Old 01-13-2010, 11:01 AM
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I was just wondering how those of you in recovery feel about smoking cigarettes.

I was a social smoker during my black out drinking days, but now that I am in recovery I find myself depending heavily on cigarettes, almost a half pack a day. That and coffee just help me deal with things better somehow.

It really ticks me off when people make comments to me like, "That's bad for you, you know." No, really? I want to ask them. It also ticks me off when people make comments that I am a mom who smokes. I never smoke in my house, only on the front porch, I never smoke in my car with the kids in it, and I always wash my hands before touching the baby after I've had a cigarette. Someone at a holiday party went so far as to say, "Yeah, but the smell is still in your clothes."

Smoking cigarettes is bad for you...I get that. But I find myself wanting to scream at these people, "You know what was really bad for me?! Polishing off an 8 serving bottle of wine every night, smoking some pot and throwing sleeping pills into the mix!" Of course I don't want to go into that with most people, but I feel like if they knew, maybe they'd back off a little.

Seriously, aren't cigarettes a lesser evil at this point? How many of you are smokers, and how do you deal with the crap people give you about it?
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:05 AM
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I, too, only smoke outside at home or in the garage or at AA meetings. I actually do not smoke anywhere else so I don't have to worry about people saying stuff.

I guess it really has gotten taboo to smoke. I plan to quit, but not this early in my recovery.

I want a ciggy now.

Seriously, try not to let peoples' comments bother you, or, just smoke in private like I do.

Congrats on your sober time!!
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:09 AM
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To Thine Ownself Be True

For me personally to smoke a cigarette would be to lose my sobriety. Alcohol/drugs/cigarettes was all one big package to me. If I was to ever get to the stage where I took a drag off a cigarette then I may as well take a drink and a line of Coke along for the ride too.

Thats just me though and I notice many of the recovering alclholics I meet seem to still keep the Cigs, which I do kinda find strange, If you could kick the booze using the 12 steps then why not just apply it to the Cigs also? But that just me, I always only found Cigs any good as a compliment to an already present buzz from booze/drugs.

peace x
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:11 AM
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I am a non smoker but I respect smokers right to smoke as long as they are respectful of me.
I think that if you are doing this and people are commenting they are the ones with the problem and need to learn some manners.
Congratulations on your sober time and try not to let these comments annoy you, upset you, or affect your quest in any way. They are out of line.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:13 AM
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I chewed tobacco for as long as I drank, 27 years. Gave up the tobacco two months before the alcohol, cold-turkeyed both of them, it was a dumb thing to do but I made it through the withdrawals OK.

There are a lot of people in recovery who smoke, the rooms of AA are full of smokers, nicotine is a fact of life and it's been part of our society for a very long time. It's not going to go away completely anytime soon, if ever. I feel it's another addiction that needs to be dealt with and recovered from, but that's just my opinion.

Sobriety, staying focused on recovery, that's more important than anything. If you're not drinking that's an achievement. If there comes a time in the future when you want to quit smoking, tackle it then, but don't feel that it's necessary now. Progress, not perfection.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:14 AM
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Don't resist, allow
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Inhale deeply on that cigarette as you say to yourself "God grant me the serenity...etc" - and you can't change other people.

Smoking does kill but right now for you, Easy does it, first things first.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:20 AM
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I only smoked when I drank (every night), so it was a no brainer and non-issue for me to cut the cigs when I stopped drinking. Guess I am fortunate in that regard. I would say that if smoking in early sobriety helps, then so be it. There will be a time and place somewhere down the road where you can focus your energy towards smoking cessation. For now, sobriety is the number one priority.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:20 AM
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I am also a smoker and I smoke a lot more than you do. I understand your frustration. When I finally stopped drinking my Doctor even told me not to worry about trying to quit smoking. He told me he would give me a year before he mentioned it again. One thing at a time. I know a lot of people who give up both, but I don't think I could have done it.

