About Smoking Cessation Forum

Hosted by Terry (abquitsmking)

Formerly known as the About.com Smoking Cessation support forum, this community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.

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September 2020 Ex-Smokers    Quit Buddies Unite

Started Aug-31 by Terry (abquitsmking); 12613 views.
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Welcome New Ex-Smokers

Congratulations on taking that all important first step with cessation - stubbing out the last cigarette and getting started.

Chances are you don't feel 'ready' to quit, and are experiencing a mixture of difficult emotions about it.

Try to relax.  You've found the best place for help. 

Getting Started with Cessation

Park yourself in front of your computer and read everything you can on this forum board. We encourage you to take the initiative to introduce yourself and post often. Sharing your journey with your new quit buddies and offering support to each other really helps.

This thread will serve as the meeting place for those of you who are quitting now, and when the month ends, we will move your 'home base' thread over to the Quit Buddies Unite folder, where you can continue to support each other. 

You can also return to the Introductions folder where you'll find the new Monthly Ex-Smoker thread for those coming along behind you.  Share the tips and encouragement that helped you during month one.  Not only will this help others, it will strengthen your resolve as well.

Start your reading here:  Homework for New Ex-Smokers

Additionally, the folder headings in gray on the left of the page under DISCUSSIONS house different topics.  Click on the gray heading to view the conversations held within.  When you finish with a folder, click on the drop down menu under DISCUSSIONS and select ALL to see all of the folders again.

Introductions/Newcomers Nook
A good place to start with numerous threads from new ex-smokers.

General Chit-Chat 
This is where you will find the daily NOPE thread.  NOPE stands for Not One Puff Ever, and members pledge NOPE on a daily basis.  Give it a try - you will probably find it helpful and empowering.

Quit Support
This is a good place to post for help when you need it ASAP. 
 
Dots(Weeks) and Stars (Months) Milestones and One Year and Beyond Milestones 
Read the accounts of people who are winning with cessation in these folders.

Quit Buddies Unite
This folder is the home base for the groups who quit together.  This thread will move to that folder at the end of the first month.


Quit Smoking Library
Here you'll find member stories and links to important articles that will inform you about what to expect from smoking cessation.

The next 4 posts will give you additional info on how to navigate/post here.  Please read them and let us know if you have any questions.

An Educated Quit is a Successful Quit

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Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Forum Navigation Basics

1. Take a look to the left at the DISCUSSIONS section to the left of this page

  • Click on the drop down menu in grayed area immediately beneath it.
  • If you click on All you will see all the folder categories; folders like, Introduction/Newcomers Nook, Quit Buddies Unite, Forum Navigation and Rules, General Chit-Chat etc. When you scroll down the system shows you if there are new messages (bold text) in the thread. 
  • Hierarchy of threads (discussions) within a folder: threads are sorted within a folder by the latest date/hour of a post within thread. If you click on a thread without a new message the system will take you to the beginning of the thread.
  • When you click on the drop down menu you can also select things like

Unread to me (messages to you waiting to be read).

  • When you log in to the forum, the "DISCUSSIONS" section will show the "Unread Msgs" category at the top of the discussions area. Beneath the "Unread Msgs" title will be all the folders containing unread messages since your last visit to the forum, starting with the Introductions/Newcomers Nook folder. When you scroll down to for example the "Quit Buddies Unite" folder if there are no new messages in your quit buddies group it is not going to be at the top of quit buddies unite category. Continue to scroll down past all the quit buddies folders that have new messages (they are in bold text) until you find your group.

2. Click on the drop down menu on your profile picture/avatar at the top right of the page. Review the content of each one.

  • My Profile Photo ( you can add or change your avatar or photo)
  • My Profile
  • My preference
  • My Account
  • Help
  • Logout

3. Please familiarize your self with the Help button contents

This is where you can browse Delphi FAQs for general information, or post a question in one of the Support Forums, where Delphi staff, volunteers, and knowledgeable members are happy to lend a hand. You will also find "How To" guides that are fully illustrated tutorials that show you exactly how things work on Delphi forums

4. When you click on a folder heading like "Quit Buddies Unite' to read or post, the gray drop down menu under the DISCUSSIONS section changes to "Single folder". Once you've finish what you're doing in that folder to see all the folder headings again, click on the gray drop down menu under DISCUSSIONS and click on ALL which will bring up all the folder titles.

