Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:10 am
I quit smoking about a month ago. I miss it.

How long does it take before you stop missing it?
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ehBeth
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:29 am
@Cliff Hanger,
mmm a long time

It didn't take me long to really hate the smell of stale tobacco on anyone/anything, but the smell of a freshly lit cigarette - that took a long time to get over.
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chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:40 am
@Cliff Hanger,
oh Cliff Hanger, please stick with it...it does get better.

make sure you get plenty of fluids, that helps

The physical part of it goes away, after a month it's all out of your body I'm sure.

Mentally though, I think that's an individual thing, and how many things in your life you associated with smoking.

I haven't smoked for more than 20 years, except for this 2 month period somewhere in the middle.

To this day, maybe twice a year, when the stars are in the sky in a certain way, I'll think "Man, a cigarette sounds good" Then I laugh at myself and forget all about it.

It'll get better, hang in there.
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Foxfyre
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:44 am
@Cliff Hanger,
You are barely past the time that all the nicotine has cleared your system and your body is still missing it. If you are a true addict (and many of us who have smoked are), there will be times when those cravings will hit you like a brick, but just think past them because they pass fairly quickly and from this point on they will come will less frequency and less intensity until they don't happen any more. One day you realize you've gone a whole day or a whole week without thinking about smoking. For some people this is a matter of a few weeks--for some a bit longer. Until then just know that those craving urges are just part of the process and tough through them. Knowing that they will surge and then pass in a few minutes makes them bearable. You can shorten the time by distracting yourself--a brisk walk around the house--a piece of sugarless candy or gum etc.

The pleasures of smoking take a bit longer. Especially during times of high stress or when you're focusing on a big project, you think how great it would be just to light up and regroup like you used to. This is the most difficult part to resist but resist you must. Again distract yourself. Sucking on an occasional piece of really good hard candy helped me. These temptations can emerge years later but also subside in intensity and frequency. You may dream about smoking years later but again this is normal and nothing to worry about.

Soon you will have joined the ranks of those of us who empathize with smokers but have become conscious that people look better, smell better, and are a whole lot less inconvenienced when they don't smoke.

Hang in there. Your lungs and other vital organs will love you for your effort and you can mostly look forward to a longer, healthier life in which you are glad you are no longer hooked on the ciggies.

chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 11:58 am
@Foxfyre,
Soon you will have joined the ranks of those of us who empathize with smokers but have become conscious that people look better, smell better, and are a whole lot less inconvenienced when they don't smoke.

oh yeah, keep the above in mind cliffy.

you probably don't get this yet, but you will when I tell you the day will come when you realize how someone standing or sitting next to you reeks to high heaven, and you have to turn your face away from them or move.

They'll come a day when you're walking into a building, and the group of smoker out front out front unthinkingly blow smoke on you has you pass by. The first thing you'll think is "GROSS, now my clothes are going to smell, and yuck, how can they breathe that stink in?

One day you'll kiss someone who smokes, and get totally turned off because you, and I know it's an old saying but it's ture, feel like you just licked a dirty ashtray.

uhg...once I was cleaning up after a party and I picked up a glass that had a couple of dozen butts in it, douced with just enough water to make a sludge. Not only nasty, gross and disgusting, but looking at it made me realize that's what the insides of a smokers lungs look like.

Go find some old butts and make your own sludge, put your face in it and take a good whiff.

Pretty gross, huh?

That's what you smell like when you smoke.
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Foxfyre
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 12:48 pm
One of the very best things about not smoking is that I don't dread going to a restaurant any more. The smoke free restaurant trend, etc. was just beginning to catch on when I last quit smoking years ago. Because dining out and smoking went so hand in hand, I wouldn't go to a smoke free restaurant at first. Then there was the agony of going out with friends who preferred the nonsmoking section and there I was unable to light up and was uncomfortable.

