• Have you been thinking of quitting smoking? Tomorrow is the Great American Smokeout

    Asked by GregP_WN on Wednesday, November 14, 2018

    Have you been thinking of quitting smoking? Tomorrow is the Great American Smokeout

    Have you already quit? How did you do it? Share your tips and techniques that were successful.

    Our blog post today is about the Great American Smokeout and the statistics about cancer caused by smoking or suspected of causing it. The numbers are staggering still today when almost everyone knows that smoking "can kill you". Take a look at our post here>> https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/the-great-american-smokeout-november-15th-2018

    3 Answers from the Community

    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      Only a smoker or former smoker can have any idea how difficult it is to quit smoking. Quitting is by far the most difficult thing i have ever done.

      Most "hardcore" smokers picked up the habit when they were very young. The ALA or some organization determined that a person's brain is adversely affected when a teen begins smoking, making the addiction stronger and therefore harder to quit.

      I tried to quit (aka practiced quitting) for years. Once, i quit for about 9 months ... and then went back to it.

      I finally quit for good about 5 years before i was diagnosed with lung cancer. I used Chantix for 3 weeks, during which time i continued to smoke. I tried cutting back while usingthe drug, but i still had severe withdrawals so i just kept smoking.

      Chantix was expensive, had some strange side effects and wasn't helping so I quit using it after 3 weeks. At the same time, i quit smoking. One minute at a time, then one hour, then one day, one week, one month, one year...

      I would see people smoking in their cars and think, "you're so lucky! You get to smoke." Now, i think, "if only you knew what it is like to fight lung cancer, maybe you would quit." (Not every smoker gets lung cancer and plenty of never smokers do so the stigma isn't fair, but still those are my thoughts when i see people puffing away)

      I watched my dad die of lung cancer when i was in my early 20s. I could have quit smoking. I saw what it was like to fight the disease most often associated with smoking. I didn't even cut back. Like i said earlier, it is a strong addiction.

      I had begun playing agility with Cotton when i decided to quit. Smoking and agility are both relatively expensive addictions. I told myself I could smoke or I could play agility, but that there wasn't enough money to do both.

      I chose agility. Thank God.

      I sucked on straws and coffee stirrers. I sucked on Wintergreen lifesavers. I stayed as active as I could. I didn't talk about it with anyone. I didn't use any systems. But, i silently praised my own efforts and successes.

      Sadly, there are times, not many but there are times, when i really miss that demon. There have been days when i have had to remind myself how great it is to not be a smoker. How awful it is to be driven by the nicotine demon. How hard it is to quit. How easy it is to become addicted again...

      I developed an allergy to smoke after I quit. I get a horrible, horrible headache and start coughing my head off when i am around smoke.

      Good luck to anyone who decides to quit. It CAN be done, but there is nothing i know of more difficult to do. Take it from me, though. It is worth it.

      6 months ago
    • Skyemberr's Avatar

      @LiveWithCancer you are describing a bit of what is going on with my mother who started smoking at around age 15 or 16 and continues smoking to this day, even as she fights COPD and emphysema.

      I think nicotine is so saturated through her brain and body that it has made it very hard for her to quit, especially since she is mostly on her own with nobody to positively enforce her efforts when she has tried to quit. I think there are a lot of smokers her age that are so addicted that they would almost need to be hospitalized to stop.

      You are very very lucky you could stop!

      I smoked for a couple of years, just cloves, when I was in my early 20s. Then I quit cold turkey... then stupidly started again for less than a year when I was under intense pressure. The reason I quit for good was that I got pregnant with my eldest daughter. That was the best incentive in the world to me! I stepped down using the patch, but was off of the patches and off of smoking forever after by the time I reached step two. I was too worried about what any smoke or nicotine could be doing to my baby.

      6 months ago
    • LiveWithCancer's Avatar

      @Skyemberr, you were much smarter than i was. I stopped smoking while i was pregnant because i didn't want to potentially hurt my son. But, the minute he was born, i couldn't get back to the cigarettes fast enough. How nice it would have been to be rid of those things in my early 20s instead of my 50s.

      I started smoking at 16. I quit at 18 or 19 when i moved to Colorado. For some reason, the altitude bothered me. I couldn't smoke. I tried and tried and finally gave up.

      I wouldn't have probably ever gone back to smoking had i not gone to spend time at a friend's lakehouse. She smoked and she talked me into smoking with her. That's all it took. :(

      6 months ago

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