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Quit smoking for 12 months
and what a year it's been!

 8:09 pm on Jun 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

I’ve now been a non-smoker for a full year! In that 12 months I’ve not smoked 9,120 cigarettes – that’s 456 packs – and not spent £2,325 (well, I now have twice as many cd’s and dvd’s as I did a year ago!).

Phew! I made it!

I put on a stone and a half in weight (21lbs/10kg) during that period and subsequently lost around 7lbs. Over the next 6-12 months I intend to lose most of the rest. I have to say though that I’m now fitter and faster than at any time since I was around 21 – 20 years ago. (Mind you, that’s not to say that I’m particularly fit, or fast!)

Right from the start I went to the smoking cessation clinic at the local health centre and took up a course of nicotine patches. As back up I also made use of nicotine inhalators – small white plastic things that you can puff on and fiddle with in the same way as you do with a cigarette (although walking around with something that looks like a tampon in your mouth can be a little off-putting!).

For three months the counsellor at the clinic - George - gave me much needed weekly support and endless morale boosting “well done’s”. (God Bless George, and the NHS!)

After about the first month though “strange” things started to happen – thoughts, emotions, frustrations and more - my world seemed to be changing for the worst; something was happening to me and I had no idea what.

I described what I felt to George and he just nodded sagely. He told me that for a rare few smokers who give up, the process of quitting triggers a reappraisal of life and everything in it. As I became fond of describing later on, quitting smoking triggered a sort of mid-life crisis – but ultimately without the crisis.

I gave up TV (still have and don’t miss it one tiny bit). I left Freemasonry – something that I’d held quite dear (ditto). More consequentially – I left the pub. (A dangerous dependency ended up being broken and, whilst I’m not teetotal, a couple of glasses of wine a week invariably seems quite adequate nowadays.)

A few weeks later, and once my head (and body) had stopped reeling from the effects of the withdrawal of just about everything, life started to take on a new, brighter hue.

Imbued with an unusual sense of self-confidence and having been single for a number of years, I joined a couple of internet dating sites (jeesh, what an experience!). Around this time I also started an evening course in web design at the nearby City University, with a view to furthering my inadequate abilities. They’re still woefully inadequate and I finally decided that in this realm I should stick to what concerns me most and stay focused on those matters where I at least have a little understanding – site management, content and marketing issues.

As the new year broke so the sun started to shine, and it continues to do so – very brightly.

Just a few weeks ago I met my mum for the first time. Well, that’s not strictly true: the last time we met I would have been around 18 months old – that was pretty much 40 years ago. Families – what tangled webs they can weave!

At the beginning of February, and courtesy of an internet dating site, a most amazing, incredible, intelligent, sexy woman said “hello”. A couple of weeks later we met up by the Thames, under London’s Millennium Bridge, and spend hours together chatting endlessly and as if we’d known each other all our lives.

We’ve spent three incredible months together to-date. She tells me wonderful things about myself that I never knew: she sees a different “me” than everyone else in the world. I didn’t know I existed in this way but apparently I do. Ah – what joys she brings. The world I live in now is not the one I merely existed in a year ago.

So, all told it really has been one hell of a year – and what a wonderful adventure, all brought about by a last cigarette smoked 12 months ago!

Happy days indeed. And if you made it this far - thanks for your patience and indulgence.




 6:57 pm on Jun 23, 2006 (gmt 0)

^ ^ ^ Sugarless cinnamon disc candies for me. :-)

Sorry claus but I am using nicotine patches to get a handle on the nicotine withdrawal. .... I can wean myself off nicotine in a few weeks.

Sense_able whatever works for you is what's important, so please take this with whatever grains of salt you need to but you still should hear it . . .

The patches are keeping you addicted to nicotine. Pharmaceutical companies would have you believe this helps but it lengthens this agonizing process by keeping you addicted. Because it lengthens the process it also gives you a wider opportunity to relapse. You can't wean yourself off of nicotine. Like any other addiction, it requires higher doses over time to avoid withdrawals. I have tried nicotine replacement therapies, without an extensive intervention/support group like Syzygy used, it is a recipe for failure.

Furthermore when you DO try to get off the nicotine you are going to go through the most difficult part, detoxifying your body of the crap. This approach is backwards, beat the chemical addiction FIRST then beat the smoking habit. Get the nicotine out! This is job one.

Stop by the local news and smokes shop (or have someone do it for you, if you think you will crumble upon entering) and buy some Dreams Herbal cigarettes, others are Smokin' Joe's and Honeyrose. Go ahead and smoke these for a week. Knock yourself out. They will taste horrible, but this will beat the nicotine. After a week, you will lose your desire to smoke the herbals because they taste so bad.

