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How to give up smoking? I've tried everything!


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How do you give up smoking? I've seriously tried everything! And I mean everything. Used nicotine patches but I still smoke on them, tried nicotine gum but I still smoke on them. Zyban worked for a few weeks then I was back to smoking, same thing with Chantix a few weeks then back to smoking. So patches, gum, and medication don't work. I've tried cold turkey to try and date a girl and it worked for 6 months but I had a bad breakup so then I was back to smoking a pack a day

 

Background is I've smoked since I was 17, from 21 I smoked 1 pack a day and from 25 I've averaged 1 to 2 packs of 25 cigarettes a day. First it was social then it was for stress. Now I know it's bad for you, it's very bad for your health, makes your teeth brown and it smells rotten. I don't need to be told that's it's bad for you, I know that. But none of that (health issues) worries me honestly, what worries me is that I'm wanting/starting to date again after a hiatus due to non smoking related health problems that I won't go into this thread because it's irrelevant but smoking didn't cause said health issues.

 

The problem is a lot of people won't give a smoker a chance for a date/relationship and this sucks because I have lot's of good qualities that make me attractive to the opposite sex. I want to find someone who will accept me for who I am but smoking isn't a habit people want in a partner it seems.

 

So I need to know how you kicked the habit? What made you finally give up? I'm really stumped because it does serve a purpose stress relief and part of me enjoys lighting up a cigarette but I would rather be able to go on a few dates without it being a deal breaker and go on no dates.

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Exercise for stress relief instead of smoking.

 

Both my bf and I smoked ---- he gave his up for health reasons. I gave them up because I didn't want to smoke around him and get him hooked again.

 

The issue is --- you have to want to. So for you, you want to date --- and the pool of women who prefer non-smokers is huge.

 

We used the patch --- and it worked. He stayed at the higher # longer --- but he has not relapsed, and he was smoking as much as you.

 

You can do it. But part of it is the mindset. It is a deal breaker that you have the power to change.

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How do you give up smoking?

 

I was watching a program on Discovery Health channel about what smoking did to the lungs and they showed the lungs of a smoker at autopsy and that make me take my brand new pack of Marlboro's and crush them all into the trash and never pick up another cigarette ever again. That was 15 years ago...and they say that if one is smoke free for 15 years, their lungs are back to as if they'd never smoked before in life.

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Thanks for the reply's. I think the problem is I don't have a reason to give up, even the health benefits don't affect me and I know they should. If I was dating someone or in a relationship I could make myself give up but I'm not in one sadly and I know smoking decreases my chances of ever dating again.

 

I think I'm looking for that support you would get from a significant other that gives you a real benefit to giving up.

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Thanks for the reply's. I think the problem is I don't have a reason to give up, even the health benefits don't affect me and I know they should. If I was dating someone or in a relationship I could make myself give up but I'm not in one sadly and I know smoking decreases my chances of ever dating again.

 

I think I'm looking for that support you would get from a significant other that gives you a real benefit to giving up.

 

Oh man! What a bad excuse.

 

Yeah, but do you want to wait until the day that the smoking does affect you and it's irreversible? Smoking robs your body of needed oxygen. If you had to go in for immediate surgery for whatever reason, you may not be able to have the surgery because your smoking has depleted so much oxygen from your blood that your chances of full recovery would be marginal. Is that preferable to giving up smoking?

 

Don't lie to yourself by saying all you need is a boyfriend to make you quit. No. What that does is set up drama and resentment. No one else can make you put down a cigarette but yourself and your own will power. A non smoker isn't going to be around the cigarettes and a smoker will not make you do anything.

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You are making excuses.

 

No one "new" in your life is going to be in your life because you smoke. And giving up smoking is one of the hardest habits to break.

 

Until you accept that the power is yours, you will smoke.

 

I know it's hard, I've had a heroin (don't judge please) habit before and I kicked that easily, just a bit of puking my guts out and a fever but it was nothing to compared to given up smoking. For some reason I just can't give these little cancer sticks up. I guess I just don't want to give up, but the chances of finding a partner that smokes/accepts smoking is slim to nothing these days at my age 30+

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I quit smoking years ago. I think it helps if you break your routine. I decided to quit when I moved from one apt. to another, as in, no smoking in the new apt. Smoking is very strongly a habit, and it takes a good 30 days to break a habit, and cigarettes have a very strong physical addiction component combined with the habit and stress release factor. So it is easier to break a habit if you shake up your routine so don't have strong triggers.

