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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March 2021 New Ex-Smokers - Start Here   Quit Buddies Unite

Started 2/28/21 by Terry (abquitsmking); 48851 views.
In reply toRe: msg 5
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

From: Terry (abquitsmking)

2/28/21

Here's a wonderful list of tips for the first weeks of cessation that one of our mods, ModJenn put together.  Print it out for handy reference!

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 6
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

From: Terry (abquitsmking)

2/28/21

Mod Marge also made a terrific list of tips for when it gets tough............................................ Thanks Marge!

  • As soon as you feel the crave come on, distract yourself immediately, do something else. If you are healthy, exercise, walk or do aerobics. When you feel like you are going to bust, climb up and down the steps or just get up and walk and walk. If I had to do it again, I would get a punching bag.
  • Keep redirecting your mind to the truth about nicotine and cigarettes.  Remind yourself that cigarettes were killing you slowly.  Remember, how long nicotine addiction controlled you. It controlled me over 40 years.
  • Drink as much ice water as possible.  When cravings are very bad, drink the whole glass down.
  • Sit in an upright chair and take 5-10 slow deep breaths.  It calms down that panicky feeling.
  • Come to the Forum and read. Try to support someone that is struggling.  It will help you at the same time.
  • Pledge not to smoke at the beginning of every day.
  • Read as many articles in the library as possible. You need to know your enemy to defeat it. Get educated on nicotine addiction and the tools to get through the rough times. You can actively overcome self-defeating thoughts.  I learned that here.
  • Keeping a journal will help you cope.  Write down your feelings.  Write down all phrases or posts that inspire you along the journey.  Go back and reread when you feel like you are in a fog.  You will see the progress you are making right before your eyes.
  • Find yourself a little hobby you can go to when you don’t know what to do with yourself and want to focus on something.  I put together Legos of all sizes for 6 months. It helped enormously.  A friend of mine bought large jigsaw puzzles and worked on it a little every day. One buddy loved adult coloring books.
  • If you are not sleeping well, check out the meditative music on U tube. Some of them are 8 hours long and very relaxing.
  • Put on some favorite, loud music and sing at the top of your lungs. 
  • Find things that make you laugh.  It releases pent up emotions and good chemicals in our bodies.
  • Don’t be afraid to have a good cry.  That does the same thing.
  • Let the junkie thoughts go by like a movie, try not to let them bother you.  They are just thoughts.
In reply toRe: msg 7
Callyf

From: Callyf

3/1/21

Hello to everyone joining and making the decision to take back your freedom. I'm not often here these days but I always like to pop back in on my quitversary to say hello to my old quit buddies (Freedom Marchers 2015) and give a little encouragement to the people just starting on their journey. 

I never in a million years believed I could stop for good, several failed attempts left me even more convinced I could never stop. But I did...6 years ago today, I stubbed out my last ever cigarette. It was not an easy journey. I had however, discovered this forum. I spent about 6 months prior to my quit happily sat outside, smoking and reading all the posts, quit stories and educational articles on here. Then I took the plunge, posted my first post, met my buddies and the rest is history. 

The time difference between the UK and the USA helped me in a way, my worst time for craving a cigarette was always in the morning, I always struggled to fill the time but because of the time difference, there were always loads of new posts to read from the States which kept me occupied until the craving passed. 

This forum is an absolute lifeline, live here for a year if you have to, just don't quit quitting xxx

Jatchat

From: Jatchat

3/4/21

Thanks for your post Callyf,

You said "This forum is an absolute lifeline, live here for a year if you have to, just don't quit quitting" I like that, it truly is a lifeline, that's an awesome quit you have going there, credit to you for persevering, Did you use NRT or cold turkey your way through? I am using patches, and have just started, one week in. 

Enjoy your new life

Kind regards

Anthony

In reply toRe: msg 9
oxanquits

From: oxanquits

3/11/21

Hi, 

I smoke for 11 years (cigarettes and now iqos) and try to quit at least once per month, lately every day :) I can be without cigarettes for many hours in a row, but then I fail. Usually, when stressed, tired or bored. Last year I was here, just reading posts, today I want to be one of you, smoke-free people. 

Start date 11.03 at 11:03am

  • Edited March 11, 2021 11:39 am  by  oxanquits
Loreficent

From: Loreficent

3/11/21

Yes, come along and join this gang! You will get a lot of support and encouragement here. Start by reading the articles at the very beginning of this folder, on page one. There is a spot on first page from one of the Mods called “Homework for New Ex Smokers”. It is highlighted in blue and says “start your reading here”. The articles are very readable and it will really help you to understand the addiction. None are very long. Arming yourself with knowledge is key!

boylant22

From: boylant22

3/11/21

Welcome to the March ex-smokers club. You can do this!   Mentally deciding is one of the biggest hurdles to overcome. The fact that you are here and said you want to quit is huge. It is work, but I have no doubt you can do it. I smoked for 25 years and finally decided no more!  

oxanquits

From: oxanquits

3/11/21

Thank you for support, understanding what's going on is helpful.

KatieKat84

From: KatieKat84

3/11/21

Hi and welcome to the forum! It’s a huge help for quitting (it made all the difference in my success to getting free after 15 years of smoking). Read lots and post on here. Distract, breathe and trust in your decision to quit. It’s a really horrible addiction but you can get free with determination, education and support. Good luck!

Katie

Quit 4th March 2017

Suzy2018

From: Suzy2018

3/12/21

Hi there,

I quit on 8th March, so am only a few days in front of you.  So far it's not too bad, but I am using nicotine lozenges which make it a lot easier.   Obviously that means I'm not addressing the nicotine addiction yet, just the method of delivery pensive but at the moment I'm grateful to be where I am.  Even on Day 5 I'm breathing more easily and coughing less.

How are you doing this - cold turkey or with NRT?  And - much more importantly - how are you feeling?   Maybe we can help one another through the difficult bits!

Best wishes,

Suzy   

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