Now in the few places where smoking is still allowed, I try to get as far away from it as possible, and I love and adore smoke free restaurants. (I'm still too libertarian to believe that a private business owner should not be allowed to allow smoking if he/she wants to, but now instead of avoiding smoke free restaurants, I would be bypassing those where smoking is allowed.)
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Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 01:06 pm
ebeth wrote:
Quote:
mmm a long time

It didn't take me long to really hate the smell of stale tobacco on anyone/anything, but the smell of a freshly lit cigarette - that took a long time to get over.


Interesting point-- I quit smoking back in college and that was back when people still smoked in classrooms. I could not stand the smell of other peoples smoke in an indoor setting.

No one smokes indoors anymore, thankfully--not even in bars. But I still like the smell of it outside, when I pass someone who's smoking. The freshly lit cigarette, I hear ya.

Chai2 wrote:
Quote:
oh Cliff Hanger, please stick with it...it does get better.

make sure you get plenty of fluids, that helps

The physical part of it goes away, after a month it's all out of your body I'm sure.

Mentally though, I think that's an individual thing, and how many things in your life you associated with smoking.

I haven't smoked for more than 20 years, except for this 2 month period somewhere in the middle.

To this day, maybe twice a year, when the stars are in the sky in a certain way, I'll think "Man, a cigarette sounds good" Then I laugh at myself and forget all about it.

It'll get better, hang in there..


Thanks for the fluids tip-- I was never a heavy smoker, about 5 a day. I would only light up after work, after dinner. I really enjoyed it as an end of the day thing.

I was never one to wake up in the morning and light up, or have coffee and a puff. So my struggle to quit isn't as bad as, say, if I smoked a pack or two a day-- thankfully. I made up my mind to not get to that stage a while ago.

I'll stick with it. I just wanted to complain a little.


Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 01:11 pm
@Foxfyre,
Thanks for you indepth post.

I think it is about the pleasure of smoking that I miss. you are correct, my skin looks better, among other things. I don't know about you, but I am a near expert at spotting a smoker. The pallor of the skin is different, even the color the lips.

How true about my vital organs, etc being grateful.

0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  2  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 06:59 pm
I quit 8 months ago.
I am so happy that I quit. I'm proud of myself. I look better, feel better. I'm amazed at how things smell!
(I smelled the grass today when I walked on it!)

Smoking is like a ball and chain.... Smokers have to feed their demons. It encompasses so much of their lives.

The thoughts of having a ciggy have gotten less and less since I quit. I'm surprised when I get one at this point. But when it happens, I remember all the reasons why I quit and all the things that make me happy about being a non-smoker, and the urge passes faster.

It does get easier.

0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 07:30 pm
Cliff --
I quit for the second and last time in '82, mainly because I knew full well how bad smoking is for health, over time... and I'd smoked twenty years by then. Especially in the lab, the boss (md, heh) always had one going when he was at his lab desk, and I had one going as a way, I guess, of tolerating periods of doing five or six things at once with timers going for several of them... why not add a seventh?
By the end of it, I often got to opening a third pack a day, though I stubbed some portion of those out. On the other hand, we must have worked in a cloud.

I started taking art classes after work in those years, and yes, I was one of those smokers in painting classes - emoticon time: Embarrassed

A lot of people still smoked so it wasn't as socially icky at the time, though the odd (I thought) person complained from time to time. My brother in law (mr. good), for example.

I quit cold both times I quit - started again after a few years the first time, with my boss smoking my brand next to me at a conference (the quietly expressed "can I have one?" being the start of another 5 yrs. of smoking.)
The next time I quit, it took.

I attribute it working to my attitude of "that is what other people do" when I saw the stacks of cigarettes at the checkout counters in stores - sort of a dissociation thing. I honestly didn't have that many cravings after quitting, at least after a few weeks.
But... I did miss the rigamarole, the good lighter, for example, and had timing issues re things like making an important phone call for the first month or two.

Probably what helped was that I'm an allergic type, and my lungs felt better soon. Not that I didn't still have nasal allergies, but that most of the time I just felt much better. I gained some weight after '82, but eventually got into swimming and jogging and learned to maintain.

