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Holley Calmes
07-09-2012, 12:02 AM
Well, starting to smoke is certainly a lesson in our egos, or brains, or whatever, having the upper hand on our bodies. I will never forget the first few weeks trying to smoke. My poor little body was screaming at me "Don't do this!!!" I was nauseous. I choked. It was very obvious that my physical self was up in arms against this invader. Then, something in my mind took over. The body gave up and adapted. Too bad. I am 62 and smoked for 8 years from 18-26. I wish I had those years back. I don't have any respiratory issues, but you never know.

I just wanted my boyfriend to think I was sophisticated. Puh-lese!

taf2002
07-09-2012, 12:56 AM
My MIL quit cold turkey when she was diagnosed with COPD. Because of her my husband & I quit shortly thereafter. In less than a year her COPD had turned into lung cancer & she died less than a year after that. She died a horrible death. I am so grateful that we quit when we did although I don't know yet if we quit in time.

purple skates
07-09-2012, 01:01 AM
I don't know yet if we quit in time.

That's always a fear for me too. Yes, we have "the lungs of a non-smoker" now, but we will always have an increased risk. :( My MIL quit some 20 years before she got the cancer.

Grannyfan
07-09-2012, 02:42 AM
Both my parents smoked when I was a kid--Camels and Pall Mall, unfiltered. My mother quit, but Daddy died of a heart attack at 58; we didn't really connect it to smoking back then. My oldest sister has smoked for over 50 years. She had a quadruple by-pass nearly 20 years ago and continues to smoke to this day. I smoked for about eight years starting in college and quit when my husband and I decided to have children. That's been nearly 40 years. I must honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my cigarettes, and sometimes even today I get a tiny craving for one after a meal or when I'm having a cup of coffee. But I'm very glad I quit when I did.

nubka
07-09-2012, 03:31 AM
My dad used to roll his own ciggies. :eek:

Lacey
07-09-2012, 03:49 AM
I stopped after 35 years with the use of a cigarette called Quest, which came in 3 step down doses, less and less nicotine as you went from #1 to #3. Trouble was, I was just as addicted to the idea of smoking, I was actually sneaking upstairs (like no one noticed) and hiding in a smoking closet with a window, smoking more than a pack per day of them. Finally one day, a substitute doctor who had known my previously addicted parents said, just what is in those (substitute) things anyway. He was right, I was sick, sick, sick all the time. As they took out the nicotine they must have been giving me something else, I wasn't just smoking paper. Quit cold turkey the next day with no withdrawal. That was about 5 years ago, I am much much much healthier today at an old age. Only problem was I did gain a lot of weight. But boy do I smell better. Looking back, I can't believe how gross the whole thing was.

Japanfan
07-09-2012, 09:08 AM
I do not comprehend at all how my mom can still be smoking after watching her mother die of lung cancer. :(

I'm fairly certain my future will include watching my mother die of it too.

It's not that hard to explain. Health risks don't serve as a deterrent for a lot of behaviours. Obese people know they might have a heart attack, people addicted to crystal meth or other drugs know that it is actively killing them, people combine sleeping pills or painkillers with alcohol knowing the dangers. Alcoholics continue drinking, knowing what they are doing to their liver.

It might be easier to understand if you consider all the people that have behaviours which may be less dangerous than smoking, but still dangerous. For example, many people eat fast food and carcinogenic food, are overweight, and don't exercise. They don't want to pay the higher price for organic foods in cases when food is known to be carcinogenic (i.e. fruits grown with certain pesticides) as they would rather have the money to take their kids to Disney World or whatever. Many people have high stress jobs that are hard on their health, and keep slaving away.

In Japan, it was common for overworked salary man to just collapse dead at the their desk. These were the men you say staggering drunk on the trains at night or chain smoking while downing Vitamin enhanced drinks at train stations in the morning.

The bottom line is that fear of death or illness works as a deterrent for some people, but not others. Some people are just too stressed out getting through the day and taking care of family or whatever that they do what they have to do to cope. Or, you might say these people are 'stupid', and perhaps it is true in a way. And as I've mentioned before, many people's wiring (i.e. schizophrenics) is such that addiction is natural or even necessary. Other people may have the discipline or motivation to make healthy changes, or favorable circumstances, but you can't expect everyone to be that way.

