The SDMB Ex-Smoker’s club, 2001 edition

Jazzmine’s thread seems to have dropped off, and it had a semi-ambiguous title anyway. But the community ought to know that several of us are, at this very moment, trying to kick the evil weed out of our lives.

Ex-smokers, Check in!

jazzmine, Tequila Mockingbird, callie, jayjay, ruadh,, how y’all doing?

Arden Ranger, in or out for now?

Any others trying to quit?

How did last year’s quit smoking class do?

We certainly appreciate any support!

Today I was almost bad. I had a, um, bad meeting with my compliance department and outside counsel yesterday afternoon, and it carried over to this morning’s pre-board meeting. And the Chairman asked a question to which I didn’t know the answer. Then the General Counsel wanted to see me for a little while. All before 8:00. And I forgot to put on my patch this morning.

Know what I did? I went down to the drugstore in our building and I bought ::drumroll:: another box of patches! Not ciggies. Patches. Dropped $50 instead of $5 because this time, I really want to quit. Slapped that sucker on in the elevator on the way back up, too. I’m ghoddamned proud of myself.

I have been smoke free for so long now that I no longer count the days that I have been smoke free (if that makes any sense).

Quitting does suck, and I had several false starts before I made it, but I can assure you that quitting is worth the temporary aggravation you are facing now. You know you can do it. I’ll be rooting for you and everyone else trying to beat the beast. Remember, R.J. Reynolds don’t give two shits about you!

I am, however, single-hadedly keeping the Wrigley Gum Company in business.

Yay manny!!!

Hope it keeps going well. hugs for manny and anyone else trying to quit

Hello, my name is Francesca and i am an ex-smoker.

I had my last cigarette almost exactly a week ago - 5pm Thursday 12th April. It’s been a hard week, especially when i lost my job (I came so damn close)… but i haven’t given in and i’ve used my gum twice. Hurrah for us, Manny :smiley:

The physical addiction is fine, it’s the psychological barrier that’s a nightmare. I’ve been smoking since i was 11 years old! And i’m definitely not yet out of the habit of of “Oh, i’ve got 5 mins to wait, time for a ciggie” but i’m getting there. I’ve distracted myself by playing The Sims and since the worst time for me is just before bed, i’ve helped myself get to sleep by… er… cough. Well, let’s just say it doesn’t just make men roll over and sleep.

The most bizarre side-effect? My lips are really, really dry. Why is that?

Plus points: I can definitely, definitely breath more easily. See me inhale! And i’ve actually started to run on the treadmill rather than walk fast, but this may just be due to increasing fitness levels.

Fran

[sub]must control urge to say something inappropriate to this thread…[/sub]

While my orginal deal was after manhattan sucessfully quit, I would, I decided to give it a shot now. Unfortunatly for me, I’m allergic to the patches. I’ve got this hideous rash on my upper arm that’s itching like no body’s business!

The gum? The gum is VILE!

Consequently I have discovered that it IS possible to suffer from high stress and depression at the same time.

I’m a weak woman. I admit it. I can’t quit cold turkey, not this close to finals. But I have seriously cut back to one every couple of hours or so and I had my daughter hide all my lighters. The ends of my pens all look like chew toys and I now seriously need to have my nails done.

Somebody hold me.

manhattan, I’m SO proud of you!

I’m on day 11 and I believe the family is just now starting to relax around me. :wink:

I don’t think the lack of nicotine is bothering me much, but the habit of smoking is driving me crazy.

Good job all of you.

Quitter checking In.

I’m taking Zyban and using the patch as a backup. Luckily, with Zyban, you start taking the pills and THEN you quit smoking. So far, I can feel myself not WANTING to smoke as much. So maybe it’s working. Needing the support though. hugs to everybody

It’s been a little over 3 weeks for me. I feel guilty.

I had no problems. I went off the patch after 4 days and haven’t had a smoke yet. My worst problem has been boredom. I feel guilty that I’m not suffering like almost every other person I’ve ever known of who quit smoking has.

I also feel a little silly that I apparently wasn’t addicted at all. So I spent 11 years, thousands of dollars, and probably weeks of my time feeding an addiction that never actually existed. It’s also possible that the fact that I smoked ultra-lights for that entire time helped ease the transition.

I still feel guilty.

And Francesca, I’ve noticed the dry lips, too. Horrible chapping until I finally got a clue and bought some lip balm.

I still feel guilty. :eek:

You go, manny and Francesca!

Y’all have my utmost respect and admiration.


“Quitting smoking is easy, I’ve done it hundreds of times.” - Mark Twain

I second the Wart. I think you know you’ve quit successfully when you can no longer remember how long it’s been. Expect a few false starts. I flushed half a pack of smokes down the toilet every night for weeks. Stay with it (even if you’re not using the potty method. Good luck!

