General Question

TaoSan's avatar

Have you quit smoking?

Asked by TaoSan (7103points) May 9th, 2009

If so, how did you deal with the cravings? I probably chose the worst time since everything is quite stressful lately. Right now, I could microwave kittens for a cigarette. What’s your remedy, aside from patch and gum?

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70 Answers

asmonet's avatar

I did, but I was a social smoker not so much a pack a day kind of gal. More like a pack every month. Carrot sticks. Pens. Whistling. My cravings only lasted about three days, then it was over. After that it was a mouth thing.

TaoSan's avatar

try 2 packs a day for years LOL

Every nerve-ending in my body is firing off one signal and one signal only right now haha

J0E's avatar

I kicked the stuff 20 years ago…right after I was born.

oratio's avatar

I tried to start but my heart wasn’t in it. I admire people who succeeds though. Takes some will and character IMO.

mcbealer's avatar

The only times I have successfully quit were when I was very ill (flu most recently, before that bronchitis) and when I was pregnant. I have always quit cold turkey because I hate taking medicine.

The rage you are feeling is 100% normal. Let yourself feel it, and then walk through it. Find something strenuous you can do when you get the cravings, and don’t be too hard on yourself if you slip and have a cigarette. It does not mean you have to go back to full-fledged smoking.

My last quit was Dec 31 2008, because I had the flu. Since then I’ve had 1 slip, and smoked 5 cigs in one night at the end of March. Funny though, I haven’t had a bad craving since then.

My brain still goes there though, especially when people irk me.

chyna's avatar

I was a two pack a dayer. This was back when you could actually smoke anywhere you wanted to. I gained 20 lbs. but I didn’t worry about it at that time. My only thought was to kick the habbit no matter what. I took a lot of bath/showers because you can’t smoke in there and I ate carrots, celery, sucked on mints, sucked on hard candy. After 6 months, I knew I had it licked, so then I went to work on my weight and lost the 20 lbs. in 6 more months.

TaoSan's avatar


bea2345's avatar

Hang in there. It is torture for about a week; then it becomes easier. When I stopped smoking, I was on a 2 -3 pack per day habit. During the first week I did a lot of patchwork by hand, to keep my hands occupied, as eating sweets, etc. was not possible (I was what the nurses said was an elderly primogravida, and obese with it). Perhaps that should be primAgravida? Anyway, after the first week – nearer 5 days – the cravings became more manageable and eventually stopped. It helps if you have the support of your SO – I did. To celebrate my new-found freedom, I went to the dentist to have my teeth cleaned – tobacco does terrible things to the teeth.

elijah's avatar

I quit 2 weeks and 3 days ago. It suuucks. My mouth gets watery and it’s like I can taste it! I chew a lot of gum and hold my chapstick in between my fingers when I drive. I wear a rubber band on my wrist so I have something to hold and play with and snap. I didn’t smoke a lot, probably 5–6 a day. I never smoked in my house so I dont associate smoking with watching the tv or using the computer or anything, which is helpful. I did run out and buy a pack on like the fifth day, but I lit one and kind of swallowed the smoke (on purpose) so it tasted like shit. Then I gagged and threw it away. This happened three times. So basically I’ve had three drags, and that was the first week.

TaoSan's avatar

Elijaaaaaaaaaaah :)

Let’s suffer together LOL

chyna's avatar

I also had vivid dreams of smoking. They were so real, I had to actually look through my house to see if I had actually been smoking the night before.

TaoSan's avatar


Great, I’m in for a ride… f*** it, I’ll do it…

elijah's avatar

Just keep picturing your lungs. There’s those damn comercials that show the effects of smoking, and they all bothered me but the one where they squeezed the black sludge out of a sponge really got to me. Also I started to notice a few wrinkles which freaked me out. Another thing that made me quit was when I was out somewhere and someone would walk past me smelling like smoke. Not the “I just had a cigarette” smell but the “deep down all my clothes and skin and hair smell and its built up for years on everything I own” smell. I don’t want to smell like that.

chyna's avatar

Good luck. This might be stupid, but I had tried many times before and couldn’t quit. So I looked in the “Old Farmers Almanac” that gives different times during the month when it is best to do certain things, like plant stuff, get your haircut, stuff like that and also a certain day to quit smoking. I quit on the day it suggested and it seemed like I didn’t have the cravings as bad and it did work that time. I have been smoke free for 21 years, 10 months, 1 day. Not that I have kept track.