To give a simple example, food is a huge comfort for many people. The degree of danger in bad eating varies considerably of course, but some people 'need' a chocolate bar or a glass of wine or some potato chips at certain times. Or, if not 'need', it sure helps. The same principle extends to substances and behaviours more dangerous to the health, it's really just a continuum. And of course there are people who engage in high risk behaviours such as walking tightropes or stunt work, who risk their lives everyday for the sake of the adrenalin risk.

Life is hard for some folk, dying easier. For some people, life without a certain substance or habit is so darn miserable that they would rather die. Some can get past that, others can't.

Dear sweet Kurt Vonnegut attempted suicide when he was 60. He continued smoking Pall Malls until he died in his 80s and said he was committing suicide the slow way.

To give an analogy, I've always wondered why prison sentences don't serve as a deterrent for committing crimes. I would find being in prison total hell and would never do anything that put me at risk for incarceration. But jails are full.

skateboy
07-09-2012, 09:35 AM
I stopped after 35 years with the use of a cigarette called Quest, which came in 3 step down doses, less and less nicotine as you went from #1 to #3.

I'm chiming in here as someone who has smoked for a long time, but have been "trying to quit" this year, at least more seriously than in the recent past.

Through the use of non-nicotine "Quest" cigarettes, I managed to quit for almost an entire year, in 2003. I just had the desire to quit, so I took the steps. The weird thing was, it wasn't all that hard at the time--I only had one bad day at the start and, when I felt cranky, I just smoked one of the Quest cigarettes. Took me less than a week to get off of cigs altogether. More than that, I didn't miss the smoking at all during that year.

Not sure exactly why I started again, other than it was just after a very nasty break-up of a long-term relationship. Still, I didn't intend to start smoking again. I just had one or two at one point and it snowballed from there.

For the last several months I've had that desire to quit again. I don't feel particularly bad, haven't been sick or anything like that. My weight is okay, I exercise and eat in a very healthful manner. But I just WANT to stop. I've even listened to "stop smoking" hypnosis tapes, but I haven't stopped yet. What I have done is cut down to 5 or 6 cigarettes a day, fairly regularly, for the past three months. That may not sound like any big feat, but it is a small progress, compared to smoking close to a pack a day.

It must have been fate that I saw this thread just now, as I just came in from having a smoke (always outside)--and I was feeling icky and guilty for having that cigarette. I had that feeling that it was time to stop. Not wean off anymore, but really quit.

Not sure if Quest cigarettes are still available. Maybe I'll look into them, since it worked last time.

Thanks to everyone that has contributed to this thread, I needed it.

Japanfan
07-09-2012, 10:16 AM
What I have done is cut down to 5 or 6 cigarettes a day, fairly regularly, for the past three months. That may not sound like any big feat, but it is a small progress, compared to smoking close to a pack a day.


Congratulations from one who understands.

I'm into my sixth week of a drastic reduction smoking reduction program, down from two packs a day at worst to six a day at best. With the help of the patch. The hardest part for me has been to learn not to smoke while I'm working. I'm a writer/editor and have been smoking constantly and automatically while working for about 30 years.

I've designed my own program utilizing my strengths - delayed gratification is one of them - and just took the second step yesterday, which is no smoking in my office while at the computer.

It is really one day at a time and I know that to most people, what I'm doing is nothing because I haven't quit. But I am very proud of myself at the moment.

I'm lucky to have a really supportive doctor, she says amp up the nicotine replacement as much as you need.

My lungs are thanking me and I'm wondering how they will fare when I attempt to start jogging again. . .


It must have been fate that I saw this thread just now, as I just came in from having a smoke (always outside)--and I was feeling icky and guilty for having that cigarette. I had that feeling that it was time to stop. Not wean off anymore, but really quit.

Not sure if Quest cigarettes are still available. Maybe I'll look into them, since it worked last time.


There are a variety of electronic cigarettes available, just google to find out about them. Some actually have nicotine in them.

I got a non-nicotine cigarette from the pharmacy that emits a vapour when you suck on it. It doesn't taste that great but I've had a few puffs here and there, the sensation is a bit like smoking.

If it helps, why not?

Anita18
07-09-2012, 10:29 AM
It's not that hard to explain. Health risks don't serve as a deterrent for a lot of behaviours. Obese people know they might have a heart attack, people addicted to crystal meth or other drugs know that it is actively killing them, people combine sleeping pills or painkillers with alcohol knowing the dangers. Alcoholics continue drinking, knowing what they are doing to their liver.

