I'm doing it, dammit!

Warning - I’m about to go into something of a small rant, and I’m not sure what the point may be. You’d be well advised to just skip this.
I’ve been a smoker for 18 years. For 15 of those years, I’ve been an addict and a heavy (a carton a week) smoker. Coupled with that, I’ve smoked more than my share of hash and weed. As a result, my lungs are a mess. I sometimes feel discomfort in different parts of my chest. Well, I’ve decided to put an end to some of that nonsense: I am quitting cigarettes. One of these days, I’ll have to consider quitting or cutting down on the pot, but for now I’ll concentrate on my stupidest habit. At least pot has interesting side effects. Cigarettes are useless.

Two nights ago, I made this decision. My first instinct was to go cold turkey. In that, I have failed to some extent, and had to re-evaluate my situation. As a compromise, I have cut back from nearly 30 cigarettes a day to a mere 3. One around the time I wake up, one after dinner, and one shortly before bedtime. I know that cold turkey is the best (maybe even the only) way to quit, but I’d rather compromise than simply attempt cold turkey, fail, and continue to smoke as heavily. In the course of the next couple of days, I’m going to ascertain which of those 3 cigarettes is the least “important” to me, and I’ll cut that one. I plan to do the same with the other two in a matter of a few more days.

Now why am I ranting about this? Well, partly because it sucks and I’m incredibly stressed out, partly because it gives me something to do with my hands (what the hell DO you non-smokers do with your hands?), and partly because a small part of me may actually be looking for some sort of support from the teeming millions out there. Maybe even another part of me is looking for someone to tell me that I’m being an idiot for not following through with my original intent of going cold turkey. I’m not sure what the hell I want. The way these things go, maybe nobody will even reply to this post, but at least it will still have served some of its purpose: being cathartic.

And, if anyone actually does reply with words of encouragement, praises, insults, criticisms, flames, kind words, sympathy, or just a “take it somewhere else, newbie,” fell free to do so. Meanwhile, I’ll just go on suffering and hoping that it gets easier somewhere along the way, and cursing my overly addictable personality (I swear, if I look at something the wrong way, I become addicted to it).

Thanks for putting up with this, assuming you have.

From what I know of smokers and that addiction, cutting from thirty to three is no small feat. Congratulations! May you soon be smoke free.

Zaphod - I never had a nicotine addiction, but I had to quit caffeine a few years ago, so I know how hard it can be. You have my sympathy and my support.

Several posters here have quit with the support of the people on this board. They should have some more practical advice, and will be happy to give you all of the support you need.

Thank you. I hope I am soon smoke-free.

Good for you for making the decision to cut down. I’ve never smoked before, but trust me, I can appreciate how hard it must be to quit. Good luck, and stay resolved.

I like your method, too; if you’d gone cold turkey, you’d be more likely to give into a craving. By reducing and rationing, you can tell yourself, “I’ll have one at dinner. I can wait till then.”

Ooops… I noticed that Zyada’s post slipped in as I was replying to Spider Woman. Thank you, Spider Woman, Zyada, and AudreyK for your words. I need the support more than I thought I did. :slight_smile:

Zaphod, best advice I can give you it to go to “The Great Smoke-out” or somesuch . … a thread started by, I believe, Shayna, a few months ago. Read over that. It might help some.

A friend of mine chewed gum. Another one took up eating Altoids like nobody’s business.

One of the more successful ex-smokers I knew took two small rubber balls (as opposed to anything that would make a sound) and manipulated them around in his hand. That’s good for dexterity, too. :slight_smile:

Oh, withdrawl is a pain… you have my sympathies.


Zaphod Beeblebrox, Good luck! And congratulations on your decision to do this.

I quit many years ago. Cold turkey was the only thing that worked for me. The problem isn’t the 40 that you’ll smoke in one day, it’s that one single smoke that you want right now. But that one smoke always leads to another. So for me, 3 a day wasn’t an option, because if you can do 3, what’s 4? And if you can do 4, what’s 5? Zero on the other hand, is pretty cut and dried.

A number of folks here have had luck with the patch; I’m sure they’ll be chiming in any time now.

Whatever works for you, just do it. It’s for the best and you’ll notice a difference very quickly. Within several days or a week, you’ll feel physically better; you can run faster, breath easier, etc.

Good luck and hang in there!

Frikenae, dude!!!

So, like, you’re like an inspiration, y’know… like I think I’m going to follow suit. Can it be possible that you are being a good influence on me?!?!?! (ewwww, Maybe we oughta take this to the pit…)

Seriously though, I’m really happy for you and believe that I will follow your example.

I’m very curious about the ‘what do you do with your hands’ thing… I have a few ideas, but they hardly seem appropriate.


(ps: the above is what happens when I post before imbibing the correct amount of coffee in the morning- sorry)

Cold turkey is the best way to go. It’s also the frickin’ hardest. So don’t be too hard on yourself if you fail. Just so long as you keep trying!!!

