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  1. #1
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    gsdx's Avatar
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    Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I had a thought. There are people where who successfully quit smoking, and I'm sure there are more who are trying to quit or giving serious thought to quitting. Perhaps we can offer the some incentive and support by telling our stories.

    After about 40 years of smoking, I quit about 6 years ago and I haven't had so much as a single puff since despite living with a roommate who smokes.

    I had tried to quit 3 times before - twice by trying to wean myself of cigarettes gradually and once by using 'the patch'. I had wanted to quit because smoking was becoming too expensive on a limited income, but I failed each time. The problem was that, despite wanting to quit, I still wanted to keep smoking.

    My success finally came when I decided I didn't want to smoke anymore. There's a big difference between not wanting to smoke and wanting to quit, and that mindset, I'm convinced, was the secret to my success.

    I'm smoke-free, and I don't miss it at all.

  2. #2
    JUB Addict mikey3000's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I am smoke free for over a year now, after smoking for 30 years. I quit twice before, but you really have to want it. Today, for the first time, my BF lit a smoke and I nearly hurled. Woo hoo! I guess I really am a non smoker!
    Inspired - but too tired.

  3. #3

    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Smoke free for nine years here and don't miss it one bit.

    I tried numerous times, and numerous methods of quitting. None stuck. When I did successfully quit, I read 'Allen Carr's easy way to stop smoking' and I do credit that book with helping me. I picked it up as as 20-a-day smoker, and put it down a couple of hours later as a non-smoker. But I think the timing was right and the book was in the right place at the right time. As has already been said - I wanted it. I wanted to become someone that didn't smoke, rather than a resentful person who used to.

    The fascinating thing for me was how absolutely easy it was. I think we talk ourselves into how hard it's going to be, but when the timing is right it - for me - was just so easy - I just didn't smoke. I didn't have cravings, only a sense of releif that I didn't have to smoke any more. Also - a feeling of being a bit dumb for not having done it sooner!

  4. #4
    JohannBessler
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    My OH had just had heart failure, necessitating a triple-bypass surgery. Since I knew the risks associated with smoking, I endeavored to quit once and for all.

    The nurse who had come to visit him told us about a method of quitting she'd heard of. "Count how many cigarettes you smoke", she counseled. "Suppose you smoke three per hour. One week later, taper off to two per hour, then one per hour, then one every other hour, and so on, until you can quit."

    I tried this advice. I'd gotten to around three a day before I decided to quit those three a day cold turkey.

    I went through three weeks of hell, and then three more months of constant cravings. After that point, it was all downhill.

    I very seldom get a craving now. I quit in July 2009.

  5. #5
    JUB Addict LeicsDom's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I gave up 4 years ago after smoking since I was 12

    I tried the Allan Carr book and it had no effect

    I tried self hypnosis - and while that made me cut down for a while I gradually went back up to my previous 20-30 a day

    I finally gave up when I was forced to be in hospital for 11 days. I went on patches and, together with the enforced abstinence, I came out of hospital a non smoker. When i went in, knowing I was going to give up, I cleared the house of everything to do with smoking so i came out to a clean house, no smoking smells.
    I stayed on the patches for 12 weeks and have to had a single cigarette since.
    During the first year there were times when I missed having one but it quickly passed.
    The benefits of not smoking are the amount of money I have saved, the fact that food and drink tastes so much better, and different, and my home and clothes no longer smell of smoke.
    I recently took possession of a secondhand sofa that had been in a smoker's house. I can even smell the smoke from the upholstery

  6. #6
    ecce homo rareboy's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I'd smoked for about a decade, although I had quit once before and had changed my smoking pattern to exclude smoking at home from the time I got home from work to when I went back to the office the next day, where I worked with 3 or 4 other smokers.

    It is one of the reasons that I tell everyone not to be afraid of trying to quit and 'failing'. Each time you start smoking again, alter one aspect of your smoking behaviour. It really isn't that difficult.

    Finally though, I was able to quit for good after I was hospitalized with a pulmonary embolism and spent about 7 days on oxygen.

    When I came home...even though the cravings were still really strong, I just ate celery or carrots and did 4x4 breathing exercises.

    For me it was a 6 week withdrawal process. After the 3rd week, the cravings diminished and I remember the first day after the 6 week mark when I thought about having a smoke without any desire for one.

    Oh yes. I also gained 15 lbs each time I stopped smoking, but that is something you can deal with once your lungs are in better shape again.

  7. #7
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    alter one aspect of your smoking behaviour.
    That's an important key. There are times when you automatically reach for a cigarette without even thinking about it: when you have a cup of tea or coffee, when you first wake up, after eating a meal, and so on. You literally become programmed to smoke. You have to reprogram your brain.

  8. #8
    Slut Benjoe's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I managed to quit by cutting down to smoking 10 per day by just buying a small pack every day, I couldn't have 20 on me and only smoke 10 as I would always smoke whatever I had. Once I got down to 10 a day I would buy a pack of ten and then throw away 1 the first day, followed by 2 the next day and so on until I got down to zero. Yes I know it's a somewhat wasteful and an expensive way to do it but I lack the willpower to keep them and not smoke them.

