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How to quit smoking cigarettes

By mcgrew in Culture
Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:12:07 AM EST
Tags: etc (all tags)

Disclaimer- this will not work for everyone. In fact, it is very, very hard to do. Quitting cigarettes is the hardest thing I have ever done.

I will start out with how and why I got started, for those nonsmokers who think (and rightly so) that I am an idiot for ever starting in the first place.

If you don't smoke tobacco, I urge you to never start. But if you start, here's what worked for me, and what didn't.

17 in 69

In 1969, everybody smoked. There was no social stigma as now. Mothers smoked as they nursed their babies. Doctors smoked. Nurses smoked. Nearly every adult smoked. They sold candy that looked like cigarettes to kids, in authentic looking boxes, with real cigarette brands. Parents would send their eight year old kids to the store to buy cigarettes for them, and give the kid an extra fifteen cents for some soda or gum as payment for fetching the cigarettes.

You could light up a cigarette almost anywhere that there wasn't anything flamible. In bars, restaraunts, stores. The doctor's office waiting room had ash trays. The few adults that didn't smoke had ash trays in their homes for their smoking friends. All white walls were off-white from the smoke.

High school teachers' lounges had ash trays. You could smoke in a college classroom, in a store, on an airplane. About the only places you couldn't smoke was in church or a pre-college school room.

Both my parents smoked, as did everyone else's. I hated it. I suspect, though, that I was addicted to nicotine long before I lit my first cigarette.

When I would be in a carload of friends as a teenager, I would gag on the smoke. I was the first to roll down the window in the winter and yell "Freeze out!"

This was what got me started- I discovered, though I don't remember how or why, that if I was smoking a cigarette, the smoke wouldn't bother me. When I was in a car load of kids, I'd bum one in order to breathe.

My dad found my smokes- I wasn't in trouble. "Don't expect me to buy 'em for you." At thirty cents a pack, there was no need.

Stopping- but only because I had to

I joined the Air Force when I was 19, and when we couldn't smoke at all for the first two weeks, I discovered to my amazement that I was addicted to them. I kept a couple of packs in my footlocker, and would sneak one in the toilet stall, next to the exhaust fan, at night. I had one of those plastic things you could strap them to your leg with, for the first time we were allowed to have a smoke.

The time finally came- "smoke 'em if you got 'em." Man, I was the most popular guy in the squadron! And I actually copped a buzz on the cigarette.

After basic training, I thought often about quitting. Especially those times I didn't have the thirty five cents for a pack of smokes, or the three dollars for a carton.

After the Air Force when I was in college, I had very, very little money, and the cost of cigarettes kept rising. Non smokers started becoming more numerous, and vocal. I decided to quit.

Quitting... almost... the first time... and again...

I lasted maybe 4 hours. I quit quitting for a year.

They came out with a quitting system called "One Step At A Time," where you bought 4 holders that would filter the smoke. The first "filter" was just a holder, and the last let in nothing but air. You were supposed to go through the 4 filters, then quit.

I went through the whole deal. At the end of the last filter, with one cigarette left, I stuck it in the filter and asked myself, do you really want this cigarette?

Hell yes! I threw away the filter and smoked it- GOD it was heavenly.

A year later, I went cold turkey for a month. I had a doctor prescribe valium so I wouldn't murder anyone. The valium made me want a cigarette worse.

So I threw the pills away... ok, I sold them. And decided to go cold turkey. It lasted a month.

If you've ever smoked cigarettes, you know that there are certain triggers that make you really crave one- after eating, while drinking coffee, while drinking beer. I was sharing a six pack with a friend who hadn't smoked in five years. I really wanted a cigarette.

"How long until I don't want one any more?"

He said he still wanted one. I went for another six pack- and some smokes.

It was years before I seriously tried quitting again. I hated being addicted to them, but I enjoyed them so much! In fact, I didn't even try again until my wife was pregnant with our first child- and she couldn't smoke. Literally. The smell of a cigarette sent her running to the bathroom to puke.

I wound up smoking outside most of the time.


Around 1998 I saw my chance, as the wife wanted to quit. By then, everybody was quitting or had quit, and you couldn't smoke at work. I hated going outside in the heat and cold for a butt. We got the patches, and I started learning a few things.

One thing that surprised me was that the habit was as strong as the physical addiction! This is what the patches are good for- getting you over the habit. When I smoked, as I walked down the stairs at work I would pull out that beloved cigarette and have it ready for a light as I walked through the door. A full year after I finally did quit, I was still slapping my pocket as I went down the stairs!

How not to quit

You cannot quit a step at a time. You can't "cut down". You can't gradually quit. When you quit, you have to quit. You have to make the decision that you will never, ever smoke another cigarette again.

I knew this, as I had not only had everyone who had ever successfully quit tell me, but I had tried to cut down gradually enough times I knew it wouldn't work.

We decided to try the patches. The patches actually get you over the habit, so you can concentrate on not smoking, and then get over the nicotine addiction more gradually.

We bought patches, and went three weeks without a cigarette. I had a "killer urge" and had to have a cigarette. There was some tobacco and rolling papers in the house- I rolled up a cigarette.

One puff was all it took. It was nasty. Horrible. "Must have been the patches," I thought, threw it away and brushed my teeth.

We went through the full patch, half patch, quarter patch, no patch (I'll go into detail shortly). I had been off the patches for a few days, and had another killer urge I couldn't resist. Again I rolled a cigarette. Again I took one, nasty puff and threw it away. "Must be because it was a roll your own."

Another month went by, and I had yet another "killer" urge. So did my wife- we had been arguing. She went next door and bummed two Marlboros. I lit mine- and it tasted exactly like the roll your own! I was free at last! Never again would I have to smoke!

Yet another month went by, and we were at a party. We were the only people there not smoking- and we were drinking beer. I had another killer urge, and bummed a Winston. I took a nasty puff- exactly like the Marlboro, exactly like the roll your own. But I had bummed it, and couldn't just take one puff and throw it away. By the time I got to the butt, it tasted damned good. My wife bummed one too.

You can never, EVER smoke a cigarette if you quit, any more than a heroin addict can have another shot, a coke addict can have another snort, or an alcoholic can have another drink. You are an addict. That is the nature of addiction.

The next day, we went for a walk, stopped at a gas station "for a Pepsi," and wound up with a pack of cigarettes, each savoring one of the precious, delightful sticks. In a month we were each back to a pack a day.

Quitting... at last. And the pitfalls

I decided, long before the commmercials about giving up butts for new years, that my nicotine would be a 20th century addiction. I was going to take my last puff on New Years Eve 1999, and see the new century cigarette free.

Making the decision months in advance helped greatly, I am convinced. If you quit on a whim, you will start back up on a whim.

When using the patches, go 3 or 4 weeks on a full patch. It will seem like you have quit- you will have the urges, even though your body is getting its nicotine. Put your patch on first thing in the morning, and leave it on until the next morning.

Clean the spot where the patch will go with rubbing alcohol, as you will likely get skin lesions if not (and maybe if you do).

After the first 3 or 4 weeks, you can cut the patch in half with a scissors, and put on a half a patch. It will work as well as a full sized half strength patch, at half the cost. When you go to the half patch, it will again feel like quitting. You did it before, you can do it again.

Two weeks after that, go for a quarter patch. Two weeks after that, don't use any more patches.

The worst is over. You will have some bad times you really want a cigarette, but don't give in! One cigarette, and you're back at square one again.

When quitting, even while on the patch, there are certain times you will want a cigarette very, very badly. It is a stronger urge than the urge for sex, or food. Needing a cigarette is a terrible thing.

You will want a cigarette after eating, when drinking alcohol, when drinking coffee, leaving work, and when you smell sidestream smoke. You will want a cigarette when you are angry, and you will want a cigarette when you smell bad smells.

Nicotine is a stimulant, and like many other stimulants is an appetite suppressant. This is the reason you want a cigarette when you are hungry- it takes the edge off of the hunger. It is also the reason many people gain weight after quitting- the appetite isn't suppressed, and the metabolism is slower.

After eating, a cigarette makes you feel more satisfied. It also releases certain brain chemicals associated with pleasure. When drinking coffee, the two stimulants combine, and the coffee stimulation makes you want the nicotine stimulation.

Alcohol is a depressant, so your body wants the counteracting stimulant.

When you are angry, you have both the chemical release that tends to calm you down, despite its being a stimulant, plus it gives you a "time out."

Another dangerous pitfall is the fact that since you can't smoke inside most public buildings, you will smell the smoke as you go in or come out. Imagine a cocaine addict trying to quit if there was a cloud of cocaine floating around the entrance to every building!

You must be aware of these pitfalls, especially within the first six months to a year after your last cigarette- because it takes six months to completely rid your body of the nicotine.

Coping strategies

Replace your rituals.

After eating, it is helpful to brush your teeth thoroughly, and use a strong, unpleasant mouthwash like Listerine. Make it a ritual, and it won't be long before it replaces the cigarette. This has the added benefit of making your visits to the dentist less costly.

One of the supposed "benefits" of not smoking is a heihghtened sense of smell. This is true, but it is most certainly NOT a benefit! Food smells the same, flowers smell the same, nice smells smell the same- it is the bad odors that you smell more. Having a lessened sense of smell is actually a banefit of smoking. You will have to learn to deal with bad smells.

When you drink coffee, try to do it where you normally couldn't have a smoke with it- a non-smoking restaraunt, or at work.

If a "killer urge" comes on you, know that it will pass. You will feel better, even if it seems like you never will without a cigarette. Know that if you have a cigarette, you will have to go through the agony of quitting again. You will have the agony of not having a cigarette. Know that after you quit smoking, you can travel on public transportation without the agony of deprival. You can watch an entire movie at a theater, without missing what is almost always the most important ten minutes when you have your cigarette.

For the first several months, stay out of any public place, like bars, where smoking is permitted. Particularly if you are doing an activity you normally associate with heavier than normal smoking, like in a bar or coffee house. Do your drinking at home for the first 6 to 9 months after quitting.

You may find, like I did, that eventually, the activities that used to cause you to want a cigarette, like a cup of coffee or a bottle of beer, get rid of the urges to smoke.

Know that no matter how badly you want that cigarette, if you smoke it, you will want one even more badly tomorrow. Eventually the urges will be gone. I haven't had a cigarette in three years, and although I will never forget how enjoyable they were, I never want to smoke another one. You, too, will be free. Good luck!


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Why do you want to quit?
o My health 40%
o My money 10%
o My freedom 15%
o My spouse 5%
o Hate smoking in the rain/heat/cold 5%
o Other- please post 23%

Votes: 59
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Also by mcgrew

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How to quit smoking cigarettes | 346 comments (328 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
My experience... (4.84 / 13) (#3)
by Gailin on Mon May 12, 2003 at 07:35:41 PM EST

Like a lot of people that smoke, I started in my mid-teenage years. My parents were heavy smokers, and merely shrugged when they found out I smoked. A week after their discovery they were buying my cigarettes right along with theirs. Fast forward 8 years. I'm engaged, and working in a non-smoker friendly environment. I start to get tired of waking up my fiancé with my coughs, and having to place a warm towel on my face to help calm down my screaming lungs.

So on the morning of June 10th, 2000 I quit. I threw away my ashtrays and cigarettes, and went to the local pharmacy and purchased the patch. Needless to say I couldn't have picked a worse time to quite :) That day was the deadline for a large development project, and the following day I had to go out for dinner and drinks for a friends birthday. Definitely not the sign of proper planning :-)

I manage to make it through those two days without a cigarette, and begin to think that I may actually be successful. I begin to use those two days as a mantra of sorts, "If I made it through those situations without smoking, then I can make it through this one." Also, I had to begin retraining myself from my previous behaviors. I found that I would walk up to smoking co-workers desk, as I had done many times before in our pre-smoke ritual. Only to stare at them dumbfounded and return to my desk. This behavior continued for quite some time.

As time went by, my sense of taste improved (my love for Mountain Dew never recovered), and the smell of cigarettes on other people acted like a magnet repulsing me from them. To this day, I get twinges of desire for cigarettes, and many times I have come close to asking for one. It has become a point of pride with me, and I think the thought of letting myself down is my biggest motivator to not smoke a single cigarette. It won't be easy, and it won't be fun. And I don't know if you will ever _not_ have a desire for cigarettes, I think you just learn to mitigate that desire and move on.

Best of luck to anyone trying to quit.

Word for word (none / 0) (#346)
by Kris Owens on Wed Jun 18, 2003 at 08:01:38 PM EST

...out of a book. :)

Just finished reading it and I'm sure it contains at least the first 3-4 paragraphs of your post.

[ Parent ]

My friend used Quest (4.33 / 3) (#12)
by simul on Mon May 12, 2003 at 08:15:48 PM EST

After she got to the Quest 3's, she smokes for a month with them. But she's down to 3 or 4 nicotine-free cigarettes a day... instead of a pack a day.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
"Quest"? (none / 0) (#39)
by Repton on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:28:37 AM EST

I haven't heard of this ... Can you explain?

