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This community is open to all who are recovering from nicotine addiction.
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Thank you Jerthie123 !!! It feels great to have this support because my friends at times are surprised/not so supportive of the decision and want me to accompany them .
I second you on the not using nicotine gums or mints , do not want to fund or be dependant on another source.
Sending strength and positivity to you so you can wean off the lozenges too eventually !
I’m very hopeful and positive that I can let go of the habit and I asked the question about the party because it feels like I’m giving up something that felt pleasurable but through more reading I’m understanding that I’m wrong about how I’m looking at it.
it’s also scary that having one or two at a party once may cause you to relapse and knowing myself I probably will so I wouldn’t be doing that - that’s the plan !
Will come back here whenever I’m having a new thought,craving or difficultly , thanks !!
You are so welcome Sunaad! I know you will be able to quit just by the way you are talking about it. You have done some reading. You know you don't want to use the gum or the lozenges as a backup. All you need to do is to continue doing what you are doing, which is not smoking, along with posting here whenever you have a craving. People will respond don't worry. You are smart to not want to follow the crowd. Continue to blaze your own path, and get rid of the addicted mindset as soon as you can. The longer you smoke, the more associations you will build with smoking, and then it will just get harder and harder to break the addiction. While you are still young, break free! I smoked for 20 years and am now using lozenges for 9 years. I hope there is still hope for me! I strongly believe in you! Such a good thing you did by finding us here. Once you get more responses, it will encourage you even more to win the smoke free lifestyle you want and crave. Keep on doing what you are doing! You are pretty much already there!!!
You are too! :)
You have come to the right place! You can do it if you really want and we are all here to lend advice, help with SOS cravings, cheer you on and encourage you without judgement.
We are all experiencing the same things. Quitting methods can vary , and other people can share theirs with you, but from my personal experience, cold turkey is the way to go. Continuing to administer nicotine via patches and slowly reducing the amount seems to me like prolonging the detox.
As for occasional party smokers..well, there is a small subset of smokers who only smoke at parties. You will find that many who claim they are, actually smoke outside parties ( that was me at some point, denial denial denial). And even if they do smoke only in parties, whats the point? Doesn't really get you high. Hardly worth inhaling poison for no real buzz.
But all that is completely irrelevant to either of us, because we do not belong to that rare group. Me, you, and and everyone in here are nicotine drug addicts pure and simple. The only difference between nicotine addiction and street drugs is that the former is sold in every convenient store and you pay taxes on them, and the latter is sold on a street corner, tax free. The difference between cigarette and alcohol is that the store needs a liquor license to sell alcohol which is harder to obtain. In every other way, nicotine addiction is exactly like, if not more powerful than any other addictive substance. Asking if maybe once a month you can have one at a party as an occasional thing, is like an alcoholic asking if they can occasionally have a drink at parties. The moment you take a puff you will be back to where you started in no time.
The sooner we realize that we are as addicted to nicotine as a crack addict is addicted to crack cocaine, the better. It may kill and ruin your body you more slowly than crack cocaine, but in terms of dependency, it's the same. Understanding this is crucial in understanding that quitting a drug is not is not about detox or will power alone. It is about knowledge ( yes, the science bit) and psychological undoing of years of addiction. Without this mental work, the odds of staying clean are diminished.
There are two sources that are the most quoted here. One is Allen Carr's 'Easy way to stop smoking' book. It does not work for everyone but there are many many strong facts in the book that are essential to understanding nicotine addiction.
The second source is a website dedicated to quitting Nicotine:
It has many video and articles, and a free ebook which I found very helpful. I re-read this book it several times since my quit (1.5 years).
This is the book link : https://whyquit.com/ffn/
Another source, and one of the most helpful to me was not a quitting guide, but a very informative from BBC TV Documentary from 1999, about the history of tobacco pushing, and of how cigarettes became the killer of millions of human beings. It has three parts. Here is the link to part one:
And finally, this forum is an invaluable source or sharing experiences, advice giving, and friendship to see you through.
To hear this from ... You in particular means a lot. I was thinking about your last message to me a LOT tonight. Everything you said about my using the lozenges as an escapism from my daily life and the struggles of living with bipolar disorder. You are right right right. Again, to hear YOU tell ME that I am almost there too?! That is the biggest vote of confidence for me right now. I know it too. I can smell the victory... I really can. I know I have the willpower to do it. I know how to delay cravings. I know how to manage my stresses. What is the last tiny little thing that is holding me back?