 

For example, if you routine is to get up and have a cigarette and a cup of coffee, instead get up and turn on the TV and watch 15 minutes of that. And switch to tea for a while rather than coffee since there can be strong associations between cigarettes and certain activities. And don't go to places that are triggers... no bars if you used to drink and smoke together. Stop drinking for a while, or switch to a different kind of liquor if you used to do beer and cigarettes. You want to break all those old associations and minimize the triggers that stimulate a craving.

 

It helps to substitute to change habits. As in, every time you want a cigarette, instead have a carrot or a piece of celery or something else to put into your mouth that isn't a cigarette. Bag up some crudities chopped up and take them with you when you go out, and have a carrot or a piece of cucumber or broccoli or anything else that gives you a bit to crunch on something without having a cigarette. I had a friend who used those 'Twizzler' red licorice candy ropes... when she'd want a cigarette, she'd stick one of those in her mouth for a while and eat it very slowly to get the sensation of something in her mouth for a while until the urge passed.

 

and most important, try to sign up for a quitting smoking workshop or group, and/or sign up to work with a therapist for a bit to learn other stress management techniques and how to break addictions. If you really can't do it, you might need an addiction counselor for a while to help you. You need to substitute healthy stress management for unhealthy stress management. You don't need to smoke to manage stress, you need to find healthy way to do that.

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btw, you can start in simple ways. As in, decide your own home is a smoke free zone. Spend a few weeks where you only allow yourself to smoke outside. Til you get used to the idea of no smoking in the house, so you don't have triggers there. Launder all your clothes and linens and vacuum and clean to get the odor out of your house.

 

Once you've broken the habit of smoking in the house, then you can start weaning yourself down to fewer and few cigarettes per day, and then switch to the patch.

 

During this weaning period, start taking up other methods of stress management. Start an exercise program, get relaxation tapes etc. So start ramping up other means of stress relief and creating a smoke free zone around your house while at the same time ramping down the amount you smoke. So you will have a new 'positive' habit or two in place before you try to give up the negative habit.

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As long as you keep trying, even if you try every day and fail - at least you will get there eventually!

 

I smoked for 17 years, and quit cold turkey when I got pregnant, so I know what you mean with not having a reason to quit prior. You have to really want it. I have always been lucky to date people who accepted me as a smoker (they smoked). My hubby is repulsed by cigarettes, but he loved me even with my smoking in the past, and loved me for who I was. Don't get me wrong, he's thrilled I don't smoke anymore.

 

In the past, I've been offered thousands to quit, ran when I felt the urge, lots of things, but it wasn't until I was ready did it happen.

 

The posters have some great suggestions:

1) retrain your brain, break associations you have (getting in the car, driving, morning coffee, alcohol, office break, after dinner) - smoke at totally other times.

2) Divvy how many you can have that day, and right the times right on them and stick to it to taper down.

3) Hypotherapy works - but if there's a part of you in any way that doesn't want to quit, it will not stick.

4) Think of one big purchase you want that you normally wouldn't get, and start sticking money in a jar that you normally use to buy cigs, and to watch it grow.

 

So, just keep trying.

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I've tried most of the ways to quit smoking as well. I quit for fifteen days three weeks ago and it was because of laser therapy. It is costly at $300 but it has had the best results for me. Due to a break up and gaining ten pounds, I started again. I m going for my free session next week as I really do want to quit. I feel stupid in saying this because they found a spot on my lung and have been monitoring it for growth which it hasn't grown. It is 9mm and too small to measure for cancer. Like a dummy, I continue to smoke and my daughters can not understand it. Please don't judge me for that. You would think that would be enough of a motivator to make me not want to smoke but it hasn't.

 

Try laser therapy.

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I know it's hard, I've had a heroin (don't judge please) habit before and I kicked that easily, just a bit of puking my guts out and a fever but it was nothing to compared to given up smoking. For some reason I just can't give these little cancer sticks up. I guess I just don't want to give up, but the chances of finding a partner that smokes/accepts smoking is slim to nothing these days at my age 30+

 

I know someone who successfully used a series of hynosis treatments to give up smoking. Her success inspired me to use hypnosis to stop nail-biting (which may not be chemical, but was a coping method I adopted very early in life, and was always near at-hand...excuse the pun, and had been my stress relief for almost 50 years.). The main thing hypnosis did for me was remove the anxiety that triggered the desire for the habit. HUGE help! It wasn't cheap, and took 3 sessions (smoking might take more), but I'm happy I did it.

