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Planning to quit the smokes

Old 07-22-2020, 04:05 PM
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Coz
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Planning to quit the smokes

Starting this thread as I am still in the planning stages so didn't fee right in posting on the 24 Hour No Nicotine/No Smoking Club (24 Hour No Nicotine/No Smoking Club ~ Part 13) thread. I guess I am sort of using this thread to document my thinking and process for quitting. I've recently quit drinking and ready to embark on my next unhealthy and unsociable addiction.

I've done a bit or reading in preparation for my upcoming smoke free life and it seems that some good planning does help with success. So a bit of a rant to put my thoughts into words.

Why do I smoke?
  • to satisfy the neurological addiction to nicotine and the physical craving for the oral gratification the cigarette provides
  • it gives me a short break from what I am doing
  • for certain times of the day, it is just a habit or routine
  • it is an excuse to go outside and relax for a moment
  • To avoid the physical and emotional stresses associated with quitting (quitting alcohol is a recent memory of these stresses - not fun)
Why do I want to quit? (no particular order)
  • It is impacting on my health - out of breath, can't walk up hills without lots of stops, niggling cough, poor circulation with numbing and tingling in my hands
  • Increase my energy levels and allow me to get fitter
  • Hopefully reduce the stained teeth look and not smell like an ashtray
  • Wasting lots of money on smokes
  • It is no longer socially acceptable in most situations
  • Won't be cramming in lots of cigs before heading to places where I can't smoke
  • No more cleaning out smelly ashtrays
  • It will make my family happy.
Which method to use?
Quitting medications, nicotine replacement, hypnosis, tapering, cold turkey - all options.

I have been considering going to the docs to get some Champix, but have decided that I will go without the quitting medications, mostly because I dislike going to the doctor, but also the cost and the reliance on other drugs to give up a drug. I've dismissed hypnosis as not readily available where I am and I am not comfortable allowing someone I don't know to put thoughts into my head (or at least that is how I see hypnosis working).

I have decided to try a bit of tapering towards a quit date, and then have some nicotine chewing gum on hand if my emotions are impacting on my ability to stay sober and smoke free, or if hubby tells me I am being too difficult to live with.

Quit date
1 August 2020. This gives me a bit of time to taper, read (Allan Carr's book and Quit HQ website) and be prepared to have my last cigarette on 31 July 2020.

Getting support
I'm hoping that the 24 Hour No Nicotine/No Smoking Club (24 Hour No Nicotine/No Smoking Club ~ Part 13) here on SR will be active and provide some way of conversing with others that are, or have, quit smoking. Alternatively, I will join an alternative forum. SR has been wonderful support for quitting alcohol, so worth a try for the smokes too (although I get that quitting smoking is not getting sober so a bit of a side-line for this forum).

Hubby as also said that he will offer any support that he can.

The Quitline is also available to me here - a free advise and support service.

My goal is to be able to join the 24 Hour No Nicotine/No Smoking Club (24 Hour No Nicotine/No Smoking Club ~ Part 13) on 1 August 2020.
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Old 07-22-2020, 04:32 PM
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wishing you the best Coz

D
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Old 07-23-2020, 04:59 AM
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Awesome post Coz. I can relate to almost all of that.
Except to be honest, now that we are in our current situation, I have lost all motivation to quit.

I would add one to the list if I was you....I know you mentioned money, but if I still lived in Australia the cost of smoking would absolutely stop me now. Which I guess was the point of the huge price per pack. I don't even know how much it is now. (OK, I looked, it is the same as 3 years ago, so $30 AUD for 25 ).

Wishing you much success, and I will support and perhaps join you. ❤️
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Old 07-23-2020, 05:48 AM
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Coz, thank you for starting this thread! I love your post. We are very similar in our thoughts on stopping smoking! I am going to try and create a plan, too.
I was so amazed to hear how much cigs are in Australia that I looked it up. Shocking! I would not be able to smoke there at all. But, here they are almost 7 dollars a pack. That is way too much for me. Plus, there is the cost to our health, which could be everything.
Thanks for the link to the 24 hour smoke free thread, too. I also am not ready to post there but it will be a huge help later.
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Old 07-23-2020, 06:21 PM
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The one week 'til quit date.