It might be easier to understand if you consider all the people that have behaviours which may be less dangerous than smoking, but still dangerous. For example, many people eat fast food and carcinogenic food, are overweight, and don't exercise. They don't want to pay the higher price for organic foods in cases when food is known to be carcinogenic (i.e. fruits grown with certain pesticides) as they would rather have the money to take their kids to Disney World or whatever. Many people have high stress jobs that are hard on their health, and keep slaving away.
That's the part I don't understand about smoking. It doesn't cost more for a person to not smoke, in the manner that organic food costs more than nonorganic food or a couch potato doesn't have to pay for a gym membership. In fact, it is quite very much the opposite. If you want money to take the kids to Disney World, you would get off those cigs ASAP! 2 months of not buying a daily pack of cigs would get you enough tickets for a family of four! It would be even less time if you lived in a state where cigarettes are mind-bogglingly expensive, like NY.

I completely understand that addiction is difficult and finding a different coping mechanism is difficult, even when the health ramifications are staring you in the face. But using the money analogy just makes no sense...

Alex Forrest
07-09-2012, 04:39 PM
I enjoy smoking. It is a five minute break where I can stop and think and plan. I've stopped before for a month or so, but realized I like to smoke. I used to go 1-2 packs/day, but now I'm 1/2 pack per day. It could be worse.

taf2002
07-09-2012, 04:42 PM
Japanfan :respec:, you are really doing something to be proud of (of which to be proud?). I think drastically cutting back, esp not smoking at your computer, is really hard. Good for you.

I quit with the help of a drug called Chantix. It allows you to continue smoking while you're taking it. I took it for 4 mos before I quit completely & 2 mos after I quit. It's not for everyone - if you have any tendencies to depression you shouldn't take it. My husband tried it but ended up going cold turkey.

Holley Calmes
07-09-2012, 04:49 PM
Congrats to all of you who are quitting and trying to quit smoking! Big hugs and pats on the back!

Here is another potential angle to the whole issue:

Looking back on life from the advantage of 62 years, I have come to the realization that living a pristine lifestyle and doing all the right things doesn't necessarily mean you won't die at 35 from cancer, a heart attack, etc.

Don't get me wrong-trying to be healthy is wonderful, and yes, doing the right things might mean you only have a small heart attack instead of one that kills you. However, if your DNA says you're going to have a particular disease, eating organic food isn't going to save you.

I think that the objective to trying to live healthy lifestyles isn't so you'll have years added to your life. It's about the quality of your life day by day. If you exercise, you're going to feel better on a daily basis.

I'm a huge control freak, and I see so clearly that doing all these things to ward of the reaper or just the pounds is part of a control thing. We can't control life much at all, really. We're all going to get sick and die eventually. We have absolutely no control over that.

But-we can control how we feel on a day to day basis. Simplistic, I know.

Really
07-09-2012, 05:05 PM
Good luck to all you who are trying to quit! Only someone who has gotten over an addiction can truly understand how difficult it can be.

Smoking has the nicotine addiction and the physical addiction. When I quit, using the patch, I had to find something to take care of the physical/oral addiction (and no, I couldn't do THAT all the time! :grope: ). I used plastic coffee stirsticks (the skinny flexible ones, that are almost like straws) to get over the oral thing. I chewed on them whenever the urge hit, usually at the times I most often smoked -- after meals, while at the computer, driving. I ran through the whole 16 weeks of the patch program, and it worked. I kept up with the stirsticks for several months after I was done the patch, and with chewing gum for several years. It's been 10 years now since I quit.

I didn't quit because of my health; I quit because I was pissed off that cigarettes were going up to $8/pack and I didn't feel like spending $200/month on smokes anymore. Hubby, on the other hand, quit because he'd had a mile stroke. It's been 5 years for him, and he did it cold turkey with no crutches.

Different people will find different motivations and different methods to help them quit any habit/addiction. The key is to not give up on yourself and not to beat the shit out of yourself if you have relapses. Just pick up and try again.

As I said, good luck to all of you who are trying to quit!

Lizziebeth
07-09-2012, 06:17 PM
Really, and everyone else who quits, you have my total admiration for what is a very difficult achievement.

I never smoked. My parents both were smokers. My dad was coughing one morning and looked at me and made me promise I would never smoke. I kept the promise and give dad credit for helping me combat the peer pressure. My dad smoked for about 40 years and then quit. He put the money aside and bought a new color TV with that money in less than a year so he could enjoy watching baseball in color.

I have many friends that are former smokers and they all have achieved it in their own way. It helps that there is no smoking in the workplace, restaurants and other public spaces.

I have no advice to give, but best of luck to those trying to quit. I'm cheering for you.