The concept of a nicotine-free cigarette seems strange. Surely the worst thing about smoking is the smoke, not the nicotine?

They say that only an experienced wizard can do the tengu shuffle..
[ Parent ]

Blame the Amish (none / 0) (#111)
by Wah on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:22:55 AM EST

Wired article on why.

The idea is to create a nicotine-free version of tobacco and sell it to people so that they can work on one side of the addiction first, or something to that effect.
Fail to Obey?
[ Parent ]

Not necessarily (none / 0) (#113)
by Pihkal on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:30:11 AM EST

In terms of health, certainly. But in terms of what your triggers are, no. For some people, the social component of smoking is way stronger than the physical addiction. But for people who are more wedded to the physical aspect, something like Quest could help, I would imagine, by allowing you to wean yourself from nicotine while not having to deal with the social component at the same time.

Been quit nearly 4 years now!

"I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
-- Number 6
[ Parent ]

It's definitely a physical addiction (none / 0) (#279)
by simul on Thu May 15, 2003 at 05:38:59 PM EST

The nicotine helps her deal with some physical issues. So that makes sense.

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
tobacco culture and history (4.90 / 10) (#15)
by pb on Mon May 12, 2003 at 08:44:24 PM EST

I was searching for banned cartoons the other day on KaZaA, and I came across a commercial for Winston's, as performed by The Flintstones (the one I found on KaZaA was better quality, but... big deal, eh?). This should give you an idea of what was considered acceptable at the time, before the risks of cigarettes were so publicized and demonized. Note that the same thing happened to marijuana and cocaine, just longer ago.
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
Did you ever see Tobor? (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by georgeha on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:30:15 AM EST

It was a cartoon when I was a little kid, probably the early 70's. Tobor was a robot who gained phenomenal strength when he smoked a cigarette (he always kept a few in a cigarette case/belt buckle). I can remember seeing him trapped in a trash compactor type thing, lighting up, and breaking out.

I only smoked a few packs of Camel unfiltereds during finals week at u, then I would stop. This pissed off addicted friends no end.

[ Parent ]

ha ha, that's awesome! (none / 0) (#101)
by pb on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:35:02 AM EST

No, I missed that one; apparently the show was 8th Man, and it sounds hilarious.

Cheers!  :)
"See what the drooling, ravening, flesh-eating hordes^W^W^W^WKuro5hin.org readers have to say."
-- pwhysall
[ Parent ]

This pissed off addicted friends no end. (none / 0) (#274)
by wh4tn0w on Thu May 15, 2003 at 02:41:08 PM EST

It always does.

[ Parent ]
My dad (4.37 / 8) (#16)
by aldjiblah on Mon May 12, 2003 at 08:50:33 PM EST

Started smoking when he was nine, and went through 30 a day at sixteen. Big time addict.

Thirty years old, he quit in a forthnight when he decided to. He went on a long mountain fishing hike with his best friend. He brought a smoking pipe and the nastiest, most foul smelling and tasting mix he could find at the time.

He walked up the mountain an addict, and walked down clean fourteen days later, without ever touching tobacco again in any form.

Pipe smoke in most forms still disturbs him deeply.

My Uncle's Dad (4.33 / 3) (#106)
by unknownlamer on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:50:14 AM EST

My Uncle Scott's Dad did the same thing. Woke up one morning a four pack a day smoker and just stopped. That must have taken a huge amount of willpower.

<vladl> I am reading the making of the atomic bong - modern science
[ Parent ]
Two-step method (4.84 / 19) (#17)
by BadDoggie on Mon May 12, 2003 at 09:02:13 PM EST

Smoking is probably the most powerful physical addiction and additionally, a very strong psychological one, allowing one to take breaks every so often and chat with others doing the same thing.

The most success I've seen (and experienced) was with the use of the patch, which gives a continuous dose of nicotine. This cuts down the cravings and irritability, and eases things as you no longer deal with the highs and crashes of "normal" nicotine intake.

Using the patch allows you to break the easier psychological habit, getting used to not grabbing a cigarette. Granted, you may snack more and get antsy for a break at times, but your desire to actually smoke is greatly reduced. For me, taking a quick jog (and I hate jogging) was more than enough of a break to get me over the hump and wind me enough that I really didn't want one after that.

After a week or two, you can cut down the patch dose and break yourself of the physical addiction, either the cheap way (cutting the patches first in half, then in thirds, then quarters) or the expensive way (buying the lower dose patches).

If you want to but just can't help yourself, wait to quit until you've got a really bad cold or flu, the kind that ensures you can't smoke for a couple days. This is the easiest time of all to stop. If you've gone a couple days already before you're "healthy enough" to smoke again, you're more than halfway through the initial cold turkey period. In this case, a patch only half the strength of what you would normally use (based on average daily consumption).

If you're not quite ready to quit or are just waiting for the cold to strike, make your apartment or house non-smoking. Even you have to go outside in the rain or cold or heat to light up. Open the windows to let the place air out and wash everything. Get used to stuff not reeking of smoke.

During the first few weeks after you quit, eat lots of veggies, drink lots of water and iced tea, and stay the hell out of bars, concert halls and anywhere else where you'd be around smoke and activities which lead to smoking. Avoiding alcohol helps most people avoid smoking, since the two often go hand in hand.

Additionally, for extra incentive, keep "buying" cigarettes, putting the money you would have spent on them in a jar. Coins work better, but paper's fine if that's how you normally pay. By the time you are ready to go a day without the patch, you'll have enough money in the jar to smack yourself in the head and ask yourself, "What the fuck was I thinking?!"

You can keep on with the incentives: promise yourself a vacation in one year, to be paid for out of the cigarette money. At only $4/pack (yes, you would have smoked at least three packs over the weekend), you'll have well over $1,200. Consider that you had to pay out of your net income, not your gross. Quitting smoking is like getting a $2,500 raise.

And gives you better odds to be around longer to enjoy the cash.


"You're more screwed up than turmeric and you're not even drunk!" — A Proud

Psychological addiction easier to break? (4.00 / 1) (#123)
by DodgyGeezer on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:09:34 PM EST

"Using the patch allows you to break the easier psychological habit"

Huh?  Maybe for you, but most people I know have a harder time with the psychological addiction.  Especially those who smoke heaviest in social situations such as when drinking.

[ Parent ]

Buy candy ciggies. (3.00 / 2) (#19)
by Hide The Hamster on Mon May 12, 2003 at 09:27:04 PM EST

The chalk candy is delicious. Reminds me of really hard circus peanuts.

Free spirits are a liability.

August 8, 2004: "it certainly is" and I had engaged in a homosexual tryst.

Cigarettes? (5.00 / 1) (#21)
by tetsuwan on Mon May 12, 2003 at 09:51:14 PM EST

Now, snus (snuff) is hard to quit. 5 times the nicotine and still great with coffee.

The hardest button to button
Same drug, different delivery system. [nt] (none / 0) (#22)
by mcgrew on Mon May 12, 2003 at 09:59:07 PM EST

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

Maybe 5x the Nicotine, but snuff is 10x as nasty (4.00 / 1) (#40)
by Kasreyn on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:04:06 AM EST

And the more disgusting something is, the more people will bitch at you for it, thus the more you're likely to give in and quit. =P


"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
[ Parent ]
Ah, but no fumes come from it! (none / 0) (#83)
by tetsuwan on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:33:37 AM EST

It just smells a little when you open the package. You can snuff around toddlers without feeling bad.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

If they know. (none / 0) (#84)
by farmgeek on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:40:35 AM EST

That's how I made it through basic without smoking, Copenhagen snuff.

Hell, I slept with snuff in my mouth during basic.

I still use it, but I have cut back quite a bit through the use of chewing gum and snuff made only with mint.

But I can still keep a dip in all day with no one knowing...including my wife.

[ Parent ]

How Charles DeGaulle quit (4.61 / 13) (#23)
by spring on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:05:07 PM EST

He was a heavy smoker.  He successfully quit after he told everyone he was quitting.  When someone asked him why this obliged him to quit smoking forever, he replied, "Charles DeGaulle cannot go back on his word."

Do not underestimate the power of telling everyone you know that you will never again smoke a cigarette.  It's a particularly good technique to use if you are by nature proud or self-conscious or both.

Worked for me as well (4.00 / 2) (#36)
by Oblomov on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:23:45 AM EST

I did the same thing. I also told my friends and family that if they would see me with a (pack of) sigarettes, they should get them from me. I even went a pub the day I quit, knowing that there wouldn't even be a chance to light one.

[ Parent ]
Yep, worked for me... (4.50 / 4) (#45)
by Pervy Hobbit Fancier on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:19:24 AM EST

Stubbornness and pride, while normally considered vices, can be turned to your advantage.

I gave up drinking this way. I told everyone that I had given up, and then was too stubborn/prideful to allow myself to 'fail' publically.

Haven't had a drink for 12 years, now...

[ Parent ]

Sir, (1.21 / 23) (#25)
by A Spineless Liberal Commie on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:16:09 PM EST

I smoke cigarettes out of my asshole. Does this technique still apply to me? If not, please make a suggestion on what *will* work, as my habit as become a, well, goatse-like situation.

On the upside, my shit smells like mint.

Thanks in advance for your sympathy and advice.

Paging Dr. Benway... (5.00 / 2) (#117)
by ebonkyre on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:49:29 AM EST

Smoking might be okay, but if it starts to talk and eat, you're in serious trouble...

The truth hurts sometimes... Nothing beats a nice fat cock. ShiftyStoner
[ Parent ]
Well (2.00 / 2) (#122)
by Cro Magnon on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:09:02 PM EST

I've frequently told smokers where they can stick their cigs. I'm glad someone finally listened. :)
Information wants to be beer.
[ Parent ]
Kick the habit THEN kick the addiction (4.75 / 8) (#28)
by godix on Mon May 12, 2003 at 10:48:34 PM EST

I managed to quit smoking for awhile, although I'm now at a pack a day or so. When I tried quitting prior to that I noticed that my habit defeated me long before my addiction did so I trained myself out of enjoying cigarettes. I was free to have one whenever I wanted, but I had to get up and walk away from what I was doing to have it. I'm not talking about going outside and enjoying the night air either, I have a fairly small closet that I emptied except for cigarettes and ashtray. That was where I had to stand, staring at the wall, and smoke. I learned the desire to not be bored for 5 minutes overpowers most of my cigarette desires. It generally took 6 to 7 hours before the actual addiction overcame how bored I'd be. After two weeks of doing that I was pretty much out of the habit of smoking while reading/playing on the computer/etc. After that it was a comparatively easy task to defeat my addiction. Just pick a 3 day weekend, tell your family in advance to leave you the hell alone, and go for it.

As I said, I'm smoking a pack a day now. Why? Well one day I was playing a LAN game of Starcraft with my smoking friend and, well, now I'm back in the habit of sit down, turn on monitor, light cigarette.....

"A disobedient dog is almost as bad as a disobedient girlfriend or wife."
- A Proud American

See, that's the problem with fu**ing maphacks (3.00 / 1) (#33)
by simul on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:38:15 PM EST

If if weren't for maphacks then we wouldn't crave LAN games, and if it weren't for LAN games people wouldn't go back to smoking! I bet RJR is behind half those damn cheats.....

Read this book - first 24 pages are free to browse - it rocks
[ Parent ]
Worked for me. . . . (4.83 / 6) (#30)
by IHCOYC on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:31:16 PM EST

I smoked through my latter years of college, through graduate school, and at the start of my working life.

One week I had the flu --- bad. I think I had pneumonia too. Severe sore throat, coughing up gunk all the time. I figured that this was about as good a time as any to quit smoking.

I still smoke maybe two or three cigars a year, but I have not touched cigarettes since that miserable week. If I suffered agonies of nicotine withdrawal, I didn't notice at the time; odds are I would have been almost as miserable without it. When you have a raw sore throat and you are coughing up green stuff streaked with blood, it's fairly easy to convince yourself that you don't want to smoke a cigarette right then.

After this week, I have had no real urge to take up smoking once again. It helped me to start to count the money I was saving, and this was before the days the taxes got truly confiscatory. (If elected, I will repeal them.)

It may have helped also that I was familiar from college with all sorts of odd chemical hangovers, and had learned almost to savour them; so nicotine withdrawal almost amused me to the extent I experienced it after I wasn't sick anymore. Since I can smoke a cigar without any difficulty, or the urge to smoke cigarettes again, I am open to the possibility that I never was truly addicted. Then again, I just don't believe in the twelve-step malarkey, either.

Too much emphasis is placed on quitting smoking as an act of heroic virtue, even as a quest for unattainable immortality has replaced eternal salvation as the goal of public virtue. If you wait until an opportune time like I did, you might find it not that difficult.
The color is black, the material is leather, the seduction is beauty, the justification is honesty, the aim is ecstasy, the fantasy is death.