I smoked 14 cigarettes yesterday while consciously distracting myself for at least 10 minutes each time I thought about stopping for a smoko break. Normally I am a ~20 a day sort of smoker.

Today I have put 12 smokes aside as my ration for the day. I already know that I will be wanting more, but have in my mind that I need to use these last days to get my neuro-receptors a little prepared for the shock to come, and to start getting used to a new routine without the habitual smoking included. I'm also using this week to really nut out which are the most challenging times of the day to distract myself and delay having a smoke. Hopefully I can adapt this knowledge into a plan for my activities in the first week in August - the first week as a non-smoker.

And for Karen and Suze - smokes are really expensive in Australia now. $1.30 each cigarette. So even with my smoking 14 cigarettes yesterday, I saved $7.80 compared to my normal smoking habit. Today I will save over $10.

I can really see that giving up is a really clever financial thing to do - I'll save $26 a day, $182 a week, $780 a month and $9,500 a year. I wish I'd done that calculation a long time ago - it is a great incentive to quit!
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Old 07-24-2020, 06:34 AM
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Oh yes it is!!! That is a lot hey?

I quit the same way....reducing the amount of cigs per day. Slowly.
I am smoking about 5 or 6 per day right now.
Getting it down to 2 is my first goal.
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Old 07-24-2020, 02:13 PM
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Yesterday went well and stuck to the 12 smokes for the day. Today the ration is reduced to 11.

I have put together a list of the earliest time I can have a smoke today:
AM 6.30, 7.30, 9.00, 11.00,
PM 1.00, 3.00, 4.30, 5.30, 7.30, 9.00, 10.00

There are some concepts that you should delay the time that you have the first cigarette of the day as it sets the scene for the day. My morning smokes are going to be tough for me. I'm sure some of it is the drop in nicotine levels after sleeping, but it is also probably because I am a slow starter in the mornings and a coffee with a cigarette have become a routine for me. I will start making the first smoke a bit later, but not just yet.

Each day I will change to times to reduce the number of smokes by one.

Suze - 5 or 6 cigarettes a day is definitely not a heavy smoker - I hope you can easily reach your 2 a day goal when you are ready. Interesting that the pandemic has reduced your motivation to quit. For me it is quite the opposite. While I am smoking so much, my lungs are not tip top healthy and it puts me in a higher risk category for serious consequences if I am unlucky enough to be exposed to COVID. Even when I get a cold, it goes to my lungs and I have one awful cough - so I am using the pandemic as further motivation to quit.

Off to start my reduced smoke day ....


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Old 07-24-2020, 08:14 PM
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Good for you Coz! I smoked for 30 years, and was able to quit with the Alan Carr book and nicotine gum a little over a year ago. It is amazing how much better I feel. Be sure to drink lots of water when you quit. Ice cold relieved my cravings. Your mind frame sounds spot on for a successful quit. Money is a big motivator too. I've saved almost 6k. Woo hoo
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Old 07-24-2020, 08:40 PM
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Thanks Libby and congrats to you for a successful quit!

I've started reading Allan Carr's book, but finding it rather repetitive. I'll keep plodding through on the basis that the messages will then be well ingrained in my brain.

This is the best prepared I have ever been for quitting the smokes. I think the lessons learned from quitting drinking will help (or at least I hope so).

Again - big thank you for posting. Accountability was a big part of helping with quitting alcohol and I think it will be for smokes too. Posting often is a big help in commitment for me, and responses kind of make that commitment more real.

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Old 07-25-2020, 05:46 AM
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Well dear Coz, gulp, I am an idiot (one again as I so often seem to be with my health)....I have asthma. And allergies galore. So smoking at all is just as insane as drinking was.

