away from anything containing nicotine?

The tars and other carcinogens are more of a worry. Cigarette smokers get lung cancer while cigar smokers get tongue and throat cancers due to the lower distillation temperature reducing penetration. Staying away from roads is a good thing too - diesel fumes contain two major carcinogens.

 

Accountancy is the science to aid smokers - just keep adding up the costs - direct and indirect.

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