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Old 12-22-2009, 09:29 AM
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Smoking

I have noticed recently, since I made the decision to quit drinking, that I seem to be craving cigarettes more and more. Smoking cigarettes has helped me so far with easing the cravings and anxiety that are often associated with not drinking. I know that this is probably a mental thing, but it seems that I am now using cigarettes as a crutch in my quest to not drink alcohol.

The problem is, I do not want to become a pack-a-day smoker again. I smoked about a pack-a-day for about 10 years, but then I "quit" about 5 years ago and decided to smoke only when I drink. Since then I have not smoked during the daytime, but I have smoked around 5 (give or take) cigarettes everytime I drink. In other words, I have never "really" quit smoking completely.

However, during the past 2 years, my drinking has turned into a nightly thing, so I have basically been smoking a few cigarettes pretty much every night for a couple of years now.

I do not really know where I am going to this, I guess I am just looking for reassurance that my smoking is not necessarily a terrible thing right now. I know that it is harmful to my health, but I am afraid to quit both drinking AND smoking all at the same time. If I was still drinking every night, I would be smoking every night anyway right? At least this way, I am only smoking and not drinking.

I understand that cigarettes will definitely put me at a higher risk for long term health problems. However, at least I will not wake up hungover everyday from cigarette smoking. Nor will I engage in any of the crazy, self-destructive activities that I used to do while drinking.

I sincerely hope to quit smoking one day, but right now, being in early recovery, I think that it is probably best to make my primary focus to NOT DRINK. Even if that means using cigarettes as a crutch. Then maybe later on I can try to quit smoking too.

Any thoughts?
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:32 AM
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One addiction at a time Jester - absolutely. Right now I'm doing exactly the same. I know both is bad for us and other people's health, so I will not blow my smoke where it will be inhaled by non smokers nor will I drive while being under the influence.
My cigarettes are my crutch right now and when I'm ready I'll kick that one to the curb too. For now I'm sober and that is what is my priority. If you can quit both, even better. I'm just not that strong............yet
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:35 AM
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I'll worry about smoking later, right now i'm concentrating on not drinking.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:38 AM
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I have seen articles about studies coming out about this lately:

Nicotine Increases Alcohol Craving - Part 1

Personally I quit a few weeks after the alcohol. Part of the reason I got to the point of quitting the booze was that I had really tried so hard to quit smoking and succeeded years before and then I started again because of drinking in the months before and this was something that I had vowed to never do. I think you got to do what you got to do to stay sober. Priority one is alcohol and staying off that.

However, let me tell you that one of the things that keeps me sober is being in my body and appreciating how good I feel physically. That would not be possible if I were smoking— even a little. I do, however, drink massive amounts of coffee .

It is a completely personal decision— but just saying I have read many a time that it makes quitting alcohol harder in some weird brain wiring way. I am sure that differs by person.
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Old 12-22-2009, 10:49 AM
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I agree, work on one thing at a time, for now it sounds best to focus on your sobriety. It's pretty common to cross-addict or use another addiction as a crutch in nearly recovery.

I quit chewing tobacco a couple months before I quit drinking, during that time my drinking nearly tripled. When I gave up the alcohol I started eating like crazy. When I started dieting and exercising I looked for other ways to vent my addictions.

It's taken time to work through so many of these things, but with devotion and commitment to recovery, I'm slowly learning to be OK with just being...me.
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Old 12-22-2009, 11:35 AM
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I quit drinking in June and I quit smoking cigarettes on Thanksgiving. I only succeeded in staying off the cigs this past month because I bought an e-cigarette. I'm NOT selling these things. They really do make quitting easier because you get to inhale what looks and feels like smoke and you arent setting anything on fire. You also get a nicotine buzz (or maybe it's the lack of oxygen to my brain.) It's changed the concept of quitting smoking for me and my friends and family area all starting to catch on. Highly recommended as a cessation tool. Just give it a few days to get used to it and make the transition, maybe only smoking so and so many regular cigs a day and steadily decrease, replacing it with the e-cig vapor, which in my opinion tastes better anyway.

With that out of the way, I have seen recent studies suggesting better chances of success in quitting drinking and smoking if done simultaneously. Read a bit more on the internet to see what I'm talking about.

In the end being a cigarette smoker is still being a drug addict and so is puffing on e-cigarettes. I'm just choosing the lesser of two evils until I can step off the e-cig. We can tell ourselves how much better tobacco is than drinking but it still kills about 6 million people a year, FAR more than drinking does. I couldn't delude myself any longer and I had to kick them.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:18 PM
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I quit 2 months ago using the patch, an e-cigarette and gum. It was really hard, but I'm down to just a few pieces of gum now. I'm glad to be rid of that monkey. Keep at it and eventually you'll succeed. It took me 3 years of trying but I hope this one sticks.
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Old 12-22-2009, 04:48 PM
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I quit both at the same time. I REALLY dont recommend it. I think it fueled my depression and anxiety two-fold.

I was determined to stop all bad things and was too stubborn to think of one thing at a time. [email protected]!! lol
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:27 PM
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same here i quit methadone 8 monthes ago
i hadent smoked for 5 years.
as soon as i qiut one i started somking
i wish i new the answer but smoking is helping me now
im going to try and quit at the new year.?
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Old 12-22-2009, 06:37 PM
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I've been thinking about this, too. I'm smoking less, cuz I was a chimney when I was drinking, but I don't think I'm ready to quit yet. My thought is that I'm more apt to relapse in drinking if I'm not smoking, cuz if I get an urge to do either, I might just say 'screw it' and do both. I really enjoyed both together, so I can see me doing this. 'Just one night of smoking and drinking all I want and then I'll quit both'. Yeah...not so much. At least for right now, I can have this at least...but it IS on my radar to let this go, too. Good luck to you!
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Old 12-23-2009, 12:36 AM
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Here is a scenario...let's say you are an alcoholic and you will never stop drinking...best case scenario something will happen sooner rather than later and you will die, worst case scenario you will live a miserable ****** up living hell of an existence polluting anything and anyone you come into contact with and live into your sixties.

So sure smoke a ciggie and work on your program of recovery from alcoholism the rest will fall into place:-)
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