The next good news is that I felt calmer. I had always thought that cigs calmed me down, steadied me. Nah, I needed less calming down when I stopped.

Anyway, good luck with it, and have fun with it..

ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Fri 24 Oct, 2008 07:42 pm
@ossobuco,
Fun with it probably sounds odd - but I think I felt slightly more "awake" after a while.


edits to say my bro-in-law is a fine guy. Indeed, given how he abhors smoke (the parents), he was pretty nice to me.
0 Replies
 
JPB
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Oct, 2008 08:26 am
@Cliff Hanger,
Cliff Hanger wrote:

-- I was never a heavy smoker, about 5 a day. I would only light up after work, after dinner. I really enjoyed it as an end of the day thing.

I was never one to wake up in the morning and light up, or have coffee and a puff. So my struggle to quit isn't as bad as, say, if I smoked a pack or two a day-- thankfully. I made up my mind to not get to that stage a while ago.

I'll stick with it. I just wanted to complain a little.


Boy, does that resonate! I've been a "casual" smoker for ages. This past year, however, has been extremely stressful and I found myself smoking a lot more than normal. I went from 1 or 2 cigarettes a day a couple times a week to about 5 cigarettes a day. Everyday. Still not a lot in terms of being a smoker, but it became a habit that was heavier than I wanted to admit was still "casual". I've physically aged 10 years in the past 10 months. Cigarettes weren't helping there -- they were part of the cause.

Last Saturday I had one cigarette left in my pack. I was out running errands and added 'stop for cigarettes' to my mental to-do list. I didn't get around to it but that was ok -- I could do it later and I still had that last one in the pack. I never found time in my day to make that stop and I smoked the last one in the pack around 8:00 Saturday night.

Sunday was a busy day, as was Monday, and it was Tuesday before my brain was telling me that it was time for a cig break. Not having any on hand made assessing the craving easier than giving in to it and I said, "Yup, I wish I had some cigarettes here right now." But I didn't. And I don't.

Mr B and I went out to dinner last night. It was cold and drizzly. Not the kind of weather one wants to stand in for a cigarette break. Some folks were just leaving the restaurant as we were arriving and they lit up as they walked out the door. ehbeth -- yup, the smell of the freshly lit cigarette caught my attention. It was late when we left. Still drizzly. Still cold. Some folks were standing in the entryway to keep out of the rain and the area was filled with stale smoke. yup -- there's a big difference between the smell of a freshly lit cigarette and the stale smell of it's remnants.

Today is day 7. I'm not thinking about it too much but there are moments.... moments where habit more than addiction tell me that it's time to take a cigarette break. They aren't really cravings so much as comfort-searchings. I imagine it's the same for you. That end-of-day comfort that you were getting from your first cigarette of the day signaling that you could relax and kick-back.

It sounds like you have a pretty good focus on what's happening and what the triggers might be that tell you how good it would feel to have a cigarette --- just one... It's like the two guys on your shoulders in the old cartoons. The devil on one side telling you to go for it; that one wouldn't hurt and it would make you feel great while the guy in white robes and wings on the other side reminds you how well you've done this past month and to not listen to the horned dude over on the other shoulder.

You're doing great, Cliff. And, yup, you'll stick with it even if that means you need to complain a little.
Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 05:57 am
@ossobuco,
This is true-- I do feel calmer. I've gained some weight, but have this under control because I understand the food replacement impulse takes over without the nicotine to provide some kind of succor. So I'm working on a low-key, low pressure way of losing 5 pounds to be back to a comfortable weight.

I wouldn't say I feel so much better physically, but psychologically it feels like I've gotten rid of a crutch. I've never felt it was anyone's moral territory to tell me whether to smoke or not, however, smoking holds you back-- in what way? at this moment I can't define, bit it feels as if a few steps have been erased from my daily routine, freeing me up to add more productive activities to my day.
0 Replies
 
patiodog
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 06:05 am
Well, I didn't quit cold turkey, I tapered off over several years, so your experience will probably be different.

