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24 May 2007

I think I'm really quitting - pep talk me? [More:] So I'm in AZ on travel. Where you can't smoke anywhere, like, my hotel room. Ok, maybe I could sneak one on the balcony. And I'm out of my house for a week where smoking is. And I haven't smoked in. . .48 hours? I am fiending on the nic gum. I'm not packing cigs. Plus, you gotta understand, at home in VA a pack costs less than a gallon of gas, and Phillip Morris is our largest employer, so smoking is still permitted most places. Here, no, I don't want to pay $5.65 for smokes and go to a smoking ghetto. Am I actually in favor of anti-smoking laws? They are helping me. I've been talking the quitting talk. This is a great opportunity. Tell me I'm right, dammit.
Do it.
i am denying myself right now in the name of laziness.
posted by ethylene 24 May | 21:50
You're right! Good for you rainbaby, go for it! You deserve healthy lungs.

I see people suffering from COPD on a daily basis. It's a horrible, often agonizing way to live, and die. The shortness of breath, coughing, wheezing, hacking, barrel chest, the dependence on oxygen, and the worst thing -- air hunger.

Think health, vitality, LIFE!

I'm rooting for you! Get the patch or stick with the gum. You can do it!
posted by LoriFLA 24 May | 22:00
YOU ARE RIGHT. You're away from where they prey on you and make it so easy... you're seeing it for the weird, expensive addiction that it really is. Get pissed off that you're nothing but a piggy bank for those motherfuckers, and stay pissed off when you get home.
posted by BoringPostcards 24 May | 22:03
Forgot my link.

48 hours is quite the accomplishment! Woo Rainbaby! Keep going!
posted by LoriFLA 24 May | 22:04
Give it your very best shot.

Make a list of 5 things you'll do before you follow a plan that allows for smoking. Like e-mail a friend, post on MetaChat, look in the mirror, etc.etc.

The forums here might help if you want to go the distance and feel like you need extra assistance. The good news: In about 24 hours your body will be largely clear of nicotine, making it feel somewhat easier...

There are a million ways to quit; this just might be your way. I guarantee you that once free of the habit you won't miss it in any real, substantial way - you'll feel gratitude and relief and actual self-determination, which is pretty cool.

Good luck!
posted by Miko 24 May | 22:26
I quit, again, February 10, 2006. Like Mark Twain, I've found that quitting isn't hard, and I've done it a hundred times. The longest before, for 7 years, after the birth of my first son, some 36 years ago. This last, after watching my father choke out his last breath, dying of lung cancer. Still took me another 9 months to screw up the will to make the effort, again. That's addiction, for ya.

Three peices of extracted wisdom:

The first 48 to 72 hours nicotine free, are the worst. Once the nicotine leaves your body, you're almost primed to succeed short term, as you will feel physically stronger, if somewhat light headed. Your pulse may drop 8-10 bpm from what you consider "normal." Quite possibly, your pee will lighten up, and you'll not need to use the bathroom as often. If you're chewing nicotine gum, you're damping these effects. Chuck the gum, if you're in a place where slipping will be hard for 48 to 72 hours.

The worst nicotine cravings kick in 72 to 96 hours after nicotine has left your body. The good news is, they only really last about 3 to 5 minutes. Doing anything but smoking is enough to get you past even the very worst of them. What's worked for me and a lot of other people is deep breathing and forced exhalations, and this is surprisingly effective in immediately damping the urgent need for a smoke. Just do this for 3 to 5 minutes when you want a smoke, and you won't need a smoke, ever again.

Last, do whatever you need to do, habit wise, to beat smoking for 10 to 14 days. In my case, it was giving up coffee, too, for a couple of weeks, because coffee was a big smoke trigger for me. Also, I quit drinking alcohol entirely for months after quitting smoking, for the same reasons. Even now, I drink, weekly, about 1/6 the coffee, and 1/4 the liquor as I did when I smoked. I like coffee, and I like my evening toddy, but not enough to go back to smoking.

In a year, even at Virginia tobacco cost, if you're a pack a day smoker, you'll have save enough money to go back to the Southwest, on vacation. This time next year, Taos.

Good luck, rainbaby.
posted by paulsc 24 May | 22:28
I'm not a pack a day smoker, my new awesome doc told me I'm not physically addicted to nicotine, becaue I go 16 hours without routinely. So I don't need pills and stuff, it's mental and situational. Yes, alcohol is a big trigger. I think I can make it through the week, the question will be when I get back home. Thanks so far bunnies. More!
posted by rainbaby 24 May | 22:38
As a pack a day smoker, I say: quit, man. Keep at it! You're almost over the first hurdle (they tell me the next one is at about two weeks ... I've never bothered trying to quit, myself)! Keep on tranglin', rainbaby, and use that unconsumed tar to pave the way to tar-free lungs!
posted by the great big mulp 24 May | 22:46
My mother died of bronchial problems caused through smoking. She was a 60-a-day (unfiltered) smoker. My father smoked heavily too. We lived in a tiny two-up, two-down cottage and the words 'passive smoking' were unknown in the 60s. I must have been totally kippered as a kid.

I grew up hearing my mother hawking up her guts every morning. In the last years of her life, she had to have an oxygen tank, and even the distinct possibility of blowing herself up didn't stop her from lighing up with the tank by her side.

