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Old 01-19-12, 12:10 AM   #1
humansaretrash
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Anyone used to smoke?

And if so, once you quit, how big of a difference did you notice?

I guess this is me looking for more motivation to quit myself.

Nevertheless.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:41 AM   #2
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A LOT. I switched to ecigs about six months ago after 13 years of smoking 1/2 - 1 packs a day.

I thought I was "fine," as I ride and run a least 3 - 4 times a week (March - November). Quitting was the best thing I've every done for my body and training.
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Old 01-19-12, 01:45 AM   #3
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Agreed. Even though my lungs will never be the same again. I smoked about the same and quit in mid 2007. There IS a big difference, not only in terms of performance on the bike, but quality of life in general.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:02 AM   #4
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I think you really have to want to quit or you will not succeed. I smoked for 25 years and half hearted tried to quit for a number of years, but really wasn't ready. Once I made the conscious decision to quit I just quit, no patch, ecig, hypnosis-nothing. I am now on my 7th year and feel absolutly fantastic physically. I haven't had a nagging cough, I don't get winded, I don't stink to high heaven and when I get sick it doesn't seem to last as long. I can't tell you how glad I am that I quit and now lead a healthy life, but wish I'd of done it earlier in my life. Good luck
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Old 01-19-12, 08:25 AM   #5
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I used to smoke

I smoked a pack and a half of Marlboro Reds every day for twenty three years. I can honestly say quitting was the best thing I have ever done for myself. If I had known how much better I would feel as a non-smoker I would have tried to quit many years sooner.

My doctor suggested wellbutrin as a way to relieve cravings and reduce the reward of nicotine. It worked great for me but I was under prepared for the behavioral component of quitting. In other words, I didn't realize how much I used smoking as a relaxation technique or how conditioned I was to light up automatically at certain times of the day or in response to stress or other stimulus.

I, like many others, initially substituted candy for the butts. I gained a few pounds but with my renewed lung capacity found that simple physical exertion was no longer impossible but was actually enjoyable. The pounds came off, my lungs don't wheeze any more and my wife is no longer repulsed by my stink ( except after a bike ride).

There is life after cigarettes! Quitting isn't always easy and there is no shame in multiple attempts, just keep trying different things until you find what works for you. Failure only comes when we stop trying.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:31 AM   #6
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I smoke about a pack a day, and have tried quitting about 5 half hearted times. I went about a day at the best, and I totally got the habitual thing mileslong was talking about. It seems EVERYTHING I ever do is in some way correlated to smoking. But after the one day I quit, I noticed my commute was SOOO much easier, and that came in handy because there are so many hills where I live.

I just need to try harder I guess.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:46 AM   #7
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I quit a 40+ year habit about 5 years ago gradually over a few months of working my way down from store bought smokes to hand made and eventually to none. Sometimes I still want one, but I never actually do it. The hardest part was having to face the problem alone, which eventually what every smoker has to do. I won't elaborate on the benefits because others will, but primarily it's all about survival, so just persevere and keep working away at it until it's gone. You'll be glad you did.
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Old 01-19-12, 09:06 AM   #8
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I smoked during two periods of my life. The first was when I was in the military, and I continued to smoke once I was set free. When I returned to California I began doing a lot of rock climbing and mountaineering in addition to cycling and I would often take a break on a climb to have a cigarette while waiting for my climbing partners. One day I realized that if I was out climbing then while I was still smoking, that I would be even better if I quit. I remember the day I quit. I was 2/3 the way up a climb in Joshua Tree when I finished my cigarette and then crush the remainder of the pack and dropped it to the base. Didn't smoke again for 25 years and my health improved dramatically.

I started again when my wife died of lung cancer after years of smoking cloves. I missed her so badly and hated life so much that I just wanted to die as quickly as possible. Six years later I had come to terms with her passing and I quit one afternoon while having lunch at Mandalay Bay. I saw a guy at the bar pull out an empty pack of Marlboro with a disgusted look on his face and I tossed him mine. When he went to pass it back I found myself respondind "No thanks, I just quit", and my health improved dramatically.

