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I haven't written about my quest to quit smoking in awhile. Unfortunately, the reason for that is because I fell off the wagon.
In other words, I'm smoking again.

If you've never smoked before, it may be easy to say to "just quit". If you are a current or former smoker, you know how hard it is. I've read in several credible sources that tobacco is "more addictive than heroin". I've never done heroin but I can imagine it would be pretty hard to kick that habit too.

I can make excuses for why I started smoking again but I don't need to. I am human and I make mistakes. I've beat myself up about it many, many times. I'm very disappointed in myself. I felt even worse when my Mom found out I was smoking again. The look of disappointment on her face was worse than anything else. I could have been punched in the face by Mike Tyson and it wouldn't have hurt as much as her look of disappointment.


I'm not done with my quest to quit smoking. I still want to kick the habit. Not only because it sucks paying almost $5 a pack but I need to quit for my health.

If you're a smoker and you are trying to quit, I feel your pain. We will kick this habit.

Have you quit smoking and been successful? How many times did you quit?
Any words of advice?


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19 comments

  1. The Lioness // July 16, 2009 at 8:32 AM  

    Don't beat yourself up. It's hard. I now 2 years in and still miss it and want it. Just a lot less. Everyone has to find their reason to quit and then their method. I used the patch for 3 weeks to help with the nicotine but boy oh boy, fighting the habits associated with smoking was the hardest. Still is. But I told myself everytime "I can do this. I control myself". After repeat a couple of thousand times, the urge would pass and I would move on. It's amazing the number of things I did with smoking. I quit because while I love the smell of smoke on others, I am totally disgusted with the smell on me, my hair, my hands, my clothes, my home.... Everytime I get a really really strong urge, I pick up a lit cigarette, hold it for about 3 seconds, put it down, smell my fingers and am soooo turned off. It can be done and only you can do it. But know that it's a battle.

  2. Roxie // July 16, 2009 at 9:13 AM  

    I quit a little over 3 years ago after smoking for 30 years. It was my 3rd quit attempt. I'd had two other attempts that lasted up to two years. The last time, I used every tool in my arsenal to quit. I used Zyban, started exercising, and make detailed specific plans as to what actions I would take when the urge would strike.

  3. Rob in Denver // July 16, 2009 at 9:30 AM  

    I quite about nine years ago with the help of Wellbutrin. The drug helped mitigate the cravings, but most of the heavy lifting was done by me: changing your smoking behaviors are the real key to success... and that's damn hard.

    Even after nine years I still consider myself a former smoker rather than a non-smoker, a designation I suspect others can understand. I like the way they smell and I miss the way somoking made me feel. On the upside, I tried one last summer while out on a bar crawl. I took one pull and tossed it away. I suppose the magic is gone.

  4. Matt @ My Financial Recovery // July 16, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

    I have not had a cigarette in about a year and a half now. It was tough! I still have cravings now and then and my girlfriend just started smoking again after quitting for a year and a half herself. It makes it a lot harder for me to stay "quit".

    Best of luck to you!

  5. ryan // July 16, 2009 at 1:22 PM  

    I quit when i left college, about 6yrs ago. It was easy, I just stopped smoking.

    Nicotine is only in your system for 72hrs, so after three days it is all in your head.

    So you either have the willpower to not smoke, or you don't. I didnt have the weakness, have never had a craving, and do not like to be around it now for health reasons.

  6. Chris // July 16, 2009 at 2:48 PM  

    When I quit, I did it at a time when I moved across the country, so it was a big change of my daily habit, I wasn't really driving to work (taking metro) and new job that I wanted to make a good impression.

    The hardest part like others have said was not the nicotine, it was the smoking itself. The desire after a meal or when I got in the car to light up was very strong.

    I have discovered that quitting comes in 3's. 3 hours, 3 days, 3 months, 3 years. Cravings come on strong in 3 hours. 3 days you are starting to change your habits. 3 Months where the habit is changed and you are getting your sense of smell and taste, 3 years that you aren't tempted to have, just one cigarette, when ever you see one.

    I am going on 6 years, feel amazing, have more sex drive (yes nicotine does affect sex drive) and my clothes don't smell like an ashtray.

    Keep going and try and motivate yourself. Take your fag money every day and put it in a glass jar to see it growing every day, then after your 3 month milestone, by something stupid that you have always wanted.

  7. J. Money // July 16, 2009 at 4:13 PM  

    Sorry to hear, but at least you're TRYING to do something about it! Much better than a lot of whiners I know that just complain but never want to change. I got mad love for ya still :)

  8. Single Guy Money // July 16, 2009 at 6:22 PM  

    Thanks for all the helpful comments!

  9. Matt B @ Financial Methods // July 16, 2009 at 6:55 PM  

    Giving my second real attempt myself. I was doing great during the week last week, but the weekend came, UFC 100 came around, beers entered my body and the cigarettes followed.
    Time to get back on the train and try again!

