# sick of my smoking habit

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Hello there........Am sick of my smoking habit as it is really having a toll on my health. I want to quit but am unable to do so...maximum I can quit is for a week but after that it becomes unbearable to stay away. Please help!!! I have browsed the net for solutions and have found sites like chantixhome.com which sell pills like chantix for quit smoking. Since the pills cost a good amount I want to know if they really work. Should I go for it or not???

Edited by YT2095
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The physical addiction lasts for just 4 to 5 days - after that it is ALL psychological dependence. I don't know if that will help. After a week, when the craving becomes unbearable, you can tell yourself that it is just a trick of the brain and the withdrawal symptoms you are now experiencing are ALL psychological. It might help you fight it as you will at least know that it just will power - you've done the hard bit! You've broken the physical side of it... it's just your brain lying to you so it can get it's fix.

Also - you will need to find a replacement to occupy your brain. Get a hobby or chew gum? Basically -replace the habit with another one.

Good Luck.

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It might help you fight it as you will at least know that it just will power - you've done the hard bit! You've broken the physical side of it... it's just your brain lying to you so it can get it's fix.

I would say that is completely the wrong way around. The physical withdrawal symptoms for nicotine are pretty puny. The "hard bit" is wanting a cigarette and fighting off the temptation for the rest of your life.

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they're pretty gay compared to what most people will have experienced.

DrP, are you sure on that 4-5 day thing? iirc, it takes that long to flush the niquotine from your system, but a lot longer for the physical changes in your brain to stop.

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I would say that is completely the wrong way around. The physical withdrawal symptoms for nicotine are pretty puny. The "hard bit" is wanting a cigarette and fighting off the temptation for the rest of your life.

LoL!! Your dead right! I was trying a bit of reverse psycology to encourage her/him to reattempt the tough part again.

Dak - I'm pretty sure the long term cravings are psycological - I'll have to look it up - it's definately what we were taught at school seems to be a popular belief.

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first result

at least one physiological change that takes 21 days to fix.

lol, nachrs

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The "hard bit" is wanting a cigarette and fighting off the temptation for the rest of your life.
Exactly. And since you don't want to have to fight wanting it, and you'll be around others who are smoking, you need to find a way to not want them. Will power won't work for this; can you imagine, as Sayonara³ puts it, fighting off the temptation for the rest of your life?

The temptation needs to be overcome. You said, "Am sick of my smoking habit as it is really having a toll on my health". Start compiling a list of reasons why smoking is no longer an option for you. Besides the shortness of breath, the coughing, the predisposition to other ailments, there's also the smell in your house and car, the ashes everywhere, the burned clothing and furniture, the cost(!), the stains on your smile, the desensitization of your senses of smell and taste, the social stigma, and the danger of fire you present. If you care about that sort of thing, you can also count that you are imposing most of those things on the people around you.

I quit 14 years ago. I prepared my list so that smoking was not an option I was comfortable with anymore. That enabled me to not just shut the door on a bad habit, but rip out the jamb and brick up the hole in the wall where the door used to be. Anytime I ever thought about having even one, for old time's sake, I laughed at the notion and felt better for it, no will power necessary.

I don't wish you luck; I wish you good health, a clean environment, many friends and a fresh smell and taste to your new life.

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DrP, are you sure on that 4-5 day thing? iirc, it takes that long to flush the niquotine from your system, but a lot longer for the physical changes in your brain to stop.

As mentioned already, the psychological part is forever, you just retrain yourself how to react.

Per the physical, it is hard to say how long withdrawal lasts, since it will be different for different people. Regardless, most physical symptoms are gone in 2-3 days (within 72 hours) and others may last as long as 2-3 weeks.

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I smoked from 16 to 28. I have now not smoked for 20 years. The first month was definitely the worst. After that I would say the cravings are all physiological. Even though I have not smoked in 20 years, there are still times, at least a few times a week, where I have a perfect memory of the nicotine high. That memory, which is obviously a craving, I'm sure will be with me the rest of my life. With time however, the craving becomes more of a curiosity than a true desire.

I think cold turkey is the only way to go. Ultimately you will have to not smoke and not use drugs like chantix. Why not just start out that way.

Find yourself a support group. That might be difficult, since most friends of smokers are smokers. By quitting smoking, you are quitting one of your strongest friendship activities. So, no matter what they tell you, their id will be hopping you fail.

Good luck.

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Regardless, most physical symptoms are gone in 2-3 days (within 72 hours)

Carbon monoxide and nicotine flushed, lung function decline halts, excess risk of lung cancer halts.

...and others may last as long as 2-3 weeks.

Skin improvement during this period, and respiratory problems start to disappear.

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The time it takes the body to readjust to the absence of nicotine is actually 3-4 weeks.

Nicotine has a half-life in the body of about 60 minutes, so you can expect to be nicotine free within a day of stopping. However, if you have been smoking for long enough to establish a physical addiction, then nicotinic ACh receptors will have adapted to its presence (which is the basis of the physiological component of addicition) and it will take that system 3-4 weeks to re-adapt.