As far as those people go I try to ignore them. If they only new what I was doing to myself before, but of course they don't and I'm not about to divulge that information to a complete stranger.

Yes its bad for me, but I choose to keep smoking because I feel it is the lesser of the two evils right now. I will quit, but I'm not ready to yet.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:25 AM
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I guess people are well-intentioned in telling you that smoking is bad for you, but you are the person who will know if and when you want to stop. Staying sober is the main goal right now, and know that you are doing the best you can. Never mind what others are thinking.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:27 AM
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One Thing At a Time

I would say just focus on not drinking for now. "Whatever" it takes!!..Well almost. But what do I know?

Not long after I had been sober I told my sponsor "Now I just need to quit smoking, really starting to feel bad about it."

He said "We'll,..I've never heard of anyone getting thrown in jail for smoking too much. Maybe you ought to just be grateful to be sober and let's focus on one thing at a time..."

Best advice ever for me.

My sponsor quit coffee and cigarettes 3 years sober.

Guy that took me to my first meeting did the same thing at 5 years. After one week he said "To hell with this, you aint taking my damn caffiene now, cmon!!" lol. He's been a non-drinking, non-smoking, caffiene addict for 28+ years or more, if I remember right, hell I can't even count that long..

To each his own. I know I don't begin to even consider quitting anything until again, just like my sponsor "I'm ready to quit". For me that means "REALLY ready to quit..!!!"

I've learned not to beat myself up in the meantime. It's always been another useless excercise in ego inflation anyway.
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Old 01-13-2010, 11:31 AM
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I to am a smoker in early recovery
i no it killes but it helps me
i think of it on the same lines ass people who drink tea or coffee witch i drink as well.
if i wasent smoking id be over eating
in fact it realy bugs me in this contry you carnt smoke eny were exept outside
and its -8 and snowing for the last week.
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:04 PM
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I drank to smoke! Wierd huh?

My Sponsor has 28 years free from Alcohol and 27 years free from smoking, which was nice. For me Cigarettes and drinking/using went hand it hand. In fact I drank to smoke (since I really only truly "enjoyed" to smoke if I drank, if you could understand that one. But thats just me of course.

I think had Bill Wilson and Dr. Bob known what we know today about the dangers of smoking, they probably would have done things differently. Considering that so many people in AA have dealt with one addiction only to succumb to the addiction of nicotine. Bill Wilson and so many others have died horrific deaths thanks to nicotine addiction, while they were sober from booze there are other addictions which are bad as well.

Of course everyone has a different opinion and agenda sometimes. When I first started going to meetings as someone who quit drinking and smoking simultaneously, I cannot begin to tell you how many people (smokers of course) were threatened by my simultaneous quitting and were urging me to smoke but just focus on not drinking. Now for me to smoke would be like an alcoholic doing heroin but not boozing. It just would not work for me. Of course everyone is different but there are so many positives when we give up smoking.

The money I save each day which as a pack a day smoker is about 7 dollars now. So that is about 50 dollars a week I am saving, $200 a month. $2,400 dollars a year! I am not only saving money but my skin looks better, I am not aging as fast, I do not stink when I walk into a room, I am healthier, I feel better, I will live a longer more healthy life, my chance for heart attack is decreased, my chance for a numerous amount of horrific illnesses related to the disease of nicotine addiction decreases.

There are many studies now being released which show that people who give up nicotine addiction along with Alcohol addiction have a better chance at longer term sobriety.

Of course everyone is different but we have so many tools today available to us thanks to the 12 step programs where we can give up nicotine in groups like Nicotine Anonymous where there are many members who have also given up Alcohol and are as we call "double winners"

What worked for me was applying the 12 step principals to all my affairs,
I have meetings, fellowship and commitments at Nicotine Anonymous as well as AA.
I also have found lots of incredible information and support at

a day at a time a breath at a time I find now that I do not need any substance to make it through the day. I have saved tons of money, I look, feel and smell better and little by little I am getting healthier and healthier. It is a amazing gift that I have given myself and my family thanks to the principals of the 12 step programs. The greatest thing is that we all have the ability to obtain this together.

