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June 2020 Ex-Smokers    Quit Buddies Unite

Started 12/3/19 by ModDee; 10913 views.
In reply toRe: msg 8

For all new June Ex-smoker's...Here's a list that ModJenn put together of things to do when cravings come on.

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.

From: TinyBadger


Looks like I'm the only juner?


From: ReQuitNo2


Me too - for about the 5th time so far this year. 

Determined this time round 

Hi Tiny,

I don't think you are the only 'Juner' but so far the first to stop by the June Ex Smoker thread.  If I had a door prize you would be the winner:)  

Welcome back.  What's your quit date Tiny?  

Hi there ReQuitNo2,

So glad you are determined.  It doesn't matter how many times you fail, you keep at it and that's the important thing.



From: TinyBadger


I quit for 5 days and had one this morning. So back I go, today is a new day, with a fresh start. I'm using nrt, so that seems to help.

Hey Tiny,

Any day we don't smoke is a good day.   Your lungs thank you for 5 days straight.   That's a lot of cigs not smoked and chemicals not ingested.   

Keep trying.   Freedom from the need to smoke is worth it all.


From: TinyBadger


I totally agree with that article. The pros and cons are right on point. It's easy to slip into the hopelessness that feels like you'll never be able to quit. I've been there and it sucks. I'm going to have to read more articles on this site about quitting. I think information is key.

Hi Tiny,

This part below from the article still strikes me today - that I actually believed I was leaving happiness behind when I quit.  I could feel the poison's effect of smoking every morning with 'the cough' and reluctantly  decided to quit when I did. 

Nicotine addiction is powerful.   The first months of the quit, the first thing I thought of in the morning was an almost disappointment that I had quit.  It was like, why should I bother to get up(quitter's depression).  Then, one day along the way I didn't think of smoking when I woke up but later in the day.  That was a beginning.  These days I am so happy not to 'have to put those chemicals and that smoke into my lungs.  Keeping our eyes on the prize is the only way we can get free.   One day at a time you can do this.

'I believed I could never be truly happy as an ex-smoker. I now know that this belief was conditioned in me from a young age through my early experiences with smoking and constant advertising attacks by cigarette companies. I now know I need to question everything I ever thought I understood about smoking. I can be truly happy and healthy as an ex-smoker'.