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Quitting Smoking for Good

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poptart

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So, long story really short... DH is in the Navy, and it is notorious for the smoking habits. He currently smokes, not an exorbitant amount, but wants to quit. He''s tried a few times, and although he is very strong willed he struggles with this. So I was wondering if anyone out there had any tried and true advice for a smoker that wants to quit. None of my friends offered any new advice and we''d both really like for him to kick this habit as soon as possible. Thanks in advance!

*M*
 

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Londonchris

Rough_Rock
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Nov 29, 2006
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I used to smoke a pack a day.
I quit (sort of). The worst time for me was if we were out for dinner or in a pub or just having a "few" drinks somewhere.
So i let myself smoke a little while drinking,otherwise i don`t enjoy myself as much.
The rest of the time i`m clean.
I found the thought of never smoking again impossible to imagine,so now i know i can on occasions and all is well.
Nobody believed it would work,but after 3 years i proved my point that it does.
By the way,having 1 or 2 cans in front of the telly is not good enough excuse to light up and so my smoking evenings happen maybe once a month.
Worth a try,as a compromise.
 

monarch64

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Well, as a SMOKER, I can tell you that it's very difficult unless you make the decision YOURSELF, have a plan, and really, really, really want to quit, knowing the last one you smoke is absolutely your last, forever. That's a very hard thing for smokers to overcome, knowing that LAST one is their absolute last, in my experience. My father is a smoker (mother never was, and never has been), my husband smokes, and I smoke maybe 10 a day, on a bad day....but still am considered a "heavy" smoker by my doctor(S) which is fine with me. I can go two or three days without smoking before I have sort of a meltdown and go out and buy a pack...

Honestly, I've heard everything about quitting techniques, from acupuncture to laser therapy to cold turkey methods. However, my company actually has a smoking cessation program which I will take advantage of January 2, 2007. I have already gotten myself "in line" to do it...my company will pay a copay for the prescription drugs Wellbutrin or Zyban, plus 50% of the cost of OTC nicotine replacements such as gum or patches, plus they offer a 24/7 hotline which one can call should they need to be talked through a craving episode or just need to talk...

I personally HATE being a smoker. I hate the way it smells, I hate not being able to wear perfume knowing that I smell like well, a smoker who has doused themselves with perfume in hopes that it will cover up the smoke part, and I hate worrying all the time about when I can smoke if I'm out having drinks...I hate thinking about it all the time, period. I've quit so many times for a few days and have never stuck to it. My father has had colon cancer and had most of his internal organs removed. The only way he was able to quit smoking was to take Wellbutrin not only for depression but to curb the cravings. Unfortunately, once he went off of the drug, he started smoking again, and now not only has emphysema at age 66, but a whole lot of other health issues tied into his cancer surgeries. It is a very serious situation.

I think people kind of look at smokers and think "gross, how can you do that to yourself?" And it's true...how can one willingly kill themselves little by little, not to mention stink all the time. It's really very embarrassing to me, to be a smoker and live with one, and know that I smell like nasty cigarette smoke all the time. A few years ago all our friends smoked when we went out for cocktails. Since then, they have allllllll quit...we are the last ones who don't have kids yet and who haven't quit. It's very, very humiliating at times, to be those people who walk in smelling like smoke and who have to leave the goings-on every half hour or so to go outside and have a cig.

Even with a hereditary cancer in my family, I still have a very hard time quitting. Even though I smoke maybe a half pack every other day, I have a hard time knowing that once I quit, it will be for good... Cigarettes are like a good coping skill and a good friend that is hard to say good bye to... I definitely wish I'd never picked one up at all. I've given up so many other things to try to prevent a hereditary disease that could possibly manifest itself in my own body, including becoming vegetarian, exercising more, doing actual volunteer and money raising cancer walks for breast cancer and cancer period, and still I have a tough time exorcising this vice of mine.

Last time I was home with my dad (who is still smoking), he talked to me (over a cigarette outside) and told me we were alike in the fact that we both had sort of nervous personalities, always had something to worry over, etc. He suggested I look into the Wellbutrin/Zyban and just get it over with (smoking cessation.) It's very hard to know that a loved one wants you to do something for your own good but they will not do it for themselves. I know I need to just quit, and I want to ....but it's even more difficult when the person who cares for you most in the world won't give it up themselves...

it's almost heartbreaking, you know?