Thanks for letting me share my personal experience.

I wish you all the best in your journey and congratulations on the time you have.
all the best!

Things that have helped me:

Nicotine Anonymous
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:28 PM
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Well to quote my username, yeah great!

Get sober for more than a year and then ask on earth can anyone in their right mind compare alcoholism with smoking...and around we go again...unbelievable!
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Old 01-13-2010, 12:43 PM
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I can get really into this thread

First off...........all though I am A NON-SMOKER...........I too respect peoples right to smoke if they choose (I simply chose to quit)
and weird enough, they do unfortunately go hand in hand (somewhat)
I celebrated my four years of NOT SMOKING this past Saturday (yea!)

and on a nosmo board you will hear people say "its much harder to quit smoking than to quit drinking (for example) ..........NOT!
My daughter recently commented (when I told her my intentions of quitting drinking) that she thought my drinking had increased about the same time I quit smoking. (not really that I could tell..........guessing I probably just hid it from her better in the past)

I stay diligent with my quit, (would put up quite the fight to protect it at all cost)
I am going into my sober life with the same vengeance as when I quit smoking!

I celebrated each and every milestone of my smober (as we non smokers called it) life.

I too will do the same in my sober life I chosen.

and I pray I will be able to celebrate each and every anniversary with you fine people.
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Old 01-13-2010, 01:54 PM
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I'm glad I gave up smoking - I drank and smoked pretty recklessly, following the pattern of all my drug use...full throttle.

as for anyone else - I have learned

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Old 01-13-2010, 02:15 PM
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I have been sober since 12/27. I smoke about 1/2 a pack a day, it helps keep me sane. When I am feeling better about life again I will quit.
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Old 01-13-2010, 04:12 PM
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I agree that smoking is really bad for you, and giving the cigs up should be part of your recovery. Problem is I smoke them, specially in the morning because it cheers me up before work, and then gives me an excuse to take a five minute cigarette break every couple of hours at work. I honestly think people are too uptight about smoking. Much better in the old days when you could smoke in restaurants, trains, planes and shops. I don't even think you can smoke in a bingo hall these days. This doesn't mean I don't want to give up - I'm always trying and always failing. I just think folks should chill out a bit, like it was thirty years ago.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:09 PM
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- raising hand - in agreement with focusing on not drinking first - quit smoking later...

My LADAC counselor cautioned me about quitting too many things at once. He strongly suggested getting a handle on sobriety first and let quitting cigarettes wait a year. He personally knows people who didn't quit smoking until they had 2 years of recovery from alcohol. Everyone's different.

Anyway, I'm glad I focused on not drinking first. Was able to get a good program of recovery from alcohol established and learned how to 'live sober' before I quit smoking.

I used cigarettes as a coping mechanism during stressful times in the beginning that I would ordinarily have picked up a drink.

I'm glad I did it that way. Worked for me. Good luck to you!

P.S. I get a kick out of the old movies where everyone smoked everywhere (including in courtrooms - remember the old Perry Mason movies)? Smoking was everywhere; hospitals, work, public transportation, restaurants.

P.S.S. And I have vowed to never be a vigilante non-smoker waving my finger at everyone else who does smoke and who should quit cuz it's so bad for you. To each his own.
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Old 01-13-2010, 05:45 PM
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Its time for bed
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I quit both at the same time. I WANTED to quit, its the only way it works for me...
I replaced the smoking with lots of running and biking which helped big time.

Something about running uphill and gasping for air gave me enough clarity to quit.
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:56 PM
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Journal of the American Medical Study published results that showed more alcoholics died from smoking related issues that from drinking. Denial is not just a problem with alcohol.
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