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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.




 2:04 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

everyone still off the evil weed?


 4:19 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I quit on Sunday. Haven't succumbed yet, still a way to go though.

I have started being nice to people again. I was a bit "edgy" earlier in the week. Apologies if I bit anyone's head off in here ;)


 5:03 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well done, TJ!

As for me, it's one year, two months and three weeks. That's 11,320 cigarettes not smoked and £2,900 not spent on them. Mind you, who's counting?

So, come on then everyone else; incywincy asked you a question... just how have you been getting on? :-)


[edited by: Syzygy at 5:05 pm (utc) on Sep. 1, 2006]


 8:43 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am so proud of my man who fell off a roof and fractured his spine (end of May). He was previously a 40 a day smoker. He had around three weeks in hospital where he couldn't smoke. On release he bought a couple of packs, but gave it up again and is still smokefree. He got pneumonia in hospital, and has had a bad time getting over that and realises that it would be worse if he had been smoking.

If you need another reason to keep off he had bone density tests done. He has reasonably severe osteoporosis (he's 59), and the doctors say that it's the smoking that caused it. All the publicity given to osteoporosis relates to women.


 10:17 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

I went to hypnotists on tuesday. Crushed pack I had "with me" Had one at home with 3 left in it.

Split it evens with hubbie. 1 1/2 each of us. Now they are gone, it was just a few puffs at a time off of them. they lasted till today.

Now it is the reall test, tomorrow. None at all. I hope I make it, NO I KNOW I'll make it.

Heart Smart. Just diag with leaky heart. Though smoking isn't the cause as per doctor, it would not hurt to stop the half pack a day.

Weird eh? You'd think the doc would say it was, just to get you to quit?


 10:24 pm on Sep 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Still off?

Yeah, so far it's 6-1/2 months of constant nostop craving for a smoke.

Fun, huh?


 7:29 am on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Just counted, looks like 94 days here. The I-did-it-rush has long worn off, it's business as usual . . . just without smoking. :-)


 10:34 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

so far it's 6-1/2 months of constant nostop craving for a smoke

That doesn't sound like fun. Has to be 100% psychological though right? I mean it can't be related to nicotine - that's out of your system in about 3 days time.

Might be worth trying hypnotherapy or something? Or perhaps it's just "habit" related. I think a lot of the "craving" relates to things that we traditionally associate with having a smoke.

I'm just coming up for a week and I haven't actually had a "craving" for a couple of days now. I don't actually want one now.



 10:57 pm on Sep 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I mean it can't be related to nicotine - that's out of your system in about 3 days time.

Might be worth trying hypnotherapy or something? Or perhaps it's just "habit" related. I think a lot of the "craving" relates to things that we traditionally associate with having a smoke.

Hi TJ; Yeah, it's probably all in my head :) The habit related bit stings a little though.... like maybe I should give up eating, or drinking tea, or working at the computer.

Ah well.... I did this twice before for a year each time and never got over the craving brought on by related activites or not.

Not only am I still craving a smoke or 12 when I get up in the morning, I'm still getting crankier by the day :)

Ya know, when people start telling ya they liked ya better when everything about ya smelled like a stale ashtray..... well........ :)


 9:30 am on Sep 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

Hi ken_b:
I would highly suggest that you try the hypnosis, as well as to purchase the reinforcement tapes.

I'm now on day two with no cigarette. I'm doing really well. I didn't think it would work for me.

See I knew I had to quit, no doubt about it, but I did sometimes really enjoy that cigarette. I know to many that would sound strange, but I did.

I was down to a half pack a day when I went on last tuesday evening. We took my 13 year old who went for the weight loss.

I suppose in a way it was taking him that really helped as well. If I were to show him that hypnosis could work for him to loose weight and to wish to exercise more then he does, then I needed to show him that I could quit smoking.

Just remember that it is a habit. We weren't born to inhale carbon monixide poisions, but to breath in fresh air. Would you get up in the morning and go out to your car, start it, and inhale from the exhaust pipe? Basically that is what you are doing each time you light up.

I think that If I can do it. I mean, last April I made everyone smoke outside to help us to stop.

Anyone can do this if I can. I honestly did not want to quit, but knew that I had to.

My husband also quit (I think ;) ) And he is a monster when he tries to quit. But he is a healther monster. So to use that you are cranky when you quit is just an excuse to not work at it.

Visit Thailand

 7:55 am on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am still off but have no idea how long now. Would have to go back to the start of this thread to find out.

Was smoking 40 a day and more when out drinking (w/ends etc).

I am fine most of the time, but it can be hard when I spend too long in a smokey pub. Like this weekend. I was inhaling so much second hand smoke the little devil in me was saying go on your as good as smoking now anyway.

I will be pleased when smoking is banned in pubs, from a selfish point of view will make it easier for me. But so far so good.........

Added in:

The reason I am not counting is I want to take it a day at a time. I have given up too many times in the past, sometimes just for a few weeks, sometimes a few months, and once for over a year, only to start again.

This time, just one day at a time, and I treat each day as I did the first day of giving up.

That way I do not get complacent and think I have won, when I already know the little devil can come and bite at any time.

[edited by: Visit_Thailand at 8:01 am (utc) on Sep. 4, 2006]


 8:33 pm on Sep 4, 2006 (gmt 0)

...Ah well.... I did this twice before for a year each time and never got over the craving brought on by related activites or not.

I'm serious, TRY HERBAL SMOKES. Only one or two brands even come close to "real" cigarettes ("Dreams Herbal," "Smokin' Joes.") Most of them are horrible in comparison. When you get an urge to smoke, smoke those. What happens is you build an aversion to where you just don't feel compelled to smoke. It's not like real aversion therapy, snapping with the rubber band or something, but it WORKS! :-)

Ya know, when people start telling ya they liked ya better when everything about ya smelled like a stale ashtray.....

This is why you avoid telling people you quit. "Yeah he's cranky 'cause he quit . . . " next thing you know EVERYTHING is blamed on your quitting. My answer when people start in with this crap is "no, I just don't like you and and your presence annoys me." They stop inviting you to their parties and stop talking to you altogether. Which is kinda cool, if they lack compassion for your plight they're not your friends anyway. :-)

Visit Thailand

 11:59 pm on Sep 20, 2006 (gmt 0)

Is anyone else putting on loads of weight? This last month I seemed to have ballooned!

I am excersising and I eat pretty well with only an occasional lapse.

This has been one of the main reasons I always started smoking again as I do not feel happy with the weight gain. Very annoying.


 12:10 am on Sep 21, 2006 (gmt 0)

I gained about 30 pounds so far, in 7 months.

I walk about a mile or more on a treadmill most days, and try to go out and walk more in the real world.

That all seems to have stabilized my weight, but I need to lose that 30 pounds.


 3:50 pm on Sep 22, 2006 (gmt 0)

wtg (way to go!) & ktq (keep the quit)

When my quit reached about a year, I mentioned it to someone, who replied, "Yeah? Try quitting 20 years."

My answer was, "I am. I'm at the beginning of that."

I used to hang out at the forums over at quitnet. I still go there near anniversaries. I have a different nic there, though.

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