Individual responses to nicotine withdrawal vary hugely. Some can quit almost with no effort, others can suffer quite badly. Either way, quitting is possible and you need to form a plan based on your own experience.

You will need to work both on the physical and behavioural aspects of the habit. The behavioural aspects are the ones that last the longest and need the most work. The physical ones, however bad they get, will be over in a month at most.

If you find the physical symptoms of withdrawal intolerable, then I would suggest nicotine replacement therapy (patches, gum, lozenges or inhalator). These will keep the physical symptoms managable and allow you to work on the behavioural aspects.

The behavioural side of smoking is based on behaviour reinforcement and habit. Essentially, 'learning' to smoke was a process of performing a behaviour (reinforced by the drug) until it became automatic. Now, the craving is just a trigger and, when a craving occurs, it triggers the smoking behaviour as an automatic (unthinking) response.

An effective tactic is to learn a replacement behaviour and, when a craving occurs, perform that instead. Eventually, it too will become habit. It doesn't take as long as you'd think, but it does require some initial effort. The worst thing you can do when confronted with a craving is nothing. Just sitting still is the worst thing. The craving won't let you think of anything else. Essentially, you will be learning a new skill (living without nicotine) and like any new skill, it requires practice until you can perform it without thinking.

Some tips: Cravings are triggered by more than the absense of nicotine. Events and situations are the main trigger for cravings. Any situation in which you would normally smoke will trigger a craving.

You can try to avoid those situations or, if that's not possible (e.g. eating a meal, which is a common trigger), then you can alter your response deliberately, and that will eventually become habit. For example, the part about a meal that triggers the craving is the end of it, when people sit back after finishing. So, instead of sittinng back, do something immediately. It doesn't have to be a big thing. Just take your plates to the kitchen. That will alter the trigger behaviour and the craving will be averted.

Cravings are not constant. They come in waves, but each wave only lasts a couple of minutes. Try to avoid or alter situations that trigger them in the first place. In the cases where you cannot do that, form an alternative behavioural response to the craving, i.e. some action that takes a minute or so to perform. It can be anything.

A good example I know of is to have an empty jar at home and, when a craving happens, get up and put 10 pence (or cents) in it. It sounds dumb, but it takes about the same amount of time to do as lighting up a cigarette and by the time you have done it, the craving will have subsided. You get the added benefit of building up in a very visible way, a lump of cash that you would otherwise have spent on cigarettes (which, as time goes on, acts as a reward in itself and helps to reinforce the alternative behaviour).

If you are outside and get caught by a craving, you could pull out the loose change in your pocket, count it and put 10p in another pocket for the jar when you get home. It takes a minute or two and again, will avert the craving.

These are just examples of something you could to. It can be anything you want. Think of it this way; it's a bit like your mind is a very boring person who is repeatedly trying to start a conversation on a specific topic. Your task is to deliberately change the subject each time.

Initially, it is deliberate and takes effort (but not much), but in a relatively short period of time, you will have reinforced the replacement behaviour to the extent that it becomes habit. You will do it automatically and with no thought or conscious effort. You will have extinguished the old response completely.

At that point, you will be non-smoker and you should empty your jar and count the large pile of cash you have saved (yay!).

Lastly, keep it real. Don't think your whole life has to change. That makes the task too big. The actual change is tiny and easily managable. You are not learning to do nothing in response to a craving (which actually very hard to do), you are just learning to do something else. That's a lot easier.

Avoid thinking too far ahead (e.g. 'how will I manage this for a month?'). You only have to learn to avoid or avert the cravings for one day. Then, all you have to do, is repeat it the next day. Repetition is a lot easier than starting again.

The days will build up on their own (as will the cash) and you don't need to think about them or bother with counting them. Just let them go. They'll look after themselves. You only need to think about today.

-

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acutally the best way that I have found to quit smoking is through a book called the "easy way to stop smoking" by Allan Carr it help as you have to smoke while you read the book as it works through psychology of why we smoke it actually makes you hate the cigarrette after the book sounds cheesy but true I have been a non-smoker for 7 months now and counting the only thing that makes it a little hard is when drinking alcohol and you are surrounded by smokers who the dissapear for a cig. but you easily overcome this by the positive effects! sounds cheesy but it does work!

wish you well and a happy non-smoking life

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• 2 months later...

What could one do if there problems are purely phycological?

I had a problem with my mail about 2 years ago and ended up getting locked up over night for traffic tickets. You cant smoke in our county jail yet when i was in there the first few hours sucked really bad.

Nothing physical i just wanted a ciggerett. To make matters worse i had one but no lighter. Now that was torture.

After this i understand that it is a mental thing ihate smoking but to break the addiction not to nicotine but mainly to buying them i have found no cure anyone have any idea how to fix that? Thought hypnosis maybe possible for something like this considering iv hated the taste of smoke for years dont like how my skin and lips feel and i plain just dont like it but yet i buy more asap when i run out? only problem with a hypnotist is to many con's out there i havent yet gone to try it

Edited by Sedit
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One thought too - engage in an activity that is made more difficult by smoking, such as high cardio exercise.