ETA: Poptart, I'm not sure there are ANY tried and true methods out there to help someone stop smoking. It's more about willpower and knowing you just don't want to be a smoker anymore, ever. There is a poster here on PS, Lorelei, she posts a lot on the workout threads, who has been smoke-free for 4.5 months now...she may be able to give you better advice. Sorry for pouring my little smoker heart out, lol, but it felt good, and may be a step in the right direction for me....
 

Lorelei

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Monnie - I know that soon you will be ready to quit cigs and I will be here to help you, if my Hubby and I can do it at the same time, anyone can. PT, my Husband is in the military too, although there aren''t the amount of smokers there used to be, there still are some which can make it more difficult.

We have been smoke free as Monnie says now for 4.5 months now, after years of trying. I think you finally have to be ready, realize that cigs are NOT your friend, and that your body is addicted to a drug that they provide, nicotine. Therefore you have to be ready to battle a drug addiction. I am the world''s worst worrier ( I hear ya Mon!) and used to use cigs as an emotional and stress comforter, it was hard to throw away that crutch, desperately hard - because as soon as I got nervous or worried I would scuttle for the pack and lighter...


So we made the decision that it was now or never to quit and that we had many reasons to do so. Hubby had Zyban and patches, I used nicotine gum, and between us we did it and no cheating! We decided that for us, staying on a 3 month course of nicotine was counterproductive as once we felt we could cope, we wanted the drug out of our bodies, stands to reason, once the drug has been gone for a while, then hopefully you won''t be physically craving it so much. This approach worked, I got off the gum after 5 weeks which I was getting hooked on, Hubby lost the patches and we took it a day at a time and broke free finally. I am now addicted to plain chewing gum, but it is a lot better than cigs! Also we took lots of exercise, especially cardio and I think that was and is key to our success.

So it can be done, even after years of us thinking it was impossible. It isn''t easy, but to be honest not really that bad, just requires some strong willpower at times and so worth doing. We both feel so much better in ourselves, not to mention my Hubby''s fitness levels have gone through the roof! He was always a great runner anyway, used to do cross country, but getting overweight and smoking had put the tin hat on that. Now he is like the Bionic Man! Also we have both lost weight even without the cigs, it too can be done!

So PopT, show your Hubby this thread and see if some of the posts here help motivate him, hope this helps!
 

diamondfan

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 17, 2005
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Congrats to all of you who have quit...it is tough I am sure.

I have never been a smoker but a good friend who quit (she had a slowly bleeding aneurysm and survived but was told to quit immediately or she would not live very long, funny how that helped but she still craves it and used the patches and the gum to help her...)

Bottom line, whatever works for you, do it. Behavior mod, aversion, etc...just find what works. If you can go 24 hours without one, it is supposed to be that you can do it. And maybe avoid trigger settings, if possible, if that makes you want to fall off the wagon...

Think also about how costly they are, put that amount that you were spending weekly in a drawer. Do it for one year. On the first anni of quitting, go get it and buy yourself something amazing! That might help clarify things...
 

Madam Bijoux

Ideal_Rock
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5,021
I smoked for about 2 years a long time ago. I was in England for the summer when I quit. Nobody there had the brand I smoked and I didn't want to try the brands they had, so I quit cold turkey. I was so busy sightseeing, I didn't think about smoking and don't remember having withdrawal symptoms.

My best friend died of lung cancer 3 years ago and another close friend has stage 4 lung cancer and is getting chemotherapy - surgery is not an option. It's a horrendous, terrifying thing to go through.

Smokers, a friendly reminder for you: Every dollar you spend on smokes puts diamonds on the spouses and lovers of tobacco company CEO'S - wouldn't that money be better spent on diamonds for yourselves?
 

firebirdgold

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I''m a light smoker and I''ve had trouble quitting too. It''s not just the physical addicition, if it was it''d be far easier for some of us to quit. There''s also a mental addicition part. There''s no gum or patch for that. I think that''s what the antidepressents are for, but I''m on wellbutrin for something else and I''m still smoking.
I was on a good track for quitting before I met another light smoker by switching to a brand of non-cigs called eclipse. I don''t know if they''re still made. They look like cigs, and you preform all the actions of smoking except flicking the ash. You light them (which is tricky), the end glows and turns ashy as a small layer of paper burns at the tip, it even emits a white vapor, but it doesn''t burn any tobacco, just draws heated air through it. So you get the nicotine (still bad for your heart) but not the cancer causing smoke (or the smell), and you''re still preforming the rituals of smoking. It''s a good idea but didn''t stand up to seeing people I''m close to smoke.
I may go back to them to help me get over smoking and drinking at bars over the holidays.
We have to quit this week as we''re going to visit family who doesn''t know, and would have a fit.
 

