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  1. #1
    RIP Shiznaz. DoshKel's Avatar
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    Quitting smoking.

    I thought this might be the best place to ask, so I need some tips on quitting smoking. Tired the gum and patches, and when the whole step program is done, I am still wanting to smoke. Is it more of just a, "I want and have to stop, so I just have to deal with the **** that comes from quitting", or is there something that can really help? Anyone that has quit after smoking a lot everyday (8 years at a pack and a half a day) have any insight?

    I want to quit bad, but everytime I try I always end up smoking again.

  2. #2
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    I was a chewer for 15-20 years. At one point, I was up to a can of Copenhagen a day. That's roughly the equivlaent amount of nicotine as three packs of cigarettes.

    I tried the gum and the patches several times. I tried cold turkey a bunch of times. I tried to slowly cut back. I tried accupuncture. None of it worked.

    When I was finally ready to quit...absolutely sick and tired of being a slave, I just put it down. I told myself that the craving would go away if I chewed, but it would also go away if I just waited it out. Guess what? It did. After a few days of that, I haven't had much of a desire to go back. What was different this time? Two things. First, I was truly ready to quit. No part of me wanted to continue using tobacco. Second, I have something spiritual in my life now that I never had previously. Your mileage may vary.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
    RIP Shiznaz. DoshKel's Avatar
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    Thats what everyone is telling. Just quit when you are ready. Which is awesome advice and I thank you, but what if i'm never ready to quit? I feel like i'm "wanting" to quit because it is 1) people say not to smoke, and 2) because it makes my cycling really ****ty. But I don't feel like I really want to quit because it hurts me down to the core that I am wasting money, fitness and my life on this ****. I just can't feel completely destroyed by the fact that I am a slave. It sucks.

  4. #4
    Member Dakota's Avatar
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    I quit nearly 10 years ago. Like everyone else, I tried several times before I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    What worked for me was this. I just looked at the moment. I refused to have that one cigarette that will inevitably drag my butt back into the vicious cycle all over again. No way, no how was I going to have that single smoke. I didn't quit a two pack a day habit. I just quit having that one cigarette.

    One day turned into one week, now I had an investment, and by god no way was I going to make myself go through that again. When the going got real hard, I just Googled "lung cancer".

    You have to want to quit. Until then, it's all BS.
    Trek 7.3 FX, then I got real,
    2006 LeMond Alpe d'Huez.
    But then that got stolen, so I upgraded to a
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  5. #5
    Senior Member dauphin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dakota
    I quit nearly 10 years ago. Like everyone else, I tried several times before I got sick and tired of being sick and tired.

    What worked for me was this. I just looked at the moment. I refused to have that one cigarette that will inevitably drag my butt back into the vicious cycle all over again. No way, no how was I going to have that single smoke. I didn't quit a two pack a day habit. I just quit having that one cigarette.

    One day turned into one week, now I had an investment, and by god no way was I going to make myself go through that again. When the going got real hard, I just Googled "lung cancer".

    You have to want to quit. Until then, it's all BS.
    +1

  6. #6
    New! With Self Loathing! scottmorrison99's Avatar
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    Patch alone just made me a real pain to be around. People were asking me to start smoking again.Cold turkey didn't work. I used the patch in combination with the pill. Cravings were next to nil, and a month later they were gone. Two years and no backsliding. Good luck.

  7. #7
    HWS
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    Cold turkey is the way to go. Forget the patches, gums and all that BS. The nicotine is gone from your body after 72 hours if you go cold turkey. Those things just prolong the agony.
    You have to learn to replace the cravings and learn to deal with them. Deep breaths and lots of water helped me. After 2 weeks or so, the cravings start to go away and by 6 months, they are almost non-existant.

    I smoked a pack a day for 27 years, and quit for the last time 2 years ago.

  8. #8
    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    Everytime you want a cigarette, wait one minute. Sure you can do it! Every minute counts as a victory. Soon the minute becomes two, then ten, then in a few weeks you'll notice that you have extra money. In a year you could buy yourself a new bike!

    One minute at a time.

  9. #9
    Throw the stick!!!! LowCel's Avatar
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    I went from smoking three packs a day (smoked eight years) to smoking zero packs a day in one day. What helped me the most was not taking my cigarettes with me "just in case" like I had done on all of my previous attempts. I quit cold turkey with the help of cinnamon toothpics. Everytime I wanted a cigarette I grabbed a toothpic. By the time I considered myself a non-smoker I had pretty much burned off all of my toothpics. Now I can't stand even walking past a smoker.