5. Education about our addiction and the cessation process is a major component of a successful permanent quit. Take a look at the articles in the link below they were written especially for new ex-smokers.

Homework For New Ex-Smokers

http://forums.delphiforums.com/quit_smoking/messages/3435/1

Personal Signatures

As you move through the forum, you'll notice that a lot of people carry a variety of images in their personal signatures.

There are 3 levels of membership at Delphi forums - DelphiBasic (free), DelphiExtra ($19.95 per year) and DelphiPlus ($4.95 per month). Only the two paid tiers (DelphiExtra and DelphiPlus) allow you to carry a signature field that you can customize with graphics. The two paid subscriptions also allow you to browse forums ad-free.

You can take a look at a comparison chart of the plans here:

http://www.delphiforums.com/plans.ptt

Graphics and photos can be added to the body of your messages in the DelphiBasic plan. Follow the instructions below.
 

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Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

How to Bookmark a Thread

To to bookmark a message:

  • Go to the bottom of the post you want to bookmark.
  • At the bottom right find the "Reply" button.
  • Hover your cursor to the left of the "Reply"  button
  • Find the "Bookmark this message" symbol  just to the left of the "Reply" button.
  • Click on the bookmark this message button.
  • You will receive a pop-up message that will say

To find your bookmarked messages

  • Look to the left at the DISCUSSIONS section.
  • Click on the drop down menu in grayed area immediately beneath the word DISCUSSIONS. 
  •  You will see a menu that contains items like, "7 Days back", "2 Days back", "Unread Msgs", "Unread to Me" etc.  Look all the way to the bottom, the last item has the book mark symbol  and the words "Bookmarked Msgs"  your saved bookmark messages will appear here ...........just click on the one you want to view and it opens with your post. When finished reviewing, click on your browser back arrow key to go back to where you were. See example graphics below.

In reply toRe: msg 3
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

How to Follow a Discussion

Want to know if someone posted in your buddy group? Get email notifications on any specific discussion you wish to follow.

  1. Click on your profile pic in the upper right hand corner.
  2. From the drop-down menu select “My Preferences”
  3. Scroll down to “View Zeta as Classic”
  4. Check the box before “View all Zeta forums in Classic”
  5. Select “Update”
  6. A box will appear “Success”. Click “OK”.
  7. Return to About Smoking Cessation Forum. Note: It will look vastly different.
  8. Select the “Messages” tab to show the folders.
  9. Go to the Discussion you want to follow.
  10.  Select “Subscribe” in the upper right directly across from the Discussion name.
  11.  Select how often you want to subscribe. Then click “Subscribe”.
  12.  A Subscribe box will appear. Click “OK”.
  13.  If you have other Discussions you wish to follow, repeat Steps 9 thru 11.
  14.  Select “My Preferences” at the top of the screen.
  15.  Scroll down to “View Zeta as Classic”
  16.  Check the box so it is now empty
  17.  Select “Update”
  18.  “Success” box. Click “OK”.
In reply toRe: msg 4
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Welcome!

The thought of quitting tobacco is very intimidating for most of us in the beginning, but take comfort in the fact that many others before you have quit successfully and they felt just as nervous as you probably do right now.

Quitting can be done - it's not an overnight event, but if you settle in and invest in the process, you'll be looking back from a place of nicotine-free comfort sooner than you think.

The following list of tips was compiled by ModJenn, one of our long-time mods.  You might want to copy it to a place where you can refer and add to it as you go.