Part of me wants to go cold turkey come January 1. 2023. Part of me wants to stick to what I see as the easier way out, which is to go down to 5 and then to 4, etc. I have a strong faith in the Lord. Perhaps if I say one extra prayer a day for the intention of me being quit in some way somehow, I will do it too!
I do like gum, so there's that. I like cough drops, so there's that. I no longer diet and count calories, so my obsession with thinness is gone, there's that. So many positives! I can only for now keep on keeping on and continue to read and post and then truly want and to believe... Really believe that the magic will eventually find me too!!! God bless you for believing in me!
Thank you for the reply but I really meant it, you have the tools and the will power. You let go of Counting calories too?! That’s amazing. That’s a really hard thing to do. I know you are religious person, but I think you are the only one who can help yourself. you don’t have to pray for power, you already have it. Everything I said is easier said than done. It’s easy to make observations and give advice when you’re on the outside. I know this because I struggle with depression my whole life (which at the moment is well managed thankfully). Xo
Hi xvaper !
Thank you for this wonderful perspective on cigarettes. It really opens your eyes on cigarettes being sold like candy and people consuming them like it.
These resources are really helpful and I will look into them every time I feel like reaching for a smoke.
Wanted to put this out there that I had a small disagreement with my family today and work was really stressful so I almost told myself I need a cigarette both these times and when I returned from work my thoughts were going towards “I’ve had a long day let me reward myself with one”
I understand that these thoughts will eventually go away but any tips to think about it differently/ make it easier so I don’t break someday ?
So glad to hear you are able to manage your depression. That is no easy feat. I will use my will power and I don't know if anyone can relate to this, but I find that if I make a pact with God rather than myself, I am more likely to honour the pact. The power in me is mine, yes, but I also pray for mercy, grace and wisdom. I appreciate you Xvaper!
There are two things you can do. One is the immediate distraction. People here have many tips such as drinking a tall glass of cold water, preferably through a straw. Also know that physical cravings only last from 5-20 minutes. If yo can wait it out, the worst of it will have passed. I remember literally holding on to to my sofa with my hands, to not go to the store in the first few days of detox. One thought that really helped me was this: I would tell myself, well, if you really really want to smoke a cigarette, you can always do it tomorrow. Let's try to go one evening without. And then the same thing the next day and so on.
“I’ve had a long day let me reward myself with one” - this is where the mental work comes in. The more you read about the science the more you understand. The super short science bit is that when you smokes a cigarette, the nicotine in it “hijacks” the Motivation and Reward pathways, by causing a release of dopamine. Nicotine does this a little differently than other addictive drugs in that it closely mimics the natural chemical that plays a part in this process. The Motivation and Reward part of the brain is responsible to learning basic survival skills and remembering what action lead to a satisfaction of survival needs (Reward), namely food, drink and well, sex. It therefore starts to regard Nicotine as essential to survival as food or drink, and will form memories of where and when (with a meal, with wine, after sex, during a party, when stressed, when celebrating, when sad, when happy etc etc) and How nicotine was obtained (smoking, vaping, patches, chewing tobacco etc). My clumsy explanation here is pretty basic, so I strongly encourage you to read more about it.
When you quit, the addicted part of your brain is being starved of its fix. It will try to use your prefrontal cortex to form thoughts that would lead to a Nicotine fix. Literally "Reward yourself". Add to that decades of bombardments of messages in advertising and popular culture that cigarettes relax you and is needed in times of stress and as a 'reward' at the end of a hard day's work, and there you have it. It takes a while to actively undo the psychological affect caused by years of smoking.
I also like to use a realization that occurred to me early on in my recovery. I imagined a 'what if ' scenario, in which cigarets did not exist and instead, Nicotine was a byproduct of the exhaust fumes of a car engine. I imagined ads with hot young models standing by car, smoking the fumes through a hookah attached to the tailpipe. I imagined Lauren Bacall doing the same thing with a martini in her hand. I then asked myself, would I be going outside, shivering on a winter evening to start my car and sniff the fumes coming out of the tailpipe? To paraphrase Jack Nicolson: You goddamn right I would.