Ex-Smokers: When Does "Quitting" Become "Quit"?

Wow, it’s been nearly three years since my last cigarette, and yet for the last few days I’ve felt like I’d do anything just to have one more. I guess I’ve been hoping all this time to transition from “quitting smoking” to just “quit”, but does it ever happen or am I going to have periodical cravings for the rest of my life?

It has been about 3 years for me too. I have the odd twinge. I was shopping yesterday and saw a tobacconist and had sort of wistful thoughts about buying a packet of cigarettes. It was too easily beaten off to count as “craving” though and soon forgotten.

My mother quit in 1967 and still misses it.

The answer to your question is never.

My father and I had a discussion about this a long time ago, and he made a good point. Just like any addictive substance, you can stop using it but you’re still an addict. His precise words: “You can stop, but you can’t quit”. That makes a lot of sense to me, and is pretty much the basis for AA and NA.

Airman Doors has it right. Whenever anyone says to me, “Hey, ya quit smoking, huh?” I always say, “Nope. You never really quit smoking. You’re just between cigarettes.”

The first time I “quit” I went nine years between cigarettes. Now I’m about a year between cigarettes. :slight_smile:


It’s an addiction and you’re an addict. You have to do it one day at a time and there will be days when you are just going to either die or kill someone if you don’t have a cigarette. Grit your teeth, persevere, and remember that if you take even one drag, you’ve wasted those three years or however long it’s been since your last, because you fell off the wagon.

It’s been about 8 or so years for me, and I still think about smoking daily. I sometimes dream about smoking and wake up feeling guilty, and I can’t walk into a store without looking wistfully at the packs behind the counter.

So like everyone else has said, it’s never truely gone. However, it does get easier to beat the cravings and walk away.

Yep, that’s the way I look at it: I’ll always be a smoker, I’m just not smoking at the moment – as per Alcoholics, etc.

It’s only been 18 months but I found that once I could accept that realisation, it took a lot of pressure off. It was, perhaps surprisingly, a positive step.

I “stopped” smoking back in '93, but I’ll never be “quit”.

All it would take is one drunken night in a bar and I’d be right back at it like a duck to water.

I smoked for 10 years
I quit for one year
I smoked for another 5 years
I quit for 5 years
Then I smoked for another 3 years
Now I’ve quit again – it’s been about 1-1/2 years.

One of my coworkers says he occasionally dreams he smokes, and then wakes up with powerful cravings. He stopped 30 years ago.

The smell of cloves will always make me want to run in the nearest store and buy Djarum Specials. It’s been (almost) seven years. Something about the smell just drives me up the wall, and makes me think about the sweet candy-like coating on the filters and the way the smoke razors into my lungs like it has claws…what a delightful feeling.

Then I will (forceably, in some instance) remind myself of the white balls of gunk that I used to cough up every morning just to get my lungs working again, and I resist. I think I’m going to be resisting all my life. But I am never, ever smoking again.

I can honestly say I quit. When I did stopped smoking 11 years ago that was the end of a 4 year promise I made to myself just after my mother died. I had urges but I haven’t had any in over 5 years. I have absolutely no desire to ever smoke again and I never will.

I refuse to die the way my mother did. Especially when it was preventable.

I quit smoking in 1994, a year after watching Mom choke to death on her own cancerous lungs. Took great effort, and I was not a nice person at that time.

But I quit.

About six months after my laaaast cigarette (and after I quit using the patch), the cravings pretty much quit. Haven’t craved a cig since Christmas of '94.

Weirdly enough, though… sometimes, in my dreams, I still smoke, from time to time…

I quit February 7, 2000. I quit. I never have cravings, ever.

Besides which, cancer has killed too many in my family for me to ever smoke again.

I ceased smoking over 24 years ago and I no longer have twinges or cravings. Cigarettes and smokeless tobacco (Copenhagen) displays no longer attract a longing gaze. The aroma of a decent pipe tobacco or cigar outdoors is not all that bad. I do think that over the years whatever they put in cigarettes has changed, it seems like a lot of the cigarettes people are smoking now smell like a smoldering manure heap. It could be the costs, I remember thinking fifty cents a pack was highway robbery, the things are pushing four bucks a pack now. Even though it has been over 24 years I won’t say that I have quit smoking. Smoking is an addiction and one can not quit an addiction, they can only cease using the product they are addicted to, one day at a time.

I stopped smoking Sept. 13 1991. I craved every day 15- 17 hours (pretty much every waking moment). I quit smoking Oct. 13 1991. I realized at that point that I actually could quit. I did have minor cravings for several months after that, but near the end of October I quit drinking alcohol and coffee (have since embraced both again) and never wanted one again. These days when I think about smoking, I I have very fond memories of my SO at that time and her strength to help me through something that changed my life for the better.

I loved loved loved smoking. Sigh.

It has been since September of 2000 for me and I too think about it every day. I miss smoking so much but I also know I’ll never go back because after all it is a filthy disgusting habit that would kill me.

I stopped smoking about4 or 5 years ago. After the ten-week patch-using period and another week or two of sucking on lifesavers to keep the cravings down, I was finished. I had completed the quitting task and was now a non-smoker.

When I set out to quit, I deliberately decided not to make a note of the date, or count cigarettes not smoked, or any of those things that some people do, because I thought that doing that would make quitting seem like more of a chore. I approached it as a project that, once completed, would be completely done and over with, not an ongoing lifelong process. I just thought it would be psychologically easier that way.

I knew I was out of the woods when I found I was able to drink beer without feeling the need to light up. I still get the occasional craving at random times, but they are mild and infrequent and easily resisted and they go away within a few seconds.

I’m at five months, two weeks, five days, 12 hours, 52 minutes and 11 seconds. And still chewing Nicorette furiously. I’ve tried several times to quit the gum, but haven’t had success yet. Soon.

But I’ll always be a smoker. One who chooses not to smoke.

I quit in 1983 (2-pack/day). Still occasionally want one (especially when in a bar), but the craving’s pretty weak now. The strong cravings will eventually pass.