    I wouldn't exactly call it a 'success story' though, I can't be around anyone who smokes without desperately wanting one and if I get drunk 100% i'll end up smoking and then end up suffering for a couple of days afterwards with withdrawal.

  9. #9
    Lions&Tigers&Bears Oh My!
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I quit alot of times...usually lasted for 6 months...up to 9 months.

    I had to quit because I had a heart attack with three stents and the biggest contributing factor was smoking. Well...I guess I should say i didn't "have to quit" because I know two other people who had heart attacks the same month I did that are smoking.

    What worked for me was odd. The lady who specialized in helping people quit smoking spent about 1/2 hour with me making a profile to figure out what would help me. I told her that I wasn't sure she could help me because I never had a problem quitting...i did that 100 times...my problem was starting again.

    So...she told me based on what I had said to her that the thing that would work for me was the next time I saw a smoker I should pity them. WTF? The thought of doing that to someone else is really appalling to me....I don't even know why but I was embarrassed to do it even though the other person would never know I was doing it. So...I did it...and it was really powerful. It worked...amazing. That lady really knew her stuff. Not only did it work it was a clean break for me and I have had zero desire for a cigarette since which is really odd as in how could something so simple work so well? I guess it is based on your individual personality so I suggest getting one of these smoking professionals to help if you have a hard time.

    PS...It has been 2 1/2 years for me with no cigarettes.
    Last edited by eastofeden; December 10th, 2012 at 09:25 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I smoked for years and have quit eleven times. This time is the last time... I think the average is somewhere between 7 and eleven tries for a successful quit ... on average of course so not always that way. I grew up around smokers and have always thought fresh brewed coffee and the smell of smoke reminds me of home. What is odd is that i have always been an endurance guy when it comes to fitness. But just like many of my peers I thought it a badge of courage that I could drink and smoke all night and run it out of me in the morning. I have altered many aspects of my life and honestly the real reason non-smoking is sticking well is because I don't go to bars or drink as much. I am like Benjoe in that once I get drunk i am craving a smoke. It just seems so absolutely natural.

    So far I have drank this time around and not had the urge... in fact i have even been repulsed by the smell of those around me who do go out and smoke. I am glad most of the country does not allow smoking indoors at bars and pubs. I would have the staying power of a heroin addict at that point. So this time around is going smoke free since October 17th. We will see how far I go.

    It is so odd to me because I feel so much better NOT smoking that it is odd to choose to smoke. Ya know? Anyways I am out for a bit... I hope my story is somewhat a success that you were looking for. I sure as hell hope it is.
    Everyone can be great, because everyone can serve.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    I think the biggest mistake after quitting is thinking that one little cigarette won't hurt. It's like an alcoholic or a drug addict. You never stop being one. I think of myself as a smoker who doesn't smoke anymore, but I know that, if I light up one single butt, even after all these years of not smoking, I'll be a smoker again.

  12. #12

    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Not sure if you could class me as a smoker but I worked a job that involved a lot of nights and used to smoke 3-4 cigarettes a day on my breaks. I would also occassionally smoke one on my way home. For me its a mindset because I can take it or leave it and have not had a cigarette since I finished my job 2 weeks ago, nor have I had a craving for one.

    To me its like a social event having a cigarette with a mate... if you do not have a smoking buddy its a hell of a lot less tempting to me but then I am a bit of a wierd person lol.

  13. #13
    Slut Benjoe's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    I think the biggest mistake after quitting is thinking that one little cigarette won't hurt. It's like an alcoholic or a drug addict. You never stop being one. I think of myself as a smoker who doesn't smoke anymore, but I know that, if I light up one single butt, even after all these years of not smoking, I'll be a smoker again.
    Very well said, that's exactly how it is for me. I envy those people that can quit and never ever feel the urge to ever smoke again. I'm so pathetic even watching a movie and seeing someone smoke makes me want one, Mad Men in particular. I also had to permanently quit coffee as coffee brings back the urge. I wish i'd never started, the thing is I never even liked smoking when I first started but I did it because all my friends did.

  14. #14
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by rareboy View Post
    When I came home...even though the cravings were still really strong, I just ate celery or carrots and did 4x4 breathing exercises.
    I'm always impressed by people who managed their cravings with healthy vegetables.

    The day before I quit I went to the market and bought every single snack item I wanted. I'm not a binge-eater, but for one week I figured eating impulsively would help. It did. Ice cream, potato chips, corn chips, chocolate, nuts, mints, gum, whatever. I did not buy carrots or celery! I put on some pounds, but the luxury snacking took me through the worst of it.

    Then, I ate normally again and made love to my nicotine patch. I adored that thing. I would caress it, and smooth down its naughty corners. It didn't matter that it stank. It gave me my sweet, sweet drug. I think I was attached to it for a couple months.

    After six months, I rarely noticed a craving, and after a year I had none at all. Nowadays, if I have to breathe smoke I'm grumpy.

