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January 2020 Ex-Smokers   Quit Buddies Unite

Started 12/3/19 by ModDee; 92691 views.

From: DanJF3


Just passed the 3 day mark myself about 4 hours ago.  Overall these past 3 days haven't been too horrible, just a bit of anxiety last night. The thought of smoking is certainly very present but I guess that's no different than any other day other than I managed to stay busy and not seriously consider the possibility of lighting up.  I'm happy to be a part of the discussion group, it helps not to be alone in this challenging journey.  


In reply toRe: msg 17

From: slowblumer


Hi January Ex-Smokers,

Here's a wonderful list ModJenn put together that should come in handy.

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.
In reply toRe: msg 17

From: IainZAR


Hello to the January 2020 Quitters.

What a good day, and what a good idea, you've decided to be the real you, free from smoking. Amazing. Just wanted to pop in and say hi and send my support. I'm a January 2019 quitter and happier every day I'm smoke free. It's hard, but most definitely gets better.

Use this forum and get in touch, there are lots of amazing people here willing to share and provide support. Keep strong and stick to what you've decided. Cheers from sunny africa!

  • Edited January 4, 2020 5:38 am  by  IainZAR

From: Dee0517


Hi Mod Marge,

Thanks so much for the list of encouragements. I really needed to read them. I’m almost at 4 months but I still struggle everyday. Some days are worse than others but the last week as been very tough due to a family crises. My stress level is so high right now and in regards to my Son, I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. Hope I’m wrong and my prayers are answered soon. I take long walks to help with my anxiety and cravings. I keep reminding myself that if I cave and smoke a cigarette, it’s not going to take away my problem or solve it. Not sure why after almost 4 months my mind still plays tricks with me and try’s to convince me that smoking will calm my nerves. I know it’s false because if I do smoke again, the guilt will only make me feel worse.

Thanks again for the words of encouragement. I’m still struggling but I’m going to keep trying one day at a time. Can’t wait for the day when I stop thinking about smoking... 



From: slowblumer


Hi Dee,

I kept that list up in my room and literally had to run to it at times.  4 months is wonderful.  Don't let anything make you smoke. It will just create more stress and will not help the situation.   Stress is a major trigger and I mean major.  if possible go to a quiet place , sit and do 10 slow deep breaths.  It can relieve some built up pressure.

I don't know how long you smoked but it is not at all unusual to crave at four months.  I turned a huge corner at 9 months but it is different for us all.  I promise you, by one year it will improve vastly.  Stay here and read and post.

How to Stay Smoke-Free In Times of Extraordinary Stress


From: NoTobac


Thanks for reposting this list ModMarge. I've copied and pasted it. I've got my quit scheduled for next Wednesday or Thursday and I'm sure I'll be using this list a lot!!!  


From: slowblumer


Well then, you might like this list and build on it for yourself. 

How to Know if You've Got Quitter's Flu

When Quitting Makes It Hard To Sleep


From: NoTobac


Thanks. I'm checking out everything I can get my hands on! smile

In reply toRe: msg 25

From: ModAndrea


Hey, January 2020 Ex-Smokers!

I know how tough these first few days can be. When I first quit smoking, I stuck close to the forum, reading everything I could.

I highly recommend the posts you'll find in the folders from the column on the left -

 Dots and Stars Milestones


One Year and Beyond Milestones   f

These are written by forum members in celebration of weeks, months, and years smoke free. Here's one from Molly.

Have a wonderful smoke free day! I'm glad you're here. blush