Jeruba's avatar

I munched on pretzels (stick variety, of course) and chewed gum and bit my pencils. I also kept up a running patter in my head and tried to stay very busy through white-knuckle time. The worst was over in three days, but even after 18 years I still wish I could just have a smoke, no strings. I kept an ash tray on my desk for months afterward and didn’t throw away my cigarette case for about two years because after 22 years of smoking 2+ packs a days, the “never” part was too scary.

The best aid might have been the journal I kept through the last countdown, the moment of decision, and the wretched three days that followed. I knew all I’d ever have to do was reread it and I’d remember that I never wanted to go through that again. Very effective deterrent.

Hang in there. There is never an optimal time. There is always stress. Hang in there. I sure felt good the day I passed the 17-year mark, at which time according to statistics my lungs were as good as those of someone who had never smoked at all.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

I toughed it out cold turkey but it was a challenge.
Big Red chewing gum and patience from my friends helped me through the tough times.

Triiiple's avatar

Every time you want to smoke have someone punch you in the face as hard as they can, your mind will soon associate the 2 and you wont want to.

knitfroggy's avatar

I spent a week in the hospital with influenza and pneumonia last year. I never had the desire to pick up another cigarette when I got out. I was so sick during the bad withdrawls that I didn’t even know I was having a nic fit. I didn’t smoke for about six months and then out of the blue one day I just went to the store and got some Marlboros. I still would like to kick my own ass for ever starting to smoke again.

So, best of luck to you! I hope you find something to help you cope.

aprilsimnel's avatar

I used the Allan Carr book Easyway to help me this last time. Before that, I had attempted to quit twice cold turkey, once on Wellbutrin and once on the patch. None of those quit periods were for very long. This last time has been the best with the cravings gone after about a week.

I would acknowledge the craving and then just immediately do something physical. You can’t crave smokes if you’re doing jumping jacks, for example.

avalmez's avatar

my first wife’s doctor confided to me he did not understand why some women refuse a spine block when giving birth opting instead for the pain and agony of natural child birth.

i don’t understand why some people who want to quite smoking refuse to use a nicotine replacement. not a cure, but done properly, does work – i know; i did it

good luck in any case to all of you making the effort

rooeytoo's avatar

You have already quit so it is a little late for you but The American Lung Association has a 6 or 8 week class to stop smoking. You go for about 3 weeks before you actually stop. During this time you learn coping methods and what to expect (they used to say the actual physical withdrawal is only a couple of days, after that all mental, I think they have since changed their minds about that) then the rest of the time is spent reinforcing and using the power of the group to keep you on the straight and narrow. It worked for me when nothing else did.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@TaoSan Good for you. I’ve NEVER smoked, so I don’t know what you’re going through, but you’re going to be so much better off without those damn cancer sticks. You’re going to taste food better, save money, SMELL BETTER, & above all, you’re going to be adding years to your life. You can do it. And your body will thank you for it.

Ricky's avatar

about 4 months ago. If you are smoking I can tell you now the first month is hard but remember MIND OVER BODY. There are only positives to not smoking I have not found any positives to smoking now that I don’t but when I did I couldn’t see negatives as clearly.

gailcalled's avatar

Yes, thirteen years ago when the Dr. called me and said that the breast biopsy was cancer. I never ever thought about another cigarette.

ragingloli's avatar

I have never started smoking. I was coaxed by classmates into trying cigarettes, but once i felt this choking pain in my throat the experiments were over.
I am also too lazy to buy that stuff.

Dog's avatar

Lurve for blatently honest topic

Tao- you are a black belt. Instead of kittens get back into the studio and kill a worthy opponent.

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Well, the part about adding years to your life isn’t actually true in every case. I know several people who have quit smoking and still died fairly young. Whether the two were related is hard to tell, but I lay that out there for the sake of conjecture.

I have considered quitting. I have tried many times, only to fail. I have cut back, and I will eventually stop. I already look at them and say “filthy fucking habit” as I light up and put em out.

You have to quit for yourself, and you have to want to stop, period. And if you must microwave kittens, do so, but use someone else’s microwave, they make one Hell of a mess when they explode. don’t ask how I know that.

chyna's avatar

@ragingloli He said not to ask.

ragingloli's avatar

@chyna i took thzis as a case of reverse psychology.
also women always mean the opposite of what they say.

chyna's avatar

@ragingloli Evelynspetzebra is a guy.

