• Does anyone have any advice on how to quit smoking before treatment. My anxiety is going crazy and I have no idea where to start.

    Asked by Dani on Friday, August 17, 2012

    Does anyone have any advice on how to quit smoking before treatment. My anxiety is going crazy and I have no idea where to start.

    13 Answers from the Community

    13 answers
    • GetMyLifeBack's Avatar
      GetMyLifeBack

      You may want to talk to your doctor about an electric cigarette. I have never smoked but I had a friend who was a long time smoker before her surgery and she said it helped a lot. Also, you may want to focus on coping skills for anxiety like deep breathing, guided imagery, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, etc.

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      The american cancer society has a program http://www.facebook.com/quitforlife?ref=stream

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      That program is called Quit For Life from the American Cancer Society

      over 4 years ago
    • Dani's Avatar
      Dani

      Thank you guys! I talked to someone just now and the patches should be here in a week so I can start qutting. Has anyone tried the patches? And how did they work for you?

      over 4 years ago
    • FreeBird's Avatar
    • Dani's Avatar
      Dani

      Thank you freebird! My patches will be here in seven days!

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I hear ya. Quitting smoking is vital when you have cancer but it also more difficult to do because it is a significant stress releaver during a very stressful time. One thing you have going for you is your age. I had to quit at age 64 after being a regular smoker for 40 years.

      I continued to smoke but cut down during chemo. Chemo made everything taste bad including smoking, so that helped some. Then I quite completely about a week before surgery. Smoking really causes problems with would healing and I was having some really tricky and extensive surgery, so that was my trigger to stop. That has been about 5 months ago now and I haven't smoked since. I went through a lot of sugarless candy, pretzel, and celery sticks that I used as psychological substitutes and even now, I have to keep a bag of candy or something in the car because that is when I still tend to get the urge to smoke. But over all, I have been surprised by it being easier than I thought it would be. The physically addiction is over in just a few days, even for heavy or long time smokers. The harder part is what to do instead of smoking.

      BTW, I tried the e cig route. They eliminate second hand smoke for others, but still are a nicotine delivery system. They didn't help me to cut down on smoking, if anything I smoked more.

      I never tried the patches, but my daughter in law did. They made her sick and any alternative delivery method that continues to feed the nicotine addition is a waste of time and money at best IMO. It is no different from simply cutting down on the number of cigarettes you smoke over a period of time. What happens with the patches and gums and all of that stuff, is that you still have the psychological cravings to have something in your hands and your mouth, so people use the gums and patches and still smoke, so you actually increase your nicotine consumption and addiction instead of reducing it. There is no magic bullet to quit smoking. Using a patch is just smoking through you skin instead of your mouth. It doesn't change anything.

      I know we all are different but I would really recommend you either go cold turkey, or reduce nicotine use over time by reducing the number of cigs you smoke until you can quit. During the same time, find a non-nicotine substitute (sugarless gum or candy, pretzels, celery, etc.) to occupy your mouth in place of cigarettes so that when you quit smoking, you already have an non-nicotine alternative in place that is associated with your smoking trigger (e.g after eating, while driving, out with friends, etc.)..

      over 4 years ago
    • Valentinegirl's Avatar
      Valentinegirl

      You may want to look and see if there is a hyponotherapist in your area. i've heard of people having success with such treatment. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago
    • Dani's Avatar
      Dani

      Nancy, Thank you. I believe you are right about many things but I feel the patches may help me. My overall addiction is the burning when I smoke. I know that may sound weird but it gets rid of my anxiety. I feel if I can get rid of that I will be okay. I will try some of the alternatives you suggested I think thats a very good idea. Thanks so much Xoxo Dani
      Valentine, I have always been very afraid of getting hypnotherapy so I don't think I would go that route unless I absolutely had to. I have been told that it really does work though so it is a suggestion. Thank you! XoXo Dani

      over 4 years ago
    • Beaner54's Avatar
      Beaner54

      I am also still smoking and like you, have no idea how to quit because I find it too relaxing. I am not a fan of medication but perhaps a mild anxiety Rx would help you ? Talk to your doctor.

      over 4 years ago
    • leepenn's Avatar
      leepenn

      OH MAN - having to quite smoking while dealing with all of this would be sooooooo hard!

      There are a few medications that might also help - especially meds that might help you deal with anxiety. So, I highly recommend talking to your health care team about this. They might be able to prescribe you a drug that could help you with the quit and with some of the anxiety.

      I think the hypnosis idea is also a good one. The worst that could happen is that it doesn't work.

      If you think patches will help you, then use them! You're ONLY getting nicotine and none of the other 10000 horrid things that come with smoking. Then, you can slowly cut down the patches...

      A final idea I have is this therapy called emotional freedom technique. It specifically helps people deal with anxiety. I was super skeptical about it... It's also called "tapping" - you tap tap tap on specific areas while saying short phrases that specifically address your anxieties. Sounds cheesy, right? Well, it did to me.

      Anyway, for me, the big anxiety was the possibility of recurrence. I was soooo scared and felt overwhelmed with anxiety. I had read about this EFT - and I thought... well... the worst thing that could happen is NOTHING. Oh - well - actually - the worst that could happen was that I'd get a bike ride out of it (to and from the cancer center)....

      So, I rode to our local health crisis center for a session, and it was... amazing. Honestly - I cannot even believe it still. Sure - I still worry about cancer ... and so on... But it's so much more manageable. And the therapist said her goal was to give me the tools I need to deal with it should I have that overwhelming feeling of anxiety again.... So, if you can find it in your area... I would recommend it. There's no possibility that you'll end up worse... and there's a reasonable chance you might end up in a better place. I was .... amazed. And, I got a good bike ride out of it too!

      Good luck.

      over 4 years ago
    • CDCTobaccoFree's Avatar
      CDCTobaccoFree

      CDC’s Tips From Former Smokers Campaign features real people who were inspired to tell their stories to help others quit smoking for good. Read and watch their stories here: http://go.usa.gov/PeB

      over 4 years ago
    • walkingfool's Avatar
      walkingfool

      I quit cold turkey 2 weeks before my lumpectomy in March of this year. I decided to start taking responsibility for my health, this was the 2nd time I had breast cancer in 10 years. I was overweight and not eating healthy or exercising. I started walking and only took 5 days off after my surgery, I also started eating right. I started 7 weeks of daily radiation treatments the end of March and continued to walk daily throughout treatment. (thankfully I didn't need chemo this time) I go for my 6 month checkup tomorrow 9-17. I have lost 40 pounds and I have no desire to smoke even though I had smoked almost 45 years. You have to find something to take it's place, walking worked for me and keep up a positive attitude, praying helps too. Good luck!

      over 4 years ago

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