I tried quitting about 50 times before a finally got it. It has now been nearly 11 years since my last cig.

Tell yourself ‘Just for today, I will not smoke’…Talk about whatever you’re feeling, and eat whatever you feel you need to. Get a good pair of walking shoes and wear out the soles.

Good luck and Godspeed.

You can do it.

Just checking in with some support. You can do it! You can do it!

Look, cold turkey or not- 3 smokes a day is a hell of a lot better then a pack! You deserve much respect for your accomplishment. I have every confidence that you’ll be successful in cutting the remaining three out. If my husband did this, I’d be so happy I’d probobly cry.

Keep up the good work! Oh, and take up knitting or something. How about those yarn games that kids play? (cats cradle and such). You could make little beaded necklaces and label the “power”, “serenity”, and “wisdom”. Sell them for $10 each and make a mint!

Let us know how you do. We’re here for ya, man!

If you can manage to cut your smoking from 30/day to 3/day you are one tough hombre.

Since I smoke I understand how difficult quitting can be, I am not quitting… yet.

One cannot compare caffiene to nicotine, I know former heroin addicts that say the heroin was easier to kick than nicotine and I have heard this often.

Good luck!

I’m here for you, der buddy-guy…

so here is a helpful new rule…NO SMOKING IN MY HOUSE…
of course, this could backfire, and you just won’t come over anymore…but then Dewt would cry…it would make a scene, it might get ugly…

of course, I am puffing away as I type this, so who the hell am I to open my mouth !?.

as for Dewt following in your footsteps, well, I have an idea or twelve as to what he can do to keep his hands occupied…hehehehehe


“psst…can you spare a sig ?”

You can do this, Zaphod. I went from two packs a day to nothing, but it took years of quitting - restarting - quitting - restarting…

I’ve gotten to the point now where I only smoke when I’m drinking heavily (quite unusual these days). Just try not to fall into the trap where you believe that if you fall off the wagon, you’ve failed. Bullsh!t. Fall off the wagon, get back on the wagon - over and over, as many times as it takes. Eventually, you break the addiction.

Like feynn, I once knew a guy who got himself off heroin and yet never managed to quit smoking. Just realize that you’re up against a powerful enemy, but an enemy that can be defeated.

You can do this, bud.

I was away from my computer for a little while, so I had missed these new replies, but I thank all of you. And dewt, I’m glad I can be a good influence to someone. Maybe it’s that karma thing. :smiley:

So, for a little update: Nothing has changed yet. I am still having my three cigarettes a day. I was supposed to cut my first one out today, but I failed. However, I haven’t cheated a single time, so I guess I can be proud of that much. This is not easy at all. As a matter of fact, when I logged on and realized that I had some replies in this thread, I clicked on “post reply,” got up, ran downstairs, stopped, asked myself what the hell I was doing, realized that I was running down to get a smoke, turned around, and came back to post instead.

Wow… I think I exceeded the legal comma limit. It’s funny, but my thought patterns seem to be affected by this change. My typing is also suffering quite a bit, but I’m not losing as much time with my smoking hand and there are fewer ashes in my keyboard.

I’ve been keeping my hands busy by playing guitar, video games, writing, doing things I won’t mention in polite conversation, and unfortunately, eating too much. I wish I could find my old yo-yo.

Hang tough, Buddy. And remember that if you have a bad day and revert back to thirty-a-day, it’s not the end of things. Get back on the smoke-free wagon.

Altoids worked for my pack-a-day friend, he switched over to a pack a day of Altoids for about three months, but he hasn’t smoked a single cigarette since he stopped.

Godd going, Zaphod! With resolve like that, I’m sure you’ll make it. Hang in there, we’re all rootin’ for you.

Here they are: Smoke-out, Part 1 and Smoke-out, Part 2. Good luck, and congratulations on your progress so far!

How are the other “quitters” doing, by the way?

I know what you’re going through. I smoked a pack a day for 17 years. I went cold turkey 5 years ago. Once I made the decision, I stuck with it. Sounds like what you’re doing, but you need to give up those last three, too.

You really don’t need them, do you?

Watch out for weight gain. I gained about 50 pounds, and haven’t really lost any of it. I’m over 6’3", so it’s not like I’m ready for the circus. The doc says I’d have had to gain about 125 pounds for the risk of the weight to equal the risk of the smoking, but it still sucks being so big.

The urge lessens. A lot. But it never goes away. I’m tempted almost daily. Just take it one day at a time!

Oh, BTW – the original impetus to quit was a news story. Seems that almost everyone who gets pancreatic cancer is a smoker. My father-in-law died an agonizing death from pancreatic cancer, several years before the medical community found out the link and reported it. Whenever I think of having a cigarette, I think about that.