Quitting smoking today (05/12/2010)

JLatte

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2005
336
0
San Diego
I wanted to use this forum as a way to document my quitting smoking. I didn't want to spam friends on facebook, but would like to share my experiences with complete strangers, or for anyone else that's interested in quitting as well.

About me: I've been smoking daily for 11 years. The past year, I just haven't completely felt 100% me. I know how my body used to feel, I just miss being able to run and not feel like my lungs are going to catch fire. I miss being able to jog. I miss being able to even go on a longer walk and not feel winded halfway through. Hell, I just wish I wouldn't get so damn winded when climbing stairs.

Originally, this year I had set a goal that I would want to quit by August 1st. Then last night I was thinking to myself... if I'm already telling myself I'm going to quit, why not quit now? So, with that being said, I threw away half a pack of cigarettes, my lighter, my ashtray at home. When I came to work today, I avoided drinking coffee as I always do. I figure I'll get back to drinking coffee and alcohol once I make it 2 weeks without nicotine. It's been way difficult to suppress the craving for a cigarette after lunch. I do, however, enjoy not smelling like an ashtray all the time.

So far, I'm incredibly irritable, at least internally. I'm doing a great job of covering it up and appearing positive at work, but all I can think about is stepping outside and getting my fix. I really hate repeating myself to people at work today (I normally don't). I have trail mix, sunflower seeds and gum to keep me busy. I brought a book to read when I go outside for air instead of a cigarette. So far, I'm just glad that I've made it ~13 or so hours since my last cigarette at midnight the previous.

Anyways, I hope you guys don't mind me posting on this once a day or so. Anyone else managed to quit cold turkey and have any tips or activities to help get their mind off? I intend to get back into running, but right now I need to just slowly work myself back into it.
 

ethical

macrumors 68000
Dec 22, 2007
1,661
1
Keep updating us. Even though we're all strangers, it'll really help your motivation! Good luck!
 

rdowns

macrumors Penryn
Jul 11, 2003
27,345
12,409
Keep it up, quitting is very hard and mostly mental. I've quit a few times (once for 6 years, once for 4) and gone back. I quit on 12/7/09 and I swear this is it.

FWIW, when I got the really bad cravings (after a meal, coffee, alcohol, after sex) I took 5 deep breaths and the cravings passed.
 

renewed

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2009
3,064
5
Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
Good luck, you can do it!
Keep updating us. Even though we're all strangers, it'll really help your motivation! Good luck!
+ 1 to both of these.

OP. One word of advice that has helped me is to be careful with atmosphere. I noticed when i wasn't around people who smoked or offered me a smoke it was a lot easier. Also avoiding bars that you could smoke in etc helped too.
 

Xfujinon

macrumors 6502
Jul 27, 2007
304
0
Iowa City, Iowa
Congratulations! You've done a very powerful thing by actually following through on your goals. In doing so, you've come farther than many.

Quitting smoking is extremely tough. I see it in my patients all the time. The hardest thing is the routine. Like alcoholics trying to kick the habit, many of the smokers have to go to such lengths as avoiding favorite bars or other business establishments to avoid the association with smoking. Sometimes it means quitting poker or doing other activities where smoking played a big part. This is a similar problem with overeaters and alcoholics, the associations play a potent reinforcing role in the habit. Changing the conditions of the environment is helpful in maintaining a commitment to quit.

Sharp shifts in lifestyle are never easy to bear. Try not to focus on the quitting, fill your time with other meaningful activities. I had a patient who would call old friends every time he had an urge to smoke. Kept him in touch, and distracted him at the same time. Others substitute foods like carrots or celery.

When I quit smoking, I put the money I would have spent on a pack of cigarettes into a big glass bottle on my nightstand. Every day I would look at the bottle get more and more full of change and bills. By the end of the month, I had more than 120 bucks in it! That was all the incentive I needed. I opened a savings account and never looked back. I came to associate smoking with losing money, and the powerful association kept me from buying any more smokes. Occasionally I still want one, but I've never been back. Quit cold turkey, too.
 

ayzee

macrumors 6502a
Jun 12, 2008
572
31
E-cigarettes (electronic cigarettes) did it for me. Props to anybody going completely cold turkey to quit smoking.

I quit in november and it's one of best things I ever did. I used to think smoking helped to relieve my stress, but now i've stopped I've noticed that it was the lack of nicotine that was making me stressed, so once I smoked I felt better.

My health has done a u-turn, I feel much more energetic, I look better as I've put on back the weight I lost when I stated regularly smoking, and my general mood is better, I feel much more upbeat.

