Methods of Quitting Smoking?

I’m looking to hear people’s experiences with quitting smoking - any sort of methods you’ve used - gum, patches, hypnotis, etc?

What worked well? What didn’t? I realize what works for one person may not work well for another, but I haven’t ever spent much time really thinking about it.

I have set a ‘quit date’, which I’ve heard was a good idea, not to just up and quit, but to plan ahead.

For ex-smokers:
How do you deal with the cravings?
Did you gain weight? Lose it?
What changes (positive or negative) have you found since quitting?
How long has it been? Do you ever smoke - at all?

Thanks everyone!!


This book saved my life. I quit 9/9/2000 and I’ve never come close to smoking since. That’s after 2 packs a day for 26 years.

It’s different than every other book and system out there, and it works, works, works. Read the reviews. Save your life.


I quit smoking about a year and a half ago, after having smoked for 10 years and worked my way up to 2 packs a day. I only tried to quit once in my life and succeeded - before I was ready to quit I didn’t bother trying at all because I knew that for me I had to really mean it. Besides I didn’t want to put myself through the misery more than once.

Here is what I did:

First I made sure I was really really ready. Not quitting because someone else was pressuring me into it, not quitting because I couldn’t stand the guilt and second-class citizenship from society any more, and certainly not because I thought I should. I waited until I ** wanted ** to quit more than I wanted anything else in my life at that time.

Then I talked to my doctor and got a prescription for Zyban, also known as Welbutrin. It is a situational anti-depressant, and the idea is that it stops you from feeling like your world is going to end and your body physically die without a smoke RIGHT NOW. It kept me just sane enough to remember why I was quitting. It worked really well for me, but I know others who just felt too oogy on it to be able to continue using it and they did not succeed in quitting using that method.

Also I didn’t quit cold turkey. Instead I used a method my father had used to successfully quit, decades before. You pick a quit day. That day you start waiting just as long as you can stand to, before having your first smoke of the day. Once you’ve had the first, you can smoke as you would regularly. Gradually each day you push it back a little farther until you aren’t having your first smoke until late late late, and then you cut that last one out altogether. I plateaued at one a day for about a week before finally stopping altogether, so all told it took just under two weeks.

Finally I discovered that not smoking at all is very different than waiting for that next smoke that you can’t have yet. For example I remember feeling freaking psychotic getting off of airplanes because all I could think of was getting outside as quick as possible so I could light up. Quitting, I find, is not like that feeling at all. Instead smoking simply isn’t an option, so I don’t feel that desperate anticipation.

I won’t lie to you - it is really really hard and boy was I a royal bitch. But I am soooo glad that I quit. I still to this day think to myself, “I want a smoke” but thinking that and having that little flash of desire is easy to ignore now. It is so much more wonderful to be a non-smoker than it ever was to give into that feeling.

Best of luck to you,


1/2 a pack a day for 17 years.

Two things helped me… I found a disgusting picture of what a smoker’s lungs looked like and I married a non-smoker.

One of these methods might be easier for you than the other.

I quit smoking once. I’m the type of smoker that lights a cigarette every morning before I even open my eyes. If you’re like that, don’t. Postpone that morning cigarette as long as you can, even if it’s only a half hour at first. DON’T watch the clock and say “Okay, it’s been 45 minutes, I can light up now” because, as I’m sure everyone knows, watching the clock only makes time go slower.

Everyday the time between when you wake up and when you have your first cigarette will get longer. Eventually, you won’t even have a first cigarette. And without a first cigarette, you can’t have a second now, can you?

Heh. I’m marrying a non-smoker in two weeks. That’s a big reason I’m trying to quit. I really want to do that - not only for him, since that would never work, but for me. He hates my smoking, but tolerates it. I really want to quit - or at least make my absolute best effort - as a sort of wedding present to him.


I am on Zyban now, this my third day without cigarettes. It seems to be more of an annoying feeling then a craving. If you are busy you will hardly even notice. I have noticed that I am more irritable then normal. I have cutout caffeine and smoking, after a ten year habit of 2 one liters of Mountain Dew, and a pack of cigarettes day. I decided I was better then that and got the help to quit.

What sucks is I broke up with my Girlfriend, an now none of my friends are returning my calls. So now I am under a great deal of stress as well. But I am going to make it.

That’s a great attitude, Aristides. Too bad to hear about your girlfriend, but I’m glad to see you so determined to make it - good luck!

I smoked for 37 years, the last few of them smoking over 3 packs a day. I used the patches to quit. The instructions on the box said to use each strength of patch for 2 weeks. I used each strength for 4 weeks. I quit in November of 2000. Never looked back.

Cravings? A few but the longer you go, the less they are.

One thing to remember. Unless you really want to quit, I mean really, really, really want to quit, there will be absolutely NO method that will work.

I can barely remember when I smoked my first cigarette, but I got addicted when I was fifteen. For the next sixteen years (I’m now thirty-one), I fluctuated from a little under a pack-a-day to over two packs-a-day.

How did I quit? Once, cold turkey, lasted a couple months. Twice, for aproximately twenty-four hours (on my own once, with a friend once). I also quit for two and a half months when I went to Basic Training (I started up again in AIT).

Then, about six or seven months ago, I found a good reason to quit when my wife got pregnant. That plus the desire to die of something other than emphysemia got me into the right frame of mind.

So I got on the Zyban plan. It really helps a lot.