Yeah: (3.00 / 3) (#31)
by Gandhian Rage on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:36:17 PM EST

Step 1: Stop smoking. Freedom!

I am the protector of Rusty.
The Problem With Addiction... (2.33 / 3) (#32)
by thelizman on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:36:57 PM EST

What starts out as curiousity, becomes indulgence, and then dependancy.

Luckily, I can't get addicted to anything, but I have had about three painful bouts with cigarettes where I wasn't able to use them with moderation (which is something you need for any vice or virtue).

You're absolutely right. The only way to quit is to quit cold turkey, but the best way is to replace it with something that will keep you busy. I started learning PHP, and I stopped thinking about cigarettes.

Now, if you don't mind, I'm going to light up. I still have one every couple of days, but it's refreshing to have to throw away stale cigarettes rather than tear apart the house for enough spare change to buy a pack.

"Our language is sufficiently clumsy enough to allow us to believe foolish things." - George Orwell
PHP? Hah! (none / 0) (#42)
by enderwiggin99 on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:10:25 AM EST

When I started learning php, I smoked a HELL of a lot of ciggies. Of course it was my first "language" besides batch files, html, and ST Basic. :) Been tobacco free for about 2 months now, no cravings and I still know php syntax, so all is not lost.

Reverse-engineering the Universe from life until Zen.
[ Parent ]
You think PHP is a buzz... (none / 0) (#204)
by gilrain on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:29:48 PM EST

I thought so too, but now I don't even feel the desire for PHP. I've got to have my fix of Python every day, though -- PHP is like milk when compared to Python.

Oh wait, you guys were talking about real drugs?

[ Parent ]

Freezer. (none / 0) (#112)
by pla on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:25:10 AM EST

it's refreshing to have to throw away stale cigarettes rather than tear apart the house for enough spare change to buy a pack.

I keep mine in a small ziplock bag in the freezer. It makes them stay reasonably non-stale for well over a month.

And don't buy in bulk. Those three-packs-for-ten-dollar deals may sound good, until you get to the third pack and find they've all crumbled to dust from age. ;-)

[ Parent ]
You cant gradually quit (4.33 / 3) (#34)
by cam on Mon May 12, 2003 at 11:50:23 PM EST

You can't gradually quit. When you quit, you have to quit. You have to make the decision that you will never, ever smoke another cigarette again.

Totally agree. I dont say "I quit smoking" I say "I stopped smoking". After trying to stop several times and after not smoking for a couple of weeks I caved and bought a packet. I was so disgusted and revolted with myself at being so weak and giving in that I havent had another since. If I hadnt felt the revoltion when holding a cigarette in my hand I would never have stopped. I found myself and the act of smoking so revolting that I havent done it since.

Freedom, Liberty, Equity and an Australian Republic

There is an easy way to quit. (3.58 / 12) (#35)
by Meatbomb on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:22:30 AM EST

Continue smoking until you die. Everyone quits, eventually. I am going to go with the stress-free option - and I get to enjoy cigarettes that much longer!

Don't give in to the pressure - you started smoking because it was cool and everyone was doing it, right? And that makes you feel stupid, right? So why are you listening to the masses again, now that they are telling you it isn't cool? Remember: "fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me".


Good News for Liberal Democracy!

So die already (3.75 / 8) (#54)
by mairsil on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:59:24 AM EST

Continue smoking until you die. Everyone quits, eventually. I am going to go with the stress-free option - and I get to enjoy cigarettes that much longer!

If people want to kill themselves using cigarettes, cocaine or blunt instruments, that's fine with me. What I don't like is sitting in the tar-laden fumes people put into the air while trying to kill themselves. I believe filter cigarettes should be made illegal. You are willing to expose everyone around you to toxic fumes, but you don't want to inhale them yourself?

Cigarettes would be a lot more acceptable to me if they killed their abusers more quickly.

[ Parent ]
Right on the money (4.75 / 8) (#37)
by Phelan on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:55:25 AM EST

This guy is right on the money, in every way.  This could be my story of how I quit. I smoked 2 packs a day of marlboro reds.  Quit on the patch after "trying to quit" for several years.

Bottom line: You have to want it, you have to mean it, and you have to do it.  Completely, no half measures.

Anyway, here's my actual quitting smoking diary for academic interest:

Quitting Smoking, Day 1
feb 14 1999
   I had my last cigarette and went to bed late, 5am or so.  Woke up at 1pm, and had big "morning cigarette" cravings.  Went to the store around 2pm, and got the Nicoderm CQ 21 mg patch. I didn't see the nasal spray, so I'm figuring it's only available by perscription.  Put the patch on around 2:45pm...
It itched like a beast for like 20 minutes, but the instructions say that's normal.  Was impressed with how quickly my cravings eased...they're less now than the cravings I had when I was breaking cocaine addiction cold turkey. I keep having the "fiddle" urge to light up, but that's mostly a hand-habit issue, and not a nicotine craving issue.
I'll give my next update on Friday.

ps:  I killed three people today, but they'll never find the bodies!  Muahahah! :)

Feb 15 1999  Day 2
   Icarus decides that if I can quit, he's quitting smoking too.  Does that dumb fucker have to compete with me about everything?  He's such a me wannabe.

Feb 16 1999  Day 3
   Had my first real test today.  Was picking up clothes to do laundry, and I found a lighter and pack of smokes in one pair of shorts.  The pack had ONE cigarette left in it. I told myself, "i'm smokin this mother fucker", and took it back to the computer room. Sat down, and decided I'd smoke it later when I had a real heavy craving.  Put it in my computer desk.  5 minutes later, realized how stupid that was, and crumpled the cig up and threw it away.

Three cheers for me. :)

Feb 18, 1999 Day 5
   Shen was over at Icarus' place....I asked him for a cig, so that I could see if I could smell the nicotine in it.  The patch has a really funky smell that I don't recognize, and I wonder if it's the nicotine. I couldn't really smell anything but the tobacco, but while I was fiddling with it, Icarus decided to be an ass and test my willpower by throwin me a lighter and an ashtray.  So, I lit the cig, didn't inahle, looked at it, smiled, and put it out...which made Icarus need to smoke..guess he failed his "quitting smoking" bid. Three whole days...woohoo, he's a stud. :)

March 6, 1999
   Tried to smoke one of Kali's marlboro ultra lites.  3 puffs..disgusting, put it out. Did smoke a Bering cigar tho...good taste :)

March 15, 1999
    Simple update.  No tobacco of any kind since march 6.  Second-hand smoke tastes like a dirty ashtray in my mouth :(

March 23, 1999
    3 days left on the 21mg patch...went out and bought 2 weeks of the 14 mg patch.  I actually "wasted" 2 patches, because I sweated them off from kung fu class.  However, since you can't buy them individually, i'm starting the 14mg patch 2 days early.

August 20, 1999
    Went thru the program, quit smoking.  I've had like 3 cigars since then, I think...but no cigs.  No need to keep up with this diary.  I still sometimes get cravings (once or twice a week).  I still sometimes dream about smoking (every couple weeks or so), but the frequency is diminishing.

December 8, 1999
    Smoked a couple cigars since last update.  I don't consider that a big deal.  I like them, but it's not like i'm jonesing for a cig.  I have had one pipe-ful of tobacco as well, but I haven't gone out and bought pipe tobacco.  I'm NOT NOT NOT going to become a "rabid anti-smoker", as I generally LIKE the effect of tobacco, but do not like the monetary or health price that is incurred with regular use.  I have absolutely no desire for cigarettes since March when I tried to smoke one of Kali's.  Blecch!  I don't even think about it any more, really.  The only reason I'm updating this document is because i'm upgrading to Win98, and I saw this file in the course of my backups.

March 10, 2000
     The world didn't end in 2000.  I'm still smoke free.

September 25, 2000
     I've dreamed about smoking 2 or 3 times, but I haven't done it.  Being around smokers or even playing with their cigs hasn't made me want to actually smoke.

October 18, 2000
     Still smoke free.  No cigars, no pipes, no nothing.  At ren-fair (first weekend) I had a momentary thought about buying a pipe from the pipe guy, but it was a momentary flash.  No real craving, and easy enough to dismiss.  I realize now that I didn't even really notice the cigarette booths.  I think of the one near Sherwood as an "atm booth" now.  I occassionally see the humador place and am interested in buying a cigar, but the ones they have are overpriced and taste like crap (hell, they're in the open air!), so I don't even bother looking.  Since I haven't really ever had a "to die for" cigar, I'm not interested in going and buying one from a cigar shop, either.  I'd like to try a Cohiba or other $100 cigar sometime, just to see what all the fuss is about, but I don't see myself ever spending that kind of money on one cigar.  Hell, that'll buy 5 lap dances :)
     BTW, i can definitely smell smoke on my clothes, hair, and stuff when I get back from places where people smoke.  It's hard to believe that with my good sense of smell, I never noticed it when I was smoking.

April 16th, 2002
   Still smoke free.  Have had no urges or tobacco of any kind since the last update.

(note that this is the last entry in the diary, but I have had no cigars, pipes, or other tobacco of any kind since then..occasionally, i get a minor twinge, like a "wouldn't it be nice if.." but it's no worse than a "i'm bored and want a snack" craving.)

it's all in the mind (4.66 / 3) (#38)
by hardcorejon on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:22:05 AM EST

To echo what some have alluded to already, the only important thing is that you want to quit. If you want to quit, you will eventually, just keep on trying.

I had to "quit" many, many times before I finally quit for real.

How do I know this time is for real? It's hard to explain. The best way I can describe it is to say that I have decided what person I want to be for the rest of my life, and that person does not smoke. For others, there will likely be some different explanation, but they would probably agree that it does ultimately come down to a "mind-over-matter" mental decision.

To give a humorous counter-example, a 40-something friend of mine has smoked for virtually all his life. I once asked him, "Hey Bill, when are you gonna stop smoking?" "Well," he replied, "I suppose when my ashes are extinguised...."

- jonathan.

I made bets: up to $10K (4.50 / 6) (#41)
by opendna on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:10:03 AM EST

The first time I bet a buddy's girlfriend that I could go two weeks without smoking (I even suspended a cigarette in the middle of my room to increase the temptation). I won and she was my slave for two weeks. I was going to make her light my cigarettes, but she looked like she was going to cry so I had her fetch beers instead.

The second time I bet a classmate $200 that I could go longer without a smoke. He went out drinking, lit up and handed over $200 when I showed up. I waited a couple days and then used the money to buy smokes and beer.

Most recently I bet a long-time friend $10,000 that he would smoke another before I did. Deadline: 1 year. Outcome: TBA. We've both realized that $10K is probably more than our net worth so paying up will require the amputation of a testicle or something. The jars of alcohol on the bookshelf are a daily reminder.
In the beginning I found that the craving was an impulse that went away if I stalled long enough. "I want it now", but I'll go have it "in five min." By the time 5 min have passed, I've forgotten I wanted a smoke and am busy doing something else.

Hm... I seem to have a issue with losing bets...

Too much confidence a bad thing (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by dachshund on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:24:15 AM EST

It's relatively easy to stop smoking. The hard part is staying stopped. I haven't smoked in almost a decade, and I still have the occasional bad dream where I've started smoking again. This is what finally drove me to permanently quit-- the knowledge that without some sort of firm commitment, every drop of effort I put into quitting was going to go to waste eventually.

As long as you think you can easily quit, you'll probably just keep starting again after each hiatus. In my experience, it's the people with the most "willpower" who keep smoking the longest.

[ Parent ]

Quiting is easy... (none / 0) (#205)
by opendna on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:08:44 PM EST

I've done it many times." (Mark Twain? K. Vonegut? I dunno...)

This last time it came as an agreement that it needed to be done by both of us, regardless of the pain. Like many others, I enjoyed smoking. But that albatross needed to be ripped from my shoulder and beaten to a pulp. Yes, the evil pheonix keeps trying to get up again but I know it's game and keep the ugly stick ready.

I've since had the dreams where I started up again. But to be honest, they were nightmares. I've gone through almost every starting-up-again scenario in my dreams and awoken confused and pissed off each time. I could be wrong, but I think this time is the last one.

It does help that I live in California, though. Where habitual smokers are only slightly more acceptable than leppers...

[ Parent ]

what about me (3.00 / 1) (#43)
by relief on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:11:23 AM EST

i've been smoking about one cig a day for several years now. sometimes i dont smoke for weeks, sometimes i smoke three a day or more.

i smoke usually when i feel tired from work, or at socials when drinking, although recently i quit drinking.

i honestly don't know what the deal is. i think i'll be smoking like this until the end. no apparent effects on my body except maybe cancer but everyone gets those these days.

If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.

I'm not sure what the deal is with that (none / 0) (#71)
by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:05:40 AM EST

I mean, if you only smoke very lightly, is there any real risk? The tee-totalers will say yes, but....

Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

[ Parent ]
Same here (5.00 / 1) (#110)
by pla on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:17:02 AM EST

I've been smoking about one cig a day for several years now. sometimes i dont smoke for weeks, sometimes i smoke three a day or more.

I do the same. This ability to not-quite-smoke really seems to piss off "serious" smokers, though, eh?

As for the health risks, probably not "good" for us, but I have read of studies that found no significant increase in lung cancer or heart disease rates among single-cigarette-per-day smokers compared to non-smokers.

[ Parent ]
can you cite the source? (none / 0) (#201)
by relief on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:54:56 PM EST

thats a relief to hear. *me go buys a carton, my year's supply*

If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
Alas, not specifically. (none / 0) (#206)
by pla on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:18:30 PM EST

I read that almost a decade ago, and have no idea where.

However, a quick Google search turned up one particularly thorough metastudy on the topic, which while not actually covering exactly one cigarette per day, does show fairly low levels of risk for up to 9 per day (a median "relative risk" factor of 3.72).

You can read it here, with the relevant data summarized on page 22 (PDF page 28... It always annoys me when people publish PDFs on the web, and don't bother making the "real" page numbers match the PDF's page numbers).

So, if not "no difference" (which still exists as a possibility from that data, though the author claims a monotonic trend linking dosage to risk, so not likely), not "much" worse than not smoking.

[ Parent ]
Hear, hear (4.66 / 3) (#141)
by Control Group on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:27:56 PM EST

I view smoking much like I view drinking: it's bad for you, but if you're sensible about it, you'll be fine. Obviously, smoking measured in whole packs per day is going to cause problems. Just like hitting the bars and getting hammered every couple nights is going to cause problems. This doesn't make me never go to bars, though, it makes me go maybe once a week, and only get drunk once or twice a year.

Same with cigarettes (or "guys" as my roommate and I refer to them...long story). At most, I'll have 3 a day (one on the commute in, one on the commute out, and a miscellaneous one some time in the evening). Sometimes I'll go for a week without smoking any (if I run out over the weekend, it's too much trouble to stop and buy a pack during the week).

A couple of times I've caught myself lighting up when I didn't really want one - that's when I throw out the pack I've got and don't smoke anything for a couple weeks.

People have tried to convince me I'm lying to myself when I claim I could quit. I always say I'll take bets at $5/wk to go for however long they want (only one person ever took me up on it, for a month).

People ask me why I don't just quit. Simple: because I don't want to. I enjoy smoking cigarettes. If I someday have a reason to quit, I will (girlfriend who doesn't like it, not enough money to buy them, new car I don't want to smell like smoke). But for the moment, single, making decent money, driving a 11-year-old Corolla, I enjoy my 3 cigarettes a day.

"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]

poetry? [nt] (none / 0) (#200)
by relief on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:52:42 PM EST

If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
[ Parent ]
Perhaps I'm dense (none / 0) (#240)
by Control Group on Wed May 14, 2003 at 03:21:46 PM EST

But that went right by me. Sorry.

"Oh, nothing. It just looks like a simple Kung-Fu Swedish Rastafarian Helldemon."
[ Parent ]
Quitting is only the first stage of battle (2.40 / 5) (#44)
by medham on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:19:21 AM EST

What are you going to do about "heihghtened?" Pray to St. Genevieve?

I'll be more impressed when you give up the reefer.

The real 'medham' has userid 6831.

Write in vote (3.00 / 5) (#46)
by Herring on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:20:41 AM EST

All of the above.

Giving up smoking is easy - I've done it loads of times.

I started reading that Allen Carr book. I stopped half way through - it was stopping me enjoying my cigaretttes. Hmm.

Say lol what again motherfucker, say lol what again, I dare you, no I double dare you
Wellbutrin AKA Zyban (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by enderwiggin99 on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:24:24 AM EST

Started smoking at 17 about a month before graduation. Finals, you see. Well, it is now 3 years later. Haven't smoked for about 2 months, no cravings. I think the most I regularly smoked was about 5-6 cigs per day, I would go through a pack and perhaps an extra half-pack when shitfacing myself (don't drink alcohol anymore, either. strange. :) ). Was never really a problem, but I disliked the control it had over me, and the fact that here in Alberta, Canada, 25 packs of smokes are around $10. I work at Wal-mart. 'Nuff said. So, went to the doctor and got a prescription for slow-release Zyban. After the first week of smoking 2 per day, I was done. No cravings for the last 2 weeks. It put me in a frame of mind where I had super-duper cravings that didn't bother me for the first week and a half, cravings that weren't satisfied with smoking a cigarette. So, here I am 2 months later, and incredibly thrilled. :) I'd suggest it to ANYONE. It wasn't too expensive up here and was covered by a drug plan, not sure how much it would cost in the land of the 'free'. Good luck, and stick with it. It's been great.

Reverse-engineering the Universe from life until Zen.
Must want to quit (3.25 / 4) (#48)
by Quila on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:00:56 AM EST

I'm in my 30s and started smoking a few years back. I was sick a few months ago and gave up cigarettes for a couple of weeks because the illness made them taste horrible. When I was better, I found that I had no more addiction or habit to the cigarettes, but I started smoking again. Why? I didn't want to stop, I don't need to, I don't care about it. A habit is a habit, and nasty or not is subjective. If you're comfortable with your smoking and enjoy it, please keep doing it; we need more happy people around. If you're not, then just fucking stop. I turn your attention to the mother of my wife's friend, who while dying of colon cancer at 50-something told her daughter "Do whatever you want, smoke, whatever, because you may just die early like me anyway even though you've taken care of yourself."

Agreed (none / 0) (#144)
by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:54:31 PM EST

You have to die from something. I finally quit because I hated not being able to have a cigarette. Ironically, if cigarettes weren't addictive I'd still be smoking them.

The downside of not smoking, for me, is when I smoked I'd have to get up and go outside every hour. Now I have to remind myself at work, to keep from getting carpal tunel.

So I started drinking copius amounts of coffee, and my bladder reminds me to get up!

"The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
[ Parent ]

I am sorry but bullshit. (5.00 / 1) (#199)
by Tezcatlipoca on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:45:06 PM EST

Clever people play with the odds on their favour.

Life expectancy is almost 80.

The odds are you are going to live around 80.

You can stack the odds of having healty happy years in your old age on your favour. Or you can bias the odds against you and keep smoking.

If killing yourself makes you happy feel free. I just think anybody willing to slowly kill himself (and perhaps others around him) should review his life priorities.

Oh yes, I guess my father would had come also with a memorable phrase regarding smoking, life and all that, unfortunately the coffing and lack of breathing ability on his last years obstructed somehow his efforts to be happy and witty.

There is nothing more demoralizing than to watch your father, a proud man that fought valiantly many other wars,  crying full of impotence realizing he couldn't do the most menial physical tasks thanks to the wonders of smoking.

Might is right
Freedom? Which freedom?
[ Parent ]

Anything will do (none / 0) (#218)
by Quila on Wed May 14, 2003 at 04:10:02 AM EST

"thanks to the wonders of smoking."

Or alcohol, meat, coffee, driving, sports or any of the thousands of things that people say can cause your life to end uncomfortably or early.

You make a conscious decision to pick your poisons and live with it. Either that or you live a completely boring life, although likely a longer one.

[ Parent ]

My smokeing habbit (2.00 / 6) (#49)
by CaveDwler on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:17:32 AM EST

I have smoked (as a habit) for almost 7 years. I know alot of people go and tell you how they started smoking and say stuff like "everyone was doing it" or "it wasn't a big thing when I started". Well, I smoked off and on from age 16 to 20 and NEVER had the "I NEED a cig" feeling. (I just lit up a cig while typing this, more on that later). I started smoking as a habit when I moved into my first apartment. I had a room mate that I had been friends with for a few years and decided since he need a room mate I would make the big move and leave my moms house. Mostly I wanted to move because I was going through one of the worst depressions of my life and needed some space to try to work things out. When I moved in, things changed dramatically. I am not sure to this day if it was just me getting used to my new "freedom" or what, but he seemed to want to do everything with me. If i wanted to go to the mall, he had to go, If I went to the coffee house (as I usually did on my days off) he wanted to go. I found out really quick that he didn't care to go to the coffee house because all the smoke got to him. After about 4 months of him complaining that I was spending all my time at the coffee house (he was acting like we were in a relationship or something) I decided I would test a theory. On weekends to relax I would smoke a pipe (tobacco) he would complain and make me open a window, so I started smoking it more often. It worked! He always left the room when I reached for my pipe. So, when he started to get "needy" I would just grab my pipe. This worked for about two weeks. Then, I ran out of pipe tobacco. But during the time I was there I noticed that whenever I would buy food, he would eat whatever he wanted and scream at me for touching anything he bought, so as a result, I would avoid going to the grocery store...which was the only place that sold pipe tobacco. I decided to try cigarettes. They were sold anywhere and did the trick. By the time I actually go sick of him constantly arguing about not doing anything (I was working three jobs and didn't even have time to check email let alone drive 4 hours just to go to a gaming store) and moved out, I was hooked. I only partially blame him, as he was just one of the driving forces. I knew I had a choice; I just took the easier one. Once since then, I tried to quit. It lasted one week. I was on my motorcycle going to the coffee house (I was volunteering there) and wrecked about 60 feet from the turn. When I hobbled in, I only said "I want a cigarette NOW or someone else is going to be in as much pain as I am!" Two other times I have broken the addiction but have not stopped. Once I had bronchitis, food poisoning, and the flu all at the same time and couldn't smoke for a week. But started up again out of physical habit, not chemical habit. The last time I pneumonia. Once again, I broke the chemical addiction, but smoked out of physical and behavioral habit. This time, I have incentive to quit. I am currently living in northern Germany and am going to have to drive to southern Spain on the 23rd of this month. That's about 30+ hours in the car. I have done this three times since moving here, but this time I am taking the "cool" car. A 2002 Audi TT quatro Lemans Edition #47 out of only 100 made for Spain. This is a car that is just as much an investment as it is a "get through your mid life crisis in style" symbol. I have decided since getting this car that no one will EVER smoke in it. Myself included. Granted I CAN smoke when I fill up the tank or something, but this is where the will power comes it. If anyone is interested, I will post again when I get back (somewhere around the 3rd of June) and let everyone know how it went. But until I leave for Spain, I am just going to try to mentally prepare myself.
CaveDwler Sex is a very natural and wholesome thing, but only if it isn't done right. Welcome to Paradox
Smoke while filling the tank?! (1.00 / 1) (#52)
by mairsil on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:47:48 AM EST

Granted I CAN smoke when I fill up the tank or something

I know spain is a somewhat primitive country in some respects, but surely you aren't allowed to smoke in a place loaded with gasoil fumes even there?

[ Parent ]
Nothing new to add (none / 0) (#89)
by Langley on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:48:44 AM EST

"Just because we have chiselled abs and stunning features, it doesn't mean that we, too, can't not die in a freak gasoline fight accident."


Sorry, I couldn't resist.

A Prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded. -Abraham Lincoln (Sixteenth President of the United States of America)
[ Parent ]
gas pumps and morons (none / 0) (#213)
by CaveDwler on Wed May 14, 2003 at 02:07:07 AM EST

I'm sorry, I didn't realize that some people had to have EVERTHING explained to death. When I said I COULD smoke when I filled up, I was meaning when I went into the store to pay for the gas.. NOT at the pumps.. But for the most part, in all of Europe you can smoke anywhere but banks and boarding areas of the airport.
CaveDwler Sex is a very natural and wholesome thing, but only if it isn't done right. Welcome to Paradox
[ Parent ]
Paragraphing - a habit you should consider (none / 0) (#107)
by moosh on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:01:50 AM EST


[ Parent ]
paragraphing (5.00 / 1) (#214)
by CaveDwler on Wed May 14, 2003 at 02:08:02 AM EST

Yes, I think paragraphing would be a good habbit for me to pick up. I am sure it would be better than yours, "Trolling".
CaveDwler Sex is a very natural and wholesome thing, but only if it isn't done right. Welcome to Paradox
[ Parent ]
Inhalers (4.00 / 2) (#50)
by katie on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:14:08 AM EST

My other half had to quit because the traces of smoke on him set off my allergies (at one point he'd go outside to smoke and then have to change and shower when he came in before I could go near him).

He used the inhalery things. Well, to be fair, the first time through this he ended up using the inhalery thing AND smoking, but the second time it weaned him off the addiction. Because I can't go anywhere smokey and our friends don't smoke near me, he then doesn't have a lot of the social triggers.

Changing social habits is important - friend of ours quits about twice a year, goes down the pub and unquits because the pub is where he's ALWAYS smoked...

