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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June 2021 New Ex-Smokers Start Here   Introductions/Newcomers Nook

Started Jun-1 by Terry (abquitsmking); 1837 views.
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Welcome New Ex-Smokers

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

Chances are you don't feel 'ready' to quit, and are wondering how on earth you're going to make it through the next few hours, let alone the next few days, smoke-free.

Take a few deep breaths and relax...

You have found the best quit aid on the planet - this forum community. The folks here know what you're going through because we've all been through it ourselves. We are committed to supporting you every step of the way, so park yourself in front of your computer and read everything you can on this forum board and elsewhere about what to expect from smoking cessation.
 

Below are a few articles to get you started:

Quit Buddy Groups
The people we move through cessation with - our quit buddies - are special. This thread is a place for those of you who are quitting this month to connect with one a
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In reply toRe: msg 1
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Mod Marge 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 2
Terry (abquitsmking)
Host

Here's another helpful list ModJenn put together to help during the early days of your quit.

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.
BlueDahlia29

From: BlueDahlia29

Jun-8

Quit smoking but wanting to give up the nicotine lozenges now. Coming here for support and to support others.

Cazza2468

From: Cazza2468

Jun-8

Hi blue

good to see you again.  How long have you stopped smoking for?  Maybe you could start by replacing a couple of the lozenges with a strong mint and then gradually add more substitutes as you feel comfortable with it.

i found that when I used to get cravings after I quit anything strong and spicy in my mouth helped. I used to make this hot soup which had lots of chilies an chorizo sausage would really take away that mouth feel for a ciggy.

caz

BlueDahlia29

From: BlueDahlia29

Jun-8

Hi Cazza! I had quit for 2 and a half years then had a slip and smoked for a few days but now am about 2 and a half- 3 months without. Don't even think about smoking but always have a lozenge in my mouth. I had my last lozenge an hour ago and am using these spicy mints I got from trader joes, so far so good but it's just begun.

Anne2020

From: Anne2020

Jun-9

If I may ask, what made you pick up and smoke after 2 and half years?  Was it the classic, I can have just one and it snowballed or was it stress r something else entirely.

Also, is it any easier to quit this time around. 

danny1526

From: danny1526

Jun-9

Hi Everyone,

I am new to this and thought I would drop an introductory line.

My name is Dan and originally from the UK but now residing in Michigan.

I stopped smoking, cold turkey, 7 weeks ago.

The first 5 weeks were easy enough but I was very wobbly on week 6. I did some research and apparently, there are quite a lot of posts about people struggling at the 6 week point. Has anyone else had this experience?

Someone on here (can't remember who) has said that, for every time you get an urge to smoke or a craving, to think of it as a wave crashing over you. This has really really helped me.

Anyways, I have rambled enough - here to support and listen also.

Dan

oxanquits

From: oxanquits

Jun-9

Hi Dan, welcome to the forum.

I had hard times around this mark too. The truth with quitting is that you can never be sure that you’re over it, at least at the beginning. Those moments come spontaneously. I quit almost 3 month ago and lately I haven’t had any cravings, but I know this can change any moment. Never take another puff is the only thing to remember at this stage for me.. it’s easy to keep in mind and with time easy to follow, also once you realize why.
The wave visualization is the best, saved my quit several times.

danny1526

From: danny1526

Jun-9

Thank you so much for the welcome.

Congrats on the 3 month marker. Good to hear that you are not having any cravings currently, gives me strength, that it will hopefully get easier.  

I wasn't aware of the spontaneous urges, which caught me off guard. The wave visualization is really good at relaxing me.

Thank you again 

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