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Old 03-14-06, 11:58 PM   #1
genericbikedude
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From the recent poll on smoking, I know that a lot of you used to smoke, but quit. I could use your advice:

I have an very unhealthy relationship with nicotine--live an evil ex with a sweet, musty butt that I keep going back to. I've quit several times ranging from a few days to a few months, and when I'm smoking, I'm NEVER thinking that I'll keep smoking indefinatly. Quitting is always on the mental horizon, but never sticks. Lung-butter doesn't persuade, and health concerns seem so abstract and put-offable.

So if you smoked, how did you quit? More importantly, how did you make it stick?
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Old 03-15-06, 12:07 AM   #2
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its easy, and its really, really hard. you just don't smoke anymore. thats what i did. i smoked for ~10 years. at some point i realized that more than the price, more than the health issues, i just hated having the addiction. i hated that i knew i couldn't (or really, wouldn't) go a day, a few hours, whatever, without a cigarette. i hated knowing that every day, with coffee, with beer, on the way to the bus, after every meal, i felt like i had to smoke because that was the addiction. i had tried quitting before, and never been successful. then i just decided i wasn't going to smoke anymore, literally, one day, and i haven't had a single cigarette since, and that was like 8 years ago.

its hard. really hard. its really easy to say to yourself "ok, one more, because i'm tired/bored/annoyed/drinking".

its also easy. you just don't light a cigarette. you don't do it. you don't have to do it.

don't replace the habit with something else. you need to kick the habit. no gum, no patch, no toothpick. you need to decide to not smoke.



the first week is murder. but then two weeks pass and you can say to yourself "wow, i haven't smoked in two weeks!" then a month. then 3, 6, a year. then a few years pass. and to be honest, after all this time i still, STILL say to myself "**** yeah, i don't smoke anymore!"

thats my story.

also, poke around on this site: http://whyquit.com/

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Old 03-15-06, 12:35 AM   #3
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Look at lots of pictures of diseased lungs.

Think about those old people who can't take more than 10 steps without sitting down and taking hits off their O2 tanks. Think about whether or not you want to be able to ride when you're 60. Or live when you're 70.

50% of smokers who don't quit die from smoking.

100% get sick.

think about this **** whenever you want a cigarette. every time you say to yourself, "damn, I want a cigarette," change that into "damn, i want to be a wheezing old man who can't even walk from orange julius to the gap without resting"
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Old 03-15-06, 12:44 AM   #4
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Do something that makes you breathe hard every day. I quit when I was hiking the long trail, but after that it was hills on my bike. Every time I wanted a smoke I thought it would hurt when climbing the next day. Every day my climbing got stronger, and i got my breath back faster. It's a tangible difference I could feel every day, an feel I was accomplishing something.

Whatever it takes for you to get out of breath, do it every day, and as that thing gets easier do it harder. Not only will it give positive reinforcement to quitting, but your lungs will get stronger quicker. Anyway it worked for me, but then in my case it really pissed me off that hills slowed me down.
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Old 03-15-06, 01:10 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mattface
Do something that makes you breathe hard every day. I quit when I was hiking the long trail, but after that it was hills on my bike. Every time I wanted a smoke I thought it would hurt when climbing the next day. Every day my climbing got stronger, and i got my breath back faster. It's a tangible difference I could feel every day, an feel I was accomplishing something.

Whatever it takes for you to get out of breath, do it every day, and as that thing gets easier do it harder. Not only will it give positive reinforcement to quitting, but your lungs will get stronger quicker. Anyway it worked for me, but then in my case it really pissed me off that hills slowed me down.
Nice!! I hiked the LT in 2004!!
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Old 03-15-06, 01:16 AM   #6
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The first week or two of quitting may seem like the hard part, but it hasn't been for me. I find that I don't give up, but I do relapse. I was clearly fighting against something very real in the early days. For me, the first week or two are very active, because I'm fighting the urges so regularly. I have far more trouble a couple of months down the road, when the fighting is all done and it starts to feel passive. I just sort of numbly relapse back into smoking.