    If you aren't serious about wanting to quit it just isn't going to happen. You have to want it for yourself, not for anyone else.
    I may be fat but I'm slow enough to make up for it.

  10. #10
    Solo Rider, always DFL
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    I am still a smoker now, but the only time I've quit for any substantial period of time (almost two years without a cigarette) was when I did it cold turkey.

    The gum, the Zyban, the inhaler, all didn't really do it for me. As everyone says, you just have to want to stop at some point. I've set my date for this fall, and am scared as hell of it.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DoshKel
    I thought this might be the best place to ask, so I need some tips on quitting smoking. Tired the gum and patches, and when the whole step program is done, I am still wanting to smoke. Is it more of just a, "I want and have to stop, so I just have to deal with the **** that comes from quitting", or is there something that can really help? Anyone that has quit after smoking a lot everyday (8 years at a pack and a half a day) have any insight?

    I want to quit bad, but everytime I try I always end up smoking again.

    When I stopped smoking I did it cold turkey, and I picked the weekend getaway with the boys to do it. This was supposed to be the hardest time to quit because we drank like fish on these getaways. The trick that worked for me was sort of in the semantics. All my life I was told that if you "quit" anything you lose (quitters never win and winners never quit). So instead of "quitting" I told myself that I was not a smoker, or that I do not smoke, so why would I smoke if I did not in the first place. I also made sure that I did not tell a soul of my plan. I did not want to deal with the guilt of falling of the wagon, which in the end would drive me to smoke because of the added stress, that it would add to staying on the wagon. Plus non-smokers do not tell people that they are trying to quit smoking because they do not smoke to begin with. They will tell people simply that they do not smoke.

    For me it was a case of getting in the mindset of a non-smoker. It worked for me, and it was easy. Of course this is my experience and I am not saying it is the best way for everyone, but it worked very well for me. I see it like trying to loose weight. If you go on a diet to loose fat and reach your goal, then go back to your old eating habits you accomplish nothing, but if you make a lifestyle change then you need to do nothing after your weight loss to continue on your healthy ways.

  12. #12
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Get a bad cold, and when it is over keep not smoking. It gave me a good jumpstart!

    I agree with folks saying go cold turkey. There is no way to make quitting smoking a pleasurable experience. The patch just prolonged the misery, gave me nightmares, and when it was done I still wanted a smoke. I sucked on Dum-Dums & licorice for a month. I avoided alcohol and bars for one month and refused to fall for the "you can have one" impulse. No you can't.

    Finally, ride your bike like a demon. Excercise does help.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Pedal Wench's Avatar
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    I gave myself a month to eat whatever I wanted to get me through the cravings. Twizzlers and shredded wheat did the trick. I avoided situations where I would want one (bars) and increased exercise so that I really wouldn't want one anyway.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HWS
    Cold turkey is the way to go. Forget the patches, gums and all that BS. The nicotine is gone from your body after 72 hours if you go cold turkey. Those things just prolong the agony.
    You have to learn to replace the cravings and learn to deal with them. Deep breaths and lots of water helped me. After 2 weeks or so, the cravings start to go away and by 6 months, they are almost non-existant.

    I smoked a pack a day for 27 years, and quit for the last time 2 years ago.
    +1, although I didn't feel "normal" for about a month and the craving decreases because the habit and the association you built up over time is broken like eating - smoking - drinking -smoking etc.... I only have a craving when I watch people smoke in old movies.... just have to remind yourself how much of a pain it was to quit when you get the cravings... so by all means try to quit as many times as you can.

  15. #15
    Old Enough to Know Better WalterMitty's Avatar
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    Cold turkey didn't work for me. I smoked a lot for years. Started a few at a time when I was 9-10, got to smoking seriously in the Army. Smoked through college and 5-6 years beyond graduation.

    For me, smokerism is like alcoholism. Once you are one you always will be one. I haven't had a smoke in over 15 years, but if my doctor told me I had 6 months to live I would smoke them two at a time till the day I died.

    The way I quit (the last three times) was to put off my first smoke of the day till later and later in the day. I reasoned that I didn't have to get up at night to smoke due to cravings, so I should be able to put off that first cigarette 15 more minutes. Once I met the goal, I could smoke all I wanted for the rest of the day.