 

Please, please, please treat your smoking addiction as seriously as if it were a cancer diagnosis or diabetes or broken leg. In other words, treat is as an urgent health crisis. It recently lost a friend in her 40's to cancer who went fully into cancer treatment once diagnosed, but never gave up smoking and drinking. (Her type of cancer is rare in young people, except that smoking and drinking put her at risk.) Fight addiction for all you are worth, because if you don't, why fight cancer, why is one health crisis more important to face than another? That might sound cruel, but a smoking addiction is a crisis.

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I'm the only "reformed" smoker in my family - everyone else still smokes. So don't wait for someone to support you - because there's a good chance you'll end up in a relationship with a smoker, who will have every reason for you NOT to quit so they don't feel they have to.

 

And you're limiting that SO pool by smoking.

 

Since I understand only too well how difficult it can be to quit, AND to focus on the benefits... here's some tips.

 

Don't focus on the "health benefits," focus on the more immediate and pressing ones. Like the color of your teeth and fingers/nails. The odor that clings to your hair and body, no matter HOW hard you try to wash up and only smoke outside. The discoloration that slowly overtakes everything you own, especially if you smoke inside.

 

Want a demo? Do a test. Take something white, like an old sock. Hang it half in and half out of a drawer for at least two weeks. Shut the drawer so the half is hanging out constantly.

 

After that time, compare the two sides.

 

That yellow brown nastiness is on your walls. Your fingers. Any screen it can float over to. Any paint, when you try to wipe it clean, it removes the paint. And plastic items - it seeps into. I looked at a grey tower fan we had smoked around and had to pull apart for maintenance. The difference in color between the inside and the outside - Oh... em... gee. It was just shocking. My monitor screen, TV screen, everything.

 

And that was what finally motivated me to quit - the thought of spending money on all these nice things, electronics, clothes, etc - and ruining them with my own habit.

 

So I invested in a decent e-cigarette since I had as much of a hand to mouth addiction as a chemical one - and to my surprise, a couple of months later, I'd hit the point I was barely using it.

 

That was over 2 years ago - October of 2011. I haven't touched a cigarette since. And I had tried to quit so many times, even succeeded for months before, that I lost count.

 

Trust me, if I can do it, you can. You just need to find not what motivates other people - you need to find something that motivates YOU. My mother died of lung cancer complications at 49. I'm 48. You'd THINK that witnessing that would have been my motivation, but nope.

 

After a week or so, when your tastebuds really start coming back, trying one tastes like licking an ashtray. So there's that as well.

 

But for me, it was the immediate blech things that finally gave me the urge to really try. And I wasn't trying to quit completely, just switch to electronic to stop the yucky stuff.

 

I'm just very glad it worked - and I don't have to deal with the smell and residue anymore. Hubby has cut way back - and doesn't smoke inside anymore. And that's helped as well.

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Thanks for all the tips and advice. I still don't know if I can do it without someone/something to give up for. I just feel I need that kick in the but or reason to do it, I know it's sounds bad but then smoking isn't the most logical thing on this planet to do. If I was given a ultimatum in a relationship I would give it up in a second now but being by myself I have no one to impress, attract or look after.

 

Anyway I guess I'll just have to try again. Thanks for all the advice.

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Your problem is that you think you need someone/something to quit smoking for. Do it for yourself and for your own health. I smoked since 16, I am almost 24 now. I stopped this September. Still crave them sometimes when people around me all go for a smoke, but god is it good to be able not to follow them like a sheep. My BF still smokes, tells me every week he is considering quitting - still he can`t. Tells me he just enjoys it and its a habit. Well - I enjoyed it too, you know! Stop making lame excuses and start taking control of who you are and what you do. You stopped heroin for gods sake!

By the way, I never used patches, gum, hypnosis or anything like this. I just allowed myself ONE cigarette after lunch, and to be honest - it was enough for me for months. Then I went out with friends and fell back, smoked a pack of strong ones during that one evening and felt like crap after that. I honestly though I will have a heart attack or something. So next morning I told myself its over. No more smoking. And now when I see people go outside in the cold from the party or something, just to smoke some, every half an hour - I wonder why they do that? Why I did it? It looks so stupid when you quit)

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I don't think that giving up ANY addiction "for someone else" is ever the right reason to do it (and will almost always end in failure) but that seems to be the only thing you feel can motivate you, yes?