Believe me this works. Stick wih it, you can beat it! I am on day 18, I was at two herbals a day on day 15, haven't touched them the last two days. Just don't have the urge because the nicotine is long gone.

Second, examine this statement:

...I figure I have enough on my plate with the psychological issues for the next few weeks....

This is not "you" figuring. This is your smoker-self convincing you: this is too tough, this is going to be too hard, here's another reason to relapse. DON'T LISTEN! Every time one of these "reasons" comes up in your mind, tell yourself that's the old "you," the smoker, trying to lower your defenses. Stick with it, you can do it! :-)


 3:55 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Furthermore when you DO try to get off the nicotine you are going to go through the most difficult part, detoxifying your body of the crap. This approach is backwards, beat the chemical addiction FIRST then beat the smoking habit. Get the nicotine out! This is job one.


Coming to the end of day 7 and I am still a nicotine junkie! Thank you for the post rocknbil and I really do think you are right. I have been noticing some weird side effects to the patches and I think it is time for a detox!

I bought 2 packs of patches at the start of the new year (They were on offer) and they are what I have been using. However I went to buy another box yesterday and I realized how expensive they were. So have decided that I am going to go cold turkey! I am not going to pay all that money for the patches and yes I think you are right they are just putting off the inevitable. I have been buying my rolling tobacco from Spain and having it posted to the UK. Very, very cheap, so I have not been noticing the money saving side of being a non-smoker.

This is not "you" figuring. This is your smoker-self convincing you: this is too tough, this is going to be too hard, here's another reason to relapse. DON'T LISTEN!

I am sure somewhere I have read that there are similarities between heroin and nicotine addiction and if that is the case then the above is probably very, very true. We think that we are in charge of our minds but they are a law unto themselves. (Well mine is)

So the patch came off this afternoon and from what I have gathered it will be 3 days and then I shall be back to where I am now. (Without the nicotine).

WhyQuit is a fantastic site,

Thanks mona for mentioning that site. I have been having a look in the discussions and they have had me laughing on a few.

What a great thread this is! Well done to one and all who have become non-smokers and thank you for letting me into the club.


 5:58 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

The herbals are definately a big help. What it does is allows you to continue smoking (even though the first day, as soon as you finish one you are going to want a tobacco cig!)

Days one and two are hell. You can't concentrate, all you think about is getting a nicotine spike. So you light these up and UGH they taste awful, when you are done you are left unsatisfied because there is no nicotine. So in doing so it builds a negative response to smoking.

If you can't find herbals, herb shops will have what they call "smokers blend" or you can mix up your own from the following:

Coltsfoot (coltsfoot alone will work)
Dandelion (leaves)

On day one I rolled up one of these and oddly enough, it did alleviate the nicotine urges for a short time. Not very long though. :-)

Stick to it, day 19 here and the best part about it is just being able to say that! I regularly encounter people smoking and I'm not even tempted. Woo hoo! :-)

Although I know I still have a long way to go, a relapse can occur at any time. But not going to fall for it this time!


 6:10 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

If society treated Guide Dogs for the Blind, the way they treat smokers today,
it would easier to tax them. Weak, partially blind, lame, who will care?
After all, all they want is a sinful cigarette. Who can start a campaign about that?



 10:51 pm on Jun 24, 2006 (gmt 0)

Stick to it, day 19 here and the best part about it is just being able to say that!

I do not know what is different this time, maybe it is my age or my children getting older I just do not know, but there is something inside that keeps telling me "I am now a non-smoker". (just for today anyway)

Thanks for the heads up on the herbal mixes. I know that the next few days maybe a bit of a hassle without a patch. But what the heck I might just hang up the keyboard and spend the next 3 days in bed with the wife.

duncan biscuits

 12:05 am on Jun 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anybody got a light?

Visit Thailand

 2:08 am on Jun 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

I agree with everything rocknbill said above.

I am now on day 8 and apart from the ridiculous cravings now and again I feel better than before and I know I definitely smell better.

I once looked at Patches, and Gum, and as they are regarded as 'medicine' they come with intructions, warnings etc as do all such drugs. After I read the full set of instructions and warnings, I said to myself there is no way I am sticking that **** on my arm or in my mouth.

Ironic, the patches and gum sounded lethal and disgusting, I would have prefered a cig over them all.

Perhaps that is what the gov should do with cigarettes and force the companies to issue a medical like set of instructions and warning.


 4:40 am on Jun 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Everyone is motivated to stop smoking for different reasons.