Quitting by... smoking (3.83 / 6) (#51)
by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:23:16 AM EST

Ok, I can already hear the self declared righteous bunch and the "aw god! we know what's good for you" folks, plus of course a ton of reformed ex-smokers, but here's what worked for me: Taking up smoking cigars!

Some background: I started those nasty fuckers (cigarettes) with 14 and smoked for 20 years. In the beginning this is all fine and well; then after 10-15 years you get the first fits of the nasties and from there it's going rapidly downhill; up to the point when you know that you will get severely ill, when you don't stop - now!

The quitting as such wasn't soo hard (it's no fun either, what is extremely hard though is to defeat that little voice that talks to you after 3 weeks, a couple month and after a year (and likely later too, but I wouldn't know). Oh, it also talks in between, but those where the way marks where it talked loudest. This voice claims, that you proved thate quitting is easy and you can do it anytime again. Well, this voice is a fucking liar!

So, I made 5-8 serious attemps that lastet for up to a year and then my last attempt came. That was at the end of 2000:
I gave up once again and made the usual mistake: I took a vacation to the virgin islands, which are really, really nice for sailing. My expericence tought me that it's always very, very difficult not to start again when it's really, really nice. Ah well, I started again but with a twist: I took up smoking cigars.

First I only bought a couple and then I got the hang of it and bought a box of Dunhill aged cigars and puffed them away; maybe 2-3 per day.

Now the advantages of premium cigars are multiple compared to cigarettes:

  • It brings back the joy of smoking
  • You never, ever smoke premium sticks when you just have a couple minutes
  • A cigar is a hand made product of beauty. While you look at it, smell it, touch it, cut it and light it you can envision the whole art and craftmanship that went into the stick (a premium smoke requires 18 month to 3 years from the growing plant to leaving the stock rooms at the factory)
  • You don't inhale. Consequently you have far, far less problems with the lungs (no month long ghastly coughing fits after every small cold)
  • Cigars are pure tobacco of highest quality. Cigarettes are processed crap. They are about as comparable as the food at L'Auberge de L'Ille with the one at MacDonalds
  • And here's the kicker: There is a totally different level of addiction. Since you really need time (45 minutes minimum up to a couple hours, depending on the size) you just don't light up unless you have the time and space. Consequently I smoke zero to an absolute maximum of 4 cigars per day. If you throw that in with not inhaling then yo may see why it's so much better for you.

    Disadvantages? Of course: They are certainly not healthy (alas: far, FAR less risky then cigarettes) and it's an expensive hobby.

    This "method" to quit might not be for you, for me it worked and still works wonders and in addition provides me with a hell of a lot of pleasure (something cigies very, very rarely do, when you smoke for a certain amount of time).

  • So stupid. (2.42 / 7) (#62)
    by tkatchev on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:09:17 AM EST

    Almost as stupid as taking up heroin to combat your alcoholism...

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    Why (none / 0) (#64)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:36:54 AM EST

    Care to elaborate?

    [ Parent ]
    No, he'd rather be snotty. [nt] (none / 0) (#70)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:02:05 AM EST

    Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

    [ Parent ]
    Yeah (none / 0) (#75)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:20:37 AM EST

    That's what I thought

    [ Parent ]
    Gladly. (2.00 / 1) (#142)
    by tkatchev on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:29:50 PM EST

    You're using a stronger addiction to displace a weaker one. I don't see how that helps the situation at all.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    With all due respect (5.00 / 1) (#148)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:03:38 PM EST

    I don't think that you know what you're talking about.

    I did both. I smoked fags (just the Limey expression for cigarettes; no offense to no one) for 20 years. It's probably one of the strongest addictions that you can run into and very, very hard to kick. Cigarette smokers (I speak for me, but probably share this experience with a lot of others) don't really care for breakfast. A couple of sticks and a strong coffee after getting out of bed will do.

    Cigars on the other hand, just don't have that addiction potential. When I'm working out of town I usually don't smoke a cigar on the 6:30 train (we can smoke here) since it probably would be a tad hard on my fellow travellers. So I don't get to smoke a cigar until the early evening at the very minimum. And - get that - I don't miss it. When I get the chance to light up, it's pure bliss (an experience you rarely ever have as an addicted cigarette smoker). If not, for example if I'm involved in a project and can't smoke at all: So be it.

    Now, if you argue that a cigar contains more nicotine, you have a point, alas I don't think that the nicotine is the only addictive substance in cigarettes and the method of ingestion is different, since you don't pull it into the lungs with all the other nasty poisons that cigarettes contain. The habbit as such and the chance to smoke one in a three minute break are at least as addictive. In addition you don't inhale cigar smoke. Sure, you (can) get a nicotine buzz, but strangely enough without the addiction.

    BTW: A lot of insurance companies (at least in Europe) make a distinction between cigar and pipe smokers and cigarette addicts. Also my doctor is very, very much in favor that I replaced cigarettes with cigars. Alas it's certainly not entirely healthy, but it's no comparision to cigarettes.

    So to summarize: I don't think your analogy works... ;)

    [ Parent ]

    Downside to cigars... (5.00 / 1) (#69)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:01:26 AM EST

    It is possible to get as hooked on cigars as cigarettes; I know because I seem to have done it. sigh.

    It kind of snuck up on me; I went from 1-2 per week to 5 over a weekend, so I'm planning to take six months off (to prove I can do it) before I smoke another one.

    I think what did me in is when the store was out of cigars so I bought a pack of unfiltered Camels instead. :-P

    Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

    [ Parent ]
    Dangers (none / 0) (#85)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:41:30 AM EST

    It is possible to get as hooked on cigars as cigarettes; I know because I seem to have done it. sigh.

    Yes, I can see that. Another dangerous "hobby" is mixing er! "special herbs" with tobacco and rolling them up. There seems to be an odd difference however in a sense that I don't seem to need a cigar, even when an urge for a smoke kicks in. It might be a bummer when I don't smoke for an entire day or two, but it's just not comparable with cigarettes, where one was smoking literally three minutes after stepping out of bed (something you don't really fancy with a Partagas, Serie D No 4). It really seems to be an entire different quality of addiction.

    Otoh: I absolutely know that I'm back in the habbit as soon I light up one pure cigie.

    It's nasty, because it's a habbit I can't control, while they are external factors which enforce control on cigars or uhh! mountain herbs (you really can't smoke 'em near the coffee machine - or at your desk at the office and it's anyway a bloody waste to light up a cigar when you don't really have the time).

    Oh, and of course there's an allmost meditative quality to a fine cigar. Something you certainly never experience with a cigarette.

    Good luck on the way back. You know you can do it...

    [ Parent ]

    Actually, it's very interesting. (none / 0) (#116)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:36:42 AM EST

    Because of social constraints, (can't smoke at home, can't smoke at work) I started only smoking in my truck or in bars. Somewhere along the way, I reached the point where the moment I sit down behind a steering wheel, I crave a cigar.

    But you're right - cigar craving is nothing like my personal nemesis, the "need to feed".

    Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

    [ Parent ]
    Smell (5.00 / 1) (#81)
    by dachshund on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:29:52 AM EST

    My biggest problem with cigars is the way they make you smell (actually, it's your clothes, your furniture, and everything around you). They smell great when you're smoking them, but there's nothing more rank than stale cigar smoke.

    Perversely, smoking cigars makes you less likely to notice this, but other people will.

    [ Parent ]

    Tip (none / 0) (#88)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:47:47 AM EST

    What smells really disgusting is the cigar gone cold and left in an ashtray. Much worse then the clothes or the hair or just about anything else.

    So when smoking at home I always do it with a wide open window and make sure to throw the remains out of the window. Then leave the window open for another ten minutes or so.

    You still smell it of course, but it's much less nasty and even my sweety accepts smoking in the house that way.

    Admitted though, that cigars have an intense odor which sticks to you.

    [ Parent ]

    Did you post that, or did the cigar? (3.66 / 3) (#159)
    by rmn on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:30:28 PM EST

    Between 20 cigarettes and 1 cigar, you're probably better off smoking the 1 cigar. But between 10 cigarettes and 1 cigar things aren't quite the same. Four cigars is roughtly equivalent to 40 cigarettes, in terms of lung / throat cancer risk. Just look at the statistics. Cigars are slightly less addictive than cigarettes, but a lot more harmful.

    Reading your message, it's prety obvious that you are very much addicted to cigars (if not physically, at least psychologically).

    A thing of beauty? It looks like a mummy's cock! You don't inhale? Unless you're breathing from an oxygen bottle while you smoke the cigar (or smoking in a wind tunnel), you do inhale. And so does everyone around you.

    Your metaphor about "fast food" suggests that you have no idea how the food is prepared at some "fancy" restaurants. I would suggest reading Orwell's "Down and Out".

    Don't assume that just because something is more "natural" it's automatically less harmful. Curare is as "natural" as it gets, and a couple of drops will kill you in less than an hour.

    And in the end, smoking a cigar gives you exactly the same as smoking a cigarette: nothing. It costs money, it costs time, it stinks, it's bad for your health and the health of everyone around you, and it's just plain silly (look at me, everybody, I suck on a roll of burning weed!).

    Cigars (as cigarettes) don't actually give you much pleasure; they give you relief. They don't make you feel good when you have them, they just make you feel like crap when you don't have them. The way you feel when you're having a cigar is the way non-smokers feel all the time.

    Of course, people are free to kid themselves and poison themselves to death. I don't have a problem with you (or anyone else) smoking (as long as you don't make me breathe your smoke). But I do have a problem when I see someone spreading "the gospel according to St. Nicotine" and saying "really, it's not all that bad", when it fact it is.


    [ Parent ]

    Where did you get your statistics. (none / 0) (#317)
    by BrittPark on Thu May 22, 2003 at 08:42:29 PM EST

    I'm just in the process of moving from cigarettes to pipe smoking.  My research showed first that pipe and cigar smoking health risks have had comparatively little clinical attention.  However, in the Surgeon General's 1964 report on tobacco and cancer, pipe smokers had a slightly longer life expectancies than non-smokers.  More recent studies suggest that certain mouth cancers are more likely in pipe smokers.  There are also some studies that found no statistically significant increase in risk.  All of this is founded on the assumption that the pipe (or cigar) smoker doesn't inhale.  What is quite clear, is that the major health risks of smoking cigarettes, Lung Cancer, heart disease, etc. are greatly reduced.  I would be very interested (though unhappy) to learn if I've missed research that contradicts what I've found.

    As a side note I'd like to comment about the US's campaign against tobacco.  Tobacco is presented as universily and uniformly deadly.  This is plainly not the case.  Someone who smokes 1 or 2 cigarettes a day, and lives in a major city is in much more danger from air pollution than their cigarette habit.  I'd like to see slogans like "If you can't quit, cut down." or "Try a pipe, it might save your life."  Quitting smoking is for most people very difficulty.  It would be very helpful to those millions of smokers who find the habit difficult to break to know that there are less challanging changes they can make in their life and yet still significantly improve their health.
    [ Parent ]

    Where do you get yours? (none / 0) (#331)
    by rmn on Sun May 25, 2003 at 10:00:36 PM EST

    Basing your assumptions on studies from 1964 (which were probably based on people who started smoking before 1950) doesn't seem like a particularly credible approach. Especially since those are, for the most part, people who had never smoked cigarettes before. And that's an important detail.

    Pipe and cigar smokers who have never smoked cigarettes are indeed subject to a smaller risk. This not true, however, for people who switch from cigarettes to cigars (or pipe), and it's certainly not true for the people exposed to the smoke ("passive smoking"). From a newsgroup discussion:

    --- 8< --- cut here --- 8< ---

    • Unlike most manufactured cigarettes, cigars do not normally include a filter.

    • The difference in risk to cigar smoker's health, as compared with cigarette smoker's health, is largely due to the differences in smoking patterns of the two groups.  
      In the classic studies of smoking (ex., Doll, Peto), the overall risk of premature death was raised some 70% in cigarette smokers compared with non-smokers. In comparison, the risk for pipe and cigar smokers was only up to 10% higher than non-smokers. This would seem to indicate that cigar and pipe smoking is far less harmful than cigarette smoking. However, in such studies, pipe and cigar smokers were usually defined as those who had never smoked cigarettes. These primary smokers tend not to inhale and so are exposed to relatively low amounts of tar and other harmful constituents of the tobacco smoke compared with cigarette smokers. Nowadays, with most pipe and cigar smokers being ex-smokers of cigarettes, they have a natural tendency to inhale at least part of the smoke, which means they will be at significantly greater risk of disease than pipe or cigar smokers who have never smoked cigarettes.

    • The smoke of cigars is more alkaline than cigarette smoke and dissolves more easily in saliva. Therefore cigars are capable of providing high levels of nicotine at a rate fast enough to produce clear dependence, even if the smoke is not inhaled.