TaoSan's avatar

You guys are all ROCKSTARS!

Thx for the support.

bea2345's avatar

My second brother was another heavy smoker. Then one day he quit. It was a week before his family noticed, he told me with some surprise. That tells me a lot about him: some people become absolute horrors when kicking the habit: his son commented that his normal, good humoured manner did not change.

Another thing: when you find yourself reaching for a fag, get up, walk about, THINK: what do I usually do before lighting up? then add another patch to that quilt.

hungryhungryhortence's avatar

No, I suck. I’ve quit for a few years at a time, usually after a bout of pneumonia but then I go back and do it again. I’m down to less than 1 a day but it’s still smoking and I know it’s still crapping on my health. The only way other than fear of dying that’s worked on me to stop smoking was when a SO didn’t tolerate the smoking and I knew it was a deal breaker for them; I wanted them more than the cigarettes. It’s kind of cruddy to suggest good loving as an alternative but it sure does work out nicely. Good luck FLMP

bythebay's avatar

Tao, you know how you like to smell good all the time? Just think about how much better you’re going to smell! :)

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@TaoSan I am all for you quitting, I have never denegrated anyone for trying to better themselves. I hope you succeed. Hell, I hope I succeed in quitting someday. Cigarettes are a filthy fucking habit, and if everyone quit, we’d all be better off, except for maybe the tobacco farmers, but maybe they could grow something else, you know, like fruits and veggies for those of us who like to use our new Power Juicing machines. :-)

@Chyna, thanks for letting ragingloli that I am a dude. I just checked, I still have my testicles.

jbfletcherfan's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra LOL…I’m sure that’s a great relief!

TaoSan's avatar


LOL, I perfectly understand. I’m doing it for someone else, so I’d prolly still be at it if it weren’t for that.

Russell_D_SpacePoet's avatar

I smoked for over 20 years and quit with a generic nicotine patch. You have to want to quit. The patches help the cravings, but the actual habit is hard to break.

elijah's avatar

So how’s it going, @TaoSan?

TaoSan's avatar


Gaaaaaaaahaaaaa grrrrr ugh! lol

I slipped last night :(

How are you doing? Still strong? After last night I can tell you one thing, slipping is BAD. It get’s you right back to zero. I might need another litter of kittens today.

elijah's avatar

It happens. Don’t worry about it. Now you know how you feel after a slip, it may make it easier to not slip again. I haven’t smoked since those first couple times I mentioned above. You just have to force yourself to swallow instead of inhale. You will throw that cigarette down. It’s disgusting but it works!

rooeytoo's avatar

This is the site for the American Lung Association quit smoking class on line. I think taking the class in person would work better, but it is worth a try.

It cost $75.00 when I took it. I thought that was a good idea, I had a vested interest and in 1990 that was a fair bit of change.

TaoSan's avatar

GAAAAHAAAAA Want to smoke!!!!!!

NOPE! will get lolipops!

chyna's avatar

I also ate fireballs like crazy. That helped.
Hang in there. It WILL get easier.

bea2345's avatar

Believe me, the day will come when you will not want a cigarette. And it is well worth the temporary discomfort. BTW, it helps to take the day in small bits, 1 minute at a time.

elijah's avatar

Right now I really want a smoke. It’s been three weeks today. I’m going to cry :(

TaoSan's avatar

don’t fuck up now elijah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

elijah's avatar

The worst part is I still have that cheater pack down in my truck. I can’t bring myself to throw them out yet, or my lighters either.
But so far I’m ok.

knitfroggy's avatar

Good luck Elijah…I admire your stopping smoking.

TaoSan's avatar

you know it’s strange, but the first couple days I thought get rid of everything. It drove me nuts. Now I have a cheater pack in my undies drawer, and just having them seems to take the edge of a bit.

Just don’t smoke any!!!!!

elijah's avatar

You know how everyone says the first few days are the worst and it gradually gets easier? Not for me. Maybe I didn’t have too bad of a withdrawl because I didn’t smoke a lot.
Oh yeah, my mom came over today. She stood there smoking next to me and it smelled so good. Like amazing good. That’s sick, right?

knitfroggy's avatar

I don’t think it’s weird you enjoyed the smell of the smoke. It would have been weird if you’d asked her to blow it in your face tho! ;)

TaoSan's avatar

Nah, not sick at all, lol.

