I want to quit smoking. Can anyone help me?

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    I want to quit smoking. Can anyone help me?

    To hell, I am smoking even while writing this topic.

    Hello there, Hive community. I'm new to the Hive. I am a 20 y/o guy who wants to get on the healthy path of life. That's why I revisited the site again. Last time I checked in was 1 and a half years ago. This time I want to stick to the workouts and change my life for good.

    At a weight of 57 kg / 125 lbs and a height 177 cm / 5.8 ft I want to start with the Foundation program. I am pretty confident that I can get over my laziness and end the program. I am also eyeballing the Nutrition section of the site to get an idea of what I should be eating to help my muscles grow and also to be healthier.

    The biggest problem I face is smoking. I smoke for 2 and a half years now and I would like to quit. The thing is that I am always surrounded by smokers. My flatmate, also a good friend of mine is a smoker, the other 4 of my other 5 friends that are constantly coming over to our place are also smokers. There is no way I can cut myself out of the group because we are good friends and go along very well. None of them consider quitting so I am alone in this battle. Well, not really alone as my GF is very supportive in this regard.

    I am writing this topic seeking help or stories of those who quit or are trying to. I am lacking motivation. And no, the financial factor doesn't seem to motivate me enough.

    If you, kind reader, quit smoking or are on the way of quitting I would be happy if you'd share your story with me and the Hive.

    My lack of motivation will kill me. And it's not only about quitting cigarettes.

    Thank you for listening.

    #2
    One of my ultimate tricks is to make a bet amongst 4 or 5 friends. The stake can be anything- like movie night, bottle of whiskey, dinner, tickets for a sports game.
    The first one who starts smoking again pays the stake to all the others, the next one to all those who are left and so on.

    In Germany we have a good program for free from a public health institute. They have a booklet new non-smokers can work with, a 100-days-calendar, a small ball. Maybe thereĀ“s something like that in Romania.

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      #3
      Thank you for your response. I will consider the betting idea, though it will work only in one direction, I will try to make a bet with my friends about me not smoking for a period of time.
      And about the programs in my country, I am opening Google right now to search for programs of such. Thank you again.

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        #4
        colinclean maybe you can share some of the tricks that you have?

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          #5
          i smoked for 10 years before finally resolving to quit, was able to quit successfully and it has been over 10 years now since quitting and I will never restart.
          I think you need absolute mental commitment as the starting point. make your next pack your last and cherish each moment and say goodbye. I made a diary of my last days of smoking. I think you will need this mental commitment to fall back on during tough times.
          I think a nicotine containing quit aid (gum, lozenge) can really help with the cravings in the first few months. the gum or lozenge is also a bit active (compared to a patch). follow the directions closely as this helps wean you off and control the physical withdrawal symptoms.
          this is no easy task and you are bound to suffer immensely. I was pissed off at the world for at least 2 years.
          You could also benefit from removing yourself from temptations and the old routine (smoking roommates included). I did not even want to drink coffee for a while, as it was connected with the morning smoking routine.
          This really is a terrible habit and it is so hard to break out of. You will get over the physical symptoms in a few months, but the mind is a powerful thing and there will be something in there always trying to convince you or bargain with you as to why you need to smoke, want to smoke or deserve to smoke. in reality you deserve to quit, and at some point (literally years down the road) you will no longer have cravings and will be seriously off put by others smoking and you will have made it out the other side.

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            #6
            Thank you quarkmage for your help. You gave me motivation. I kindly appreciate your sharing. I will get myself a journal and start writing my journey through smoke quitting and lifestyle improvements.

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              #7
              good luck brother. this could be the hardest thing you have ever done in your life, and maybe the most important too.

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                #8
                Hmmm... I was lucky to not really be surrounded by smokers. I wwent to art school, so there was always tobacco smoke sitting in a great big cloud around it, but none of my friends smoked so that was easier.

                But to begin with, I first reduced how much I smoked, when I was around 19-20. Down to like two a day. (It didn't stay that way until I quit. I did keep having to re-initiate the 2 cig max once or twice a year.) I started thinking of them as precious one or two cigarettes that I wanted to put off until as late as possible in the day because there were so few of them. Especially since it was always easiest for me to say no to cravings in the morning, when I was already withdrawn off nicotine by being asleep. And I knew that it's harder to say no after I've had one that day.

