1. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    ex smokers

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by erebh, Jun 21, 2013.

    Hi guys, I'm off the smokes 12 weeks today and to be honest don't seem to feel all that much better.

    I've read all the bumpf on how your lungs start to repair themselves, when the risks of cancer starts to slack off, when and how to start to exercise properly again but these 'guides' all seem to be from people who never smoked and have no clue so I'm asking ex-smokers how long was it before you started jogging after giving up, how long you jogged for (slow pace for 10 minutes, three times a week for example). I walk very briskly down a gradient hill and up a very steep hill for about 40 minutes everyday and it doesn't seem to get much easier on my breathing. I'm 42 and feel like my lungs will never recover.

    I don't need anyone to tell me to have patience, that this is normal - just when to start jogging again without dying!
     
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  2. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Hey, congratulations :) I hope you don't go back to it ever.
    I was a passionate smoker until 33, when I quit. It takes at least 3-6 months for the epithelial structures in your mouth and lungs to recover. Until then, you can experience worsening of the cough and breathing, as your body expels the toxins and repairs itself. As far as lungs are concerned, you need to be off the smokes as longs as you've been on them to bring your risk back to as if you never smoked in the first place.

    But I can guarantee you that in a year, you'll feel fantastic. You don't even know just how much happier, more energetic, more aware of tastes and smells you'll be. Not to mention the breathing improvement, not being a slave to the death sticks and the money you'll save. Like 200 pounds a month, it's not small money.

    I couldn't even imagine my life without cigarettes, and now, I never think about them at all, unless someone is blowing smoke in my face, at which point I leave because now I find cigarette smoke makes me nauseated. Seriously, this is the best gift you can give to yourself and your family, you won't miss it, just be strong and good luck :)
     
  3. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    The two remaining sticks on my table is smiling at me right now as I write this post. Anyway, I am off and on (mostly on) with cigarettes. May be two months is the maximum I went without smoking and when I relapse it's bad. I smoke almost twice the stick I used to smoke. So, I am very much interested in this thread.
     
  4. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    I quit many years ago. It really depends on how long you smoked for and how much air pollution, if any, that you're still breathing.

    My sense of smell came noticeably back within a few weeks, I think. The odd thing was cigarettes still smelled good for a couple years, then that changed. I can't stand the smell of them now. People who go out for a fast cigarette inhale come in stinking. I don't know how my mom ever put up with my dad's smoking.

    If you've gone this long, who cares if you don't feel better yet? There are a dozen other very good reasons to not start again. But if anyone in your household is still smoking it's going to be harder not to start again. Keep reminding yourself of all the reasons to quit.
     
  5. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Being an off and on smoker these days (used to be two packs a day), and somebody who likes to exercise, I found that one major problem (correlation) with smoking and being in shape is just overall stamina. While smoking does affect your breathing, it just so happens that most smokers are out of shape or don't do enough cardio or heavy weight sets. I know pack a day smokers who run 8 miles 5 days a week and know non-smokers who couldn't catch a one-legged dachshund.
    While you will eventually feel better without smoking, it is probably overall fitness that is your problem. I started jogging after two years after not having a cigarette. I could move lots of weight around in the gym, but my cardio was lacking. I couldn't jog half a mile at 4 mph. Eventually it got up to three before I noticed the toll it was taking.
    I hate jogging; it's not good for the joints. If feasible, swim. OR run/walk; sprint a block then walk a block.
     
  6. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i smoked from age 14 to 34... haven't had a single smoking object between my lips since...

    but i've never jogged, so can't answer your question about that...
     
  7. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    I learned to smoke cigarettes in Slovakia. I came back with a bad habit and another voice in my head that could rationalize chain smoking on a playground during school hours. I couldn't stand that voice. I wonder if it's akin to what schizophrenics experience? (I do mean that seriously.)

    I have since quit, suppressed the urges and silenced that voice. It took a few months for me to redevelop my conditioning vis-a-vis running. I used an incremental plan (loose, homemade). Had I been a lifelong smoker like some of the writers above, I would have likely consulted with my primary care physician to be sure.
     
  8. Anthony Martin
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    Anthony Martin Active Member

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    Oh and keep it up! You've done well.
     
  9. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    [MENTION=52161]erebh[/MENTION]: I forgot to say, exercise-wise, nothing ever worked better to get me into shape ludicrously quickly (like big improvement within 2 weeks) than this simple qigong exercise ( youtube extension of the video clip is sytr0_ufm04. I couldn't actually link it because the page keeps embedding the ginormous video)
    I do it every day, and anything else (like yoga, walks, swim etc) is a few times a week (when I'm good). But I do qigong almost every day.
    Give it a go and your running will improve markedly.
     