Good luck, and if your nicotine need is overpowering you try the e-cigarette, I managed to quit straight away and used the e-cig for about 2-3months and quit them easy
 

ViciousShadow21

macrumors 68020
Mar 11, 2009
2,489
0
To your left or right
good for you. i currently have been smoking for 4.5 years and i plan on continuing. but again i applaud your determination. please do give us updates. when i finally decide to quit it may be useful to refer to your postings.
 

DontMacTheGyver

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2010
131
0
Good decision!
I just stopped smoking about 4 weeks ago... now I can't remember why I was smoking, what it gave me... I enjoy every single day without a cigarette.
Of course some situations are difficult... especially when going out and having beer... but both in Turkey and in Germany (my countries) smoking is forbidden everywhere, so I don't have to see (and smell) it all the time...
 

MultiM

macrumors 6502
May 9, 2006
451
4
TO. I've moved!
Good for YOU! I quit 13 years ago after smoking for 20 odd years. Best thing I ever did. One word of advice: if you need a prop like the patch or the e-cigarette, don't hesitate. It is not shameful to need help quitting something so insidious. I'll be interested in your updates and will offer any encouragement you need.
 

RawBert

macrumors 68000
Jan 19, 2010
1,727
62
North Hollywood, CA
Good luck. It's hard not to just smoke one. But when you have that thought, you must resist.

I saw a report on 20/20 about Camel Snus and how it's not nearly as bad for you (no smoke). You still get the nicotine, though - so technically if you had these, you would still not be smoking. I'm not really a smoker, so I don't know... What do you guys think? Wouldn't this be a good alternative to straight smoking? I mean the goal is to not need nicotine anymore. But quitting cold turkey is a mofo.
 

P-Worm

macrumors 68020
Jul 16, 2002
2,045
0
Salt Lake City, UT
I have helped a few people quit smoking and one thing that I have found to be helpful is to drink grapefruit juice when the cravings come. I've been told it helps a lot.

P-Worm
 

JLatte

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2005
336
0
San Diego
Wow, thank you everyone for your support, it really does help. So it's almost been 36 hours so far. I'm already starting to smell clearer. Cravings are definitely still there. It's hard to describe these things to people that don't know, but for me, it's almost like an anxiety. I have this building up of anxiety or tension in my chest/throat that feels like it would best be released with a cigarette. The only thing is that my mind knows that I'm not going to be smoking anymore, so it somewhat starts to go into panic mode, wanting a cigarette, trying to justify smoking just one cigarette, 'it's still quitting, you don't have to keep smoking, just one drag to get that nicotine and then get back to quitting again'.

My girlfriend gave me an Eclipse container thing of gum, and some japanese trail mix snacks with some dried wasabi peas (from Henry's). I've noticed that those little snacks REALLY help out a lot. Not pigging out all day, but definitely little munchies here and there. I also picked up some peaches and 2 bags of carrots to munch on. Every time I'm not eating, I'll be chewing gum. Still staying away from the coffee and caffeine in general. I brought a coke today with my lunch just to sip it and experiment to see if I do ok with just a little caffeine.

Last night at the coffee shop, I ordered a strawberry/vanilla italian soda instead of my regular medium coffee. A bit more expensive, but it helped to break habit. Change is nice, too. I still do get up to go outside during breaks, but now I just pace back and forth while vigorously chewing gum. I do enjoy getting fresh air though every now and then, and will continue to do so.

@rdowns, I noticed that 5 deep breaths really have helped for me as well, thank you.

@ViciousShadow21, Quit when you're ready to. I definitely said the same thing, all the way until the other day when I just decided I'm done smoking. Just because I quit smoking doesn't mean I'm going to go on a crusade against people that still do smoke. In fact, if I could still smoke regular cigarettes without having a single detrimental effect on my body, I would probably seriously consider it.

@RawBert, I've tried Camel Snus a while back, as well as real Swedish snus... it's definitely not as bad as smoking, it's not AS bad as dip or chew, but it's still nicotine and I want to kick the dependency completely. The stuff isn't that bad though, but as a smoker, it's definitely no substitute for a cigarette.

I'd like to address all of you and say thanks, but it'd just be too long. I really do appreciate the help, advice or just the good lucks, it's nice to be able to talk to you guys about this. I've found that telling a few close friends (and you all too) about quitting has really helped. Letting people know that you're quitting makes you want to be accountable to yourself to quit. Nobody likes the boy who cried wolf or whatever.
 

andalusia

macrumors 68030
Apr 10, 2009
2,945
5
Manchester, UK
Last night at the coffee shop, I ordered a strawberry/vanilla italian soda instead of my regular medium coffee. A bit more expensive, but it helped to break habit.
You're saving money on the cigarettes, so surely you can splash that money on a little bit more expensive-a-drink to keep you from temptations to smoke :) Well done on making it 36 hours! Don't give up.
 