    • A class of highly carcinogenic compounds known as tobacco-specific, N-nitrosamines (TSNA) is present in cigar smoke at significantly higher levels than in cigarette smoke. Examination on a "per gram of tobacco smoked" basis reveals that tar, carbon monoxide and ammonia are produced at greater quantities by cigars than cigarettes. When equal doses are applied, the tar produced by cigars exerts a greater tumorigenic activity in mice compared with the tar from cigarettes, because cigar tar contains higher concentrations of carcinogenic polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.

    • A major US study of more than 17,000 men found that cigar smokers face more than twice the risk of lung cancer when compared to non-smokers, whilst a European study found that they face nine times the risk. The same European study also found that pipe smokers have just under eight times the risk of lung cancer when compared to non-smokers.

    • Mortality rates for lung cancer in those who have always smoked only cigars and pipes are significantly higher than in non-smokers but are lower than for cigarette only smokers. The risk of lung cancer increases in relation to the number of cigars or pipes of tobacco smoked each day and the degree of inhalation. The lower risk of lung cancer among pipe and cigar smokers when compared to cigarette smokers is due to the lesser amount smoked and the lower degree of inhalation.

    • Cigar smokers who do not inhale receive a high smoke exposure to the mouth and tongue causing an increased risk of oral cancers. Also, tobacco constituents dissolved in their saliva are swallowed down their oesophagus producing the observed increase in oesophageal cancers. The oesophagus also receives mucus cleared from the lungs by the ciliary mechanism or by coughing which is also swallowed.

    • Cancer of the larynx is also developed by pipe and cigar smokers at rates comparable to those of cigarette smokers (i.e. several times that of non-smokers).

    • In one study, cigar smokers who had taken up cigars after stopping cigarettes and smoked at least five cigars a day had a risk of non-fatal myocardial infarction about four times as high as that among ex-cigarette smokers who did not smoke cigars. Among those who had never smoked cigarettes, there was very little increased risk.

    • Non-smokers are at risk of contracting lung cancer from exposure to other people's smoke, whether that smoke is from pipes, cigars or cigarettes. After studying epidemiological studies on the effects of passive smoking, the UK's Scientific Committee on Tobacco & Health concluded that the risk of lung cancer in non-smokers exposed to passive smoking is increased by between 20% and 30%. Sidestream smoke from cigars contributes more to environmental pollution than sidestream smoke from cigarettes when equal amounts of tobacco are burned.


    Baker, F et al. Health risks associated with cigar smoking. JAMA 2000; 284;735-740

    Marketing Week, 7 September 2000

    Living in Britain. Results from the 1998 General Household Survey, Office for National Statistics, 2000.

    Ockene, J.K. et al. Am J Public Health 1987; 77: 1412?1416.

    Cigars - Health Effects and Trends. Tobacco Control Monograph No. 9. National Cancer Institute, US Dept of Health and Human Services, 1998.

    Iribarren et al. Effect of cigar smoking on the risk of cardiovascular disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer in men. New England Journal of Medicine 1999; 340; 1773-1780.

    Boffetta P. et al. Journal of the National Cancer Institute 1999; 91; No. 8: 697-701.

    Blot, W.J. et al. Cancer Research 1988; 48: 3283?3287.

    US Surgeon General. The Health Consequences of Smoking: Cancer. USGPO, 1982.

    US Surgeon General. The Health Consequences of Smoking: Chronic Obstructive Lung Disease. USGPO, 1984.

    US Surgeon General. Reducing the Health Consequences of Smoking: 25 years of progress. USGPO, 1989.

    Report of the Scientific Committee on Tobacco & Health, Department of Health, 1998.

    --- 8< --- cut here --- 8< ---

    I think the most relevant data in this article is that for the same amount of tobacco smoked, cigars and pipes produce higher amounts of toxic compounds, and that, taking the same amount of tar from a cigar and from a cigarette, the tar from the cigar is more likely to produce cancer.

    Of course, if you don't inhale at all (which is kind of hard, since the smoke fills the air around you), then your lungs are at a smaller risk. But that smaller risk comes from not inhaling, not from the fact that you're smoking a pipe instead of a cigarette. In other words, if you keep smoking cigarettes but don't inhale, you'll achieve the same end result.

    Also, you say that "Someone who smokes 1 or 2 cigarettes a day, and lives in a major city is in much more danger from air pollution than their cigarette habit". I expect you are basing that statement on a reliable study, or at least on objective data, and not just making it up. Care to quote your source?

    And anyway, you seem to be missing a rather relevant point: people can give up smoking. They can't give up breathing.


    [ Parent ]

    Similar experiance with a Pipe (5.00 / 1) (#220)
    by dragondm on Wed May 14, 2003 at 04:49:54 AM EST

    I've had a similar experience with a pipe. Cigarette tobacco is cheap crap. It's also HEAVILY treated with chemicals (like ammonia, etc). I actually started smoking clove cigarettes (they smell wonderfull, but they are amazingly harsh on the lungs) then regular ones. Then I switched to smoking a pipe. For one thing pipe tobacco is generally MUCH better quality, and it's often much cheaper than cigarettes. I rarely smoke a  cigarette now, and if I do (because someone offers me one at the dance club, usually) the taste of the cheap tobacco turns me off and really don't want another one. I've also noticed that it's much less harsh on my lungs than cigarette smoking. I can feel the 'lung funk' from one cigarette the next day, I don't get that fron pipe smoking (you don't inhale pipe smoke).

    I've also noticed that pipe smoking seems less addictive. I can (and do) stop and start whenever I want. Really the only reason I continue is the fact that I like it. If I had to quit, given my experience from times whence I've been travelling and couldn't smoke, it wouldn't be hard to do.

    Plus, if your going to smoke, pipe smoke *smells* alot better than cigarette or cigar smoke. And  the physical habit of putting something in your mouth is big part of smoking for many people. You can walk around all day with a filled, but unlit pipe in your mouth (you get a bit of the taste of the pipe tobacco when you draw air thru the pipe, even unlit) if you have the habit of keeping something in your mouth, and you don't *have* to light it. (you can sortof do this a bit with a cigar, but it tends to get soggy after awhile.)    

    [ Parent ]

    The Patch (4.33 / 3) (#53)
    by 0xA on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:54:09 AM EST

    I gave quiting with the patch a shot a little while ago when the price of a pack hit $10 (governemnt bastards). I needed to use something that would take the edge off for me. When I have tried to quit absolutely cold turkey i go through really ugly withdrawl. I went a week without once, but I couldn't concentrate on anything and kept giggling all the time. Things were going pretty well on the patch, I was 10 days in.

    Interesting thing about me, I had _never_ experienced a nightmare before, at least nothing unpleasant that I ever remembered. The nicotine patches seem to cause this in some people though. So one night I wake up screaming at the top of my lungs, I am scared to death about something. I bolt out of my sweaty bed and run as fast as I can. At least I think I had time to hit full speed, my bed is only six feet from the wall....

    When I woke up again, I made the informed choice and went to the store for smokes. I had a damn headache for a week.

    I think maybe I'll try this again sometime, maybe give that Zyban stuff a shot. I've heard some unpleasant things about that too though, I'll probably be the one in one hundred billion that experiences severe rectal bleeding or something.

    Patch dreams (none / 0) (#145)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:57:24 PM EST

    Yeah, I had the patch dreams too. However, I had taken selenium suppliments once for something or other, and MAN, now those were some hideous nightmares! The patches were nothing in comparison.

    I've read about Paxil dreams, they're supposed to be bad, but my Paxil dreams have all been erotic. Maybe because it's been so long since I've had any sex?

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Reenactment (3.18 / 22) (#55)
    by K5 ASCII reenactment players on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:20:10 AM EST

    It are only taking me thirty years to quit, 
    so listen to what I have to teh say!
       /  ##
       o o #
      /_   |
        O  |

    That was GREAT! LOL! (4.00 / 2) (#143)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:49:53 PM EST

    You forgot my mustache though :)

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    mustache (none / 0) (#232)
    by enterfornone on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:37:07 AM EST

    Keep on smoking cigarettes. I like it! / #### / ## o o # ||| | O | \__/

    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    mustache take two (none / 0) (#233)
    by enterfornone on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:43:29 AM EST

    Hit post without hitting preview. I like it!
       /  ##
       o o #
      |||  |
        O  |

    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    Me as a kid... (none / 0) (#247)
    by mcgrew on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:51:21 PM EST

    Old man holds thumb between fingsre- "I got your nose!"

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Quitting is NOT difficult. (3.75 / 4) (#56)
    by Jetifi on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:25:25 AM EST

    I say this and people look at me like I'm crazy. Anyway, I quit two months ago. Previous attempts at quitting sucked (I tried willpower). This time I read this book.

    I'm not spamming, I have no financial interest in it whatsoever, but just check out the 172 feedbacks on the book. I think less than 5 said "it didn't work". Of the rest, most are cringe-inducing in their evangelism.

    I read that book, and I stopped, and it was easy. I've stopped for two months now, and there is no way in Hell I'd even consider starting again. Even the smoke smells disgusting to me now. I may have been brainwashed, but I don't really care.

    So what's the magic word? (none / 0) (#149)
    by rusty on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:06:15 PM EST

    What's the trick to it? How does it work?

    Not the real rusty
    [ Parent ]
    I can guess (none / 0) (#154)
    by Jetifi on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:46:23 PM EST

    I googled the title after reading it, and some people think the book uses repetition on themes to auto-hypnotise/brainwash you. And while the book is repetetive, and the writing style sucks, I don't think that's it.

    For me, what the book did was change the way I thought about cigarettes. It demolished my perception that smoking did the slightest thing for me, made me realise how stupid the addiction is, and wait a sec...

    I sound like a health nut, or a rabid anti-smoker, but I'm not. I have no trouble with people choosing to smoke; I have friends who smoke and I don't bug them about it.

    Anyway, I read the book in three hours, and finished five cigs during the time, and each tasted worse than the one before. I didn't even finish the last one, the feeling of breathing in the smoke was so disgusting, and I haven't smoked since.

    The addiction itself is fairly light, but if someone stops when they still believe that they get some sort of benefit or joy from smoking, they're probably going to be a miserable git for the first month, and remain tempted by pangs ever after. For me at least, the book put an end to the idea that smoking has any benefits at all.

    Anyway, enough evangelism. That's what happened to me.

    [ Parent ]
    My EZ Method (4.00 / 2) (#57)
    by The Turd Report on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:27:06 AM EST

    I smoked a pack a day for about 7 years. I quit by gettig a massive upper respritory infection. I couldn't smoke for 2 weeks. (Believe me, I tried) After that, I figured it was my chance to quit for good. For a few weeks, I'd bum a cig now and then, but I never bought another pack. After a month or so, it was done. I would occasionaly get cravings or a need for a cig, but that was mostly out of habit: after meals, at the bar while having a beer, after sex, while zoning to TV, etc... I haven't had one for 5+ years.

    So you recommend... What? (none / 0) (#108)
    by pla on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:04:31 AM EST

    I don't think getting a massive upper respiratory infection will generalize well to the majority of smokers. ;-)


    I suppose something similar will force them all to quit eventually. And with no chance at all to start up again.

    [ Parent ]
    Well...Yeah (none / 0) (#165)
    by The Turd Report on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:44:56 PM EST

    It isn't for everyone, but if you can get it, it does work. :) Once I was past the two weeks, the only real problem I had was getting over the habbit of lighting up after various events. I wouldn't have a physical craving for one, but I was just used to having one.

    [ Parent ]
    It's a good remedy. (none / 0) (#175)
    by einer on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:03:03 PM EST

    Sure it will. Just drive up to Toronto and kiss a Canadian. SARS has a "stop smoking rate" of 15% (according to the most recent WHO report) at LEAST!
    Sports, politics, news and smart people telling me I'm dumb. einer.org.
    [ Parent ]
    Child molester! (1.62 / 24) (#58)
    by Stick on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:28:01 AM EST

    When I was in a car load of kids, I'd bum one in order to breathe.

    That's the worst excuse I've heard for molesting children. Did you breathe their farts with your penis??

    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n

    You are a verrry strange human (1.00 / 2) (#60)
    by bigchris on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:58:55 AM EST

    I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
    kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
    [ Parent ]
    Or possibly just not American (3.00 / 2) (#74)
    by ChaosD on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:20:13 AM EST

    In English (as in the country, not the language) slang the word 'bum' is either a sexual act, or an expression of dispair (if your a hippy). So, any Brit reading When I was in a car load of kids, I'd bum one in order to breathe. would interpret that as needing to engage in a sexual act, with children, to be able to breath in a car.
    Most brits have encountered this sort of problem, and make the mental translation required.

    It works the other way around too. To any Brits visiting the US: Don't exclaim 'Oh, I'm dying for a fag' and expect to be handed a ciggy ;-)
    There are no stupid questions
    [ Parent ]

    Unfortuneate language (3.00 / 2) (#80)
    by bigchris on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:27:30 AM EST

    In the same way they shouldn't ask for spotted dick to eat. Don't worry, in my country (Australia), when Lyndon Johnston (sp?) came to visit the slogan was "Let's be gay with LBJ".

