I started smoking when I was 15 or so, quit for a year when I was pregnant, started again, quit for 11 years when I was 45, started again and smoked for 4 more years.
I recently quit again. It will be 9 months in a week.
I get the urge for the activity, not so much the nicotine. I drink, and it’s worse when drinking. I went to a bar a few weeks ago. It’s one that is outside the city limits, and they allow smoking. It REEKED! We cracked the doors, and it wasn’t so bad, but I absolutely did not have the urge to smoke. My husband (a non-smoker) comes home from there frequently, and I make him change his shirt immediately.
My father quit smoking when he was 40. He says there are still times he would like to have a cigarette. He is 92.
I smoked heavily for 42 years; gum, patches, lozenges didn’t do it for me. I switched to e-cigs 10 years ago – no cravings, no weight gain, no stress, no stink, no spending hundreds of dollars a month on cigarettes. I am content to remain a nicotine addict.
I quit 27 years ago. For me the craving went away within a year. My reason for quitting was watching 2 very important people in my life die from smoking. I did not want to die like that. The longer I went without cigarettes, the better I felt. I have seen enough of the health effects from smoking since to quash any potential urges. I recently turned down an offer of a box of expensive cigars. I have been working on my brother in law for quite a while to urge him to quit. 2 massive heart attacks later, he still smoked. 3 weeks ago, he had no choice to quit. 2 strokes and he now lays in a hospital bed, can’t eat, drink, talk, walk. His prognosis to do any of those things again are slim. My wife is going to look at lot term facilities for him to go and slowly rot to nothing. Smoking has taken away everything that he lived for.
Go to a hospital and look at everyone in there dying for a cigarette. Is that how you want to die? That next cigarette you crave might be the one that kills you.
Though it’s only been a year for me, the cravings aren’t intense. But then again, I also quit drinking at the same time. Since the doctors pretty much said quit smoking or else, I figured I’d quit drinking as well since the two seem to go hand-in-hand. One nice aspect of that is I’m saving around $400 a month by not drinking or smoking.
I do think the cigarette smoke is horrible when I walk by a smoker and it makes me cringe to realize I used to smell like that. It sounds horrible, but the smell does reek and makes me gag now.
But I’m not (and won’t be) one of those former smokers who will get on a soapbox.
I still have dreams of smoking
I won’t chance smoking again. The last thing I was going right before my stroke last January was smoking a cigarette outside at work during break. Next thing I knew I was looking around wondering why I was standing outside, and then realized my cigarette was lying on the sidewalk. And I couldn’t pick it up. Out of frustration, I went back inside work and sat at my desk. And I couldn’t move my mouse. In fact, it dawned on me I couldn’t move my arm at all. It was just hanging there limp.
Co-workers realized what was going on (I couldn’t answer their questions for some reason, but just kept picking up my limp arm and watching it fall back down into my lap), and called 911.
I quit cold turkey 55 years ago. I had some desire for maybe 15 years. Now I find the thought of a cigarette repulsive. Hang in there.
I have the impression that the age at which you started matters a lot. My SIL didn’t start smoking until after he was 20 and he quit easily when my daughter told him that if he wanted to move in he had to stop. On the other hand, I was about 14 when I started. And my parents both smoked so I had been exposed for my entire life.
Quit 13 years ago using Chantix. Cravings went away in the first year.
I also made lifestyle changes so that helped put me in the “eww gross” category when I think about smoking now. I can’t think of any situation that would make me pick one up again.
I’m at about 13 years - also used Chantix. The physical nicotine cravings aren’t there for me in that it’s not something I need to feel normal. But every once in a while, I get smacked upside the head with the psychological craving, that my brain interprets as a physical craving, that jonesin’ for a smoke feel. But the smell of smoking repulses me, which is what’s likely to keep me off them.
I wouldn’t pick one up again because I’d be at 1-2 packs a day within a month, and I can’t afford that health-wise or money-wise these days.
I have dreams of smoking, and I’ve smoked maybe one or two cigarettes in my life. However, my father was a heavy smoker all of my life, so I’m sure that’s why.