Lorelei

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Date: 12/15/2006 9:58:58 AM
Author: IndieJones
I''m a light smoker and I''ve had trouble quitting too. It''s not just the physical addicition, if it was it''d be far easier for some of us to quit. There''s also a mental addicition part. There''s no gum or patch for that. I think that''s what the antidepressents are for, but I''m on wellbutrin for something else and I''m still smoking.
I was on a good track for quitting before I met another light smoker by switching to a brand of non-cigs called eclipse. I don''t know if they''re still made. They look like cigs, and you preform all the actions of smoking except flicking the ash. You light them (which is tricky), the end glows and turns ashy as a small layer of paper burns at the tip, it even emits a white vapor, but it doesn''t burn any tobacco, just draws heated air through it. So you get the nicotine (still bad for your heart) but not the cancer causing smoke (or the smell), and you''re still preforming the rituals of smoking. It''s a good idea but didn''t stand up to seeing people I''m close to smoke.
I may go back to them to help me get over smoking and drinking at bars over the holidays.
We have to quit this week as we''re going to visit family who doesn''t know, and would have a fit.
That is the thing and is the hardest part to beat. You have to be as mentally ready as you can be to let go of the things and try to live without them. It is rough, but it can be done, Hubby and I are living proof and if we could do it I really hope others can take some encouragement from our success. It will be one of the best things you ever did!
 

AmberGretchen

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Joined
Jan 6, 2005
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7,770
OK, so I have never been a smoker and could never be a smoker (literally - I have asthma and it would probably kill me), so I don''t really have a lot of helpful advice here. However, I wanted to say that Monarch, reading your post really helped me gain insight into the psychology of smoking (and that''s saying something since I took a whole class on the subject in college!). It was very insightful and really captured both the incredible power of this addiction and the difficulty of individuals who are struggling with it. So I just wanted to say thank you for helping me to understand that - I don''t think I ever really had before and so it was really helpful.

That said, and keeping in mind I''ve never been there, but when we were studying this I remember that one of the most effective methods to help someone quit was behavioral modification/counseling in addition to Wellbutrin-type drugs and/or nicotine replacement. It sounds like it might help with some of the underlying psychological issues for some, where smoking is used as a way to self-medicate for anxiety (which is VERY common). I remember learning that there are low-cost versions of this counseling available in most metropolitan centers. Anyway, just a thought.
 

CrownJewel

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I really wanted to chime in to say, Monarch, it sounds to me like you''re SO READY to quit. Everything you said in your post is exactly what my fiance and I said when we were ready to quit. He smoked about a pack a week for about 10 years. I considered myself a social smoker for a few years, but there would be times that I craved cigarettes out of stress so I would buy packs for myself. My fiance smoked regulary though. We both hated it for the same reasons that you stated. Even though I didn''t smoke everyday, sometimes I wouldn''t smoke for 2 or 3 weeks, but I still smoked enough to be considered a smoker. And I couldn''t give it up. It was my vice. Whenever I was upset, frustrated, angry I would think about cigarettes.

We were consistently more and more disgusted with our bad habit, and on the night we got engaged, we decided to quit smoking. It was really tough for him because he had a routine at work. Morning coffee and meeting, smoke, work, lunch, smoke, work, afternoon coffee, smoke...etc. For me, whenever we went out to dinner or a bar I would want to smoke. Luckily for us, our cravings were kind of staggered after we quit. Whenever he wanted to smoke, I''d say, "ugh...smoking is gross. It''ll make me sick if you have a cigarette," and vice versa. My fiance replaced his smoking routine with reading and taking a walk whenever he normally would go out or a cig.