In my case, I read about someone who had said "I realized one day that I was the smartest person I knew who still smoked, so I stopped."

When I read that I realized that *I* was the smartest person *I* knew who still smoked, so I stopped too.

That was over 30 years ago with no relapse. (The remaining smokers have never gotten any smarter in the meantime.)


 5:56 pm on Jun 25, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anybody got a light?

Actually I do, I still carry my lighter around as part of my "live with it" philosophy. <strikes one up for duncan>



[edited by: lawman at 8:32 pm (utc) on June 26, 2006]
[edit reason] Sorry No Requests For Sticky [/edit]


 8:20 pm on Jun 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

Quitting smoking was definitely hard...The good thing though is, the minute I stomped that last cigarette out, I was a NON smoker, from there you simply have to maintain.

Now i'm dealing with food "addictions", bad habits, etc. that got me to 307lbs. This is by far the hardest thing i've ever done. Down to 234lbs. now but, it's SUCH a long road. With smoking, there's obviously a withdrawal period, addiction to nicotine, etc., but when you're as fat as a Volkswagen, it's all about giving up instant gratification. That's my main problem, i'm all about instant gratification. That's what made giving up cigs hard, and losing weight hard. If I smoke this cig now, it won't kill me now, but i'll feel better now. I'm still fat whether I eat that pizza or not, but at least i'll feel better now.

With smoking, you try to quit, fail and smoke a pack and re quit, then bam, non smoker again. I can go 6 months eating perfectly healthy and i'm still the fat guy. Not as bad as I was, but certainly still bad.

Anyway, quitting smoking is hard, but i'll take that any day over my current struggle with my food "addiction."

Visit Thailand

 12:55 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

A bad couple of days led me to have a couple of glasses of wine and a nice cigar.

Do cigars contain all the **** cigarettes do? including nicotine?

I realise not a lot is inhaled when smoking a cigar but wondered whether it is a no no.


 1:34 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

It's still tobacco, it's still nicotine. Just jump back on the horse and try again . . . but now you have to rid your body of the nicotine again, especially if any inhale was involved.

A bad couple of days led me to . . .

Think about precisely **how** your bad run of luck/whatever "led" you to a cigar. And how did the cigar make the bad any better?

Of course you know the answer, but this is one of the ways tobacco twists your mind, the illogical begomes perfectly logical . . . stow this thought away for the next bad day. I've had several bad ones since quitting and this has come up . . . "what I need right now is to get away from this for a minute and have a smoke." And of course, have convinced myself that this mental nursing will do absolutely no good in improving neither my mood or the situation. I won again. :-)

Visit Thailand

 2:08 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

You are right rocknbill but I am not regarding this as if I fell off the wagon so to speak.

If I had gone out to by some cigs then yes, but this was the last Davidoff in a pack and I only inhaled as much as I would have if I had gone to a smokey pub.

But it did show me just how much my cravings increase when I have a drink. Which funnily (or not) has been the major problem with most of my previous give up attempts.


 2:15 am on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Now i'm dealing with food "addictions", bad habits, etc. that got me to 307lbs. This is by far the hardest thing i've ever done. Down to 234lbs

Good for you, Neo541, on the weight loss. Losing that many pounds is quite an accomplishment.


 8:41 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Thanks Jane! :)

It was just my long winded way of saying that I wish I could declare myself physically fit, and then only have to maintain that status like with smoking.


 10:02 pm on Jun 28, 2006 (gmt 0)

Yep. Smoking kills you and poisons those around you - including your loved ones.

AND it is a horrible death.


 8:28 am on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is everyone still on the wagon (so to say) I am on day 13 and have been without the patches all week. So I am assuming I am nicotine free....

I think that announcing to the world and his wife that I am a NON-Smoker made all the difference..


 11:29 am on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Have been away for most of this week serving as best man at a friend's wedding. I have to say that on the night before the wedding - well, at about 3.30am, after a skinful of beer and wine, and because my hosts were puffing away in front of me all night long, I really, really wanted a cigarette.

I'm happy to report that my non-smoker self survived the short-lived but very powerful craving. Next day all was back to normal and, whilst much of the time was again spent in a bar and considerable liquid merriment was imbibed (it was the wedding reception after all), the desire just did not manifest itself. It had gone completely.

It just goes to show that the craving can rear its ugly head at times, but the power to beat it is very definately within.



 1:35 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

Very inspirational posts!
Gave up for 4 days before and it was a struggle for every minute of the day.
Been wanting to give it another go and all these posts have definatly given me a push in the right direction.


 7:30 pm on Jun 30, 2006 (gmt 0)

WOW neo, you were so close! And good for you Sense_able, that's job one!