In re the following - IANADoctor or medical researcher, and this is just from what I have heard and observed. I think I have a good sense of reliable sources, i.e. I listen to information from the medical community, not what my friends or family tell me, when it comes to health care… but at this point I can’t guarantee my sources.
Ok, from what I’ve heard, nicotine is an anti-depressant. So, if you’re addicted to nicotine, it may be that you’re self-medicating depression. Or, in the case of the OP, the cravings may be coming when something is triggering depression. It may be worth talking to a doctor about this. I’ve known some people who didn’t even have to deal with cravings when they went on an anti-depressant. They just stopped wanting the cigarettes about two weeks in.
Sadly, it didn’t work for rjk, he continued to smoke until the day he had the heart attack that put him in the hospital.
Which leads to a pet theory I have - I think there are more psycho-active drugs in tobacco than just nicotine. Because vaping and nicotine gum didn’t work for rjk either - he still experienced cravings. So I think that there are more substances in tobacco, that haven’t been identified because they are not as potent as nicotine.
I wish I knew who to pass this on to that would get someone looking at that possibility.
It’s been about 17 years for me. I didn’t really have any physical cravings after I was done with the patch. The situational psychological cravings were there for a while. If I was able to get through divorce, war and raising teenagers without feeling the urge to start again I think the urge is gone.
How can you enjoy standing next to a smoker and enjoy the second-hand smoke? As soon as I walk by a someone standing outside smoking, the stench makes me walk by even faster. I can’t stand the smell now (though the smell of someone lighting one up further away does smell good).
1 month, 2 days, and 13 hours for me in my most recent attempt to quit. I have been trying for at least 15 years and I always have failed. I guess it’s like the old saying - “All marriages are forever, until they aren’t” right? Right now I find the cravings manageable but sometimes they do hit pretty strong and I got to work hard mentally to stay strong for a few moments until they pass. By and large it’s not the cravings so much as it is that I just don’t feel like myself. I feel like part of me is missing and that is the activity of smoking, the pleasure I got from it, etc. So I’ve just been living one milestone to the next… just get to or through X or Y:
1 day without a cigarette.
The girls up and dressed and dropped off at day care without stopping afterwards for a cigarette.
3 days without a cigarette.
1 week without a cigarette.
A long business trip including social drinking without a cigarette.
2 weeks without a cigarette.
1 month without a cigarette.
A stressful family weekend out of town without a cigarette.
And now I’m just trying to get to 6 weeks without a cigarette.
I’m doing my best to avoid triggers or risk factors for lighting up. I’m avoiding where at all possible social drinking which is a HUGE risk factor for me. I love a cold beer or a nice bourbon with a cigarette. Fortunately I rarely drink at home so I don’t have that patter/risk factor but I do enjoy going out socially and having a drink on occasion. I am also using the patches this time so I am very vigilant to ensure I do not run out and that every morning I shower and apply a new patch first thing. No, I don’t usually go days without showering but since I work from home my shower schedule is pretty flexible and sometimes I may not get into the shower until the afternoon. Wearing a patch from the previous day means I would be at +24 hours, probably getting a very low to no nicotine from the patch, and again vulnerable to “caving in” and lighting up. Yes, these are things that have tripped me up in the past.
I wish every day I could go back to 20-something MeanJoe and keep him from taking that first cigarette from a buddy. Smoking and trying to quit smoking is a god damn nightmare.
Amen. Just last night I was riding on the light rail pretty close to midnight. At one stop a man got on and sat three rows behind me. The reek of old cigarette smoke followed him and persisted faintly for three stops until he got off.
It might have been magnified because we were the only two in that end of the car and/or he was likely smoking one until the train arrived but, yeesh. It’s not like I have a hypersensitive nose, either. My sister-in-law often teased my brother and I about the [name] nose.
I chewed Copenhagen for a decade. I quit by taking up smoking. I never wanted to be a smoker and so I only smoked at night. It got to a point that my nicotine intake was only during 1 hr out of 24 and that’s when I knew I could quit. Lucky for me, after I quit, I found that I can smoke or chew in small doses without the need to have more. Once or twice a year I’ll have a crazy night with friends and smoke while drinking but it doesn’t seem to affect me later. (other than the hangover)