    I Hate Jesus: -1: Bible thumper
    kpaul: YAAT. YHL. HAND. btw, YAHWEH wins ;) [mt]
    [ Parent ]
    Translations (1.00 / 1) (#90)
    by ChaosD on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:49:15 AM EST

    I've done some checking, and found some possibly useful links here, here and the best one (bi-directional translations, and it actually backs me up!) here (warning, last link uses frames).
    I like these little differences between the various 'flavours' of English - anybody got any more?
    There are no stupid questions
    [ Parent ]
    There are many (2.50 / 2) (#99)
    by jonathan_ingram on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:03:53 AM EST

    Lots of embarrasing differences between different flavours of English. The main one that hasn't been mentioned yet is the various meanings of 'rubber'. In the UK, it's not a problem for a teacher to go into a shop and get rubbers for all her children.
    -- Jon
    [ Parent ]
    LOL! But the context was there (none / 0) (#147)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:03:27 PM EST

    The "kids" were teens and I was too. "Bumming a smoke" is acting like a bum and asking for a cig.

    The humorous (I'm weird) thought occurs to me, if your mother was British and your father was American and you wanted to beg a cigarette you might ask "Can I bum a fag?"

    I always found it funny that you folks call the place in the back of your car where you keep tools and a spare tyre a "boot". The only thing we Americans keep in our boots are socks and feet.

    We keep our tools and spare tires in our trunks. Sometimes we keep our boots in the trunk.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Of trunks and tools (none / 0) (#230)
    by ChaosD on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:54:08 AM EST

    I hadn't thought about it until you mentioned it, but 'trunks' in England can mean 'male swim-ware', and a tool - well, I actually think alterntive meanings for that word are international - and also appropriate ;-)
    Also, and at the risk of being tedious, a 'spare-tyre' can be taken to mean 'over-weight' - but I think that one may be international too.

    Seriously though (there is a serious side to this) - 'English' comes in many flavours, and this will always cause confusion - even when things are put clearly in context. It'll take ages for our various societies to get to know each other well enough to prevent this - until then all anybody can do is point out how silly things can sound outside of your own country (be it England, Australia, America etc etc).
    There are no stupid questions
    [ Parent ]

    Trunks and tools! (none / 0) (#244)
    by mcgrew on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:44:48 PM EST

    Actually, we do refer to male swimwear as "swimming trunks", and also "tool" does have the same meaning here, too, in the right context. So, you put your tool in a boot, eh? ;) I guess we put our tools in our trunks on both sides of the salty pond, at least at the beach!

    Now I remember why tripping on acid was so damned funny! Language itself is screwed up, not just English.

    I was translating some Spanish write in answers to a poll with the help of a native Spanish speaker, and by the end of the day we were both laughing so hard our sides hurt.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    and in most states (none / 0) (#275)
    by wh4tn0w on Thu May 15, 2003 at 02:55:05 PM EST

    our guns.

    [ Parent ]
    Molestation isn't a joke. I hope you get assraped. (2.00 / 6) (#77)
    by SmallFlyingHippo on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:21:07 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    So do I [nt] (2.20 / 5) (#94)
    by Stick on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:17:58 AM EST

    Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
    [ Parent ]
    Your wish is my command! nt (none / 0) (#258)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed May 14, 2003 at 10:33:12 PM EST

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    [ Parent ]
    Raping is not a joke. I hope you get SARS. (2.40 / 5) (#97)
    by Arcadio on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:56:55 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    SARS is not a joke. (5.00 / 2) (#120)
    by Pihkal on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:58:27 AM EST

    But the one about Helen Keller falling down a well, breaking two fingers and trying to call for help, is! :D

    "I will not be pushed, filed, stamped, indexed, briefed, debriefed or numbered!"
    -- Number 6
    [ Parent ]
    SARS is not a joke. I hope you have a nice day! (5.00 / 3) (#121)
    by fishling on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:04:42 PM EST


    [ Parent ]
    Quitting is easy (4.80 / 5) (#59)
    by borderline on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:48:31 AM EST

    Quitting is easy. It's not starting again that's hard. And that's not just an attempt at a witty remark. There really is a difference.

    I gave up smoking nearly half a dozen times. Sure the withdrawal was a bitch, for at least a full day. Then it was just a nuisance. As all nonsmokers know, and the author of the article rediscovered, cigarettes actually taste awful. My shortest period of abstinence was probably no more than a week, and I had to force myself through the first cigarette when I started again.

    So I kept quitting and starting again, because I was still ambivalent about smoking. Quitting wasn't the problem. My desire to smoke was. So was that a mental addiction? I don't know. It doesn't really matter.

    I finally gave up smoking in favour of snuff (the wet kind common in Scandinavia). This allowed me to stick to nicotine, while still feeling good about not risking lung cancer, not bothering other people with unhealthy smoke and so on. The transition wasn't hard at all. I didn't even consider it as an obstacle in any way.

    I stuck to snuff for about a year. Since snuff doesn't bother other people you can use it anywhere, as much as you like. So I probably doubled my actual nicotine intake during this year. So when I decided to give up nicotine for good, the withdrawal was at least twice as painful. It lasted perhaps three long days.

    But it was different, since my decision was different. I knew this was going to be it. I do not want to smoke a cigarette or use snuff ever again. I'm confident I will not.

    An interesting detail is that I still get the occasional dose of nicotine. I enjoy smoking cannabis every once in a while. In these parts cannabis is mostly available as hash, which usually is mixed with tobacco when smoked. But that isn't a problem, as I know I have given up nicotine for good. These doses of nicotine are so far apart that I just feel a slight nausea from it. And even if I were to smoke up more often I don't think it would be a problem. I'm through with nicotine.

    Not just smoking. (4.66 / 3) (#66)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:38:36 AM EST

    Quitting is easy. It's not starting again that's hard. And that's not just an attempt at a witty remark. There really is a difference.

    Yeah. I have that problem with food - saying "No" is easy. Saying "No" a hundred times a day, and trying to make it stick is the hard part...

    Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

    [ Parent ]
    My biggest fear (3.50 / 10) (#61)
    by lukkk on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:05:22 AM EST

    Let me quote Bill Hicks on this one:

    "I now realize I smoke for simply one reason, and that is spite. I hate you non-smokers with all of my little black fucking heart, you obnoxious, self-righteous, whining little fucks. My biggest fear, if I quit smoking, is that I'll become one of you"

    When people bother me about smoking (4.00 / 1) (#65)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:37:00 AM EST

    cigars, I tell them that I smoke cigars to externalize my obsession with my penis. That always shuts them up...

    Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

    [ Parent ]
    I really, REALLY have to memorize this one [N/T] (none / 0) (#72)
    by CaptainZapp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:06:28 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    Oh, shit (none / 0) (#68)
    by mjs on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:54:45 AM EST

    Someone feels the same way I do! Hot damn!

    [ Parent ]
    Felt (5.00 / 1) (#73)
    by hulver on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:19:15 AM EST

    Bill Hicks died of Cancer.

    [ Parent ]
    Ya gotta die from something! [nt] (none / 0) (#138)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:01:22 PM EST

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    This is great (none / 0) (#105)
    by moosh on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:48:51 AM EST

    That's a top quote from Bill Hicks which is right on the money. I quoted the exact same thing in another smoking story but with a little bit more on the end.

    "Non-smokers this is for you and you only, ready? Non-smokers die everyday."

    Nothing but class.

    [ Parent ]
    My grandma died at 99, never smoked... (none / 0) (#137)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:59:45 PM EST

    Grandma at 90: "I don't know why people want to live to be a hundred, it's NO FUN being old!"

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    the joy of aging (none / 0) (#183)
    by Burning Straw Man on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:13:28 PM EST

    well, your grandma's health at 90 having never smoked was probably fairly comparable with a lifetime smoker at age 60-70.

    people get old and die. smokers get old and die a little faster, that's all.

    and dying from lung cancer is probably a little worse than old age.
    your straw man is on fire...
    [ Parent ]

    My uncle died from lung cancer (none / 0) (#246)
    by mcgrew on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:50:02 PM EST

    30 years after he quit smoking. Late 70s, actually fit for his age.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    My father died prematurely. (none / 0) (#198)
    by Tezcatlipoca on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:33:30 PM EST

    I can thank tobacco for that.

    Sentences like that can sound witty and clever, but in reality they are an escapist measure.

    Might is right
    Freedom? Which freedom?
    [ Parent ]

    My friend's mom died around 60 (none / 0) (#273)
    by Cro Magnon on Thu May 15, 2003 at 01:41:51 PM EST

    And she spent the last year or two on oxygen. She smoked heavily, in case you're interested.
    Information wants to be beer.
    [ Parent ]
    Agreed! [nt] (none / 0) (#136)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:58:09 PM EST

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    What about hypnosis? (3.00 / 1) (#63)
    by funwithstuff on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:17:05 AM EST

    I'm not a smoker, and have never smoked a cigarette. My parents smoked as I grew up, and I've always hated it. So obviously, I'm not the best person to offer advice on this, but some people have had success with hypnotherapy.

    This UK site, Hypnotherapy Associates, has a page on Smoking and Addiction which might be helpful. They're London-based, so if you're elsewhere, ask for a referral from your doctor, and good luck.

    DISCLAIMER: I know some people who work at this hypnotherapy centre.

    Heightened sense of smell? (4.50 / 4) (#67)
    by gordonjcp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:54:29 AM EST

    Surely this *is* a good thing, this new-found ability to smell bad smells again? I'm not a sanctimonious ex-smoker, or indeed one of those whingeing non-smokers. If people want to smoke, that's fine - just not in my house or my car. But, damn, do smokers smell bad....

    Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he'll bore you rigid with fishing stories for the rest of your life.

    Alternate viewpoint (4.66 / 3) (#76)
    by nusuth on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:21:03 AM EST

    When you quit, you should never ever smoke a cigarette except when do.

    Really, I realized what took me back to smoking was not the one cigarette I smoked, but the feeling of disgust about myself, feeling of having lost the battle, letting the addiction win.

    If you have quit but just smoked a cigarette, or even a quarter pack (hard to smoke more than that if you were nicotine free for more than a month or so), don't make a fuss over it. Go on with quitting. You don't have to return just because you enjoyed a cigarette. Just be extra careful not to smoke for the next few weeks.

    For the record, I smoked for 12 years (13-25).

    Not so alternate viewpoint: Stay away from coffee and alcohol as much as you can. It really helps.

    Very perceptive (5.00 / 2) (#93)
    by epepke on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:05:46 AM EST

    Eric Berne talks about this in Games People Play in a game called "Alcoholic." Of course, "Alcoholic" is about drinking, but the structure is mostly the same.

    The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.--Terry Pratchett

    [ Parent ]
    a "slip" (none / 0) (#119)
    by justo on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:57:36 AM EST

    in a 12-step program it's sometimes referred to as a "slip" in your program; or a "sober reference" that you can use in the future: "damn, the last time i slipped, that cigarette tasted awful! don't do it!"

    [ Parent ]
    Jeez... (1.66 / 3) (#78)
    by ok on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:21:34 AM EST

    I think this was planted by Altria or sumthin, reading that first bit about smoking smoking smoking is making me all jonesy.

    For me it's mostly in the mind... (4.00 / 1) (#86)
    by salimma on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:42:07 AM EST

    ... I don't get physical cravings, in fact I only think about it when I see someone smoking or read about it (like this article, arrgh). It's easier to notice this when most people don't smoke I suppose.

    The interesting thing is, my tolerance for nicotine actually went down over the past few months. I have smoked two packs non stop once, but now after one or two cigarettes I start feeling nauseous. Ditto with water pipes and ... worst of all, standard pipes.

    Guess I'm one of the luckier ones then.

    - Michel
    Orthodoxy means not thinking--not needing to think. Orthodoxy is unconsciousness.

    Eric Blair

    Cutting down worked for me (none / 0) (#128)
    by KnightStalker on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:40:19 PM EST

    Well, so far. And I haven't smoked much, about half a pack to a quarter pack a day for 4 years. About six weeks ago I switched brands and cut down to two cigarettes a day for a couple weeks, then one cigarette a day for a couple weeks, and I haven't had one now for over a week. In fact I still have two sitting on top of my monitor. Reading this article makes me want to smoke more than those do. :-)

    (I quit before, once, for about 4 months. Started up again when I got a new job where it seemed like everyone else smoked. Most of them have quit in one sense or the other by now.)

    [ Parent ]

    Whoops (none / 0) (#130)
    by KnightStalker on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:41:35 PM EST

    That was supposed to be a reply to #87.

    [ Parent ]
    Physical Cravings (none / 0) (#194)
    by akamoe on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:03:50 PM EST

    What I've found is that the patch or gum don't really help me. I don't miss nicotine at all.