                But to actually try to QUIT, my greatest successes were during times when smoking sucked anyway. Aka when I was sick with flu and couldn't get out of bed. I took advantage and quit for a month after that. One time there was a whole storm of advantages: I was too hungover to smoke, I got sick, and there was a huge snowstorm, all one right after the other, and a month of taking advantage of circumstances turned into two, turned into three, turned into quitting. It also happened to happen at a time when I was most motivated to quit- I'd racked up a stack of health issues- panic attack anxiety that caused insomnia, heartburn, IBS, etc. And I was so desperate to improve those things that even quitting smoking seemed to be within my grasp.

                So in summary, I think it's a lot easier to finally succeed if you look at it just as.... taking every opportunity to try. Oh, sick? That's an excuse to stay in bed. Oh, haven't smoked yet today? Well, it's easier to keep saying no BEFORE your first smoke than after. Rainy weather? Stay inside where it's warm and dry. Hungover? Don't need any more toxins in my body right now. I think after a while, these experiences add up as tiny inoculations for the real thing. You know you can make it a day, you know you can make it a week. So why not a month? If you can do a month, why not two? It's just a craving. You know you'll forget about it if you do something else.

                I'm still surprised when I realize that it's been.... three years since I stopped? I've lost track.

                I still cheat sometimes. I smoke maybe a one or two times a year? I've made my peace with it and don't treat myself as a failure it it happens, even though I try not to let it happen in the first place. I don't ever buy my own, but sometimes, at certain events that only happen a couple times a year, my willpower is weak. I know that if I smoke tonight, tomorrow I'll wake up with a craving and that's okay. That doesn't mean I need to go buy cigarettes. It's just a craving and I know it'll pass if I just... go do something else and use it as an opportunity not to smoke.

                Anyway, I kind of just threw a lot of thoughts together because everyone's different and I don't know what will resonate with you, but hopefully one or two things in this are actually helpful.

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                  #9
                  It is a new perspective for me razielim , I will surely look at things that happen throughout the day or the week as opportunities for quitting. Thank you for sharing that with me. You put another stone in the foundation of my new life. I am really grateful.

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                    #10
                    I know of someone here on Hive who quit Smoking right while being active in his Check-In Thread. John_Salt !! If you have any suggestions or tips.

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                      #11
                      The best way to quickly quit smoking is, of course, stopping completely.

                      However while there are many smokers who succeeded with this there are also many smokers who have tried this many times and failed.

                      So if you find the quitting completely approach does not work for you maybe you can try the following.
                      (While I have never smoked I have some experience with food addiction and many addictions have similar sturctures.)

                      You are surrounded by smokers, that makes it harder. If you suddenly quit and then tell them they can't smoke in your flat anymore they will have bad thoughts about you, that makes for poor peer support.
                      So instead control your smoking. In the morning (or the day before) set yourself an amount you are allowed to smoke that day. Take only that many cigarettes with you, not a single more. This way you will have some control over your smoking and your friends and colleagues learn that they can't lend cigarettes from you.
                      The next step is not smoking where you live. For cigarettes go outside, ask your flatmate to go outside, too. This will have the benefit that your flat and clothes do not smell that strongly anymore and your friends and flatmate will learn to go outside to smoke. It will be easier for them because you will be going outside alongside them.
                      These are just two examples, but they represent you taking control and establishing a "social infrastructure".

                      Before lighting a cigarette you should also always think a certain mantra like "this makes me less healthy, I am only smoking this because I am addicted". Mindless feeding of your addiction has to be a thing of the past, you need to be conscious of what you're doing at all times.

                      Doing all this will make it easier when you quit completely.

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                        #12
                        I don't smoke, never did and never will. However, a great majority of my social environment does smoke and this is how I get away from it.

                        I always think that: "I am going to reach 40 years old and I am not going to have to worry about climbing stairs or running away from hospital trips."
                        If they are really your friends, they would accept you even if you do not smoke, am I wrong?

                        Exercising more should really help you to understand the true happiness of being healthy.