    So one day, instead of lighting up as soon as my feet hit the floor, I waited until after my shower; then till I got to the car to drive to work, then till I got to work, then till first break, then till after lunch, etc. One day I woke up, had a day without a cigarette, then tried to do it again.

    I fell off the wagon more than once. After a few weeks or months I would think "hey, I've got this thing beat. I think I'll have *just one*".

    Then I would start over.

    That whole cigar smoking fad almost sucked me in (pardon the pun ) but I'm still doing OK. The dreams have almost completely stopped, but there are times, man, when a good adult beverage and a smoke would sure be good!

    Just remember, you're all you got, and there ain't gonna be any upgrades or new models in your future. You'll get enough wear and tear just living a full life, so there's no sense in tearing up the equipment just for the fun of smokey burnouts (another pun?). If I could control it I would have an occasional smoke, and some people can do that, but I can't, so I don't.

    Good luck, and try again tomorrow.

  16. #16
    <>< SoonerBent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by random97402guy
    I was a chewer for 15-20 years. At one point, I was up to a can of Copenhagen a day. That's roughly the equivlaent amount of nicotine as three packs of cigarettes.

    I tried the gum and the patches several times. I tried cold turkey a bunch of times. I tried to slowly cut back. I tried accupuncture. None of it worked.

    When I was finally ready to quit...absolutely sick and tired of being a slave, I just put it down. I told myself that the craving would go away if I chewed, but it would also go away if I just waited it out. Guess what? It did. After a few days of that, I haven't had much of a desire to go back. What was different this time? Two things. First, I was truly ready to quit. No part of me wanted to continue using tobacco. Second, I have something spiritual in my life now that I never had previously. Your mileage may vary.

    Good luck.
    Sounds just like me except it was Skoal. It was simply a matter of wanting to quit bad enough. The only time I had a real problem after a week or so was when I drank beer. The two just went together. So I would make sure if I had beer there was no Skoal anywhere around.

    SB

  17. #17
    barkin' at the moon doglhunt's Avatar
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    I quit 17 months ago.Used the patches for about 6 weeks and,contrary to what some are saying,they helped.The patches only took the edge off though.I tried and failed several times in the past and only succeeded when I wanted to quit worse than I wanted to smoke.It was a real B#####.I started riding when I quit.The first ride was about 4 miles and I felt like calling 911 when i got done.That was in March and by about Sep. I could do 40 mi. in a day.I'm hoping to ride a century next month.I'm 42 and can look at some folks i know that are 52 and see some whose health is permanently ruined by smoking.I didn't want live like that.I wanna be the guy who takes a 6mo. bike tour in his 70's.

  18. #18
    Immoderator KrisPistofferson's Avatar
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    Cold turkey + running. That's it. Prepare to lose weight.

  19. #19
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    The way I did it was slow - the cold turkey didn't work for me. The process was in a large part mental, that is, you have to want to quit. So what do you do? Chart out how much money it costs you per year (probably a new bike, maybe more). Read up on how smoking affects you (all the chemicals, aldehydes and such). Ask yourself if you enjoy coughing up Titleist-size goobers in the sink every morning, or if you like getting winded going up a flight of stairs.

    Once you re-orient your mind, it's not so hard. And again, I did it slowly. If you smoke a pack a day, aim for one less. Then gradually cut back. When you're doing 15 a day, cut back to 14, and so on. Recognize the times you want a smoke - with coffee, after a meal, etc., and see if you can go a few more minutes before you light up. Like cycling - one day you do 20 miles, the next 21.

    When you get to the point where you're smoking just one or two a day, then it's a matter of "Why am I still doing this?" You'll have cravings for a month or two after that, but if you substitute something for a smoke, say, do 20 pushups, and maintain your attitude that you want to quit to get healthier, it's not so hard.

    Also, tell everyone you know that you're quitting. Once you make it public, it's a bit easier mentally.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Jarery's Avatar
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    30 years of a pack a day.
    Cold turkey was the ONLY way it worked for me.

    Takes 3 days for your body to clear iteself of nicotine.
    If your addicted to it, it takes 1 teeny tiny bit in your system, for your body to know its there and demand a full recharge of it.
    Thats why patches and gum dont work for squat, they keep adding a bit to your system, which means your body constantly wants a complete refill.

    Go cold turkey, 3 days later your done. After that its just habit that needs breaking, the chemical addiction is actually broken. But take 1 puff, 1 gum, 1 anything that adds some back into your system and.........
    Jarery

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    -If two bikes are going in the same direction, ITS A RACE!