I don't know if that's any help, but it's all that I've got.
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Old 03-15-06, 01:31 AM   #7
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I know this will sound really stupid but do the opposite of what you're doing now. When you quit, don't think it's forever or maybe don't think about how its forever. Just think how every day you don't smoke is hard work and how going back to that will ruin the work you've already put it. This also means don't have that 'last' cigarette. you know the one when the sun's setting and you're sitting outside on your porch with a beer or a coffee or something and its great? don't do that. just stop. i don't remember my last one now and i don't care.
it's like all that cheesy addiction stuff on tv is right. "one day at a time"!!!!

good luck.
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Old 03-15-06, 07:08 AM   #8
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I quit for 5 year or so while racing, now I have one if I'm with people, but I don't smoke at work or home or alone. When I went from smoker to non-smoker back then I exercised the cravings away, several times in the first few weeks riding or doing calisthenics until I was ready to pass out. I also stopped smoking anything else and drinking at that time because both will weaken your resolve in a social situation.
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Old 03-15-06, 07:18 AM   #9
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1. pick a time when you're not going to be "extra stressed"; also, avoid situations that will drive you back to cigarettes (i avoided alcohol for several weeks after quitting, because it would make me crave hard)--avoid your triggers as best as possible. pick the time in advance, maybe try to work down to two or three a day. finish your pack and just ****ing don't get another. make this The Time. make a conscious decision-- don't rely on trying to naturally to quit or some stupid ****, because inertia and addiction means you'll naturally want more cigarettes. yes, it will be hard.
2. want to quit. want to bike harder, longer, easier. want to stop getting chest colds because they hold you back from Awesome (or, from good biking).
3. what helped me was moving. i quit when i moved. now, i've never had the habbit of cigarette breaks on my back porch, or leaving my new house, or outside of work, or anywhere in this town for that matter. that's surprisingly helpful.
4. it will be hard. don't buy another pack. every day it will be easier.
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Old 03-15-06, 07:19 AM   #10
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Damn congrats on making the decision. Much respect.

I should probably quit soon
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Old 03-15-06, 07:33 AM   #11
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just remember one cigarette while drunk with your buddies will undo all that hard f#ckin work...

joshr nailed it!

you gotta want to NEVER have another cigarette. quiting is real easy for a little while, it is committing to it that is tough...

i still to this day would LOVE a smoke when i am out with friends drinkin (quit for like 3-4 years) but then i think back to the days of being a smoker and that urge goes away pretty quick.... i feel SOOO much better now than i ever did then.
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Old 03-15-06, 08:09 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChicagoxBoston
Nice!! I hiked the LT in 2004!!
That was the year that I did it. Not the whole trail canada to Madonna that year. Last year I went from Mansfield to Lincoln Gap. It was WAY easier last year even though I did the highest peaks on the trail. It's amazing what a year without cigs'll do for ya.

When were you there in 2004? I went in the beginning of June, North to south, so I didn't see many other hikers which was kinda what I was going for.
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Old 03-15-06, 08:22 AM   #13
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I should probably quit soon
yeh
about that.....

+1
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Old 03-15-06, 08:31 AM   #14
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Its not easy, but it is simple. Just don't do it. One day at a time.

You have to want to quit though.
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Old 03-15-06, 08:37 AM   #15
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Every time I wanted a butt I would just pick up the bike and do a fast set of laps around the block untill I was winded.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:16 AM   #16
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I know a guy who restricted himself to "shorts", that helped him quit. Couldn't bum one, couldn't buy one, if he had to give in it had to be from the ground or an ashtray....ewww, that'll make you think twice
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Old 03-15-06, 09:23 AM   #17
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I quit 6 months ago. Had a relapse after 3 months. Which goes to show it doesn't really leave you completely for a long time. I used the gum but only when I was REALLY jonesing. I found having hard candies around really helped me. I have put on about 15 lbs since I quit (I have been eating everything in sight!) but am confident of losing this extra poundage over the spring/summer. It is true that food tastes better....and I don't get winded nearly as easy on the bike. A buddy of mine kept a jar full of old butts and whenever he was tempted he had a big ole whiff of the butt jar. Worked for him.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:26 AM   #18
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I don't think anyone ever thinks "Hey, why don't I smoke indefinitely? That's a good idea!" Except smartasses who will say sure, when I'm dead, etc. I used to anyway. It just happens.

