1. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I quit...

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by deadrats, Nov 23, 2016.

    I quit smoking, and it's driving me mad. All I want to do is smoke a million cigarettes right in a row right now. But, seriously, did quitting smoking (for those of you who have) change your writing in any way? I just rewrote the ending of a piece to include the craving of nicotine. Normally, this is where I would light up and give it a read. But I don't even care. I just want a cigarette. Not only my own work but for anything, I really like to smoke and read. I feel like all I can write about is wanting a cigarette. Everything sucks.
     
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  2. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I realize that this is probably not the least tiniest bit helpful, but when my father was quitting smoking he made sure that he always had a bag of individually wrapped candies at hand. At those moments when he would have leaned back to light a cigarette, he leaned back and opened a candy. The individual wrappers gave him something to do with his hands, the candy was something to put in his mouth, and he chose fairly bitter candies, like licorice, because that apparently also was just a fraction closer to the experience of smoking. But mainly, he had a replacement ritual for those pauses.
     
  3. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    Patches - trust me (stick them on the backs of your ears)

    On the question at hand, not really , for me the hardest thing was not to smoke while I was drinking.. eventually i gave up going to the pub as well (this was before the smoking ban) , and subsequently gave up alcohol entirely.
     
  4. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    That actually work? On the backs of ears? Patches helped me immensely, but I never thought to put them on my ears, haha!

    As for the OP...

    I would suggest just giving into writing about it for now. You can always go back and edit the stuff out, but obsessions have a funny way of creeping into our writing. I've found that I get over those little obsessions much more quickly if I just let myself obsess over them (in my writing) and eventually it goes away.
     
  5. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    I feel a bit like Mark Twain when it comes to discussions about quitting smoking... It's easy; I've done it hundreds of times. But seriously...

    The last time I quit was just over three years ago... or was it four? You'd think I'd remember considering that smoking was and still is my most favourite thing to do, ever. I lasted nine months before the crazy set in again and looked to have become a permanent resident. People who've never smoked (or done heroin) will never understand the allure, the feeling of completeness it brings, the frustration when body, society, health and every other Goddamn thing in the universe conspire together and demand we quit.

    Anyway, at the end of that nine months (I won't say the longest nine months of my life because it was only the last in a series of quitting sessions ranging from a few weeks to 13 months over the last 44 years) I had to do something. My wife hates the way I am when I'm not smoking. I hate the way I am, too, and it was either find a solution or lose the one person in my life who's stuck with me. It was a difficult decision to make, going back to cigarettes or finding another solution. I get snarky when I'm not smoking and it ends up driving people away. But on the other hand, if I am smoking, that drives people away. It's a no-win situation.

    Vaping was the best solution I could find. I need nicotine to stay sane (obviously), to keep the dopamine flowing in my brain, and the only other substitute seems to be THC, but I'm gonna have to wait for at least another six months before that becomes an option here.

    The pros of vaping: 1) very little (if any) smell, 2) you can pick the strength, and 3) because of number 1, I can sneak a quick puff if no one's looking, no matter where I am. I've even done it in Wal-Mart, but finding a spot where the security cameras can't see me is a challenge.

    The cons: 1) learning the ins and outs of the equipment takes time, so be prepared to spend some significant money as you home in on the machine that works best for you, 2) it can be hard on your voice, making you sound like you're choking on something when you talk (although that goes away overnight), and 3) those who don't understand why you smoke won't get why you vape, either, so there'll still be grief from them.

    So, that's what I still do, I vape. It's yet another sacrifice, though, because I love to sing and now my voice is rough most times I try. I'm still—even after all this time—contemplating going back to tobacco, but commercial tobacco is so full of chemicals, I'm afraid to go there... and organic, chemical-free tobacco isn't available in Canada.
     
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  6. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    There are lots of blood vessels close to the skin on the back of your ears - the inside of the wrist works as well but i found i kept dislodging the patches with my cuffs (alledgedly some guys stick them on their cocks, but i can see issues with that too ).

    The thing about vaping is that you aren't weaning yourself off your nicotine addiction - in actual fact some vaping liquids have more nicotine in than cigarettes so while you are getting away from the risk of tar etc you are still addicted and still spending money needlessly - its a better solution than smoking if you really can't quit , but don't kid yourself that its a quitting mechanism
     
  7. Albeit

    Albeit Active Member

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    I couldn't wear the patch anymore, the dreams were getting persistently weirder. In any case, patches keep you physically addicted longer than you need to be. They do however bring you down a "notch" on your addiction ladder, but what fun is that ? Go cold turkey from the top floor instead, brings out all sorts of crazy stuff for a few days, similar to being high on something new. However, you may want to book some time alone for a week or so, 'cause you may turn into a bit of a monster before getting better. And after about four days, you are on your own again and dealing with other people who have all changed somehow, and seem less intelligent than before and a lot more annoying for some reason. Yes, all a lot less fun, but still interesting if you remain with a "steady as she goes" attitude as being key to reducing the strain.

    All this to say that I as well consider myself an expert at quitting. At it again and more frequently these past few years, but this time it looks like the cure is going to stick mainly due of the following helpful reasoning. Note: The following is all speculative ofcourse.