  10. K-money // July 17, 2009 at 1:15 AM  

    I quit smoking almost 12 years ago. Fortunately I was not physically addicted to nicotine but It was such an ingrained habit to light up in bars that I just had to stop going to bars - for several years - before I could have a drink in a bar w/o "needing" a smoke.

    However, I am addicted to soda and it is like crack cocaine or something. I fall off the wagon, but I keep trying to get back on.

    That's what you do, keep getting back on the wagon and separate yourself from activities that you strongly associate w/smoking. Get less stress in your life overall, too. Good luck! and keep trying!

  11. Anonymous // July 17, 2009 at 9:29 AM  

    My mom quit cold turkey after a heart attack & triple bypass surgery. However, she's one of those people that just LIKES to smoke. She enjoys it & looks forward to it. She quit for years, but you could tell that it bothered her.

    So now, she carries 2 cigarettes with her at a time. The craving hits her after meals. She will go outside, take a couple of drags and then put it out. That's enough to 'satisfy' her & get her through the worst of it.

    By carrying only 2 cigarettes and not allowing herself to go purchase the pack, it keeps her from smoking a whole pack a day as well.

    Maybe she can ween herself again, but I think it's all about finding your moderation and what 'satisfies' you enough to say "I'm ok with this." It's not me completely stopping, but I'll be ok with this until I can stop.

    Heather

  12. Guy // July 17, 2009 at 1:05 PM  

    You may wish to investigate a smoking alternative. When looking for ways to quit, I ran across something new called e-cigarettes (Google it).

    Long story short: I went from 3 packs a day to four or five cigarettes a day in only three days with these.

    E-cigarettes essentially deliver nicotine as a vapor, are not combustible (nothing is burning), and eliminate any/all carbon monoxide, carcinogens, second hand smoke, the smell of smoking, and (as if that weren't enough) - they're cheaper.

    The adjustment for me was minor. This does not cure an addiction, but is a healthier alternative and renders anti-smoking arguments moot. I tell militant non-smokers I use it for them :)

    Good luck, hang in there.

  13. Anonymous // July 17, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

    Don't beat yourself up, and good luck! I smoked for 12 years and quit with the help of Wellbutrin and patches six years ago. Two years later I had one cigarette at a club that has led to a 4-year battle. I've been on patches for over 2 years now but still haven't quite kicked it - the longest I've made it is 2 months without. It's a vicious struggle.

  14. Amitabh // July 18, 2009 at 12:35 PM  

    I never smoked but my father used to. He used to smoke 5 packets a day. Then he left it in one day. One day! He just decided he should and he did. It is possible.

  15. Abigail // July 18, 2009 at 4:30 PM  

    My husband has quit before. And eventually, he'll quit again. The first time he quit (with me) he remained non-smoking for over a year. I was very impressed.

    Unfortunately several stresses combined to make him pick up the habit. And he hasn't put it down since.

    I think the biggest thing, at least for him, is that he needs to build up other stress relievers. He doesn't handle stress well, and that is his main outlet. So every time he thinks he's ready to quit, some other major issue comes up and sends him tumbling back off the wagon he was climbing on.

    He's working on it with a therapist, at least as far as trying to find other ways to relieve stress. For him, that's the major obstacle. I am not sure for you whether it's physical or psychological. I do know that all tobacco leaves your system after 72 hours. So the physical component is finite. Dealing with the stress & anxiety of not smoking -- or the stress of basic life -- is another thing entirely.

  16. dreamfool // July 19, 2009 at 2:45 AM  

    My fiance used to smoke until we started dating. I didn't know he smoked, but I wouldn't have accepted him if I knew he was smoking. Every now and then, when it is the "right" time, he would still smoke one, but then I threaten him not to kiss him for three days (I have a very sensitive nose).

    If you have someone you love who doesn't want you to smoke, such as your mom, think of her disappointed face before you light up the cigarette. I hope all the best with your quitting smoking battle.

  17. Daisy // July 19, 2009 at 8:13 PM  

    I tried to quit smoking twice. And I've been out of the habbit for 3 months now. I think it's really easy to control myself. I can do without smoking during the weekends and when I'm at home coz I don't want my sheets and curtains to smell. I only smoke during parties and clubbing.

    ;-)
    ~Daisy
    http://inlovewithdaisies.blogspot.com/

  18. Sonn // July 20, 2009 at 1:43 PM  

    This is my 2nd try to quit smoking for good. I have been smoke free for almost 7 months now.

  19. R. May // August 21, 2009 at 9:20 AM  

    I had really good success with the commit lozenges because it gave my mouth something to do. The trick with them is to follow the directions (you'd be surprised how many people don't) - you can't pop them everytime you would normally have a cigarette, but just when you have a bad craving.