Vacation - good time to quit smoking?

I’m going on a short vacation in a few days, and have been trying to quit smoking for ages. I’m wondering if it would be a good time to quit. After all, I should be busy, entertained, I won’t be in my usual smoking environment, etc. However, I don’t want to be horribly cranky and irritable and ruin the trip. Any thoughts from ex-smokers (or smokers who have quit before)?

That was my reasoning when I tried to quit before a trip to Walt Disney World a couple years ago. I couldn’t smoke on the plane flight, I didn’t want to be having to look for places to buy smokes all over the place, and I would be occupied by all the magic of Disney so I wouldn’t even think about smoking, right?

Wrong. It was awful. Whenever I passed a smoking area, I wanted a cigarette. Whenever I went from inside to outside, I wanted a cigarette. When I was waiting in line, I wanted a cigarette. When I was on a ride, I wasn’t thinking about the ride, because I wanted a cigarette. When a parade started, I thought, “I want a cigarette.” Finally after two days, my brother (who’s a hard-line anti-smoker and gives me no end of grief about it) said, “This is stupid. I will buy you a pack of cigarettes if it just makes you stop scowling.” And he did (turns out they sell smokes at just about every store in Disney World, btw), and after that I was fine.

When you look at the pictures of that trip, it’s kind of comical. For the first couple of days, I’m standing in The Happiest Place On Earth, surrounded by giant happy characters, scowling and looking miserable.

So my opinion is: quitting smoking sucks. The idea of a vacation is to enjoy it, relax, and not think of anything other than having fun. And besides, if you can quit smoking when you’re in an unusual environment, that doesn’t really solve anything – as soon as you get back among all your usual smoking triggers, you’ll be inclined to go right back to your bad habits. The true test to be able to say you’ve really quit is when you can do things exactly the same way you do normally, but be free of the need to smoke.

Chuck (who went out for a cigarette while writing this post)

I quit smoking cold turkey a month & a half ago and I’m so glad I did it.

However, I don’t think I would have tried it during a vacation. Quitting is a stressfull time and I wouldn’t think I’d wanna bring that edgy feeling along with me on vacation.

Just my .02

Actually, that’s how I quit. My thinking behind doing it on vacation was this:

  • I may be cranky, but I’m as likely to be happy as I’ll ever be while quitting. Sure, it sucks that I can’t enjoy the vacation to its fullest, but at least I wouldn’t be at my crankiest while at work (and risk getting in trouble).

  • My entire routine will be different. One of the hardest things for me with quitting was handling my habitual smoking times. On vacation, everything is different. I didn’t have that “come home from work and sit in the comfy chair with the evening cigarette” time. I also didn’t have the “my boss was a complete jerk and I deserve this cigarette” justification.

  • Coming back home to my house really shocked me as to how much my clothes, furniture, etc. smelled of smoke. That was a great incentive to not pick it up again.

However, I took the vacation on my own (so even if I was a cranky witch, it wasn’t around people I knew all that well). I also took the vacation specifically to quit smoking. So it’s not like I ruined something I’d planned forever. It was a packaged tour, so there was plenty to keep me busy and not thinking about cigarettes.

Also, I stayed out of bars and other prime smoking places while on my trip. There’s no way I could have avoided smoking had I gone out partying.

When I quit smoking a few years ago, I actually postponed my quit date because I didn’t want to try quitting during my vacation. I wanted things to be as normal and routine as possible while quitting because I figured there was a better chance of success that way.

My advice, having watched my aunt try to go without while on vacation, is to wait. She had a really hard time enjoying the stuff we were doing because she was constantly thinking about wanting a cigarette–and this was in a situation where she wasn’t even trying to quit, so she wasn’t totally smokeless during that time. If you’re going somewhere you want to remember well and fondly, don’t remove an item that’s responsible for keeping you level.

That is to say, don’t do it while on vacation. I’m all for quitting once you get back.

I know this won’t help Ultraviolet but for those others who might consider quitting while on vactaion, I’d recommend you see your doctor and get a prescription for Zyban and some nicotine gum.

You’ll have to start the Zyban about six weeks ahead of time, but it really does reduce cravings. The gum would be an emergency meausre to help if you’re particularly irritable.

Allen Carr (the writer of The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, founder of serveral Stop Smoking clinics worldwide, and the man responsible for helping millions quit smoking) advises against quitting before/during a vacation (or around the holidays, or during finals week, or whatever)*. IIRC (and I’d look it up because I own the book, but I have no idea where the relevent paragraphs are)… no, I’m not even going to guess. I’ll look around tomorrow and come back to tell you why you shouldn’t do it, unless someone else who’s read the book (and has a better memory) shows up first.

Basically, you’d be setting yourself up to fail and you’d probably be miserable for the better part of your vacation. Go and enjoy your vacation and quit when you get back. No big deal. :slight_smile: Good luck, and I’d recommend the book, too, especially if you’ve tried and failed a whole bunch. It’s a good read with a lot of insight and it might help you out.

*He’s also against changing your daily routine at all, and he thinks NRT is evil and completely ineffective. Also, cutting down is for losers; you don’t “try” to quit, you just do.

I worship Allen Carr because his book is what got me to quit after 24 years of smoking. I would look up the vacation info but I have loaned my book out to a friend who wants to quit.

I do agree with him about not using nicotine replacements. I have tried them all and failed miserably. Cold turkey and his book are the way to go! :cool: