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01 August 2008

HELL FREEZES OVER! [More:] I have 2 unopened packs of cigarettes and 2 left in another pack. These will be my last packs of cigarettes! Yes, you heard correctly. I am quitting smoking. My first reason is that I don't really enjoy it anymore, it's just staving off addiction. Two, our rent is increasing and at today's prices in NYC ($9 for a pack of Camels or $11 for an off-brand two-pack) my smoke budget would just about cover the increase.

I've been smoking since I was 14. I managed to quit once before, for eight months. I blew it when I was in a bar and the woman next to me was smoking and, thinking I could have just one, I bummed one. A week later I was back at a pack a day and then some. So, I won't make that mistake again. Wish me luck and if you hear about a mass shooting in Queens, that'll probably be me.

In other news, my hat arrived.
Good for you. And yeah, smoking is fucking expensive. Shit, a pack a day of camels would be our weekly grocery bill.
posted by gaspode 01 August | 19:05
I'm announcing this publicly so that failing will be a shameful experience and you'll all give me shit, which adds extra motivation.
posted by jonmc 01 August | 19:06
Good for you, jon. As someone whose never tried a cigarette, I have no experience of this but all my sober friends who have also quit cigarettes (or tried) have all said it's way harder than stopping drinking.

Good luck, mate.
posted by essexjan 01 August | 19:17
whose who's
posted by essexjan 01 August | 19:18
jon, this is great. Good luck to you.
posted by LoriFLA 01 August | 19:23
I thought it felt a little chilly down here. (I noticed it was cold when I looked up and saw a pig fly past). Good luck quitting the cancer sticks. It ain't easy, that's for sure. The threat of a public shaming should you fail is a strong motivator, indeed.
posted by msali 01 August | 19:25
Quitters never win.
posted by ColdChef 01 August | 19:32
Great news, Jon. I've never smoked but I've been through close friends and family quitting and it's not easy or pretty. It seems to take about six months before it really sticks, so hang with it.
posted by octothorpe 01 August | 19:32
Jon - something to consider while going through this - your body will lose the NEED for nicotine in 10 days, after that it's all mental craving.

If you can suck it up (no pun intended) for a week and a half you will hsve beaten your addiction for good.

The good news is that everything around you will start to taste far yummier than you now experience it, so your snack jones will skyrocket and we will be hearing about new and interesting combinations.

Be well. You can do this.
posted by Lipstick Thespian 01 August | 19:45
Woo Hoo! New hat!

And, all the best in your journey jon.
posted by richat 01 August | 20:07
Good luck and lots of strength to you jon.
posted by arse_hat 01 August | 20:39
I posted this over at metatalk but I will repost it here...Jon, my own mom quit smoking unfiltered Camels cold turkey when she had to go into the hospital for unexpected gall bladder surgery. She never picked them up again (did I mention this was the same year she went thru menopause?)

If mom can do it, you can do it. And you won't be half as hormonal! ;-)
posted by bunnyfire 01 August | 20:41
Good for you!
posted by brujita 01 August | 20:41
i am totally going to quit with you! i have cut back drastically this week on my dailies just to do this! what is d-day so i can plan?
posted by eatdonuts 01 August | 20:51
To echo something Ambrosia Voyeur said somewhere, fuck those forty-two cigarettes. Quit right now. Seriously. Give/throw all but one of your ashtrays away, and then wash that one well and put that one up in a cabinet somewhere. Give away your lighters, unless you also use 'em to fire up bowls or start campfires or something. After the ten days LT speaks of, you'll be left with mostly habit and acculturation and wanting something to do with your hands and whatnot, and getting rid of the tobacco and tobacco accessories will make that part easier.
posted by box 01 August | 21:02
Dude, it's 10pm and I know myself better than you know me. Let me do this my own way.
posted by jonmc 01 August | 21:03
The first ten days are the easiest. I can always go ten days, no problem. Then it starts getting rough and at two weeks it's really bad and by a month it's fucking awful. But it's easier for men than women (or so I have heard) and so I'm sure you will succeed where I have so far always failed. Good luck! Oh and one thing that worked pretty well for me was to use cinnamon sticks to "smoke." I looked ridiculous but having something around the same size and weight to keep in my mouth helped. Plus they smell nice.

Fuck - $9 a pack? Holy shit. *vows never to leave NC again.*
posted by mygothlaundry 01 August | 21:09
Last time I quit, I gained about 20 pounds, but I could use some beefing up.
posted by jonmc 01 August | 21:10
I've talked to a lot of people about quitting smoking, and the main thing I've taken away is that different things work for different people. Except for my buddy B--nothing works for that guy. He switched to ultralights, and, in a couple days, found himself breaking the filters off 'em. He started chewing nicotine gum, and now he chews it while he's smoking. Maybe he's a desperate hopeless addict. On the other hand, I'm not sure that dude really wants to quit. But I'm rambling. Good luck--I think you can do it.
posted by box 01 August | 21:12
Damn you!

That niggling sense that I, too need to quit now has blossomed from a low murmur into an outright yammer.

But I bought a carton, like, two days ago.

I can cut back to five or six a day with ease, but putting them down entirely... hold me, I'm scared.

Good for you, though.

Hardest part for me when I've quit in the past has been not bumming one off of friends while drubk.
posted by BitterOldPunk 01 August | 21:19
Jon, the best of luck. As sappy as it sounds, you can do this. And you will like it. Eventually.

I will play "Waitress in the Sky" in your honour tonight.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane 01 August | 21:25
"Now in this slide, we see where three sites of my heart bypass ten years ago are again completely blocked, and the only thing keeping me alive is the 15% flow through the fourth site. Those eight fuzzy spots are stents; that one looks like a kitty cat. With current surgical technology, my condition now is inoperable. Pardon me as I hit this bong."

Walk the extra mile and get a physical too, my friend, if for no other reason than to get a baseline lung x-ray to compare against next year. Now THAT'S some positive reinforcement.

Meanwhile, the rest of us are going to compile "The Best of JONMC's Smoking Rants" to present at your roast.
posted by Ardiril 01 August | 21:58
i never knew how you afforded it in the first place, not to mention your boozy lifestyle.

i may need a cigarette.
posted by ethylene 01 August | 22:08
Somewhere, I've got a dubbed videotape that starts with compilations of '50s, '60s and '70s cigarette commercials (my favorites are the Benson and Hedges 100s ads, and the animated Kool spots), then continues to Death in the West, Pack of Lies and two Frontlines, Tobacco on Trial and Inside the Tobacco Deal. I haven't been able to find this tape in years, but watching it always kinda makes me want to smoke.
posted by box 01 August | 22:23
eth, the truth is I really can't. and for the most part my boozing is done at home.
posted by jonmc 01 August | 22:24
Lending my voice to the cheers, Jon. I'd pass along all my own vast miscellaneous quitting-smoking wisdom, but hell, you've done this before, you know what works for you. (Well, the one thing I *will* say is whatever else you do, avoid old '30s-'40s noir films for the time being. A couple of weeks after I quit, when I was feeling fine and doing well and not even thinking about cigarettes every five minutes any more, I idly tuned in some Bogart-Bacall movie, and within five minutes I was howling and sobbing and gnawing at my wrist with the craving for a smoke.)
posted by kat allison 01 August | 22:33
Yay honey!

(Now what will you do after sex?)
posted by Pips 01 August | 22:42

Best of luck, buddy. If you quit, I'm going to start working on my partner, who is a walking chimney. And he said he was going to try to quit at several milestones in the past (his age, cost of cigs, etc.) but never did. Not to put any pressure on you or anything... :)
posted by BoringPostcards 01 August | 22:51
Just some positive reinforcement. I was a carton a week guy for 30 years. Smoke free now for seven years. It can be done. Determination.
posted by netbros 01 August | 22:59
Good luck! I've been there too - many times - but the last time stuck. When a craving hits, just delay the decision to smoke, delay again, and delay again. Ride it out - it can be done. Once you're on the other side, all is very good and you live life like yourself, unchanged in every way, except with a little more pocket money, a better personal aroma, and freedom about how to spend your time. Many good wishes coming your way!
posted by Miko 01 August | 23:01
posted by jason's_planet 01 August | 23:09
Good for you. I quit the pack-a-day habit years ago, but have been a social smoker off and on since then (my weakness: gabbing over drinks with my best friend, and looming book deadlines). If you can do it, so can I.

(And HOLY SHIT, 9 bucks?!?!??! I had no idea that there were any bargains left in L.A., and certainly not that our $4 smokes were among them.)
posted by scody 02 August | 00:51
Pregnancy worked for me.

If only I could bottle that gut wrenching nausea! I'd make a fortune.
posted by gomichild 02 August | 03:00
Good luck. There's part of me here that feels we've lost another soldier, and I'm partly wondering if your non smoking voice will be sqeaky, but good luck.
posted by seanyboy 02 August | 03:29
I may need to do this with you... I wonder how many we could get in a Quitters Club: Bunny Edition?
posted by taz 02 August | 04:36
(Now what will you do after sex?)

Cuddle? Round 2? Clean the kitchen?

Pips, this might work out better for you than you expect.
posted by chillmost 02 August | 05:29
Indeed, my friend. I suspect you can hear my cheering from Germany. I have all the faith in the world. He quit before for about nine months, I think, and he was so happy (despite the jonesing). I know he can do it.

(Now if I could only do something about my cupcake habit.)
posted by Pips 02 August | 07:58
Way to go, and of course I'm glad about the hat!
posted by languagehat 02 August | 08:41
My GF was able to finally get off the smokes by switching to snus.

It's a tiny teabag kind of thing you put on your gums.

No black drool or anything. For her it was a full replacement for the addictive materials, unlike patches, gum, inhalers, etc. Then, of course, you have to quit snus, but at least it's a two step process and you can get over all the cigarette handling habits first, and then move on to the chemical ones.

I bought the wrong kind for her once, so I have a bunch of it. If you want it, email me.

posted by StickyCarpet 02 August | 10:31
My mom quit cold turkey after she was in icu for 5 weeks following brain surgery. :/ (She lived another 20 years :) Dad quit while he was working on a problem for his PhD. I don't know a thing about it (except dreaming regularly that I smoke Marlboro lights), but I'm rootin' for ya!
posted by chewatadistance 02 August | 12:33
Good luck to you, jonmc!
posted by ThePinkSuperhero 02 August | 15:09
LT Is On Vacation With His Family In Northern California! || Remember Garfield Minus Garfield?