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Old 04-08-02, 06:05 AM   #1
goodcatjack
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sense of smell after quitting smoking

hey all,

first off, just wanted to say how much I've enjoyed coming here after I recently picked up bicycling -- I've learned an amazing amount from you guys. also, it's refreshing to find a forum that's not so contentious or politicised.

anyhow, I've also recently quit smoking (again) but hope to keep up with it more diligently now that I find myself really getting into this whole riding thing (I commute to work, now, for instance.) the point is, this morning I found myself on the road wondering where in the hell all the people were. I mean, I knew they were around somewhere but I couldn't see anybody; turns out I could smell all the scents coming out of people's houses as they left in the morning. very unsettling; I realised it after noting a particularly specific blast, watching someone walk to her car. I had no idea what I'd been doing to myself.

it's in the other people on the road, as well. you know that wake of air that people leave behind them as they pass you? amazing to find now that I can sense it so well now, like the olfactory equivalent of that elongated tear drop shape of a boat wake. I have to say it again: I really had no idea what kind of damage I've been doing to myself. It's just so tough to say no to a cig while out having drinks with friends ...

-alex
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Old 04-08-02, 09:10 AM   #2
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I smoked a pipe for about 45 years untill a year ago. That really covers smells. In fact one reason I smoked it was so I couldn't smell cigs. Some of the smells are good though. Welcome to bikes and the form.
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Old 04-08-02, 09:31 AM   #3
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Howdy,

I quit smoking about 10 years ago and it was the hardest thing I have ever done, but stick with it. You can do it if you are stubborn enough.

good luck !!!
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Old 04-08-02, 10:01 AM   #4
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Ever since I stopped, I noticed that now I really am sensitive to the smell of cigarette smoke! It's not that I'm a prude about it- my attitude is live and let live, if people want to smoke it's their business. But if I go to a restaurant or a party wher people smoke, when I get home i really can smell the smoke on my clothes. If I have a sweater that smells of smoke it really stinks up the closet, so I wash it before putting it away. And also, I don't really like breathing in lots of second hand smoke- not so much because I'm anti smoking, but if in case want to go for a ride or to the gym the next day!
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Old 04-08-02, 10:02 AM   #5
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I was a snoose user and it was tough to quit. Nicotine is one of the hardest drugs to quit and it's an ADDICTION, not a habit. Your body will go through a long, protracted withdrawal.

Stick with it and keep up with the lifestyle change. If you change how you go about life, your chances of success will improve a great deal.
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Old 04-08-02, 10:08 AM   #6
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Food also likely seems to taste better; I quit smoking, and in addition to cycling, I discovered a love for a whole range of healthy foods that tasted too bland before.

Things like bell peppers, red potatoes, and morel mushrooms have such a rich depth of flavor that a smoker just can't enjoy, and I'm sure that it's even more so for wines. The best foods aren't the ones packed with fat to make them "flavorful"; they're the foods that have a comedy of tastes that dances upon the edge of the tongue.

(Disclaimer: I stopped smoking when I started cycling, and also got into wines and cooking. I'd say I got a good deal; stop smoking, lose weight, eat well...)
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Old 04-08-02, 12:23 PM   #7
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I can get into an elevator with someone and tell immediately that they are a smoker. I used to smell like that?

Like Wabbit, I try not to be a self-righteous ex-smoker, and I'll even eat at a table with a smoker in the smoking section of a restaurant. I just like it better when I can get away from the smell. (And you can't pretend it's a good smell, either.)
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Old 04-08-02, 02:08 PM   #8
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The smell is the only downside to going to the pub. It clings to your clothes, and there's nothing to do except wash everything. I was an occasional smoker until someone gave me a choice between kissing them and smoking. Not a difficult decision. Tells you which addiction was stronger!!

Good luck!