I will never smoke again. Quitting is not about a long drawn out process, its about deciding not to smoke any more.
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Old 01-19-12, 09:41 AM   #9
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Used to smoke for a decade... Chain smoking 2-3 packs a day. My lung capacity became pathetic... from holding breath under water for 3 minutes to something like 40 seconds... my car stank... my office stank... I stank... I was out of energy... Couldn't go half an hour without a cig...
Three years ago, when the price of a pack went around $4 mark, it suddenly hit me. I was spending $300-400 a month just on cigarette while killing myself. I just looked at the full pack I just opened up and went... NO.
I did go through couple of weeks of coughing, sneezing, spitting things out of my throat. About a month and half of transformation of my body took place. Mind is powerful thing really as I noticed once I decided not to smoke none of withdrawal symptoms mattered to me. And yes, it is not a long drawn out process, reducing number of cigarette a day, etc won't do it.
About a year later while cleaning garage, I found a carton of Cig stashed away. Just picked it up, casually tossed it to trashcan.
One of my close friend still smokes. Thing is, I want to tell him to stop... but I know it's his decision he need to make unfortunately. All I can do is pray for him.
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Old 01-19-12, 04:17 PM   #10
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I smoked 1-2 packs a day from age 15-23. I found it rather difficult to perform any physical activity and finally quit when I could barely lift a bag of trash at work.
Then I became fat and moved to Denver and finally started to recover when I picked up cycling.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:12 PM   #11
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To those who have quit and restarted several times: take heart. The more often you're quit and restarted, the more likely you are to quit for good. So keep trying. You're not a bad person or a weak person. Quitting tobacco is harder than quitting smack. Look at it this way: every time you've quit you've hurt. You've picked it back up, knowing you'll hurt again the next time you quit. That's actually braver, in a way. Why not just hurt once more? The bad part is only three days, then it's just the psychological part, the associations, etc. They go away more slowly, but they do go away.

You know you're killing yourself. You can fool yourself while you're young, but then it becomes obvious. The sooner you stop, the more of yourself you save.
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Old 01-19-12, 08:20 PM   #12
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I smoked 1/2 to a pack/day for 30 years. Quit 8 or 9 years ago. I've been lucky because I quit on my first attempt and it hasn't bothered me, to speak of, since I quit.
No matter what method you try you must make up your mind that you will quit no matter what. I used the patch. The instructions said to stop using the patch if it irritated your skin. Well, it irritated my skin, but it was helping with the withdrawl symptoms so I kept on using it. At the end of twelve weeks my trunk literally looked like a checkerboard from the red squares left by the patch.
I gained 30 lbs which I have since taken off through cycling. My downfall was chips. I always had three bags opened at a time; one at home, one at work, and one in the car. I couldn't stop eating them.
Now as I look back I don't see how I could have been so stupid as to smoke in the first place. It controls your life. You are always looking for ways to sneak off for a smoke. You organize your entire life around smoking.
Phlem was an issue for two or three YEARS. Maybe longer. It has finally quit. I feel good. I ride centuries. I ride singletrack on my mtb. Quit smoking. You will love it.
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Old 01-20-12, 02:00 AM   #13
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seriously, all of these posts have been super inspirational. I'm working it out in my head to stop being so ambivalent and to finally do it.

I'm aiming for a century in May, that's really hard from what I've heard. 4200 foot elevation gain from what I read, or something like that. I'm 140 lbs, 5'11 and 21 years old. I'm built for climbing but get out of breath waaaaay to fast.
I've never done a century, and I won't let myself fail.
I need to quit.

Thanks for all your help.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:19 PM   #14
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Pack and a half for 30 years. I had to have my vocal chords scraped twice and the doc told me that if I didn't quit I'd get cancer. I quit cold turkey. That was in 1995. BTW, I was diagnosed with cancer of the larynx 6 months later but b/c I was in very good shape with six months of hard exercise I was given extensive radiation and a hemi-larygenctomy.