Poptart, as for your husband, he needs to have a purpose for quitting. For me and my fiance, our purpose was to start our new life together without this gross habit. Your DH needs to tell everyone that he quit and he has to ask them not to give him any cigarettes when he craves one. He needs to call you when he is having a craving which is when you remind him of his purpose for quitting. He could try to replace it with something constructive, like going for a run whenever he wants a cigarette. I know for some people, the addiction is much worse than it was for me. I hope he finds something that helps him finally kick the habit!! Good luck to everyone!
 

poptart

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Joined
May 23, 2006
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1,899
Thank you all for your input, advice, and stories! They have really given me some new insight and helped me understand the mental and physical parts of smoking. So I guess this is a step forward in the right direction, but DH randomly emailed me today and said that he has quit, and is going to try his hardest to make it stick. If he can get through the next few stressful months without smoking, or at least not smoking much, I think he can really kick the habit. He smokes only during two events: one being when he is highly stressed, and two when we are at a party with friends. He doesn''t even smoke everyday, and during a party he will maybe have four cigarettes for the whole night. So I wouldn''t consider it HEAVY smoking, but you all know that a few can lead to many and so forth. But he has decided to quit on his own accord, I didn''t ask or expect him to while he was on the ship, so that kind of came out of the blue. But I am at least proud of him for the drive to quit. He is extremely strong willed, so once he puts his mind to something he gets set in his ways.

Londonchris: Yes, DH smokes now as you do, which is obviously better than a pack a day. Congrats on cutting down at least! I think every single one of my friends smokes when they drink, so that seems very common to me.

Monarch: I am sorry about your dad, and thank you so much for your story, it really did help me understand the conflict that goes on inside one''s head.

Lorelei: Congrats to you and your DH. I will definitely bet telling him all of these posts, as you suggested.

Diamondfan: I am sorry about your friend and hope she is doing better. My DH''s dad died the same way, but it was mostly due to stress related issues rather than smoking.

Indiejones: Good luck with the Eclipse cigs. I have never heard of that but will definitely keep that as an option for cutting back. Maybe he could switch to those for when we are at parties or he is stressed. It''s the nicotene that causes most (or all?) of the addiction anyway. And the way I see it, EVERYTHING is bad for your heart these days, haha, but the cancer thing is definitely a big issue. We both watched the mother of a close friend die of cancer... we sat with her just before she died, so that image is pretty much engraved in my head.

Amber-Gretchen: Thank you for the behavioral modification/ counseling idea. DH has been through some very hard times in his childhood, as well as being in the Navy, and he visits the counselor on the ship sometimes when he feels like he can''t keep up with the stress.

Thanks again for all the thoughts and advice! Keep ''em coming!

*M*
 

KimberlyH

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I smoked on and off for 11 years. At a fefw points during my smoking years I was up to a pack and a half a day; it was my best friend and companion and nothing excited me more than going home having dinner and sitting on the back porch with a cigarette and a book. I liived in an apartment building with 10 units and all of my neighbors that I had befriended knew where to find me. Going out for drinks and not smoking? Forget it. A break from work without a cigarette? Impossible. Driving to work without lighting up? Never thought it possible. I felt much like monarch does; I hated the smell, I hated the habit, I just couldn''t bring myself to quit.

Then I met my now husband. And he detested smoking and said "quit for 6 months and I''ll take you to Hawaii" and that was a great motivator. But I was also tired of smelling, and being referred to as "Buff and Puff" because I was known amongst my friends for going for a run and then lighting up as soon as I finished and having to hide my habit and feeling guilty about the wasted money and so on and so forth.

I used the patch for a while (hubby paid for them, we lived in different cities at the time and he would mail me boxes of them) and then weaned and realized how pleasant life was when I wasn''t wasting time anticipating my next cigarette. And after 2 and a half years I still miss it sometimes. But I know that I am so much better off now and I feel better and I smell better and I''m saving a ton of money. Nothing comes from quitting smoking that is as detrimental as smoking is. I was signing my own death certicificate. So I gained a few pounds that won''t go away, but I will live a lot longer and more healthily and that is more than enough for me.

Good luck to your DH, poptart. It''s a tough road. I was mean and miserable for a while (I didn''t leave the house for 3 weeks after I quit except to exercise, work and go to the grocery store). He will find it so worthwhile in the long run. I hope for both of you that he can quit.
 

movie zombie

Super_Ideal_Rock
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Jan 20, 2005
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11,879
ok, i know this is going to sound crazy but it worked. i took a note from a theraphy technique not even related to smoking:

i gave myself permission to smoke.

i set very strict guidelines: no bumming other people''s cigarettes, no buying from machines, no buying of cigarettes at any time except payday which was twice a month. i allowed myself to buy one carton so that happened the first and 15th of the month. i could smoke as much as i wanted when i wanted but only those cigarettes. if i gave any to anyone i wasn''t allowed to replace them. i was so paranoid about going without a cigarette that i carried 4 packs in the glove compartment ''just in case''.