  21. #21
    rlk
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    As others have been saying, cold turkey is the best way; see: http://www.whyquit.com for the finer points of why, but yeah, in 72 hours, your body will be nicotine free (nicotine is a pesticide, BTW), and your brain will be well on its way to re-wiring to its previous non-smoking network (when it didn't have to deal with the pesticide cruising your bloodstream). Oh, sure, it's tough, there's no getting around that, but if you just soldier through it (distract yourself with new activities, etc.) for the first couple of weeks, your investment in your new self becomes priceless...

    I quit on May 28th of this year, after 24 years, smoking around a pack a day. I had a doctor tell me that one can pretty much get away with smoking for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years, but after that, it's like walking closer, and closer to the edge of a cliff. I've not smoked 1,718 cigarettes since then, and have saved $429 - this is only after 73 days; not to mention all of the other benifits:

    Better tasting food/drink
    Better sense of smell
    My clothes/hair don't smell like sheet
    Better cardiovascular system (bloodflow, baby, bloodflow!
    No need to stop on the way home to buy smokes ($5.50/pack)
    [...the list is truly endless.]

  22. #22
    Senior Member barba's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rlk
    As others have been saying, cold turkey is the best way; see: http://www.whyquit.com for the finer points of why, but yeah, in 72 hours, your body will be nicotine free (nicotine is a pesticide, BTW), and your brain will be well on its way to re-wiring to its previous non-smoking network (when it didn't have to deal with the pesticide cruising your bloodstream). Oh, sure, it's tough, there's no getting around that, but if you just soldier through it (distract yourself with new activities, etc.) for the first couple of weeks, your investment in your new self becomes priceless...

    I quit on May 28th of this year, after 24 years, smoking around a pack a day. I had a doctor tell me that one can pretty much get away with smoking for somewhere in the neighborhood of 20 years, but after that, it's like walking closer, and closer to the edge of a cliff. I've not smoked 1,718 cigarettes since then, and have saved $429 - this is only after 73 days; not to mention all of the other benifits:

    Better tasting food/drink
    Better sense of smell
    My clothes/hair don't smell like sheet
    Better cardiovascular system (bloodflow, baby, bloodflow!
    No need to stop on the way home to buy smokes ($5.50/pack)
    [...the list is truly endless.]
    Watch out though. The first three days are the bad physical withdraw. That sucked, but I could recognize the cravings for what they were. It was around the two month mark, when I was confident I had it whipped, my brain started playing tricks on me., "You have done so well not smoking, you deserve a reward", it said. But what? "A cigarette" my brain replied, and it sounded reasonable as odd as it may seem. For some reason, those impulses were the hardes to resist.

    Two years after quitting, I still have not had a single cigarette. I feel great about it, but about once a month I still have a dream about smoking.

  23. #23
    Senior Member cheg's Avatar
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    I smoked hand rolled cigarettes for about 15 years and ready rolls for a few years after that, probably a pack a day. It took me several years to quit. I used the pills which made cigarettes taste bad but I always ended up smoking anyway after a month or two. Boredom while on business trips was my biggest reason to restart.

    What finally worked was to change my routine by starting to walk outside every day for a half hour at lunch time. That gave me something else to focus on when I felt like smoking. Part of the attraction of smoking at work is getting to go outside periodically. When you're quitting the urge to smoke is strong but it doesn't last. You need a way to get through that 2 minute period every hour or two. It does get easier.

    I've been off for about 4 years now and I think about it very rarely. 2nd hand smoke gives me a nostalgic feeling but it's not a problem.
    Last edited by cheg; 08-09-06 at 08:38 PM.

  24. #24
    \||||||/ ZachS's Avatar
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    try to associate nasty images of what WILL INEVITABLY HAPPEN TO YOU IF YOU KEEP SMOKING with cigarettes -

    -walking slowly down the sidewalk dragging an oxygen tank while people ride their bikes by you
    -lying in a hospital bed, mouth full of tubes, in incredible pain from the cancer destroying your lungs
    -etc.

  25. #25
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    I smoked a pack + aday for 12 years. I am in the Army, and everyone around me smokes in my face constantly. I love smoking, I love everything about it, but I want to be able to breathe when I'm old, I can't imagine being a weak, old man because I smoked and drank too much, so I quit, and I'm not so much of a sissy that an inanimate object can make me do things I don't want to. My commander and wife do that enough, so I'm just not gonna let cigs and whiskey do it.

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