From when I finally stopped smoking every day, I'd still have cigarettes when I was drinking with friends for a couple of years. Then, for various reasons, including smoking bans, I stopped having these. After about a year of not smoking except for one experimental cigarette every 3 months or so, they started to actually taste terrible and make me feel like ****. It took me 2 or 3 of these instances before I never had the desire to smoke a cigarette, even if drinking with other smokers and a ciggie was offered to me.

There are still times when I miss the notion of a smoke break, though...
0 Replies
 
Cliff Hanger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 27 Oct, 2008 06:10 am
@JPB,
Well, JPB, you've described the scenario of the pleasures of being a "light" smoker to a T.

JPB, oh, how I relate to the checking the pack and seeing there's only one left and making a mental note of having to buy more. That's one of the ironies of being a light smoker-- you never buy more than one pack at a time, which catches you by surprise and a certain alarm everytime the pack gets low; suddenly you have to strategize into your day whether you'll pick up a pack at the 7-11, the CVS, or the gas station on the way home.

As you've described, the whole process of smoking becomes a ritual, you know when you're going to have a puff and your internal clock goes by this guide.

It sounds like you're doing okay, too.

existential potential
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 11:48 am
@Cliff Hanger,
probably not completely relevent to the point, but on the lines of not smoking.

one thing I have noticed is that not having a smke for like nearly 2 days forces you to make youself concentrate on things, rather than having a cig and concentrating that way. if you are addicted to ncotine, then concentration is harder to sustain when your body has a low nicotine content, so you really have to be aware of your concentration levels.

quitting smoking seems to be a challenge I am willing to embrace.
chai2
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 01:51 pm
@existential potential,
Drink lots of fluids ep....but not coffee.

Treat yourself to your favorite juices, or water
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 02:12 pm
@chai2,
One person who quit told me that what really helped her was drinking strong peppermint tea (hot or iced). Apparently the flavor was similar to the smoking experience. She also mentioned drinking the iced tea with a straw which had a similar feel to having a cigarette in her hand. Good luck.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 02:16 pm
@Cliff Hanger,
I quit cold turkey in 1997 after 35 years of fairly heavy smoking. The urge is still there but the action of lighting up has long since passed.

I kept a carton of cigarettes in the house for a month or two after I had made the decision to quit and finally gave them away. It became so that the smell of cigarettes, rather than tempting me, became a smell that I did not want to associate with.

I could now smell the stale tobacco on the clothing of people that I never knew smoked. Back then you could still smoke in malls etc. I would take a walk through the smoking section as a turn off to wanting to smoke.

I know that quitting has improved my lifespan and has enabled me to smell things like I never smelled them before and to be cough free in the morning. My singing voice has really changed for the better.

I cannot think of a single reason to ever want to touch a cigarette again. Even after all this time the urge does not entirely disappear. It does take strong will power to not go back but the positives far, far outway the negatives and that makes it easy.

Hang in there. You will be glad you did. I am.
0 Replies
 
caribou
 
  1  
Reply Fri 2 Jan, 2009 03:10 pm
I'm 10 months smoke free now. And I never want to go back.
It stinks. The smell is nasty. You can't imagine the smell if you are still smoking.
And I don't hack for 20 minutes in the morning any longer. I'm less likely to catch a cold and the only time I have, it didn't hang around forever.
And I have more free time now. My thoughts aren't centered around my next cig.

About a month ago, I had one of my worst carvings. Cleaning out a dead man's house, dirty, cold, stressed and tired, My Mother lit up a cig next to me and I had the most powerful urge to reach over and take it out of her hand and inhale. I didn't, partly because I don't think she would stop me, and because I would have been so disappointed with myself. I knew when I quit I could never have another cig. And I know if I do, I would be back at at least a pack a day, and I will have to quit all over again.
Once was hard enough.
I've very proud of myself.

cinnamon sticks to suck or chew.
water
carrots, celery
take a walk
distract yourself until the craving passes, it will pass. It might come back, but that one will pass too.
Find another way to calm yourself when you're stressed or upset, like take a walk. breathe.

Good luck! It's worth the fight!
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