I had a big think about this last night....why do I not take care of myself?
I got some answers.
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:22 AM
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Coz- it is super repetitive! I think he's just trying to hammer home his process. I quit drinking in AA and asked HP for help with the smoking months before I quit. One morning I was smoking, and I looked at it and thought "What am I doing? This is gross" and put it out half way through. I had heard of people quitting like that and thought they were full of it I joined a quit smoking group on Facebook and downloaded a quit smoking app on my phone. My husband still smokes....a lot, when I get a strong urge I ask God to take it away. So far so good!

Venuscat- Dont be so hard on yourself. Quitting smoking is hard. It's so ingrained in the brain. I wish quitting was as easy as starting! If someone told me when I started that I would be shelling out at least $100,000 to pay for this little habit, I probably would have never started, but it's TRUE. Dang, I thought I was so cool at 15 with my ciggie. At the end I felt like a social pariah!😖

I started telling myself months before I quit that I'm a non smoker, like as soon as I put one out. Eventually it clicked, and now I am. Im rooting for you! It's all about changing habits and routines. I started light exercise when I wanted to smoke, or taking a shower. It felt so good washing away the stench. For months I felt like I was washing it from my pores!
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Old 07-25-2020, 02:01 PM
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Thanks Suze and Libby

Suze - curious... What answers did you come up with as to why you don't look after your health? I know that I have done a poor job of looking after my health all of my life. I never put it as a priority - sort of felt invisible. But as I am getting older, I am starting to see the consequences of my less-than-ideal choices.

Libby - your story is so great to read. I like the idea of walks and showers. I've started a list of places and activities that I would not normally smoke. I don't smoke inside the house or car, but I do love being outdoors. So I think when I am outside, I will need to keep busy. Do you still get cravings after over a year of not smoking? I was hoping that the first few weeks was all I'd need to be convinced I was a non-smoker, but then again, I gave up while pregnant twice and still went back to it for some silly reason. And like you, I was a cool kid smoking at age 13 - school toilets, corner shop with friends, train station, down at the beach..... Non of my old school mates still smoke. It is just me that never managed to give it up - but I will next week.

Down to a ration of 10 smokes (maximum) today and only six more days of smoking. Onwards!
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:05 PM
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I hope this doesn't discourage you coz, but yes, I still get cravings. They are not bad enough to actually smoke tho. It's a lot like drinking. If I have one, I'm all in again. This quitting thing is to previous to cave! I too quit while pregnant, and as soon as that kid was out I was smoking. I really did enjoy it, but it was killing me.

I'm learning that there is a big difference between non smoker and ex smoker. A non smoker will never miss it, because they never experienced the "relief" that it brought. As ex smoker...we know! But its not really relief. I never realized the anxiety smoking gave me. I'm actually much calmer since I quit, and I'm a pretty wired person lol.

The cravings got a lot less intense after a month or two. I smoked for so long because I was afraid if I quit I would gain weight... I literally gained less than 5 pounds. (I sure hope i didnt just jinx myself)

I'm like you with the age thing. I abused my body starting as a teen with drugs and alcohol, and I am starting to feel it. I dont what to be miserable in old age due to my own bad decisions, so I tried to right the ship as much as I could. I quit at 49, determined to hit 50 healthier than before. It's crazy when you do one healthy thing (quit smoking) it had a trickle effect...I started walking, then a little light weights, and then better eating habits. My next trick is plant based food only. I havent had meat for 2 months. I miss bacon ALOT.
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Old 07-25-2020, 06:33 PM
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Thanks again Libby.

It won't discourage me in quitting, but it is useful to know that , like drinking, a level of vigilance is needed forever!

Great to hear that you gained so little weight. I am quite prepared to gain weight in the first months. I am already filling the gaps between smokes with the oral gratification of lollies and chocolates. Some of my silly-high sugar intake is still replacing wine sugars, but I can already feel that bad food consumption is going to sky-rocket next week! I will be absolutely OK with maintaining by bad sugar habit for another month, then I'll try to deal with it in time for not looking too frumpy for summer.

