Keeping it Small and Simple

2008.03.30

I need to quit smoking

Filed under: Health — Tags: , , , — Lorenzo E. Danielsson @ 23:14

Dear reader:

I need your help. I need to do two things: cut down on coffee and quit smoking. I think I can manage the first one, but I keep failing on the second.

I’ve been smoking for nearly twenty years now. During that time I’ve managed to quit a few times, but always fallen back after a while. There have been periods where I’ve smoked just a few per day. Now I’m at roughly a pack a day. I began smoking for one reason and one reason only: to piss my parents off. Not party smoking, no peer pressure, just to piss them off.

I find that the biggest problem for me is the situations that I “connect” with smoking. Like taking a cup of coffee. The two just combine so well. As do cigarettes and beer. Or while waiting for somebody. Or when I’m programming and get stuck. At all these times I “instinctively” reach for a cigarette.

The one time I managed to lay off the smokes for any extended period I did so after seeing some rather gory pictures of a smoker’s lungs. That worked wonderfully well for a while. But eventually the fear wore off and I was back to my old habit. I also tried meditating, which did have some positive effects. Right now my life is so full of distractions that I don’t know where or when I would be able to meditate.

So, I’m open for all kinds of tips, because nothing I’ve tried up to now seems to do the trick. Did you kick the habit? How? Did you stop all at once or cut down gradually. How did you cope when you felt like climbing the walls like Spiderman? How did you manage not to turn every single friend into an enemy?

By the way, please, please, please, do not take the opportunity to try to cram religion down my throat. That will make me smoke more, not less.

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7 Comments »

  1. I heard the average person tries 4 times…that is how many times it took me. I learned something every time, I can’t smoke ever again! I started on cigars once (8 or 12 cigars a day, and my addiction told me I don’t smoke cigarettes) another time, marijuana at least 20 a day. another time I was at a very low point, I needed one…then a pack, then 5 more years of smoking. point is…No more smoke in my lungs of any kind. DO NOT negotiate with your addiction. Over 4 years now, at parties, divorce, depression even in my sleep my addiction wants to help….I sometimes dream that I started again and in the dream I’ve accepted that I’m a smoker again. But when I wake I’m not craving it, thats addiction, its not going to go away… You have the most important thing going for you…You want to quit, you’ve done it before, remember how you started again and don’t do it. Forgive yourself…quitting has been a source of pride, self esteem. In conclusion, never,ever put smoke in you again, your addiction is saying “some time in the future you can have one” fight it, say you can never have one again…ever. I can tell you how I eased my way through it the last time if it will help… you have the desire, chaarrllie@hotmail.com

    Comment by charlie — 2008.03.31 @ 14:13

  2. Hm.. I think you just hit something important there. I punish myself each time I fail. And of course anytime I punish myself I need a smoke to calm myself down. There we go, again.

    I never had any problem letting go of the marijuana myself. Not that I smoked all that much, but still. I just made my mind up one day and that was it. No desire, no craving. With cigarette’s the minute I tell myself “this is it” the craving starts.

    Comment by Lorenzo E. Danielsson — 2008.03.31 @ 14:27

  3. Giving up smoking dope was easy for me too, I took up championship drinking haha…You talk about the “instinctive” smokes… actually they call them “habit smokes” I called them another addiction. My plan, (along with my quitting experience) went like this…2 addictions, physical,(nicotine)and habitual (with beer, coffee, after food, commercials) The habit smokes were really hard to give up, even harder than the physical addiction of nicotine. through-out my life of smoking it occured to me that when I was busy I forgot about smoking, also if you are having something good to eat or sweet you don’t smoke. To deal with my physical addiction I weaned myself off gradually over a period of 12 weeks, using the patch. The pamphlet in the book was my bible, check it out… I’m a pussy, I didn’t want to suffer much, thus the weaning. No cheating, 12 full weeks, at the end you are a non-smoker. Thats the easy part… Now the habit smokes…Plan to keep busy, It keeps your mind off lighting-up. Change things, get up and get busy, do not allow yourself time to sit down, (your addiction sits down with you and talks to you) inevitably you will find yourself in the position of the “habit smoke” I kept lots of hard candy in my pocket and put one in my mouth instead of a smoke. Psychologists say it only takes 6 weeks to change a habit. keep your hands busy doing something, keep your mouth busy, (candy or suckers) keep your mind busy (don’t let mr.addiction talk to you) Change other things too, get up and eat and drink tea in the morning you will be better off, do not sit around, make plans.April, May, June, done forever, no magic pill,just a plan… by the way, almost 50% of the people quit on the patch if they finish the program. read the pamphlet in the box…I bet your addiction sends the next message…

    Comment by charlie — 2008.03.31 @ 15:23

  4. I had been smoking for around seven years (since I was 17), and getting to the point of 1½ pack a day, when I decided to quit. I tried once, lasted for three days and went back. The important thing is that I didn’t punish myself for not holding out, and I definitely didn’t quit on quitting itself.
    About a week later I woke up and realised I could really quit smoking *today*. I guess I just really psyched myself over the course of a month or so, and it just clicked that one day.

    I managed to stay smoke-free for around a week, but then I started getting those “habit smoke” cravings. With coffee, before class and so on. Fortunately, I happened to stumble upon whyquit.com, some kind of motivational guy’s website. It really, really helped me — gave my mind the necessary “rational ammo” to fight of the cravings.
    Just skim an article or two and see what you think — ignore the ugly layout 😉
    I don’t mean to sound like some cheap testimonial, but today is the 2nd anniversary of my quitting and I feel great.

    Best of luck

    Comment by Przem — 2008.04.02 @ 09:56

  5. @Przem: thanks. will check out the site.

    Wow, two years without smoking. That is an achievement. Congrats!

    Comment by Lorenzo E. Danielsson — 2008.04.02 @ 10:25

  6. Good. Some of us are waiting for the day when u can confidently say u’ve gotten rid of smoking. Don’t worry, you are not scaring us away with it. Just waiting for the day we can throw a “quitting party” for you. So give it all you’ve got and search high and low. U just might find the right solution and motivation to quit completely this time. Ciao.

    Comment by Edem Morny — 2008.04.02 @ 13:04

  7. @Edem: I think I just did, whyquit.com. I’m going cold turkey.

    Comment by Lorenzo E. Danielsson — 2008.04.02 @ 15:14


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