Other stuff I do/have done: rearrange my environment and habits. Switch my brands of cigarettes before quitting, and cut down on the amount of cigarettes I smoked prior to the Big Day. Cut down on the caffeine. Set up a reward system for myself based on money saved. Concentrate on how much better I feel (it wasn’t instantaneous). Pray. Exercise. Change my environment and schedule. Stay real busy that first day or two. Temporarily avoid high stress situations (although I found out that life is more stressful without the stress–go figure). Brag about how much will-power I have. :wink:

The Zyban and the accompanying (common sense) plan is great, though. If you’re in the right frame of mind, where you really want to quit instead of just wanting to want to quit, I highly recommend it.

As to the OP’s other questions:

**How do you deal with the cravings? ** Besides losing my temper more often? Exercise and relaxation techniques, depending on the situation. And eating more.

Did you gain weight? Lose it? Yeah, I ton of weight. About forty pounds, and several inches on my waiste size. I understand, though, that a weight-gain this significant is rather unusual, though, so don’t let that hold you back. Do expect to gain some weight though, because it’s normal. My weight-gain’s leveled out now, however, and I’ll lose some (but not all) of it through a more well-thought-out diet and a more regimented exercise plan (instead of just when I want to work out or have a nicotine fit or whatever).

What changes (positive or negative) have you found since quitting? Other than the positive and negative stuff I’ve already mentioned, I find I have a little more money and a sense of accomplishment. It was hard and I’m happy I did it.

How long has it been? Do you ever smoke - at all? Seven months? Something like that. And no, I never smoke.

I quit using the same book that Stoid linked to. In case you missed it, here it is again :
Allen Carr’s Easy Way to Quit Smoking

While it doesn’t work for everyone (I agree with you that no one method works for everybody) I can swear by it, and I know of others who tried various different things, and only this book worked for them.

**How do you deal with the cravings? **
The book predicts mild-ish cravings for the first three weeks. I actually had around two or three twinges, and that was it. Every other time I’ve tried to quit, it was hell, but this time was very easy. The twinges could be likened to a hunger twinge, when you’re an hour late for dinner… easy to ignore by doing something else, when it hits.

Did you gain weight? Lose it?
I gained a little, but I’m not sure how much can be blamed on quitting smoking, since my eating habits didn’t change, and I’ve been steadily, but slowly gaining weight for a while. I’d do it even if I knew I was going to gain four times what I did. It’s a great feeling, to be clean, free and non-smelly :slight_smile:

**What changes (positive or negative) have you found since quitting? **
Negative changes : I’m a typical reformed smoker… I don’t lecture, but given the chance (like now) I will wax on about how excellent you feel when you quit, and how easy it can be.
Positive changes : Health, definitely. I also have more self-respect, and am more aware of what goes into my body, more health-conscious, I guess. I also feel like I can achieve anything, since I quit smoking, and have gone on to quit biting my nails and am attacking my weight next. I also feel eager to attack my weight, too, not depressed like I have felt every other time I’ve contemplated dieting… I feel like nothing is beyond me.

**How long has it been? Do you ever smoke - at all? **
It’s been over a year, now. I quit on Feb 22nd 2001. I have had half a puff on 9/11, stupidly thinking I did need it, and realised that I didn’t when I coughed and nearly vomited !
Except for that one instance (I was stressed and reached for the familiar to comfort me, fortunately I know it can never comfort me, since it made me sick) I have felt absolutely no cravings since the first week.

Good luck. One word of advice, quit for yourself, not anyone else.
Feel free to e-mail me if you have any questions about the book :slight_smile:

three things helped me quit.

  1. Wanting to quit.
    I tried before, and I failed. I was using the inhaler, and was doing ok until the first day I forgot it. I lasted an hour without it.

This time, I really wanted to quit. I quit with a friend of mine. we both used the patch, and found it worked really well. I have put a bit of weight on, but I am glad as I was underweight anyway.

I find I’m quicker to lose my temper, but I intend on starting Tai-Chi to help with stress reduction.

the patch was a wonder. I didnt physically want a cigarette, mentally yes, buit the sense of achievement of beating a mental craving is a really good incentive.
Best of luck.

Believe it or not, prayer. Clean +/- 10 years now.

I quit smoking with my SO about 4 months ago after about 10 years.

Here is what I did.

For a couple of years before I slowly built up to it by ruling out the places that I allowed myself to smoke. I got a new apartment, and never smoked in it. Just out on the deck. I got a new car and never smoked in it. After a while, I had ruled out these 2 very common places to smoke. Nearly every cig was an inconvienience to have.

Then I set a date: my wisdom teeth coming out about 6 months away. I smoked right up until the surgery and then quit. I figured I would be miserable for the weekend anyway so I might as well kill 2 birds with one stone.

I used the patch for 2 weeks (one $30 box) and then stopped using it and haven’t had a physical craving since. The mental addiction is a problem also, but I think the build up to a quit date helps very much with that.

The other major thing I had going for me through this was that I never tried to quit before, not once. I always said I won’t try to quit, I will quit once I decide it is time.

Good luck sic!

Exact same attitude I had **Debaser[b/]. For me it helped knowing that this one quitting experience was it, no turning back and no compromises.


i’ve quit smoking about once a year for about the last 3. really the only thing it did was confuse me about what to do at parties.

i wish you luck and hope you really quit, assuming that is what you want!