there came a point where i started having excess packs which i kept in the freezer....then it was excess cartons. then i had an excess in the freezer and didn''t need to buy more. one day i realized i hadn''t bought a carton in 6 months and still had cigarettes in the freezer. i had ''quit''. several months later i gave the remaining cartons away.

i still have permission to smoke to this day. giving myself permission meant it wasn''t something i was fighting against and the rules kept me in charge of how much i was smoking. the end result was i was able to quit without any of the horrible mind games or physical reactions.

what was my original motivation?! the price of the damn things and this was 20 years ago! i added up what i was spending on cigarettes and figured out what i could do with that money instead.

good luck to your hubby.

movie zombie
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
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Jun 15, 2006
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7,485
MZ,

That''s not at all crazy. My great aunt, who is now deceased, smoked for about 40 years. One day she decided "I''m not going to smoke today" she kept a pack of cigarettes around for the rest of her life, just in case, and every day she decided whether or not she would smoke that day. She was smoke free for 15+ years when she died and there was a package of unopened cigarettes in her bureau when her children cleaned out her house.
 

nejarb

Shiny_Rock
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Aug 3, 2006
Messages
324
I think that the best way to stop smoking is to start running. I don''t know what it is about the transition from smoking to running, but when you''re trying to do both you realize pretty quickly that they''re mutually exclusive. And for alot of people (myself included), running wins out. I smoked in college and that all stopped when I started running.

Also, if he isn''t into running or can''t for some reason, the prospect of lung cancer should be enough motivation to quit. My father was never a smoker, but he lived in cities w/ poor air quality, and he got lung cancer and died a few years ago. It all happened very quickly and spread to his brain fast and the last month of his life was terrible for him and everyone who loved him. If he had been a smoker, I would have been very angry with him. You should be angry with your husband for engaging in an activity that puts him at such a high risk of this happening to him.

You should ask him to do a risk/benefit analysis of his smoking considering that the risk is he will destroy your life together in a distrupting and painful way, and the benefit is some weird chemical reaction that causes a temporary feeling of relief from an addiction that is reversible through time if he only has the will power to wait it out.
 

justjulia

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Apr 4, 2006
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2,308
Interesting timing of this thread. I just brought my mother home from the hospital yesterday, where she had been for a week with pneumonia. It''s really scary because she has lung cancer, too, and very susceptable to infections. The chemo she is on makes her skin very dry and fragile in the winter, as well. She will live with me from here on I have decided-I need to watch over her carefully. She is very independent, so I am just putting this in God''s hands for us to make this work. I think it will. It''s hard to watch someone you love suffer so much. The surgery (the first bout was operable) is very involved--they cut her all up her back-I wouldn''t wish it on anyone. She now has emphasema and she''s only 67. Her generation all smoked young and she couldn''t quit.
It''s a powerful drug and sometimes I get so angry for the whole tobacco industry. We just take it day by day here.
 

poptart

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
May 23, 2006
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1,899
Once again, thank you all so much for your stories! I am so sorry to hear about those who have loved ones who are suffering, and I hope that they will feel better soon. DH emailed me yesterday and said that he is doing well right now with not smoking, as he is working so much. He says he hasn''t smoked at all and hasn''t even noticed missing it because he is so busy all of the time. So I''m hoping that this is a good sign. I guess we''ll just have to wait it out and see since it really is a day by day experience. I certainly don''t want him contracting lung cancer or putting himself at risk in any way. He knows and understands this, and realizes now that the diseases you get from smoking are not selective. They can effect him just as much as anyone else. I just really hope that he is able to do this and see how strong his will power really can be. Thanks again!

*M*
 

KimberlyH

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 15, 2006
Messages
7,485
I hope so too, poptart!

Every new study that comes out proves that smoking is more and more harmful than we ever realized to the smoker and all of the people he or she smokes around. CA is potentially going to raise the taxes on cigarettes another $1.90. The reasons for not smoking just keep getting better and more important.

Much luck to your hubby. I've got my fingers crossed for you.
 

IrishAngel7982

Brilliant_Rock
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1,412
I''m not a smoker, but I want to wish you all luck. I can''t imagine how hard it is to quit...stay strong!!!
 
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