I’m still here. Not suffering so badly this time. Still early though :smiley:

I just want to wish you all the best. I quit about five years ago after a ten year pack a day habit. It’s a little odd, but I look back on smoking with a sort of misguided nostalgia. I miss the taste sometimes and find myself in the occasional ‘this is where I used to have a cigarette’ moment. There’s no craving though. Fortunately I was able to embrace being a non-smoker fairly easily.

I used the patch and found its effects immediate. I never really suffered much in the way of physical withdrawal and it was worth it for the dreams. Sunflower seeds and gum prety much took care of anything that was left. The one thing I was a little unsure of was how to ‘come out’ as a non-smoker. I know it sounds stupid but I knew that some people would try to support me to the point of driving me to smoke just to spite them. I carefully picked my spot and made sure that I could do things my own way and in my own time. I had the prescription for about 6 months before I used it. Looking back I guess that timing was definitely the most important factor.

Anyway… good luck everyone. Try to remember that you’re fighting a war of atrition and that you can’t lose if you just hold out long enough.

I’ve been off cigarettes since early March. During that time, I slipped up once when I was out at a bar with friends. I took about 2 hauls off of it and realized that it was making me ill and dizzy and that I didn’t want it.

I went cold turkey, and I still have occasional moments when I want one bad enough to spit. But a big swig of grapefruit juice helps a lot. My reason for going cold turkey was mainly that I’d have to withdraw at some point, whether I used the patch, gum or whatnot, so I might as well just do it.

Good luck and congrats to all of us former smokers.

Sort-of quit now for five years.

“Sort-of,” you ask? Well, I’m still a sucker for a good cigar, but fortunately, there’s no place to smoke 'em anymore, including my own home. Cigars outdoors are fine when it’s not cold, hot, windy, or raining. That leaves me about twelve opportunities a year, which I fiercely covet.

Oh, yeah. And I dip Skoal. Constantly. Some mornings I wake up to discover that I put a dip in while I was asleep. One of the greatest shocks of my life was when I discovered that there are no rednecks in New Zealand. I resorted to chewing shitty cigars (another problem down there), which has to be the most vile method of nicotine delivery I’ve yet attempted.

But hey, the manual habit is kicked. I don’t even like cigarettes anymore. That alone was just as difficult as kicking the sex thing. Don’t ask me about that.

passerby’s 11-step program to stop smoking:

  1. Starting many years before beginning the stop-smoking program, learn everything about the dangers of smoking.

  2. Then guiltily ignore all further notices about such dangers, telling yourself that they’re lies, that you can stop anytime, and that smoking is actually good for you. Emphasize this by actually not smoking for hours at a time, proving that (a) it is not addictive, and (b) when you stop smoking you start feeling awful, so cigarettes are good, right?

  3. Move to a place where everybody’s super-fit and nobody smokes, failing that start hanging out with athletes. The intent here is to provide the benefits of smoking to those who don’t: your clothes smell, your eyes burn, your constantly generating trash, you avoid stairs and take elevators, you’d rather wait 1/2 hour for the next bus instead of running for this one and risking a heart-attack…

  4. Continue steps 2 and 3 until you’re catching colds throughout the year and coughing on a daily basis, to the point that your tongue feels like the pavement at Times Square, your throat feels like it’s been through a cheese grater coated with salt, and your lungs feel like they have more holes than a colander.

  5. Pre-planning: Now buy nicotine gums and a pack of smokes. Go home and take out the gums from the little packets while chain-smoking the whole pack of cigarettes – those damn Nicorette wrappers are so friggin hard to open they’ll drive a 5-year old to smoking! Now take the gums and put a couple everywhere: in the living-room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom (hey now you can “smoke” while taking a shower, coool), in the car, at the office, and in every damn pocket of every piece of clothing you have.

  6. Stop smoking: buy a bottle of scotch and a bag of chips, go home, eat, chew a gum, drink some scotch and empty the bag of chips, chew a gum, sleep, wake up, chew a gum, roll around in bed, sleep, wake up, chew a gum, shave and shower, go to work, notice you didn’t shave part of your face, remember that on the way you cut off some car because it was yellow, eat a pop-tart, chew a gum, try to focus on the computer monitor, drink some coffee and eat another pop-tart, chew a gum, go and yell at your coworkers, chew a gum, stare at the computer monitor, eat lunch, chew a gum, stare at the computer monitor, leave work early.

  7. Don’t go home after work: go to one of those state parks where smoking is prohibited, take a bottle of water and go hiking. Notice that after 5 minutes of going uphill you start to black out. That is great news, just sit there and cry, chew a gum, hike some more, black out again then go home. At home, chew gum, eat, drink scotch and empty another bag of chips, chew gum, sleep, rinse, repeat.

  8. Repeat steps 6 and 7 daily. You can add variety by (a) yelling at your best friend and calling him the friggin son-of-a-bitch that he is, (b) telling your manager that he’s a bleedin idiot, © showing the bird to a Hells Angel, (d) drinking rum, (e) emptying bags of peanuts.