I'm 69 now and ride 12-15,000 Km year.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:32 PM   #15
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Sex will be better. Seriously. Food will taste better. You might even see better, I did.

Sounds crazy, but when you stop killing yourself, your bod works a little better.
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Old 01-20-12, 12:34 PM   #16
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Haha, it's that crazy logic. You lie to yourself in a way. I mean seriously, "I'm killing myself, I'm an idiot."
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Old 01-20-12, 07:43 PM   #17
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Agreed. Even though my lungs will never be the same again. I smoked about the same and quit in mid 2007. There IS a big difference, not only in terms of performance on the bike, but quality of life in general.
When I quit in 1984, they told us that it takes 10 years the nicotine to leave your system and for the effects to become reverse. Seems to me that would be true unless a serious smoking-related disease has taken hold.
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Old 01-21-12, 12:22 AM   #18
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How big a difference?

A huge difference. After smoking for 25 years I was unable to even walk up a couple flights of stairs without getting winded. I finally quit about 2 years ago. Like many others, I put on a few pounds over the following year or so. About seven months ago I made some serious changes in eating habits. I also spent a great deal of time studying the body's energy systems, nutrition, training and adaptation. I started working out seriously and bought a road bike a month or so later. I am nearing the end of my second round of P90X and ride about a hundred miles a week. I am in better shape now than I was in high school and college. Your body will start healing as soon as you put you them down. I am still astounded every day how different my life is now. I am training hard and hope to be strong enough to try some racing later this year. If I can help you in any way, let me know. Good luck. Yes it can be done and yes it's worth the trouble.
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Old 01-21-12, 09:14 AM   #19
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And if so, once you quit, how big of a difference did you notice?

I guess this is me looking for more motivation to quit myself.

Nevertheless.
I did 5 packs/day. I frequently had more than one cigarette going at once. I quit in the fall of 1974 and now I don't even want to be in a room or a car that a smoker has set foot in, let alone smoked in.

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Old 01-21-12, 03:57 PM   #20
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Well, I tried the sunflower seed plan, but I just ate them until my cheeks were raw.
Does anyone else have any coping mechanisms that worked for them?
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Old 01-21-12, 04:16 PM   #21
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I smoked for about 18 years. By the end i was a 2 pack a day Marlboro Red man - more if I was drinking & doin' coke (which was pretty common at that point in my life).

in '99 I watched my dad die from living a basic American lifestyle for men of his generation. I.E. drank too much, smoked to much, ate a lot of fried foods and never exercised. I quit a few days after his lifestyle choices killed him.

Without shame I can say that I used every tool at my disposal. I wanted to quit no matter what. One of the best tools I used, and people always say this is weird - but it worked, was that if I started wanting a cigarette I had to drop and do 25 push ups. If I still wanted one, I had to do 25 more. And so on until it just wasnt worth wanting a cigarette. It had the added benefit of getting me in better shape as I quit smoking.

The hardest part was the hand to mouth habit I had. I substituted lollipops for cigarettes for the fist month or two.

ETA, I definitely don't miss having to kick start my lungs in the morning!
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Old 01-21-12, 08:10 PM   #22
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After numerous failures, E cigs finally got me over the hump. I have some pretty concrete ideas as to why this is which which I'd be happy to share privately if you'd like. I don't want to go "on record" here and come across sounding like an advocate for them or their safety. I was just at the point the I was willing to try something, even something potentially risky, as I was quite certain that continuing with the Marlboros would certainly kill me and continue to ruin my quality of living.
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Old 01-21-12, 08:32 PM   #23
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I was gonna be so pissed if SlimRider started this thread...
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Old 01-21-12, 08:39 PM   #24
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Well, I tried the sunflower seed plan, but I just ate them until my cheeks were raw.
Does anyone else have any coping mechanisms that worked for them?
I chewed on unsweetened Baker's cooking chocolate.

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Old 01-21-12, 09:58 PM   #25
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Man, that unsweeted chocolate is soooo gross!
I ate that on accident once. Never again!

But, that being said, I can see how that would work.
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