A bit of background… I’ve been a smoker my whole adult life (I’m now 40) although the amount I smoke daily has varied dramatically. For the last couple of years I’ve been down do c.5 a day (barring parties) and have been stealing myself for that final push to kick it altogether. Til now, the willpower for that final push has always escaped me.
Present day… I’ve had a fairly stinking cold for the last ten days which, though mostly gone, has left me with a niggling cough (yes yes, not smoking-unrelated I’m sure). During the last ten days I’ve smoked maybe 5 cigarettes tops, on days when my nicotine craving overwhelmed my revulsion to the idea of choking on the smoke.
However, for the last 3 days, and now day 4, I just haven’t wanted one. My cough is still there, and the thought of having a cigarette is still fairly horrible. I still get the odd nicotine craving but, so far, the cold is winning.
My question is this. When my cold/cough goes, can I keep this up? Have I beaten the worst of the nicotine withdrawals or will they come back when I’m feeling better? I’m reluctant to take nicotine replacement therapy as I figure I’ve beaten the worst of it and the last thing I want to do is reignite my nicotine dependency.
So, ex-smokers, Advice please! I’d really really like this to be the end of it.
the most important thing about quitting smoking is that you MUST WANT TO STOP!
Anything else, nicotine patches, hypnotism, voodoo is just window dressing.
No aids but the willingness to stop?..succeed
No willingness to stop but a ton of nicorette?..epic fail (as I believe the kids all say these days).
Believe me, I’ve been there. Tried to quit many, many times. the only thing that ever worked was when I woke up one morning, feeling rotten and said “that’s it!” I used a small amount of chewing gum to blunt the craving but the real hard work was already done. (and it has now been 12 years!)
I suspect only you will know whether you have reached that point. Good luck. you won’t regret it.
My mother did exactly this - had a stinking cold during which she didn’t feel like smoking and continued to not smoke once she recovered. She did have the occassional cigarette afterwards though, at parties and such like, and she said that was the more difficult thing - the social aspect of having a smoke rather than the nicotine withdrawal.
I am not a smoker or a doctor, but I’m pretty sure I have read that the physical addiction to nicotine is gone after 72 hours, so from that point of view you’re doing well. The question is whether you can give up the mental habit of smoking, but it sounds like it’s going well so far. Good luck!
It’s also about the change of habit. If I have a cold bad enough to stay off work, then I won’t be having cig breaks to get away from my desk, I’ll be lying on my sofa feeling sorry for myself. If you can prepare for the triggers to smoke that aren’t there when you’re sick, e.g. waiting for the train to work, your afternoon cig break, your colleagues doing your head in, your social life which has been on hold while you snivel snot, you’ll be fine.
I know I’ve posted about this in the past, but it’s been a while. For me it was behavior modification. I found something else to occupy my mind and hands while quitting after close to 30 years of puffing away. It happened to shake down to online jigsaw puzzles, which kept my mind from focusing on craving a cigarette. Whatever works. I sure did a lot of them!
As previously mentioned you will have to WANT to quit but also quit for YOURSELF. Unless you have that desire and you’re doing it for you - not the SO, the kids, or your friends – the success rate can be lower.
I also took a smoking cessation class through my workplace. Admittedly, the attrition rate was high, but at the end there were still six of the original 20 who ‘graduated.’ That was nine years ago and I’m still smoke-free. It did work for me. Area hospitals and other organizations often offer free classes like that. Worth checking in to.
Another small thing I did for myself was behavior reward. For every week I went without a smoke, I rewarded myself with something. Always a small thing – otherwise you’d go broke - but something to show for your effort in staying smoke-free.
Deep breathing also helped a lot, which was something I learned in the class. Something or other about the extra oxygen offsetting the neurotransmitters that crave the nicotine. Smarter minds than mine will have to explain that better.
And the best of luck in quitting. If I did it, anybody can. I actually liked smoking!
Same scenario for my FIL - I was astonished at the time because I had no idea he was interested in quitting, and suddenly noticed he had, and he’s never gone back.
Good luck with quitting!