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Old 04-08-02, 07:41 PM   #9
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That's something else- i can tell someone is a smoker. If they sit next to me on the bus I can smel lit on their clothes. If you don't have smoke in your own house, it's really noticeable- it clings to everything. I probably didn't smell that bad because I was never a heavy smoker. I was actually a pretty minimal smoker, so my house didn't reek with a heavy cloud of smoke. But I'm glad it isn't in my hair or the curtains or clothes, because it's really ISN'T a good smell.
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Old 04-08-02, 08:52 PM   #10
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There nothing nicer then the smell of perfume coming from a cute blonde's car as she races past and pulls in front. My nose is so sensitive I can sometimes smell the perfume. Too bad the sensation doesn't last as it gets eaten up by exhaust smoke.

CHEERS.

Mark
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Old 04-08-02, 08:56 PM   #11
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Hey Goodcatjack! Way to go kickin' the butts! I quit about 7 years ago. Hardest thing I have EVER done. I used the patch and at 2nd attempt made it. Yeah, the smell factor is amazing. I smell things ... I sniff things like an animal at times even! ha! My cats think I'm one of them I think. Anyhow...have you gotten your taste back yet? That's wonderful too! And talk about lung power...I could not be working out like I am now if I were still smoking. There are times even now a cig smells good....but then again, sometimes I get a whif of a heavy smoker like in the grocery store as they pass me... P-U!!! I know I must have reaked of that stale smell when I smoked.
Stick with it!
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Old 04-09-02, 11:25 AM   #12
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Congratulations on quitting! It's an investment in your future health that you just can't put a value on. I quit last September cold turkey, and my lung volume felt like it tripled in less than a month. The only downside is that I now know just how bad the average car smells.
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Old 04-09-02, 11:34 AM   #13
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I think one of the reasons people have trouble quitting is because the benefits aren't immediate. You don't feel great right away, you don't suddenly feel like a non-smoker. In fact, I remember feeling horrible for about a week; I had trouble sleeping, and a terrible phlegmy cough that lasted for two weeks, and feeling like I was getting the flu. Apparently that's common. But you do notice a difference in your lung capacity after just a couple of days. The rest of the benefits take a while longer.
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Old 04-09-02, 01:02 PM   #14
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thanks for all the support, guys!
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Old 04-10-02, 12:01 AM   #15
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Yep, I remember the hack. It started about 3 days after I quit smoking and lasted for a few weeks. I guess it takes a while to remove 10 years worth of cigarette tar.

My lung function improved noticably for several months after I quit smoking (bicycling takes partial credit for that, I'm sure).
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Old 04-10-02, 10:12 AM   #16
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The hack is really caused by all those cells and little hairs, called cilia, growing back. In fact, it was worse than any smoker's hack because I never really had a smoker's hack, not being a big smoker. It felt like I had a chest cold! It actually takes a long time for that to totally go away. Actually, the worst part in the first few days was sleeping so restlessly- I kept twitching and waking up. I called it "dogmares" because it was kind of like dogs twitching in their sleep.
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Old 04-10-02, 11:03 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally posted by wabbit
The hack is really caused by all those cells and little hairs, called cilia, growing back. In fact, it was worse than any smoker's hack because I never really had a smoker's hack, not being a big smoker. It felt like I had a chest cold! It actually takes a long time for that to totally go away. Actually, the worst part in the first few days was sleeping so restlessly- I kept twitching and waking up. I called it "dogmares" because it was kind of like dogs twitching in their sleep.
Man, it sounds like heroin withdrawls from a 1950's psycho ward movie.
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Old 04-10-02, 05:12 PM   #18
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LOL... yes, but there's no methadone for smoking. Actually, smoking is as addictive as heroin, the difference is that smoking is legal and acceptable. You don't have to hide out somewhere, you can light up any time (except in no smoking areas of course). A lot of the withdrawal symptoms are quite unpleasant, but really, nowhere near as bad as heroin or even alcohol. For me, having dogmares and not sleeping well was about as bad as it got.
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Old 04-10-02, 07:06 PM   #19
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Nicotine get 9 out of 10 people addicted to it, heroin only does like 1 in 8. Nicotine also kills about 450,000 people per year while heroin only kills a few thousand and that's mostly because it's illegal and has no quality control. Nicotine is the true heavy-weight of the drug world.

Quit no matter what, it's worth all the crap to do it.
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