Vego is probably my favourite eating lifestyle, but hard with a meat loving hubby. I am turning him around slowly with vego meals a couple of times a week - and I try to make them interesting and tasty. So far he likes them!
As far as missing bacon, once upon a time, and I think it is still available, you could buy 'not bacon'. I used it a lot in my previous vegetarian years when I had a family that really liked bacon. See if you can find some to fill your bacon fetish!

Thanks again for sharing with me - really appreciate your help and interest.

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Old 07-25-2020, 09:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Coz View Post
I'll save .... $780 a month
You could easily make payments on even the World’s finest amphicar....
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:04 AM
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Thanks for the tip on the bacon, I'm definitely going to look into that!

I did find that going outside and taking deep breaths of fresh air in place of inhaling smoke helped. I still do it. It's a challenge living with a smoker some days. He has COPD, so I'm forever just trying to be an example that when/if he is ready, he can do it too. My hope is dwindling on that.

Good to hear you are not overly concerned about the weight gain, that will definitely help to have something to munch on. Sunflower seeds worked well for me on one of my gazillion attempts to quit. Gave me something to do with my hands!

Ps.. stool softeners are your friend in the beginning.
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Old 07-26-2020, 06:13 PM
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I like the concept of working on some healthier oral gratification smoking substitutes. I'll start my list with sunflower seeds! Any other suggestions? I will do a shop before the weekend and make sure I have plenty of treats on hand to keep me going for the first week or so.

I laughed at your PS line Libby. I hadn't even thought that smoking impacts on our digestive system! And wow, it must be hard watching someone with respiratory problems continue to smoke. Addiction really sucks - the things we do to fill our addition despite knowing that it is detrimental to us and those around us .

Five more days of smoking left. My ration is a maximum of nine today. I think this week of cutting a smoke out each day is teaching me a lot about dealing with cravings for a smoke. Making myself wait until the clock ticks over to a 'you can have a smoke' time is giving me practice in distraction techniques that work, and finding out those which don't work very well. Unfortunately, a cold glass of water out on the deck doesn't work well (yet) - too much association with having a smoke with a glass in my hand I think.

TC - I think the World's finest amphicar is a goal that will keep me on track!
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Old 07-26-2020, 07:30 PM
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Frozen grapes! It sounds weird, but they are delicious. Roasted almonds too.I chewed a lot of gum...nicotine and regular and I've never been a gum chewer, but it helped. I didnt let myself replace food with smoking much though because of my messed up brain with eating. Lots of hang ups with some of
us addicts

I see you are sober a couple of months. Quitting smoking is a great decision, but I hope you dont take on too much too fast. If quitting smoking is going to be so hard it makes you want to drink, I would really dial back quitting too many things at once. I learned that lesson the hard way. But some people have great success cutting out all their vices quickly and you sound pretty determined!

TC- I had to google amphicar
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Old 07-27-2020, 04:41 AM
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Thanks again Libby.

I did worry about trying to give up too much at once, hence kept smoking through the early recovery from drinking. I will have been a non-drinker for 12 weeks when I quit the smokes. It is really important to me that I don't let my emotions lead me to drinking, but I can't keep putting off quitting the smokes too. I'm hoping that my plan will be sound enough for quitting smoking, and I think it will be good timing as I'm feeling really good about not drinking.

I like the idea of frozen grapes - I'll add grapes to my shopping list!

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Old 07-27-2020, 06:44 AM
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Sorry I didn't answer your question dear Coz. Re why I don't take care of my self. I am not sure I should write it here....or anywhere.....although it has been in my head for many many years. It is going to sound ridiculous.

The reason is that I don't matter. I am not important. Inconsequential even.

Now I know this isn't true. Intellectually. But otherwise not so much.
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