Syzygy I am floored at that one, after a YEAR! Alcohol was the key I'll bet, did you convince yourself that you could sing too? :-) Good to hear you held on.

Interesting you mention it (and I, "sing,") we used to visit the local karaoke bar once a week, I howl at the moon and wife giggles a lot. We've been too busy, last night was the first night out for about a month, so we went for it. I did some George Thorogood and Joe Cocker amidst clouds of smoke and pints of beer (for others, I don't drink,) but I was really surprised, I wasn't even tempted, not a bit!

I think part of it is the unwavering resolve, I just don't want to smoke any more.


 5:17 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

Wishing all Americans a happy 4th, and Brits thanks for not holding a grudge. :-)

Tomorrow is day 30, and found a new force in not smoking - what to do with those "smoking moments." This is the largest tug now, like a sick ceremonial I'd become accustomed to a 5-7 minute period after a meal, after completing some task, where I would go stand outside and stare stupidly at the back yard while sucking up a nicotine spike. I still get these cues regularly and take note of them, more minutes I won't waste on smoking. I tried staring stupidly at the yard without smoking and it feels extremely awkward. :-)

The only problem I'm encountering is the coughing, at about day 15 I contracted a cold of sorts that has since left but the coughing remains. Obviously the body trying to clear out the gunk of the last 8 years or so but it's rather annoying, I cough more now than I did a month ago. I know that the effects of tobacco constrict the aveoli and reduce the coughing for a time . . . but this part is rather uncomfortable. I'll get over it. :-)


 5:29 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I used to smoke 60/80 a day.
Gave up three years ago and went to bed with a bottle of whisky instead. Had the nicotine DTs for a few days and never looked back but I miss them so much. I hang around bars inhaling other peoples second hand smoke. Very Sad.


 6:23 pm on Jul 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

>>I hang around bars inhaling other peoples second hand smoke. Very Sad.

I've been on a very strict diet for almost 3 weeks. Went to see Superman this past Sunday. While waiting to get in the theater, I just stood there deeply inhaling as many popcorn fumes as I could. Don't know which is sadder. :)


 4:47 am on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hello All!

I've been smoking for 20 years,
I recently have decided to i want to quit,
but i think im one of those people who needs to locked up whili i go through withdrawal....
I cant function about an hour and a half after the last smoke.. how can i go the rest of my days?

I need to be locked up or go somewhere nice where cigarettes so not exist and there is no way to get them. i think a month would do it..

im sure that is what i need to brake the habit...
i think is no other way..
i ve done the patches.. meditation..
cold turkey(lasted until my next craving)

unfortunetely .. the funds to enable me do this are a deciding factor.

its either my addiction to nicotine is too strong or i have absolutely no will power..
(mind you.. 15 years ago i was able to quit a 3 year cocaine habit.. it seemed easy now that i look back, compared to nicotine.

I really really want to quit..
but i cant founction without it..
Its associated with everything i do..
so i beleive, that is some ways, that the physical dependance is stronger that the psychological dependance but mostly its a visious circle of torment.

But if that is true.. its a very fine line.
its the physical dependance that is enabling the psychological dependance.

Remove the physical dependance and the psychological dependance cannot support itself.

the destruction of the addiction is what happens next.. The biggest problem is going through that process. getting from point A to point B.

BIG TIME! I need to be locked up(legally). with my guitar and no smokes and some kind of buddist therapy..

LANDRUE .... HElp me .. HElp me .. HElp me .. HElp me ..


 12:35 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

New drug to help quit:

HERE [today.reuters.com]

Visit Thailand

 1:02 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

Gave up three years ago and went to bed with a bottle of whisky instead

Erm - did the whisky stay? I actually know some people who only smoke when they drink.

I would love to be able to do that but I would then start to drink so I could smoke!

I think giving up smoking and drinking are very closely linked and many 'give up smoking sites' suggest not drinking for the first few weeks to help.

I think even longer than that though, as when are you drinking with friends, especially ones that smoke, then it is only natural after a few drinks for a little voice to keep saying, go on just one....


 5:57 pm on Jul 5, 2006 (gmt 0)

The whisky helps you sleep and gets you over the worst withdrawal symptoms which for me was 24-36 hours.
My father who was latterly a 140 a day man and smoked for 60 years quit on his 74th birthday as a result of a £60 hypnosis session and has not smoked since. He's 82 now.

Visit Thailand

 12:28 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

My father who was latterly a 140 a day man and smoked for 60 years quit on his 74th birthday as a result of a £60 hypnosis session and has not smoked since. He's 82 now.

