What helped you quit smoking?

I’m sure this has come up many times, but I’ll ask anyway:
For those who have successfully quit smoking (I’ll define successfully as “completely stopped for at least 2 years after smoking 10 or more cigarettes per day for several years”) what aids helped you the most?

Nicotine gum
Nicotine patches
Cold Turkey

I quit for almost three years after using patches, but then stupidly picked it back up. Now the patches don’t seem to work so I’m curious about other methods. I’m particularly interested in what you learned to do about the habit as well as the addiction, for that seems to be my greatest weakness.

Do a search of quit AND smoking back as far as you can go. Look in titles only. You’ll find plenty of threads. I know I’ve contributed to 3 or 4.

COLD TURKEY!!! Quit one day while puffing on a cigarette, just threw it down and stomped it out and said, “No more.” I’d smoked two packs a day for 10 years. This October it will be 26 years

The thought of paying eight bucks a pack.

Seriously, for me, three years ago it was Zyban. The patch did nothing but irritate my skin.

A prof of mine once told me that the best way to quit smoking was to eat a cigarette whenever you get a craving. The reasoning behind this is that when your body recieves the nicotine signal and the natural negative response at the same time, your body will be revolted by nicotine. I’ve never heard of anyone trying it (I just went cold turkey) but it sure seems sound.

Also, if you do try cold turkey, a really good time to start is when you’re feeling sick and naturally don’t feel like smoking. Most people I know that have quit that way started when they felt like crap.

Nicotine chewing gum, slowly weaning myself down to 1/4 piece at a time. Took 5 yrs though on the wretched gum

Cold turkey, and lots of sports. Everytime I really wanted a cig I went for a run.

I smoked 30 years for a total of about 40 pack-years. Quit cold turkey. Stayed in bed for the first week, only getting up tp take a long shower and brush my teeth. There is no possibility of smoking in the shower. And I needed the shower every hour or two.

Although I don’t qualify by your criteria (6 months without a smoke after 15 years at 10-20 a day), my inspiration came from a book, the reviews of which you can read here.
I can’t praise the book highly enough.

(Although I don’t qualify for your criteria since I smoked only 5-9 cigarettes/day . . . )

FWIW, I tried gum, patches, etc. for months and it didn’t work. I finally quit cold turkey and haven’t smoked in about 4 years.

IMHO, there are two problems with gum & patches: First, you are continuing the supply of nicotine to your body which causes the addiction to continue. Second, gum & patches encourage you to subconsciously believe you are making a big sacrafice by giving up cigarettes. Both these things can undermine your quit attempt.

The above ideas are from Allen Carr’s book, which is (IMHO) a pretty good book.

Cold turkey. I also considered the hypocrisy I would be feeding my daughter when I told her not to smoke. I just stopped smoking one day. Yes, I cheated a few times, but after a few months I was smoke free.

Though the eating-a-cigarette thing might be a little overboard (isn’t tobacco harmful when ingested directly?), I wonder why more “aversion-therapy” approaches aren’t used. Wouldn’t smoking a cigarette and taking a mild nausea-producing drug have some physiological benefit towards reducing smoking?

Your results may vary, but this worked for me: Take Zyban, for two weeks (one while smoking, one while not). Realize that sleep is impossible with Zyban. Catch pnuemonia.

After about a month or two of non-smoking, join a gym.

This is a sort of survey, so I’ll move this thread to IMHO.

moderator GQ

I quit smoking with the “switch down and quit” method. It just made sense to me and it worked after 3 tries going cold turkey. 15 years without smoking.


thats what i did (not cold turkey, tho’)
i started running.
it worked for me because even having one cig would hamper my running performance so i eventually quit.

Like Gary Kumquat above… I quit by substututing incompatible behavior… excercise. I was terribly addicted. Smoked 2 to 3 packs per day of (the very strong) Winstons. I switched from drinking coffee 1st thingi n the AM to tea because the coffe/cig relationship was so strong. Then one Friday I got up and went to the high school track next store. I walked and walked. Came back to the house had a tea and my mouth watered for a Winston so I went back to the track. All day back and forth. That was the ist day without a cig in about 20 years.

Anyway… I found a few cigs over the next few weeks and had a puff or 2. If you aren’t buying them, then you’re not a smoker. I started running some rather than walk. Couldn’t make it halfway around the 1/4 mile track at first. Another, thing that helped was I ate everything that moved. So what if I put on some weight. I was in my early 40’s and a few pounds wasn’t going to kill me. I could deal with that later, anyway.

2 weeks were a bitch. But the urge passed more each day. And it did. However, you must fear that drug always… that Fall I put on my leather jacket and in one pocket was a fresh pack of Winstons and in the other pocket a Bic lighter. My hands shook… I think mostly from the fear of having that drug back in my hands. I ran to the bathroom, shreded those cigs and flushed them away.

And the walking/running daily has led me to run several marathons…26.3 miles. Them lungs is fixed, I think.

So good luck and don’t give up. Even if you slip just do it again. It’s the most important health thing you can ever do.

My wife.

I can’t tell you how much easier it was to have my wife quit with me. With her support, she could show me that when I became grumpy (a whole lot) I was being stupid. We had a lot of showers together, we smoked some other things, smelled incense, had sex, went walking, and lots of other stuff.

If you don’t have a quit buddy like that, then do a lot of thinking about why you want to quit, and the just stop smoking. Don’t give into the cravings. You are stronger than that.

I wish you luck my friend. If you need a chat, just drop me a line.

My stats:
Five months, one week, 22 hours, 55 minutes and 34 seconds. 3973 cigarettes not smoked, saving $595.92. Life saved: 1 week, 6 days, 19 hours, 5 minutes.


Dying of cancer worked like a charm. A++++ Would writhe in the macabre dance of grotesque agony again!