    Stopping for good is generally tough and disorienting on the heavy smoker, especially because (s)he knows that if they really want to stop smoking, they can never have another smoke ever again. "Forever" sucks in my book, so I told myself that when (and if) I turn 70 I will light up a Dunhill on a crisp and clear autumn day as a reward, but not before that threshold. And at that point in my life, I will likely be fed up with being alive anyway, so there will be little left to lose.

    So will say this in regards to the OP, - quitting is a good thing no matter how many times you do it, and stopping just sucks.
     
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2016
  8. Lea`Brooks

    Lea`Brooks Contributor Contributor

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    I wish I could help. I've quit three times, but it was really easy for me (for some reason). The first time was really hard, and I was so grouchy, it actually ruined a long-term friendship.

    I ended up buying an e-cigarette (before vaping was "cool"), and it helped tremendously. It was called V2 Cigs, exclusively online. They looked like cigarettes, were a little heavy, but it felt just like smoking, unlike the vaping devices used today. It didn't make my throat scratchy, and there was nothing complicated about it. Plus, one cartridge (the "butt" part of the cigarette) was the equivalent to an entire pack of cigarettes, so after one or two puffs on it, I was satisfied. It really helped me cut out the desire to smoke, and eventually I fazed it out. I was a non-smoker for three years.

    But then I inevitably got stressed and started up again. Quit two more times, cold turkey, with no trouble, and then started smoking again because... Well, I like it. I've promised myself that once I get pregnant, I'll quit for good. But for now, I'm a smoker. lol
     
  9. Iain Sparrow

    Iain Sparrow Banned Contributor

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    When I quit hard drugs, I did it once and for all. Have never had the least desire to go back.
    Quitting cigarettes has proven to be much harder. I have quit here and there, six months here and nearly one year there... but I always go back. I've sort of become a health food nut, pretty much a vegetarian and I'm otherwise fit as a fiddle. It's the best I can do to counteract how bad smoking is for me.
    Wishing you good luck is all I can do for you.
     
  10. ChickenFreak

    ChickenFreak Contributor Contributor

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    I'm increasingly impressed that my father quit and stayed quit--especially given that he was doing so in an era when the social pressure was to smoke, not to stop smoking. He was lucky(?) enough to have a horribly traumatic experience that motivated him--apparently one day he went out on a cold, cold day in St. Louis, to scrape the snow off his windshield, the exertion plus the near-record cold air made his lungs seize up, and he got the experience of what it was like to not be able to breathe. He thought it was about the smoking (he'd gotten a warning of early emphysema from his doctor), but, no, it was just the cold and the exertion. All the same, it was enough to give him some context for the doctor's warnings and to motivate him through quitting. Along with the other tricks that I mentioned, he made a point of not making any life decisions for...I think it was eighteen months. Because walking and smoking was his way of thinking through decisions.
     
  11. Sack-a-Doo!

    Sack-a-Doo! Contributor Contributor

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    I hear ya. The conclusion I've come to is that being a smoker is like being an alcoholic. It's for life.
     
  12. Spencer1990

    Spencer1990 Contributor Contributor

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    I don't know, man. I used heroin (among other things) intravenously for years, and I don't anymore. I also smoked from about 13-24 and quit that, too. I think it's possible to quit.
     
  13. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    Dunnat wurry. Two things about no longer smoking cigs: 1st - you still have the chemistry in your system. It'll take about ten days for it to clear (somewhat longer for some of the residuals, even in your hair follicles.) Your body reads its "normal" chemistry as having these chemicals in it, so it's going to claim you need to replenish them as they dissipate over time. This is "craving". When you establish the new body chemistry (without the addition cigs make) then your body will accept that as the norm, and stop sending you signals about a shortage.

    2nd - Neuropathways. You have over time created sets of neuropathways having to do with the activity of smoking. You can't really get rid of these. They have to fall into disuse, and be replaced by new neuropathways. These you create by engaging in activity as active as your previous activity you're stopping; will theoretically speed up this process. However, ceasing the previous activity doesn't cause the brain to cease having a sensation there's something it's not doing that it should be doing. Stronger neuropathways for some other sets of activities will override the previously heavily-used set.

    I tell people trying to stop smoking that you can't just stop doing something like that. Instead, you replace doing that with doing something else. Remove everything that reminds you of cigs - ashtrays, lighters, books of matches, etc. Get them out of sight. Nothing to trigger anything. THEN, all those times when you'd light up...you know when that is, commonly with your morning coffee, with a beer, after you eat...after ahem...you know. Plan ahead. Be somewhere else doing something else at that instant.

    As far as how it affects my writing, having smoked Kool Filter Kings from the time I was 12 until about two years ago - I'm 61: I don't stop. There's nothing causing me to interrupt my stream of thought. You'd be amazed at what a distraction a habitual physical activity can be - just the act of doing it. The reach, the light, the hand going up and down taking it from your mouth, flicking the ash, putting it back. Imagine how many motions you almost (stress almost) subconsciously do. I've found it helped my concentration enormously, and surprisingly. It's an added benefit I didn't expect.

    Two other things I stopped doing helped my thought processes and concentration.
    I don't drive anymore. And, I don't go into places with cash registers.
    Saying that to Americans is like saying that you stopped breathing - for fun.
     
  14. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    But then all the smokers die at sixty, and you are left in the Care Home with all the creeps and their masturbation.
    ...
    The well-trodden counter-argument - see 'gym lifestyle.'
     
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  15. Cave Troll

    Cave Troll It's Coffee O'clock everywhere. Contributor

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    @matwoolf That is not true. My old man is 65ish. Some smokers live to 80-100.
    Not every smoker gets lung cancer.

    Me, I got close to quitting in the final years of marriage. Then life happened.
    It makes life more bearable, and it gives you an excuse to go outside and not
    beat the jerk in the cubicle next to your's to death. :p
     
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  16. Denegroth

    Denegroth Banned

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    My grandpaw lived to 98 smoking filterless Pall Malls. We'll see if young woolf manages that. He also farmed tobacco.
     
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  17. matwoolf

    matwoolf Banned Contributor

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    Steve McQueen got to fifty. As I often say, I look a lot like him so maybe not long now, guys :/

    ...
     
  18. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    When I quit, I used toothpicks. Used to wear a biker leather jacket all the time then, so I kept my box of toothpicks in the same pocket as I'd kept my smokes. All the motions, all the muscle memory was the same as getting out a cigaratte. Left hand sweeps up, thumb moves the flap out of the way, thumb and forefingers pull the box out of the pocket. Right hand reaches over, takes one out, moves it to the lips. I even found myself flicking "ash" off the end of my toothpick fairly often. The only major change I had to make was to change the beer I drank. I'd been on Leinenkugel's Honey Weiss, but once my taste buds recovered from the smoke, it tasted like syrup.

    Reasonably clean for nearly 20 years now, although I do smoke hookah occasionally, and sometimes when I'm drunk I'll mooch a cigarette, but I've felt no urge to pick it back up as a habit.
     
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  19. big soft moose

    big soft moose An Admoostrator Staff Supporter Contributor Community Volunteer

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    You are probably right about addiction being a lifetime thing, but you can be an alcoholic who no longer drinks , or a drug addict who no longer takes drugs, so its possible to be a 'smoker' who no longer smokes.

    I think one reason that quitting smoking is in someways harder than quitting drugs is the social acceptability of it - I mean I can't see myself telling my boss and colleagues that I was just nipping out to do a few lines, or work erecting a nice shelter outside for the cokeheads to gather complete with in built mirrors and special bins for the wraps. Plus of course you can't just buy your undiluted charlie in 20 packs from mr tesco
     
  20. Wreybies

    Wreybies Thrice Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I quit almost 10 years ago. The only time I think about it anymore is when conversations like this come up. Other than that, it's just not a part of my life anymore. No cravings. Not even the ones that were related to other activities like drinking or coffee or getting behind the wheel of the car. When I was a smoker those three activities mandatorily came with cigarettes.
     
  21. JLT

    JLT Contributor Contributor

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    Not true for me. I started smoking in 1966, gave up thirty years later after a pack-a-day habit. Now I only smoke in my dreams. No urge while waking.

    I tried cold turkey numerous times, with no success. What worked for me was a program of gradually weaning myself away from the chemical addictions while still smoking, with a program described in a book called "Switch Down and Quit." The idea is that, every few weeks, you switch to a brand that has less tar and nicotine. The first couple of days, you may smoke more cigarettes, but after that you go back to your usual consumption. By the time you reach the end of the program, you'll have reduced your body's dependence on nicotine and tar without needing to worry about the behavioral aspects of lighting, smoking, etc.

    Then you quit cold turkey. The next few weeks will be hell, but by substituting candy, or toothpicks, or whatever, for the cigarette handling stuff, you can get over it. By reducing your physical dependence, you'll have given yourself an enormous head start. And after two or three weeks, every day it gets a little easier. After a year, you'll be a new person ... maybe a heavier person, too, but you'll still be ahead of the game health-wise.

    If patches don't do it for you, give this a try. It worked for me.
     
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  22. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    Today, I really want a cigaret. Like right now!!!
     
  23. antlad

    antlad Banned

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    Write about it. Write about it for as long as you want it. Think of cigs as a lover, or a passed love one, mourn, heal, and move on. It will always come back at times, just like memories of people or pets.
     
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  24. deadrats

    deadrats Contributor Contributor

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    I don't think I can be normal without nicotine.
     
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  25. Iain Aschendale

    Iain Aschendale Aunt? Supporter Contributor

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    Yesterday I had the wiredest situation of wanting to want to smoke, but not actually wanting to smoke.

    As if that makes any sense.

    I was wandering around in Kyoto, and I suddnely thought of a sort of cigar bar that Mrs. A and I have been to before. I had the urge to go there and grab a cigar and a sherry (their specialty), but when I got there, the urge was gone. Not that I'd wrestled with temptation and won, more like temptation got distracted by something shiny and wandered off while we were en route.

    Odd.
     
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