  10. AVCortez
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    AVCortez Active Member

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    Good on you man! As of last quit attempy (13 days) I've decided to race technology. I think that by the time I need a new set of lungs we'll either be growing them on rats or making them ourselves. Steve Jobs, a rich bitch, dying of cancer really worries me though. I always assumed that if you had a retarded amount of money you could be cured of anything.

    (I'm serious)
     
  11. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    Rich people are just extremely good at prevention. High quality food, usually not abusing their bodies with substances, healthy lifestyle, loads of holidays, vastly reduced existential stress and all the preventative treatments as well as access to best medical care. Still, what's incurable for the rest of the world, it's the same with them. They might have the opportunity to participate in experimental treatments, but that's all.
     
  12. erebh
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    erebh Contributing Member Contributor

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    [MENTION=35110]jazzabel[/MENTION] - I couldn't find your particular video but I see the Qigong vids. I used to do Tai Chi as part of kung fu classes and while I didn't feel fitter, is sure slept well! I never felt so relaxed and loved that part of the class. I'll give Qigong a go - thank you.

    [MENTION=53332]AVCortez[/MENTION], if you can do 13 days you do 14 days, if you can do 14 days...

    [MENTION=53984]Garball[/MENTION] - I hate jogging to but needs must. Walking is boring for me, jogging is a quicker way home :) And I've always been fit through football coaching but I took 18months off and got lazy :(

    [MENTION=53143]GingerCoffee[/MENTION] - Being an ex-smoker and a medic you're probably best placed to give advice, here is my quick smoking history, 1984 aged 14 started smoking, gave up Dec 31st 1990. Dec 31st 2000 started again! 2003 gave up with the help of Alan Carr, started again in 2008 until 12 weeks ago. Always smoked 20 day when smoking unless in the pub or a house party and would then smoke 40 easily. No smokers around me so quite easy and no air pollution. We live in the sticks and rarely even see a car. I'm not afraid of starting again but wish I could run for half hour, even 5 minutes without feeling like a 90 year old.

    [MENTION=36360]killbill[/MENTION] - 2 cigs on the table looking at you? If I smoked 20 a day at €8 a pack, that's €56 a week, €224 a month, €2688 a year, if I'm lucky enough to live another 50 years that next cig will cost me €134,400 - imagine that next cig leads to the next and the next and the next until you've spent 134 grand and died of a smoking related disease, 134 GRAND!

    [MENTION=53907]Anthony Martin[/MENTION] - we have that little extra personality, that little voice in our heads, maybe we're all schiz!

    Thanks everyone for the support, If I can do it, anyone can!
     
  13. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I'm glad to hear you quite, Erebh. There is pride in my heart for you. :D I quite eight years ago. As others have already noted, some of the work you've done during your smoking years will take time to undo. For a good three or four years after having quit, I noticed an increase in the urge to clear my throat. That's what happens when cilia sedated for so many years come back to life. It did eventually go away.
     
  14. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    Couple things.

    People who quit multiple times eventually succeed according to statistics, as opposed to thinking the person wil never quit.
    If you aren't struggling with starting again, keep it up. Cigarettes are useless wastes of money and they smell bad. What do they cost over there? In Nevada they are over $5 US for a pack of 20.

    Now as for the running, it may not be just your lungs, it may be you are out of shape as well. You'll need to exercise to fix that.


    [Side note] What's with this 'mention' thing? All of a sudden I'm being 'notified'. Never heard of it until yesterday. :p [/side note]
     
  15. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    Seriously, try run/walking. The forward movement of running allows the muscles to absorb more of the stress and some studies have shown that an arhythmic cardio session where the heart rate is raised to higher peaks can be healthier than the plateau in continuous, repetitive exercise. Jogging can be healthy if you know how to run correctly, but most (even the avid joggers) don't. The up and down motion applies at least six times the amount of pressure than a normal walking step and most of it is absorbed through the skeleton.
    Sprinting peaks the heart rate, and takes stress off the joints.
     
  16. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    Help! Five days without smoking and all I could think about right now is... well, smoking. Afraid to go out of the house because I'll be tempted to buy cigarettes. To suppress my urge for cig I have been eating like an elephant and drinking a lot of tea in the last few days. I am in a sort of self imposed house arrest (lucky that I can work from home). I don't know what else to do. At the moment I am not so confident of my mission to give up smoking forever. One step out of the house and I am sure I'll rush toward the cig shop. Any physical, mental or medicinal solution?

    Btw, I was encouraged by this thread to try and give up smoking. So, thanks everybody for sharing. NOW, HELP ME!
     