 

Here is the thing....if you keep smoking, you might never HAVE someone to "give it up for". SO many people (myself included) would not even consider dating a guy who smoked because the habit is so disgusting.

 

If I were single and I met a guy who was interested in me but smoked, it would be an instant 'no', regardless of whether there was chemistry or not.

 

And many many women are like that as well.

 

My Dad smoked for over 40 years and finally quit after his 5th heart attack led to a triple bypass (his arteries were completely clogged with gunk). I know it seems remote and unlikely if you are young (that fear isn't there because it isn't urgent) but that is what happened with my Dad. Us telling him he was killing himself didn't scare him until he literally found himself on the bed undergoing major heart surgery.

 

Don't wait that long.

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I think its important to expand your social circles to more non smokers. Its hardest to quit if you have friends who smoke wanting to light up around you. When you are stronger, it won't bother you as much, but for now, avoid just hanging out with smoking friends with no structure "ie, going to a non smoking restaurant where they excuse themselves to get a smoke fine - but not "lets hang out on my balcony and smoke". I know people who have tried to quit but its almost impossible when their spouse smokes in front of them.

 

I also agree with joining a running group or something else where you can get a natural high.

 

I don't think that giving up ANY addiction "for someone else" is ever the right reason to do it (and will almost always end in failure) but that seems to be the only thing you feel can motivate you, yes?

 

It is a start, though. If the person knows the addiction is bad and wants to stop it but is having trouble - using the motivation of wanting to meet someone - there is nothing wrong with using that as a start. The OP is not giving it up because a particular person said they didn't like it and they don't want to give it up but they are= they see quitting smoking as opening up more possibilities to find love, to be healthier, and more. Nothing wrong with that!

 

Also - is the man or woman who flushes their pot or sets aside the bottle when they see their child's tears wrong for giving it up for a person?? Or the woman who sets the cigarette aside for the child she is carrying.

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It is a start, though. If the person knows the addiction is bad and wants to stop it but is having trouble - using the motivation of wanting to meet someone - there is nothing wrong with using that as a start. The OP is not giving it up because a particular person said they didn't like it and they don't want to give it up but they are= they see quitting smoking as opening up more possibilities to find love, to be healthier, and more. Nothing wrong with that!

 

Also - is the man or woman who flushes their pot or sets aside the bottle when they see their child's tears wrong for giving it up for a person?? Or the woman who sets the cigarette aside for the child she is carrying.

 

I am not saying the motives aren't good, but that it is unlikely it will actually work unless THEY want it just as badly. I have lived with two alcoholics, and though they desperately wanted to quit for the sake of the family (my brother and sister), they were not able to do so until THEY wanted it just as badly and it doesn't sound as if the OP is there. It sounds like he isn't bothered by smoking, doesn't really worry about the health risks, and other problems associated with it and can only quit if he has a woman telling him to (or a relationship on the line). That isn't enough in my opinion to make something like that stick (and obviously hasn't been enough for the OP either).

 

An addict who sees the way drugs or drinks are destroying his/her family and wants to quit to become a better person is one thing - they are doing it both FOR their loved ones and for themselves. An addict who wants to quit because they are told by their partner they have to is not doing it for themselves and will therefore inevitably fail.

 

My sister eventually decided that she wanted to quit drinking for her health AND for her family.

 

My brother on the other hand, despite pleading from those around him, has not reached that point yet.

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We are creatures of habit because of a number of different reasons. Habit allows us to navigate life more easily, and free up necessary mental capacity for other activities. Imagine if you had to think of each step before you were able to take it. Habit allows us to navigate our daily lives more easily, but it also comes with a built in trap. The mind doesn't care what habits we have, it only knows to follow these habits. Whether those habits are self-destructive or unproductive doesn't matter. The mind only does what it is designed to do, and that is run the programming put into the mind. We must change this programming if we desire any long term change including the ability to break the bonds of addiction.

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you aren't quitting, you just don't smoke anymore. I quit mid smoke without any plan or reason to. I was a 60 a day guy then realised of a sudden that I'd smoked all the tobacco that was coming to me for my lifetime. I wish I'd paced myself but acted like a child at halloween.

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