Wow. That is truly amazing. I thought my 40/60 a day was bad but 140. With today's prices that would cost him an absolute fortune.

After hypnosis, did he say whether ever feel cravings? or did it seem to be a complete clean slate.


 2:15 am on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

lawman sorry to say that looks to me like another anti-depressant, another chunk of change in the pharm companies' pockets, another carrot to dangle in front of smokers begging to be free, if you can't educate or eradicate then flippin' MEDICATE . . . . I still say you do not need it to quit!

Lasseder just look at a couple of things with me. I am not an MD, psychiatrist, I'm not even all that smart (as many will gladly attest.) But look at this:

I recently have decided to i want to quit,

MISTAKE ONE: Using the words "want" try" or any other vagueness. This is fortified by

its either my addiction to nicotine is too strong or i have absolutely no will power..

Convince yourself of one truth: willpower is a MYTH. Willpower is nothing more than asking yourself "How bad do you want it?" As long as you continue to believe in "willpower" and that it is some magical elixir that you were shortchanged on, you will fail. Deep down inside. DO YOU REALLY WANT IT? This is the fundamental problem, not chemical addiction, not willpower, not psychological addiction, but that you don't want it bad enough.
(Star Wars Fans will love this.)

There is no try. Only do, or do not.

MISTAKE TWO: blame it on something else:
i think im one of those people who needs to locked up whili i go through withdrawal....

I need to be locked up or go somewhere nice where cigarettes so not exist and there is no way to get them. i think a month would do it..

Any excuse that begins with the word "if" or "I need" is your subconscious talking you out of it. "If there were no cigarettes to be had. If my friends didn't smoke. If I weren't so stressed out. If if if . . . " But this is the way the world is, it does not modify itself to fit your needs, you need to modify to survive in it the way you want to live, smoke-free.

Aquaint yourself with one fact: in 48 hours, at the most 72, nicotine can be out of your system. THREE DAYS. Hang on to this FACT. Yes, you may need to isolate yourself for those three days, but just those three - to truly beat it you must live in a world with it around you. So yes, plan a weekend to kick the habit's butt and go out in the woods or something. But how to convince yourself to stay there?

First, see mistake one. If you fold, it means you don't want it bad enough. Are you willing to accept this fact? So hang on to this thought: I am quitting, not trying, not attempting, I am going to stop.

Secondly, think about when you were on the blow - an external thing, an evil external thing is controlling you. We go on and on about freedom of speech and thought and freedom over our own bodies, freedom freedom freedom but we allow something like THIS to control our thoughts. And here's the kicker, the one that really hurts: it's only controlling you because you let it.

Third, before quitting (not TRYING, but QUITTING) go to your local news and smokes shop and look up some non-tobacco substitutes (see previous pages for details.) This will arm you with the physical motions required to break the chemical addiction, and supported by the other two tools you can BEAT this. No you won't be trading one habit for another, they are awful. Smoke them long enough and you will lose your desire for them, this tool will help you break the chemical addiction.

Three things: MEAN it, be true to yourself and sincere in your commitment, stop allowing this external thing to control your thoughts and actions, and when the urge gets too strong, smoke your herbal substitutes. This is the only "smoke" for you now, commit to it.

When you get past the nicotine withdrawals, stay on course, stay with the herbals, and begin re-joining the smoky, temptation-infested world without temptation. How do you stay off them?

The first two days of detox are . . . "memorable." Just keep reminding yourself that if you slip now, just one puff, just one cigarette, you have to do that all over again. I know for me, that's enough. I'm NOT going through that again, EVER! The worse your detox is the easier it is going to be to avoid falling in again: I can walk among smokers now, smell it, be right there, any one of them would gladly pop me a smoke, and I'm not even tempted.

Give it a shot, if you want it bad enough, you can make it so.


 1:27 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Read the book "Allen Carr's Easy Way"

It worked for me and is worth a try. Break the psychological addiction before you break the physical addiction.

He tells you that you musn't quit until you have read the whole book. I was itching to give up as I neared the end of the book. I read for hours just so that I could stop smoking.

That was over 2 years ago, I haven't had a smoke since nor do I want to.


 4:24 pm on Jul 6, 2006 (gmt 0)

Anything that works is a valid method. I am by no means an expert here. But I do have one very good reason for not believing you can break the habit then the physical addiction.

I have a friend who quit smoking three years ago. He uses Nicorette, the nicotine gum.

Ran across him last week, HE IS STILL CHEWING THE GUM! He cannot break the habit, and that stuff is WAY more expensive than cigarettes. But he doesn't smoke, so I guess that's good . . . but he's still addicted. (?)

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