You can go see the Bodyworks exhibit in Philly or TO and see that most of the preserved bodies that still have their lungs have darkened to black ones.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:26 AM   #19
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oh yeah, another thing that helped me was, six weeks after quitting, i smoked a cigarette. it did not feel like i wanted it to feel, and it really hurt, and i was really winded the next day.

i still want the way a cigarette made me feel, but i can't get that from cigarettes anymore.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:39 AM   #20
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i felt the same way about smoking as OP. my 2 cents. i quit this past jan. after smoking for 10+ years. i'd say a pack a day give or take. i relapsed and smoked for about a week until 3 days ago when i quit again. the key for me was to try again and not give up on quitting. i had to use the patch system to stop in jan., i couldn't handle it without. i'm back on them and feel great after that week. good luck.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:43 AM   #21
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alot of good advice. Try replacing with healthy habits, sounds silly but eat a carrot when you want a cigarette.

Also try breathing excercises when you are craving, practice breathing, exhale as much as you can and inhale as much as you can. After a few minutes, you will feel like you have had a cigarette, but you will have just increased oxygen to your blood and brain, stimulating a similar response.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:57 AM   #22
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I actually quit successfully by continuing to smoke. BUT, not cigarettes. I bought the most vile little cheap cigars, and lit these up whenever the urge hit me. They were so bad, that some kind of negative reinforcement kicked in, and the thought of smoking started to really become disgusting. And, I also chewed nicorette gum. Eventually just quit altogether, but would ever so occasionally allow myself a rolled Drum with a friend. Now I don't even have those. Others have also suggested to do heavy excersice, and I agree. Get on the bike, ride hard, and make your body suffer. Before too long, if your not smoking, you'll start to notice big improvements in lung capacity and performance on the bike.
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Old 03-15-06, 09:58 AM   #23
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ostro, you make a great point about breathing. After all why is inhaling a stimulant (nicotine) along with a bunch of poisons into your lungs considered relaxing? I think a big part of it is because it is a very tangible way to visualize breathing. You make a conscious effort to breath in, and can actually see your breath as you exhale.

Consciously breathing deeply for a few minutes is a widely recognized way to relax when you are stressed out, and smokers do it many times a day. There is no denying the chemical aspect, but taking time to breathe deeply is something smokers do all the time. So now that cigarettes aren't involved, you can still take some time to just breathe.

One of the things I've missed most about smoking is the smoke break. Going outside, and just puffing for a few minutes in the middle of the day to relax. So instead why not take some breathing breaks. Or ya know a nice bike ride which has been mentioned a lot.

I also think exercise is good because aside from the breath benefits, it releases endorphins which I think are a much nicer stimulant than nicotene, or caffeine.

I've got a close friend who is quitting right now. I think I'm going to steal his bike, true the wheels, repack the bearings, adjust the brakes and derailers and try to get him to go on longer rides with me as soon a the weather is nice enough to tempt him out.

If all goes according to plan not only will it help him, but I might gain a riding buddy.
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Old 03-15-06, 11:07 AM   #24
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I friend of mine quit smoking by smoking. he took a week off from work, and everytime he wanted a cig, he smoked a green cig. He went through quite a bit of cash doing it this way, but he ended up quitting, as nicotine is water soluable and the other is lipid soluable, the cravings for a cig were almost negated because he was always too "lazy" to go to the store. He hasn't smoked a cig for about 2 years now.
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Old 03-15-06, 11:31 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by abeyance
I friend of mine quit smoking by smoking. he took a week off from work, and everytime he wanted a cig, he smoked a green cig. He went through quite a bit of cash doing it this way, but he ended up quitting, as nicotine is water soluable and the other is lipid soluable, the cravings for a cig were almost negated because he was always too "lazy" to go to the store. He hasn't smoked a cig for about 2 years now.
wait a minute, who are you and how do you know me?

really though, it was a combination of factors for me. I was up late drinking in college and somehow the words "i'm quitting" came out of my mouth to which my friends said "yeah, we've heard that before." I replied "not from me. The plan is this: I cannot buy a pack for the next 3 days after which the only nicotine i get comes through a spliffy." Now for this plan to work you'd have to be something like me (like half the reason i stuck with it initially was a pride thing where i said i wasn't going to go back and i felt like i'd look quite foolish if i did at that point despite no one thinking i could go from 1 and a half packs a day for 7 years to a few spliffs a day) I eventually (like 2 weeks) didn't feel a dependency on the spliffs (i never used too much tobacco in those anyway) and while i still to this day (2 and 1/2 years later) get some nicotine through spliffs, its the only way my body gets it and its no where near the same and i easily go off the regimen at any time for weeks or months at a time.
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