                        For me, the most important part to understand is that you smoke because you are addicted. I see plenty of 16 year olds every day smoking, knowing that they only do it because of peer pressure. Don't succumb. It is not worth it for your life. You may not be THAT guy now, but if you keep smoking (and you are probably going to keep smoking more seeing that smoking is an addictive habit which only multiplies if left untreated) you are going to become THAT guy who cannot fly stairs and the whole non-smokers have to keep behind. I would not want that for me. And neither should you.

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                          #13
                          Hello Afroblue. First sorry for my english I hope you will understand what I want to tell you.
                          My experience : I had always feel the stress grow up when I arrived to the end of my cigarettes case when I didn't had one more at home. But one day, this stress feeling disapear. From that day I quit. Then comes the most difficult : don't try again. There are some situations who give me the desire of smoking. On the way to my job, after lunch, when I come back home, when I was on party with my friends. But more I am on these situations without smoking, less the desire is. For me the hardest time was when I come back home because I didn't smoke at my job. The first week was tuff. But more days pass more the desire pass too and now I have totaly forgotten the desire of smoking when I come home. You have programmed your brain and your body to desire cigarettes on specific situations. You have to give them new habits.

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                            #14
                            So, I am also more or less surrounded by smokers and I've quit smoking - save for my wife, who smokes e-cigarettes, so the pull isn't quite the same from her. I tend to be an anxiety/stress based smoker and am working right now on getting anti-anxiety meds so that I can further combat things with a bit more of a full tool kit (so to speak), so I've quit several times only to pick up the habit again when I have a really bad day or set of days or stressful life situation, etc.

                            That said, I've managed to quit cold turkey for a few months now. I don't know the last time I smoked - I find keeping up with the time to make me be pulled back to it in the past - but I stopped nonetheless. I'm on a set of medication that can make my risk for very serious diseases bigger if I smoke, so it's very important for me not to smoke.

                            I know a few others brushed on this, but I found replacing the habit with something else to be extremely useful - exercise is a good one, especially if you can find a way to micro-work-out with small things whenever you feel the urge to smoke. You don't have to drop and give 'em twenty - but some squats, or calf raises, or stretches, or anything that can get your blood moving works. Keep to exercises you know for now, and when you're more comfortable exercising in general, you could probably get more experimental. I've heard of others that ate carrots and similarly shaped vegetables - putting them in their mouth like cigarettes - while they were feeling an urge as well because they knew that practicing the motion could feed into a small part of the addiction.

                            I really like Noen's suggestion regarding smoking. I quit cold turkey myself - but we also don't often have visitors at my place in particular, so me not smoking isn't a big deal. Slowly introducing your friends into the concept of you not wanting the smoke itself in the house and also limiting how many cigarettes you smoke a day and - ideally - slowly lowering that number you can smoke might be worth a try. I often took advantage of being sick, or unable to get smokes, or whatever to be a reason to pull away from smoking.

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                              #15
                              I was a heavy smoker - anywhere from a pack to two packs a day for nearly 20 years. Unfiltered rollies, too. There's just something about the smell of a fresh bale of tobacco when first opened.

                              At some point I just got absolutely sick of it...I hated being chained to an addiction, tied to a product. I felt the choice was taken away from me, I was hooked without my knowledge. I hated the yellow fingers, the disgusting lung butter, the ashtrays.

                              You must realize that nothing will MAKE you quit. It's a very personal, deep down feeling. For me, I had to HATE it and everything about it. The romance was gone. I had a bit of help from family and got a prescription for Xyban, and it worked very well for me; I was ready. I do not miss it. It's been somewhere around 12 years now, my wind is back, I feel better now than since in my teens (will be 48 this year). I can climb the stairs in my office tower without breaking a sweat. It's been a change of lifestyle, for sure - the vast majority of my friends are non smokers, I tend to shy away from socializing with smokers now.

                              It's about making healthy choices. At first, you'll look back after an hour and say, wow, I did it! Hours become days, then weeks. Soon you'll have realized many years have gone by - it's a thing you will never, ever regret. I've not once ever thought, gee, I sure wish I had one more cigarette, or gosh I should have smoked just one more week.

                              By being here and talking about it, you've taken a great first step. You understand what 'healthy' is, and that is a gigantic leap in the right direction. Keep talking about it with us, keep us up to date. You'll find that the people who really care will support you.

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