  9. As time goes on, cut down on the gums. Eventually forget how bad your throat and lungs used to hurt, so buy a cigar and smoke it, remember how badly your throat and lungs used to hurt. Do not stop hiking, even if it is just to see how after only a month, you can cover four times as much distance in half as much time, and you don’t even blackout anymore. Do not stop drinking either, ignore people who say drinking is bad for your liver. Frame the thank-you letters from Doritos and Planters Peanuts.

  10. After a year, discover that you have found some extra time and cash in your life. Pick up a hobby that does not invlove collecting cigarette packets or lighters from around the world. Substantially cut down on drinking, ignore the coupons from Doritos.

  11. After two years, find yet another stash of Nicorettes in your house, and look back with a smile at those good old blury stop-smoking days, that job you got fired from, that reckless-driving ticket, and that one time you got your butt kicked by the no-necked idiot at the bar who got upset at being called “Bambi…”

I last quit smoking in Lent of 1996 (technically). I had tried the patches and the gum, but neither seemed to do anything but remind me I wasn’t smoking. I realized that it was not so much the chemicals that were addictive, instead it was just the physical motions of having the cigarette.

Lent of 1996 came, and I chose to use misery as my crutch. I gave up smoking, drinking, meat, and caffeine at the same time. Alot of this was because I found it impossible to have a beer or coffee/tea without a smoke…but the misery and self-pity did serve to strengthen my resolve.

Just checking in today to say still going strong - i didn’t have a cigarette last night even though i was practically chewing the blanket wanting one. I don’t know why this is - the first few days weren’t so bad, but now i’ve made it to a week smoke-free it’s driving me up the wall.

There’s a constant battle going on in my head and it’s the dullest battle you’ve ever heard:

Me1: You could just have one
Me2: No, i can’t just have one. If i have one i will have another one.
Me1: But just one isn’t going to make a difference. It’s not like one is going to make you instantly addicted.
Me2: No, that’s not the point. You just don’t get it do you?
Me1: Yeah i get it, but why are you doing this anyway? I mean, it’s far easier just to smoke.
Me2: No. No, no, no, no, no, no. Shut up.
Me1: You could just have one.
Me2: No, i can’t just have one.

Ad infinitum. I’m so bored of myself.

At the weekend my dad brought me back 200 cigs from Belgium (granted, he didn’t know i was giving up). I gave them away. That was hard.

And you’re right Arden, the gum is vile. But since i’m tring to have as little nicotine as possible, this is a good thing. Like Lsura i figure i’m going to have to withdraw at some point, so it might as well be now. I currently have half a stick of gum before i go to bed and that’s it.

I’m also on a weightloss plan (2001 seems to be my year for finally doing stuff) which complicates things, but i’m actually not finding that too hard since the diet is now a habit and i’m used to saying “no” to certain things. I’m happy to gnaw a carrot and drink a ton of water nowadays. And like i said before, i’ve already noticed the effects down the gym. I ran on the treadmill for 7 whole mintues last night - that might not sound like much but 7 minutes is a long time when you’re running on a treadmill even if you have got the dulcet tones of Hear’Say urging you on.

Anywho, i shall be away for the weekend and will report back in on Monday.

I really hope everyone who’s quitting now too is doing ok. Check in, check in!

Fran

Three weeks, five days, 18 hours, 32 minutes and 15 seconds. 535 cigarettes not smoked, saving $169.56. Life saved: 1 day, 20 hours, 35 minutes.
Hey! I rock!! Cold turkey after ten years - I never thought that I would be able to do it, but that gosh-darn Silk Quit meter has me intimidated. Look at it - 535 not smoked. So if I have “just one”, I’ll have to set it back to zero, and there is no way on Earth I can do that!! And it’s all thanks to the people of the Straight Dope for putting me on to the Silk Quit meter in the first place. I love it! :slight_smile:

So, can anyone tell me when I’ll stop dreaming I’m smoking? Last few nights, I kept having dreams in which I gave up quitting, and started smoking again.

Oh, and Francesca - my internal dialogue for the first week went something like
Evil Me: Let’s go smoke
Good Me: No. I’m quitting.
Evil Me: Just one.
Good Me: No! I know you! No smoking!
Evil Me: Ok then, what can we do instead? Hmm, we need some way to pass the time… I know, let’s go out for a smoke!
Good Me: Good idea! Let’s do tha… hey! No fair!! I’m not falling for your tricks.
Evil Me: D’oh! I was THAT close!!

Me too. Quit almost five weeks ago. I’m still suffering, but not as bad as week #2 which was a killer.

:smiley: passerby that was hilarious!

I quit cold turkey when I enlisted (about a month ago).

The only time I really have problems is when I sit down to read a book. I used to always smoke then. It drives me crazy.

Now I just have to quit reading and I’ll be OK.