    I'm not sure I begrudge everybody the habit, though. It's a pleasure for the young, and may eliminate some miserable years at the end.

  15. #15
    JUB Addict LeicsDom's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    I think the biggest mistake after quitting is thinking that one little cigarette won't hurt. It's like an alcoholic or a drug addict. You never stop being one. I think of myself as a smoker who doesn't smoke anymore, but I know that, if I light up one single butt, even after all these years of not smoking, I'll be a smoker again.
    I so agree. I just KNOW that if I have one cigarette I will not stop. At least, I think that is what will happen but, after 4 years, I am not going to tempt fate by trying

  16. #16
    JUB Addict LeicsDom's Avatar
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by Benjoe View Post
    Very well said, that's exactly how it is for me. I envy those people that can quit and never ever feel the urge to ever smoke again. I'm so pathetic even watching a movie and seeing someone smoke makes me want one, Mad Men in particular.
    I tried to watch Mad Men and found that the continual smoking made me feel sick so I stopped watching it.

  17. #17
    JohannBessler
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by gsdx View Post
    I think the biggest mistake after quitting is thinking that one little cigarette won't hurt. It's like an alcoholic or a drug addict. You never stop being one. I think of myself as a smoker who doesn't smoke anymore, but I know that, if I light up one single butt, even after all these years of not smoking, I'll be a smoker again.
    I concur, GS.

    The last time I resumed smoking, I resumed it because I thought "one little clove cigarette wouldn't hurt". Clove cigarettes, I reasoned, were "natural" and didn't pose a risk for addiction.

    Wrong! Read the back of the package.

    My OH quit after his openheart surgery. He was off them for about three months, when he began arguing with me that"I can't see why I can't just smoke three or four cigarettes a day. I'm now in control."

    BWahahaha!

    Those three cigarettes turned into three packs in the space of a month.

  18. #18
    I spell spelled spelt
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Quote Originally Posted by JohannBessler View Post
    Those three cigarettes turned into three packs in the space of a month.
    I knew a woman back in the 70s. She used to be a heavy smoker and quite. Twenty-five years later, someone offered her a cigarette and she accepted it. By the end of the day, she was a heavy smoker again. It was like she hadn't even stopped.

    By the way, I've never heard of clove cigarettes. I'm not sure we have them here in Canada. At least I've never seen them for sale.

  19. #19
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    Re: Ex-smokers - sign in with your inspirational success story, please

    Lots of good advice up there. I think my main mental change that helped me was that I didn't "quit smoking," I "became a nonsmoker." Those little positive flips in a word or phrase can make all the difference in how you look at it: quitting sounds like losing, becoming feels like winning.

    The other important thing was to decide that I didn't want a substance running my life for me. I remember very clearly the night I decided to stop smoking: I was at a meeting, and the minute it was over, instead of staying and chatting and socializing, I had to jet out the door to smoke. It was raining, and about forty degrees outside, but there I was in the downpour, bending over so my raincoat hood would protect my cigarette, puffing away like anything... not enjoying it, needing it. All of a sudden, I decided I didn't want to be that person anymore.

    It took me another four months to work up my courage for the ordeal I knew it would be, and took advice from everyone I knew who'd ever successfully stopped. I used the patch to get me over the first bump: retraining myself around the behaviors before tackling the nicotine. Nicotine is incredibly addictive; and for those of us who are naturally addiction-oriented, it's a hard hill to climb: the physical craving is worse than heroin withdrawals, one really has to be prepared to go through some serious agony in order to Become.

    I stopped drinking coffee in the morning, since that was a paired behavior; and then I drank decaf coffee after meals, when I ordinarily would have had a cigarette. I ate candy and carrots, depending on where the tension was (carrots for jaw tension, candy for emotional tension... I went through a bag of baby carrots and a bag of Reese's minis a day, which together were still cheaper than a pack of cigarettes). I even drove places by different routes, left the house by a different door, moved my bed... anything that I could relate to smoking, I changed.

    Even with the patch, it was painful. I was a complete bitch and no pleasure to be around, so I avoided people as much as I could. But then I got a job, and the novelty of the new work gave me more opportunities to retrain old behaviors, and distracted me. It took about six months using the full-strength patch before I felt comfortable enough around the behaviors to take on the chemical addiction. But I stayed on the patch for a full year (the box said three months, one month at each strength), and every time I went down a strength, I would sequester myself in my room for a weekend.

    Once I got past that year, I decided I never wanted to go through that hell again... and that, more than anything else, has kept me from starting again. I knew there was no such thing, for me, as one cigarette: it was a pack or nothing. So though I still feel cravings every once in a while (fourteen years later), I was never tempted to smoke again, because I knew I'd be right back where I started and would have to go through another year of hell when it became necessary to stop again.

    I also found out from other neononsmokers (yes, I made that up, feel free to propagate it) that you don't lose the weight you gained when you quit, if you start again; but you gain just as much weight again next time you quit. I gained thirty pounds that year, three more attempts to quit and they'd have to bury me in a piano case.
    Last edited by Swellegant; December 10th, 2012 at 08:33 PM.

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