Reventon

macrumors 6502
Jan 31, 2009
490
0
Toronto, ON
Well, good on you for trying to quit. I'm not a smoker, but I've seen both my brother and sister quit smoking (they've been smoking for about 10-15 years), so I know how hard it can be. If cold turkey isn't working out, you could try Zyban or those Nicorette inhalers. I think my sister quit using Zyban, though I recall that my brother quit cold turkey. Good luck, and hope it works out.
 

-aggie-

macrumors P6
Jun 19, 2009
16,793
50
Where bunnies are welcome.
Well, I know you want to be off nicotine altogether, but if you find yourself in a bind, I highly suggest Target or Walmart for nicotine gum (generic Nicorette). You can get a 170-piece pack for between $30 and $40.

However, don't be like me and need to start smoking to get off the gum. :D I've been chewing since early 2002. (You're supposed to chew for several months and then start weaning yourself off.) But, I haven't smoked a single cigarette and have no cravings for one.
 

JLatte

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Dec 2, 2005
336
0
San Diego
I'm intentionally avoiding alcohol this weekend I think. So far I've made it to what, 2 1/2 days, almost 3 days. Lots of people told me the first two days are the worst, I hope that's the case. I'm still feeling irritable. I observed yesterday with my friend how I've suddenly noticed that so many people are complete ******s. He says it's just the withdrawals and those people weren't suddenly changing, I'm just cranky. I don't know.

I tried having a few cups of iced coffee last night at the coffee shop, instead of hot coffee. It actually helped my caffeine fix, and I even made it without a smoke, except for the headache that kept pressuring me to smoke.

This morning at work I felt the most anxious I ever have. I was fine on the drive over, but I never even made it to my desk without getting pulled into a meeting for an hour. Had to deal with several time sensitive changes to the websites, etc. The knot in my chest isn't going away and I've had to get up several times, chew gum and walk around but it's not really helping to make it go away. I want coffee, I hate the taste of gum with coffee. Whoever thinks gum is a great substitute for a cigarette with coffee or alcohol is so wrong :(

Usually at work when I encountered a tough problem, I would be self-rewarded with a cigarette, stepping outside to smoke after a project bump, or just to collect my thoughts. I don't know how to substitute this 'reward' right now, but I get restless just sitting here. At least I'm still smoke free though!
 

renewed

macrumors 68040
Mar 24, 2009
3,064
5
Bemalte Blumen duften nicht.
Usually at work when I encountered a tough problem, I would be self-rewarded with a cigarette, stepping outside to smoke after a project bump, or just to collect my thoughts. I don't know how to substitute this 'reward' right now, but I get restless just sitting here. At least I'm still smoke free though!
Congrats on the progress!

---

As far as a reward: is there a type of snack you enjoy that is available at work? Maybe you can bring one.

You could even let yourself have something out of a vending machine like maybe some chips (yeah, bad for you but beats the heck out of smoking); a chocolate bar or something would work too.

Try to think of something else you would enjoy at work and reward yourself with that.
 

Gonzo3333

macrumors 6502a
Mar 30, 2009
544
0
Chicago, IL
I quit smoking on March 1st this year after smoking for 15 years, half of my life. It was pretty easy, whenever you feel like smoking just tell yourself NO! I would recommend going outside with people you normally smoke with and just talk to them while they smoke. The most difficult part of quitting was wanting to smoke after meals, once again just say NO! It is just will power, after 2 weeks you will start to feel much better, you will have much more energy. The important thing to do is NOT SMOKE ANYMORE, whenever you crave one JUST SAY NO! That is what I did and after 2 months and a few weeks I have only had a few times where I felt I could smoke one. Just remember to SAY NO! The only way you will quit is by not smoking anymore.

Best of luck, just remember SAY NO!!!
 

Xavier

macrumors 68030
Mar 23, 2006
2,567
1,150
Columbus
On a side note, I just saw a commercial for what I believe was nicorette gum where a man was sitting on a pier and a shark was biting his arm. He was then saying to himself cigarette cigarette cigarette. Pops a piece of nicorette gum and the craving stopped. But then he was like, "OMG A SHARK!!1!" I found this commercial hilarious.

Maybe the gum would even help?