Quit Toolbox

  • Drink ice water through a straw. Repeat. Drink ice water through a straw. Repeat...
  • Knowledge is power. Read everything you can get your hands on about this addiction. The more you understand about your own addiction to nicotine, the better equipped you become to get through the cessation process.
  • Post on the Forum until your fingers are sore. Post, post, post. 
  • Closely related: Go to the NOPE pledge daily and hold yourself accountable.
  • When you come across posts that inspire and/or strengthen you ~ copy and paste them into a Word document. In this way, you can reread them when you feel wibbly wobbly and are climbing the walls.
  • Distract, distract, distract. (Shhhh.....I would do jumping jacks and by the time I got to about 10-12 I was distracted -- that's for sure. Try puzzles, reading a book, anything that shifts the focus of your thoughts.) More generally, stop whatever you are doing, move, and do something else. The craving will pass.
  • Remind yourself this is a journey and the more time you put between now and that last cigarette, the stronger your quit muscles become and the more you have in your quit toolbox. Take it one minute and hour at at time, if necessary, and the days will keep adding up.
  • Every day you go to bed smoke-free is a good day. Be kind to yourself along the way.
  • What you are experiencing is normal - "this too shall pass".
  • Take a shower. Brush your teeth. Put on lotion.
  • Read your quit reasons.
  • Create a list of all the benefits you are experiencing now that you no longer smoke. Practice gratitude at least once a day for these benefits and life changes.
  • Cinnamon flavored sugar-free gum (even cinnamon sticks).
  • Chai tea (I had to avoid coffee for a while but can drink it now without a problem).
  • Eat healthy snacks, such as carrots or frozen grapes (Some honesty here: I didn't always do so well with this one due to this pesky sweet tooth I developed once I could taste my food again. The good news is that as my quit felt more secure my eating wasn't as erratic.)
  • Protect your quit at all costs by avoiding situations that are high-risk for you, especially in the early part of the quit (e.g., other smokers, alcohol, etc.).
  • Make a plan for handling cravings when around temptation. Do not enter potentially difficult situations without a plan.
  • Remind yourself that it's going to be okay - time is your friend as you relearn every aspect of daily life.
  • Keep a journal to record your journey and it's easier to see how far you have come (It gave me perspective at times when I needed to remember that I may not be where I want to be but I'm most certainly not where I used to be.).
  • Reward yourself for the small accomplishments and the larger milestones (this doesn't' have to involve spending money).
  • Exercise - go for walks, join a gym, just keep moving.
  • Accept and tell yourself (that self-talk we have to turn from negative to positive) that the craving is actually a sign of healing and they will occur less frequently and with less intensity as the smoke-free days add up.
  • Deep breathing -- take 4-5 deep breaths -- fill up your diaphragm and and make your tummy stick out.
  • As ModLisa says: "When in doubt go to sleep". 
  • As ModMic says: "SOME DAYS, IT IS ENOUGH THAT YOU JUST DON'T SMOKE. Some days are crappy from beginning to end, and you can kick, scream, cry, punch something, bite someone's head off...if you did not smoke, you win and a little more healing happened".
  • Visualize a craving like a wave washing over you. The tide does leave. 
  • Tell yourself four things: (1) Smoking is no longer an option regardless of what life throws your way; (2) I am worthy of freedom from this addiction; (3) I can. I will. End of story; and (4) I am stronger than this challenge and this challenge is making me stronger.

0ne year tomorrow.  When will the mind games end?

Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Hi Lainie,

First off, congratulations on a year smoke-free!  I'll talk about cravings that still pop up, but want to take a minute to acknowledge your accomplishment.  It is no small feat, and regardless of how uncomfortable you might still feel from time to time,  a year away from nicotine is huge.  Please do something special to celebrate - something that has lasting meaning for you.

About those cravings...can you tell me a little more about what is going on?  How often do they occur, what the setting is, etc.  Also, what is your mindset about smoking?  Do you miss it, long for it, or are the cravings more like triggers that pop up with certain activities?

Nicotine addiction creates so many associations that become hardwired over the years, and recovery is a combination of putting the time in to heal, and proactive mental adjustments to change the way we think about cigarettes. 

Getting rid of lingering/nagging urges to smoke is a process.  Don't be discouraged and don't give up. 

If you can give me some details on what you're feeling, I will try to help.

Congrats again on a YEAR!!!!  SO GREAT!

T.

In reply toRe: msg 7
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

The internal chatter in our minds when we first stop smoking can be non-stop.  The voice inside is bargaining and desperate, but if you can find a way to block it out, it will fade away in time.  

For me, it was just about three weeks of constant noise.   I'd wake up thinking about smoking, go about my day planning how and when I'd buy a pack and somehow end the day smoke-free.  It was exhausting, but it did let up and it will for you, too.

Gotta go through it to get through it.

Education about what to expect is key.  Read, read, read and post!  The folks here will be happy to hear from you and help in whatever way they can.

In reply toRe: msg 8
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Nicotine withdrawal can include a whole host of symptoms.   Take a look at the following article to get an idea of whether what you're feeling is related to smoking cessation or not.

In reply toRe: msg 9
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

When you first quit cigarettes, it may feel as if every waking moment is consumed with one thought and one thought alone: the urge to smoke.

If you pay close attention though, you'll notice that most cravings last only around three to five minutes. They tend to come off the blocks strongly and decrease gradually until they're finally gone.

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