I feel ya! Let’s do this girl!!!!!! We can, HA!

mcbealer's avatar

@TaoSan AND @elijah ~ I have found it’s easier to have a cheater pack laying around.

For me, it’s a win-win situation:

That way, if all hell breaks loose, I don’t have to put the general public at risk with me behind the wheel, driving to the nearest gas station to buy a pack.

On the flip side, if all is well and something minor crops up tempting me to smoke, having a pack laying around means they no longer hold the same allure as if they were forbidden fruit.

TaoSan's avatar


HA! I hear you on that one!

rooeytoo's avatar

It has been 19 years since I stopped and I can’t say that I still crave a cigarette, but I can tell you this, if they ever decide it was a mistake that it’s not really bad for you, DO NOT GET BETWEEN ME AND THE NEAREST CONVENIENCE STORE, BECAUSE I WILL RUN YOU OVER ON MY WAY TO BUY A PACK. There, I’ve said it, you have been warned.

gtown's avatar

Hmmm… I smoked for 11 years, and have been smoke free for 20.5 years. I never imagined life without cigarettes. In March of 1989, a father & son hypnosis team were touring the east coast giving group hypnosis on quiting smoking. I’ve never been hypnotised before, nor did I place much creedance in the practice, but thought why not, it was worth the $27.00 if it worked. A group of 12 of us went, and we gathered in a huge conference center (had to have been better than 300 people). It was a 3 hour session with a 20 minute smoke break in between. Upon returning to the room, everyone threw their packs in a pile, and the hypnosis began. I never picked up or craved a smoke since. Can’t even be around cigarette smoke. What happened in that last hour & half… beats me, but it worked.

TaoSan's avatar


wow! Maybe I’ll try it!

Welcome to Fluther

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

Okay, I’m back to say that I am now on the road towards a smoke-free life. I am cutting back on my smoking, (only had about eight ciggies today) and I have a prescription for nicotine lollipops. I am serious about quitting this time, after having smoked for almost 35 years.

My wife and I are doing it together, and the carton of smokes we bought two days ago is our last one.

Wish us luck, we’re going to need it.

TaoSan's avatar

Awesome zebra!!!!!!

Hang in this thread. Normally I don’t believe much in “group therapy”, but this thread really seems to help me a bit. I’ve slipped several times now, no wonder, 2 packs a day for the last 20 years lol.

But then, coming back here puts me back on track. It’s a bitch, but seriously, I notice how much better I feel on no-slip days. Let’s do this, we can, if only for the money we can save haha.

chyna's avatar

@evelyns_pet_zebra Good luck to you and Mrs. Zebra. You can do it.

elijah's avatar

Wecome to our little support group @evelyns_pet_zebra! I used to smoke a pack a day for years, but for the last two years I cut it down a lot and that really helped.
Well guys, I went to a wedding last night. A few drinks and I needed a smoke so bad. But I didn’t smoke :) it was hard.
I’m very worried about next weekend though. I don’t think I will make it through three days of partying with most of my family who smokes.
@TaoSan How was your weekend? Any slips?

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

@elijah smoking is an addiction, but I have also found that the whole hand to mouth thing is another big part of it. I picked up some Dum Dum lollipops at the store for a couple of bucks, and they really seem to help with the putting your hand to your mouth part. Give it a try, it might help you, too.

TaoSan's avatar


Last night :((( Soooo sorry….

aprilsimnel's avatar

@TaoSan – It’s all right. That was yesterday. Just don’t do it today!

tiffyandthewall's avatar

“microwave kittens”. lol4rl.

my mum quit smoking years ago, and she invested in quite a lot of carrot sticks and blowpops. she used the patches too, but i don’t know if it was her determination or the patches that are to be accredited for her quitting.

i wish you sooo much luck.

TaoSan's avatar

Thanks tiffy :)

chyna's avatar

@TaoSan Hope it is still going well for you.

bea2345's avatar

@TaoSan, if you have persevered, you should be having it a little easier about now. You will be chewing a lot of gum, or rolling worry beads in your fingers, or something of that kind, perhaps. But hang in there. By now your senses of taste and smell should be what they were before you began the habit; your food should taste better.

Don’t give up.

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