  17. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    As corny as it sounds, one good way to take the edge off is to follow the same habits and routines as you would if you were smoking. For instance, if you always stepped on the back porch for a smoke, go out there and take several deep breaths. The addiction is as much physical as it is chemical; your body is trained to smoking as well. Putting your body in shock by completely changing your habits and patterns will make it tougher on you.
     
  18. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    [MENTION=36360]killbill[/MENTION]: Get a bag of mandarines or oranges, and a packet of chewing gum. Water is also good, better steer clear of too much tea (if it has caffeine, it'll be making you nervous and jittery).

    Now is the absolute worst time. But you need to remember that all this is pure addiction talking. Once you get the nicotine completely out of your system, you won't even think about cigarettes. But right now, that seems impossible, I know. Please believe me, I have experienced all this first hand and it works so much better than you can even imagine. Just make sure you don't light up for the first 10 days, that's the first milestone. After that you'll still have challenges, but it'll be a lot easier.

    Mandarins, gum, water, something to do and believe in the outcome, I guarantee you will be extremely happy you persevered. Good luck! :)
     
  19. Kita
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    Kita Senior Member

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    You could always try nicotine replacement. I use an E cigarette when I'm writing because I'm a pipe smoker and have to go outside because the rest of the family dislike the smell. Also as Garball said follow the routine though I would advise spending much time around smokers until the cravings fade as this can get you back on smoking. I was off them for a year before taking it up again which is a good example of what a bad day and being around smokers can do.
     
  20. Garball
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    Garball Sometimes nothing can be a real cool hand. Supporter Contributor

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    To each their own, but I even took smoke breaks at work with the others and I think just going through the actions helped more than avoiding the smokes altogether.
     
  21. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    [MENTION=46004]Kita[/MENTION]: don't use nicotine replacement because relapse rate to smoking on those is over 90% (lots of studies were done and they all agree, relapse is huge after nicotine replacement). All it does is dose you up with nicotine, so you never get over the cravings and can't actually quit. The only way to quit is to get the nicotine out of the system. Also, don't hang around smokers, you're just getting nicotine via passive smoking, which also defeats the purpose.

    My dad and my sister are yo-yoing between nicotine replacement, e-cigarettes and smoking for over 5 years now, but they still refuse to admit it doeasn't work. Knowing them as people, they are actually quite soft, can't handle being uncomfortable or anxious, so they never go through the entire detox. But it's the only way, unfortunately. To be very uncomfortable for days, even weeks, until the chemical goes away and your nervous system can begin to re-adjust.
     
  22. Lemex
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    Lemex That's Lord Lemex to you. Contributor

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    I quit smoking late last year, and since then I've found that things get better/easier slowly, thanks largely to how much I was smoking. Jogging I picked up a good 8 months after I quit, and then it was for a mile per day. I do other things now, but I found I had a flood of energy.

    The hardest thing about quitting smoking, though, is when you get stressed. I was a classroom assistant for the first half of this year, and on the last day I had to break up a pretty vicious school-yard fight. Wasn't nice, I can tell you, so as I was going him I couldn't help myself but stop by a Spar and buying myself a 10 pack of Richmonds. Smoked two and threw the rest in the bin, I was actually pretty ashamed of myself for it. So watch out for that, if it's not came yet it very likely will.
     
  23. Kita
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    Kita Senior Member

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    [MENTION=35110]jazzabel[/MENTION] That's something I wasn't aware of though at the moment I am not inclined to quit. It has helped with the stress I've had recently and until that is over I doubt I shall stop smoking. Afterwards though I may give it another go.
     
  24. killbill
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    killbill Contributing Member

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    I have tried giving up smoking before and went smoke free for a month (I wasn't as much addicted as now so I guess it was easier then) but I relapsed and I remember being in the same place where I usually smoked and being around with people who smoked with me heighten my carving and I caved. So, I am not sure :(

    [MENTION=35110]jazzabel[/MENTION]:
    Caffeine tea is satisfying my urges or literally speaking it suppresses the tingling sensation (couldn't think of better word) in my mouth. But yes, I am also nervous and jittery. I am stocking oranges, pineapple (a friend told me it helps cleanse the smoke polluted system), and dried-salted gooseberry to chew on (I hate chewing gums).

    [MENTION=46004]Kita[/MENTION]: E Cigarettes!? Not sure if it is available in my country, India.

    Thanks for the response guys and believe me they are really helping me on many levels, specially mentally.
     
  25. jazzabel
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    jazzabel Contributing Member Contributor

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    [MENTION=46004]Kita[/MENTION]: Good luck! You can do it :)
    [MENTION=36360]killbill[/MENTION]: pineapple and dried gooseberry are perfect, best of luck with that! :)
     

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