General Question

mambo's avatar

Can anyone give me a few tips on how to quit smoking?

Asked by mambo (2744points) June 27th, 2012

I’m a heavy smoker and I would like to quit before I suffer from even more health complications. I’ve tried to quit many times, but I have always failed in the end.

Do any ex-smoker’s have tips or tricks that can pass on to me?

Thank you.

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24 Answers

Aethelwine's avatar

Stay away from gimmicks and do it cold turkey. Try to find something that will occupy you at the times when you usually smoke, something like gum or a breath mint. Something you can reach for and put in your mouth, just like you would with cigarettes. I quit 9 years ago and haven’t had one since. I now reach for a Tic-Tac when I’m driving (the time I enjoyed smoking the most).

I’ll admit it isn’t easy, but it’s worth it. Your health is worth it. Good luck.

Response moderated (Unhelpful)
Hawaii_Jake's avatar

I used the gum for the first week. Whenever I had a really bad craving, I chewed a piece of the nicotine gum. After that, the cravings became more manageable, and I quit the gum cold turkey.

wangxc's avatar

My father used candy killer to quit smoking. When he wanted to smock, the doctor asked him to eat candies! The sugar transferred his attention. At last he did it but became fat.

stardust's avatar

I tried to quit several times and at the moment, I’ve been off them for 6 months + (My longest time off them is over 9 months). I really wanted to give them up, so that was a great motivator. I had good support from friends, which helped hugely when I felt like caving.
When I wanted a cigarette, I’d tell myself if I still wanted one in 30 minutes, I could have one and so on.
Once I got passed the craving waves, I was okay.
Another thing I did while deciding to quit was to smoke consciously – It’s a strange feeling when you know what’s happening to your body while smoking.
You most definitely can do it! There’s no doubt about it. Good luck!

mattbrowne's avatar

Keep in mind that it’s very difficult and that you need perseverance. It can be done, but you need to “reprogram” your thought processes.

bkcunningham's avatar

Chantix worked for me. As far as I’m concerned, it is a miracle drug. In addition to the Chantix, I drank lots of water, brushed my teeth a lot and sucked on Tootsie Pop lollipops. The most important thing that has helped me is that I really wanted to stop smoking. I refuse to allow a cigarette to control my life. That is what you are doing when you are addicted to that little three inch long, stinky, expensive, repulsive little thing you set on fire and inhale into your lungs.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Tried to quit several times, used hypnosis at a group session after work. This November it will be 25 years, I was smoking 3 or more packs a day at the time I quit.

filmfann's avatar

Tootsie Roll Pops. When you are craving a cigarette during a moment you usually smoke (after eating, while driving or using the bathroom), just pop one in your mouth. It will satisfy the oral fixation you have.

Judi's avatar

If you suffer from any mental illness you might want to elicit the help of your doctor.
When my son tried to quit it threw him in to a violent manic episode.
The doctor changed his anti depressant and it made it easier.
The thing that has kept me from starting again after over 20 years, is the fact that I also quit drinking. It seems I can’t drink without smoking.

Roby's avatar

I did it cold turkey. I just stopped. Been 12 years now.

JLeslie's avatar

First, don’t beat yourself up for having quit and going back again. Almost every former smoker I know had to quit several times until it finally stuck. This is true with most addictions.

My dad did it while on vacation. He purposely decided to do it while on a weeks vacation so he did not have the pressures and routine of a typical day while trying to quit.

gailcalled's avatar

Getting a diagnosis of breast cancer worked for me, but I would not recommend that way. I was able to stop on a dime about 30 seconds after the phone call from the oncologist.

Interestingly, I never missed it and have never had a craving. The thought of lighting up fills me with horror and disgust now and the smell of the smoke, even outside, makes me want to cross the street.

Not very helpful, I know. I admire those of you who did it the hard way and just stopped.

bkcunningham's avatar

Sounds like your way was hard too, @gailcalled.

gailcalled's avatar

@bkcunningham: I was lucky, as it turned out. The surgeries (biopsy,two lumpectomies, “just to be sure,” chemo, radiation and five years of tamoxifen wasn’t too bad. I felt extremely grateful for the quality of my care and the technology available here.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I second Chantix being a miracle drug. I highly recommend it. I honestly don’t know if I ever would have quit on my own; I kept trying, but I liked it too much. Also, with my obsessiveness, it was all I could think about. I feel like Chantix did the hard work for me!

You continue to smoke for the first 8–14 days that you’re on it… You won’t even notice that you’re gradually being weaned off nicotine. When it came time to quit, it was really easy. The cravings weren’t there and I had naturally begun to desire smoking less over that last week. My last two days, I smoked 5 cigarettes/day (normally smoked a pack/day) and honestly, didn’t even notice. The hard part was ridding myself of the habit, the where/when/why of smoking.

bkcunningham's avatar

How long has it been since you smoked, @MissAnthrope?

bkcunningham's avatar

I’m glad you are okay, @gailcalled.

MissAnthrope's avatar

I quit in November of 2010. I am bad, though, and I have had a few cigarettes this year on party-ous occasions. They make me sick, though, and taste pretty gross.. Definitely not trying to get back into the habit again. And, honestly, my ‘occasional’ needs to be fewer and further between. Regardless, the quitting is sticking.. I don’t think or obsess about them that often.

HeartsLove7's avatar

Well if you have kids, ask them to help you keep track of how many days you’ve gone without smoking. My mom was a smoker and everytime she started to smoke a cigarrette I would say, “Six less minutes I get to spend with you.” Also when she went a day without smoking I would write on the calender that she didn’t smoke any that day and kept track of how many days she didn’t smoke! That gave her motivation. Another good way to help you stop smoking is to have a purpose behind it. It is a lot harder to quit something, whether it’s smoking or not, without a purpose. Maybe one way to help you with motivation and quiting is to watch one of the smoking commercials that show the consiquences of smoking a day. My friends mom stopped quiting by using the electric cigarrettes. You could also quit by Chantix and the gum (my uncles did that).

synapse's avatar

The night before I quit, I applied a nicotine patch. That way, the nicotine was in my system when I woke up. I wore the patches for four days to get out of the physical part of the habit and then just stopped. I also had incredibly vivid dreams while on the patches, sometimes quite entertaining! I stopped because I’m a new grandmother and I didn’t want my grandson to be exposed to smoke or think I smelled bad. I couldn’t stop for myself but it was easy to stop for him. Good luck.

mambo's avatar

Update: Tomorrow, I plan to quit cold turkey. Hopefully it works out well!

bkcunningham's avatar

Brush you teeth often and concentrate on your nice fresh teeth and breath. Good luck. I’m pulling for you.

pleiades's avatar

I had to tell myself. “Ok, mind, who’s stronger? You? Or the addiction.” It took extremely heavy conscious effort.

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