Every time I get a cold, it turns to bronchitis. I've had pleurisy and pneumonia too, and I'm sure this tendency for every infection to go to my lungs is as a result of the damage caused through passive smoking as a child.

I've never touched a cigarette in my life. That's largely through having seen the problems it caused my mother. When I hear how difficult it is to quit, I thank God I never started, because I know what I'm like with every other thing I've ever been addicted to.

Good luck, rainbaby.
posted by essexjan 25 May | 01:14
Unless your doctor is also a smoker, or a heroin addict or something, I'd ignore that stuff about not being addicted. Addicts can go for ages without a smoke; they just suffer while they do it. Smokers look for and latch onto pretty much anything to justify smoking. Even if you're not addicted, being able to say "I can have just one, after all it's not like I'm addicted" is not helpful.

Both paulsc and Miko have written really good things here and in many other threads about stopping smoking which are well worth looking for.

Try to find upsides (and there are plenty of them) to not having to smoke. For instance, look at the smokers and non-smokers when you're next in a bar. The smokers are all stressing out over how they can slip out for their next cigarette. Compare that to how the non-smokers look.

But most importantly, congratulations and here's to you succeeding.
posted by GeckoDundee 25 May | 01:16
Nicotine causes arteries to contract.
Contracted arteries restrict oxygen to your heart.
An oxygen-starved heart dies.
Brain death soon follows.


posted by mischief 25 May | 01:27
What the hell? You're awesome! You can do this and more.

*waves rainbaby fanclub banner*
posted by Eideteker 25 May | 07:21
Go you! You can do this!

I'll share the best quitting advice I ever got.

A week or so after I quit, I was sitting at my local bar with a friend who nonchalantly lit up. I gazed longingly at her cigarette.

She drew on it and, as she exhaled, coolly reminded me, "You're a non-smoker. It would be foolish to start now."

Though she was being snide, she helped me see the crucial point: at a certain point, I had to stop thinking of myself as a smoker struggling to resist, and start to think of myself as a non-smoker. That made the temptation less potent.

That helped me. If it helps you, then great!

Good for you! You can do this!

(I can also deliver horror stories if desired about my grandfather's removed jawbone, my grandmother's death, and my father's death, all directly from smoking.)
posted by Elsa 25 May | 07:26
As a nonsmoker I can't say I know what it's like to quit, but I've seen lots of folks give it up & how hard it was for them. So like EJ, I'm glad I never started. Sounds like you're doing ok - here's to thinking of your 401k, future travels, that new sweater you really want next fall, front row tickets to the Police reunion tour, and about a bazillion other things once you're home. Fuck Phillip Morris.
posted by chewatadistance 25 May | 07:58
Good luck my friend. The only advice I can give is this: it's all or nothing. You can't sneak one every once in awhile, otherwise you'll be right back.
posted by jonmc 25 May | 08:03
Don't think of it as going over hurdles, or that you're holding your breath when a craving hits and miraculously making it out of sheer willpower. That will do you in, because there's going to be that one weak moment where you're like "aw screw it, I'm just not strong enough right now". And you've immediately forgiven yourself at the same time. By doing this (and I'm not saying you are) you're making the nicotine stronger than you, and it's not. It's not. We've just been indoctrinated all our lives by people saying that, by the quitting ads (often run by cigarette makers - of course they want you to think it's hard) and the news that say it's soooo hard. It's only as hard as you make it. More addictive than heroin. Bullshit. It's the stuff of unicorns.

Nicotine is a joke. Quitting is really really easy. Just relax and do it. Don't will yourself, don't gear yourself up for a big fight, because it's not even necessary - just be over it, mentally. And don't listen to all these folks scaring you into quitting - that'll just make you nervous, which makes you want a smoke. It sounds like you're already there, really. Notice how quickly the cravings die when you have one. In a short while before you can count to 15, you'll forgot why you were counting to begin with and you'll realize you're thinking of something completely different. Make it your science experiment. You'll be surprised how little you think of them, even after a very short period. It's really ridiculous when you think about it. And don't hide from them - you can still drink and go out with your friends on smoke breaks and not smoke.

Win back your brain, throw out the gum and get high off the lack of nicotine. Seriously. It's pretty awesome actually.
posted by Hellbient 25 May | 10:36
And also - think of all the crack you can buy with the money you'll save!!
posted by Hellbient 25 May | 10:37
Good for you!
posted by brujita 25 May | 11:09
rainbaby, I wouldn't offer this to just anyone, but I would be happy to be a support for you. Email-wise anyway. I like life a lot more now since I quit smoking...cigarettes. In my case, I quit with the lovely mrs. richat, and we totally talked it up first, and then quit, and continued to actively talk about why we were doing it. I would be more than happy to be there via email for you.
posted by richat 25 May | 14:12
I was going to suggest a "sponsor", and it sounds like that's what richat is offering. You'd be a fool to say no!
posted by Eideteker 25 May | 16:53
There is some really good stuff here. Thanks EVERYONE. As miko suggested, I will make a list of five things to DO, and one will be email richat. Thanks richat. (and BoPo and Elsa, that stuff is really good, and chewie, I love you, but please don't make me go to a Police concert. :) )
posted by rainbaby 25 May | 19:13
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