A friend of mine used to smoke socially but not very often, when he started working out, he ended up quitting because every time he smoked his next work out was a lot more unpleasant - couldn't push himself as far and it took more effort.

Swimming may be good for that too, since lung capacity is a factor. When you quit you want to be sure you quit cold turkey, without having another cig - but in the event after a few weeks that you actually do - if you are in a routine like exercise, you'll notice a real heavy negative impact right away... you'll miss the "high" of making those lapse or pushing yourself on the bike or making that extra mile marker on the jog, and it'll help you stick with it even after a momentary lapse.

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well after 30 years of smoking Iv decided to give it one last go, so tonight Ill have my last smoke hopefully Forever.

the cool part is that my wife has already quit a few months ago because shes pregnant and non of my friends smoke either, so that sort of "Pressure" is off.

I cant see this near ideal situation occurring again, so Im going to give it shot!

why do I feel somewhat Nervous about the whole thing though?

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yah, me 2 after 12 years... when i wake up jan 2nd, no more smoking

with u on the nervousness, i think it's possibly similar to 'the fear' of heroine withdraw... the thought of never having another fag is a tad scary, for some reason...

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Although I have never been addicted to either, friends have told me that quitting their smoking addiction was harder than quitting their heroin addiction. Does anyone know if this is due to physical or social factors (ie smoking is more accepted and prevalent)?

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when i wake up jan 2nd, no more smoking

Jan 2nd? dont you mean Jan 1st?

I thought the "tradition" for resolutions was dec 31st at midnight onwards.

or at least for Me thats when Ill be putting out my last one.

so I have just over 9 hours left!

I like Gliders idea about pocket change, I have a Nintendo DS (a Christmas present), so Ill be using that as my distraction, and it also gives me something to do with my hands, I just hope I dont try and light the Stylus out of habit

Edited by YT2095
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Best of luck to YT2095 and Dak. If the nervousness is more pronounced than any other time you've tried, perhaps it's because you know you're going to be successful. You have wiped the smile off the smirking Nicotine Monster's face and he is feeling quite jittery.

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Try not to think of it as something you are losing. It's best to frame the attempt more like you're just doing something differently. "Instead of smoking, I'm going to do pushups." "Instead of smoking, I'm going to have a glass of water." "Instead of smoking, I'm going to chew gum." "Instead of wasting my money on cigarettes, I'm going to buy my daughter a new doll." ...That sort of thing.

Also, if you can, spend today getting rid of all reminders you can. Throw away ash trays, run water over any unsmoked cigarettes, dispose of any butts... Basically, make it as hard as possible to find another one when the craving hits, and eliminate as many "cues" to your smoking triggers that you can, as having them available makes it easier for you to break your promise to yourself, and you don't want to do that. This is war, and you need to have a plan of attack and be ready for the surge your withdrawal symtoms will throw at you.

The best advice, I think, is don't even try if you don't think you can. If you think you'll fail, then you will (the self-fulfilling prophecy is a real bitch). You need to go into thinking you CAN do it, and that you WILL succeed. If you go into it thinking you'll fail, then you're setting yourself up to do exactly that.

It is hard. It's also a big part of your life, so you're going to feel like something is missing. Don't just let that psychological hole remain... Fill it with something else. Start a new project, or start walking, or whatever... Just do something instead of smoking (it will distract you, and help you get past the feelings of something missing in your life).

You can do it. You quit every time you put out a cigarette. It's just that this time, you are trying to stay quit.

Your body starts to repair itself as soon as the cigarette is extinquished. </factoid>

Edited by iNow
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pretty much all of that is sound advice, with one exception for me, I find that having a pack of cigs in a drawer out of site but easily accessible is a Help, Iv noticed in the past that my cravings are Worse if there arent any cigs about to have, but if there is some there, it takes a load of pressure off and makes it easier.

its like if I CANT have one, I want one more?

as for getting rid of reminders, thats something I forgot to do, Ill get on that right now.

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^yeah, me too. i think i'm gonna have a pouch of drum in my pocket at all times, just to calm me down

Jan 2nd? dont you mean Jan 1st?

I thought the "tradition" for resolutions was dec 31st at midnight onwards.

or at least for Me thats when I`ll be putting out my last one.

so I have just over 9 hours left!

aah, but i fully intend to be hung-over as shite tomorrow, and don't feel like adding to my woes by not smoking

also, to combat 'the fear' i'm gonna smoke as much as i want on the 1st of each month, so i can chill out and not worry about 'never smoking again'.

i recon i'll do that once then not bother again, but whatever psycological tricks work, eh?

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Why not grab some patches or nicotine lozenges to help "calm you down?" That way, if you get the nic-fit too heavily, you can satisfy it without reverting back to the behavior you're consciously trying to avoid.

(I used to work on a quit smoking research project for about 4 years... I know what works and what tends to make people fail pretty well... I don't mean to sound like "that guy" who is all gung ho about people quitting).

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nah fair one.

i've got some gum, but don't want to use it for some reason. i'm gonna try not to have any niquotine, but if i fail i'm gonna fail by caving in to gum, not fags.

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