    I miss doing the smoking itself. Something to do with my hands, especially on long car trips, or when I'm having a few beers.

    alot of people I know say the same thing.

    -- moe

    [ Parent ]
    You have to learn for yourself (4.66 / 3) (#87)
    by dachshund on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:46:42 AM EST

    You cannot quit a step at a time. You can't "cut down". You can't gradually quit. When you quit, you have to quit. You have to make the decision that you will never, ever smoke another cigarette again.

    This is absolutely correct. However, if you're trying to quit, you probably can't afford to take anyone else's word for it. Try cutting down, try taking it "a step at a time". This probably won't get you off cigarettes, but it will dispel any personal misconceptions you may have that your habit something you have control over, rather than a completely involuntary compulsion imposed on you.

    Until you've actually tried all of these methods and reached the conclusion that smoking is not something you want or enjoy, but something you have to do no matter how much you try not to, you're probably not going to possess the sheer desperate frustration that it takes to stay off cigarettes. Too many people feel that smoking is just an annoying habit like biting their nails or drinking coffee, so they don't develop the requisite antipathy to smoking that convinces them to stop and stay off. So they either fail to quit, or they just start up again (quitting and restarting is little better than never having quit in the first place.)

    Incidentally, I suspect that this antipathy is a major reason that so many former smokers become ardent anti-smoke crusaders. Very few people can go through that process without cultivating some particularly strong negative feelings about smoking. And quite rightly, in my opinion. Any habit that puts you through that kind of hell is worthy of a lot of hatred.

    eh? (none / 0) (#277)
    by wierdo on Thu May 15, 2003 at 02:59:19 PM EST

    And quite rightly, in my opinion. Any habit that puts you through that kind of hell is worthy of a lot of hatred.

    So just because you can't control yourself, you've got to assume that the rest of us can't? I used to smoke regularly, now I smoke a few about twice a year when I'm drinking too much. I feel that I'm using tobacco in much the same way as I use alcohol, in great moderation, as a recreational drug, as it should be.

    Know yourself and respect your own limits, don't force those limits onto others who have no such limitation in their control of certain habits. Note that I'm not saying I don't have problems with other substances, such as caffeine, but I'm working on that one, too (he says as he drinks a Coke).


    [ Parent ]
    Similarity to losing weight (4.42 / 7) (#91)
    by NoNeeeed on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:51:16 AM EST

    If you went through the article and replaced "cigarette" with "food" and "smoking" with "eating" that could have been me trying to loose weight.

    The one part that especially rang bells was about only being able to give up when you had really decided that you *genuinly* wanted to stop.

    I have had problems with my weight all my life, mostly as a result of the way my parents eat.  That got me into the habit of over eating.  Ever since I went to university I have been losing weight slowly, very gradually.  I knew that I wanted to be thinner and fitter but didn't *really* want it enough.

    When I broke up with my long term girlfriend six months ago I made a decision that I didn't want to be this big anymore, not because I felt I ought to but because I really wanted to.  Since then I have lost much more weight and am much fitter than I have ever been and I feel great about myself, not because I think that other people see me differently, but because I see myself differently.  I eat considerably less and exercise much more.

    Another thing that struck me was how much addiction is as much about habit as about the actual biochemical effects of the substance.  While there are definite effects on the brain from food, the habits are as big a problem as the taste or sensations from the food.  Overeating is as much about simply having something to do with your hands and mouth as with the food itself.

    Obviously you cannot go cold-turkey with food (excuse the pun) as with smoking, I can't give up eating forever.  I did however do something similar, which is to fast for a day every couple of weeks.  Basically for an entire day (normally a sunday) I took in only water and fruit juices.  The critical effect of this is to break you out of the habits and rituals surrounding food for a day.  It gave me enough of a kick-start that I can go for days without eating between meals.  The effect is very liberating as you demonstrate to yourself that you can live the day without being dominated by food.  It also has other benificial side effects to do with your bowels, but I won't go into the details on that :->

    Well done for giving up, and thanks for writing the article; it has given me an added incentive to never start smoking.


    Eating between meals / Fasting (none / 0) (#170)
    by Rhodes on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:46:25 PM EST

    I found fasting critical to slowly reducing my habits about eating, too. I find that I am able to eat less at meals if I eat much more often (5 to 6 meals- lunch is the largest amount of food).

    What to eat is very critical- I can eat loads of sweets (cookies, cakes, chocolates, ...), and it is habitual.

    Fruits, vegetables (preferrably fresh), and a lot of water are the best. There is definately some biochemical sensations if / when I don't maintain a glucose concentration. For 3 years I have been working out nearly every day, and for the past year, I have been working out about 10 times a week (work up to that- watch out for overtraining).

    [ Parent ]

    Chewing Tobacco (4.66 / 3) (#92)
    by n8f8 on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:01:40 AM EST

    I quit a 22 year chewing tobacco habit four months ago. The hardest problem I had quitting were the wild mood swings that weren't cutting it at work. So I saved up and took a two week vacation to a part of the world where even finding cigarettes is nearly impossible. Broke my leg and collarbone in the process, but it seems to have worked.

    I don't have any particularly brilliant tips for anyone. Skin patches made me crave nicotiene even more. I couln't take the anti-smoking pills because of a childhood head injury. I just kept trying until I got so desperate as to try somthing really extreme. I was 12 when I started on a hiking trip.

    Sig: (This will get posted after your comments)

    Good going, keep it up (5.00 / 1) (#98)
    by ColdForged on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:01:41 AM EST

    Four months, that's great, man. Been there. I'm somewhere around the 5 year mark following a 16-year habit of snuff. You tend to see quite a few articles and advice for people kicking the smoking habit, but very little for people quitting the various smokeless varieties.

    One important thing from the main article that still matters for our habit is: don't give in. Even once. I had about 4 aborted attempts because I "slipped". It does get amazingly easier eventually. I don't remember how long it took, but it got to the point that I didn't even think of it.

    What finally did it for me was fear. I had a meltdown one time when I noticed some disturbing white patches on my gum. Luckily they are harmless, but I didn't want to gamble my life on it, you know?

    Congrats on kicking it. Stay the course.

    "I seem to be having tremendous difficulty with my lifestyle." - Arthur Dent
    [ Parent ]

    "Broke my leg and collarbone" (5.00 / 1) (#135)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:51:56 PM EST

    Big guy, or was he just a good fighter?

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Another method... (4.66 / 3) (#95)
    by djeaux on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:19:01 AM EST

    ...adapted from the late, great Lewis Grizzard, :American by birth & Southerner by the grace of God"...

    Buy a six-pack of beer & your last pack of smokes. Drink half the first beer, then use it as an ashtray as you smoke the cigarettes & consume the other five beers.

    The next morning, before you do anything else, gulp down that half can of lukewarm, flat beer with 20 cigarette butts in it.

    You will not want another cigarette.

    Remember, cigarettes killed John Wayne when all those Japanese soldiers couldn't ;-)


    "Obviously, I'm not an IBM computer any more than I'm an ashtray." (Bob Dylan)

    Be Careful (5.00 / 1) (#124)
    by Alfie on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:21:53 PM EST

    Nicotine is an alkaloid poison that makes up about 4% of a tobacco plant's mass. It works as a natural pesticide, and is quite toxic to humans as well as insects. When a person smokes, most of the nicotine is burnt away by the heat. However, nicotine is water soluable, and leaving cigarettes in a water-based liquid overnight and then drinking it could result in some serious health problems.

    [ Parent ]
    Believe me... (none / 0) (#166)
    by djeaux on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:52:28 PM EST

    ...I was just passing on Grizzard's "method"...

    But see-riously, anyone who takes that suggestion seriously probably needs to be taken out of the breeding population anyway ;)


    "Obviously, I'm not an IBM computer any more than I'm an ashtray." (Bob Dylan)
    [ Parent ]

    side effect of that method (none / 0) (#151)
    by Burning Straw Man on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:34:13 PM EST

    Warning, do not use a beer that you really like. In my case, I have never, ever, ever been able to drink Guiness again without tasking ash.

    Kinda like I can't drink orange juice anymore without thinking I taste vodka after years of breakfast screwdrivers in college. And almost always, Coca-cola tastes slightly of rum and/or whisky.
    your straw man is on fire...
    [ Parent ]

    This method is failproof. You won't smoke again (5.00 / 1) (#152)
    by ElMiguel on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:41:00 PM EST

    because you'll be dead.

    Seriously, nicotine is very poisonous and I'm quite sure that the method you suggest could kill people. Don't do it.

    [ Parent ]

    My own experience (5.00 / 9) (#96)
    by pattern on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:50:03 AM EST

    Like most people who have smoked, I had very similar experiences, except I quit cold turkey with no patch. There are two elements that I believe contributed to my success.

    First, I found the website Why Quit. A couple of years ago, it was a bit less professional-looking, but it contained a table of reasons to keep smoking and their rebuttal. The one that really got me was that stress and/or adrenaline raises the acidity of your urine, which processes the nicotine that much faster. Whether or not it was true, it did topple my last excuse.

    Secondly, I realized that I was going to suffer, and that it would be temporary, but there also wasn't any way around it. So I accepted the suffering. When it hurt, I just let it hurt without intention to make it stop.

    I think the reason people can't quit by tapering down is because they think it'll hurt less at the end. Of course, it doesn't at all and they're unprepared.

    I also wrote a perl script which I executed every day. Here's the output, set up with my quit date and 1 pack a day:

    Time passed: 100 weeks 2 days 11 hours 44 minutes
    Cigarettes not smoked: 19669
    Money saved: $3196.21
    Life gained: 11 weeks 4 days 22 hours 54 minutes

    I found that measuring my steady progress helped a bit.

    Can I get a copy of that? (5.00 / 1) (#155)
    by Judg3 on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:50:28 PM EST

    I seriously think Im going to quit after this. I'd love a copy of that perl script. Please send it to jeremy(AT)pavleck(dot)com if you could. I'd greatly appreciate it!
    Just some guy's site
    [ Parent ]
    likewise (none / 0) (#329)
    by jhaddon on Sat May 24, 2003 at 11:20:17 PM EST

    please post it somewhere man
    Joseph D. Haddon jhaddon@jmtechsupport.com
    [ Parent ]
    yea me too (5.00 / 1) (#239)
    by WetherMan on Wed May 14, 2003 at 01:17:53 PM EST

    I'd like to get a copy of that script, post it somewhere on the web?

    [ Parent ]
    Doubt anyone will find it now... (none / 0) (#330)
    by pattern on Sun May 25, 2003 at 02:11:31 AM EST

    But it can be found at:


    Good luck guys!

    [ Parent ]
    Great story. (4.50 / 4) (#100)
    by lb008d on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:08:02 AM EST

    I think reading stories like these may be more effective at keeping people from smoking than those inane ads they put on TV.

    I know how hard it is to go a day without some coffee, and can only imagine how much harder it must be if you are trying to quit smoking.

    great article (4.66 / 6) (#102)
    by transient0 on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:39:42 AM EST

    It was really well written and gave the sort of serious honest acocunt that can actually be useful. Too often we are greeted by such obvious propaganda from the anti-smoking (or anti-drinking or anti-drugs or anti-premarital-sex) lobby groups that we become cynical and assume that there is absolutely nothing behind what they are saying. Also, too often I hear people saying things to other people like: "If you don't want to smoke, just don't smoke. It's just a matter of willpower: don't have a cigarette."

    This story really helps you to understand that even though it does come down to willpower in the end, an addiction can be an incredibly slippery thing. It can lead to delusions or brief amnesia episodes where you find yourself smoking with out even realizing that you lit up.

    The only thing that bothered me about the article was the pseudo-neurochemistry. It is at best a half-truth or theory that caffeine and nicotine re-inforce each other's use in a chemical sense and it is definitely not true that alcohol makes you crave nicotine as a countermeasure to the depressive effects. There may be some neurochemical explanations for the smoking-with-coffee and smoking-with-booze phenomena, but it is all very poorly understood right now. The closest thing to a scientific explanation that you could reasonably give right now is that coffee is your free-time during the work day and alcohol is recreation. As such, these are two times when you smoke more than normal and you develop an association or fixation between the two activities.

    anyway, great article.
    lysergically yours

    Thank you (none / 0) (#133)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:47:45 PM EST

    I really make no claims about the neurochemistry- that was just my observation of the affects on me. I'm not a neuroscientist, just a former smoker. I should probably have tried to make that more clear.

    As to prothlesyzing, I don't see any point. I don't see a need to try talk anyone else out of smoking, and it wouldn't do any good anyway. If cigs were free and I could smoke them anywhere I'd never have quit. You have to die from something. I quit because there are too many times you can't smoke, and I hated it when I needed a cigarette and couldn't have one.

    If I ever get stuck in a nursing home I'm gonna start smoking again!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    This won't help anyone quit, but... (3.66 / 3) (#103)
    by wurp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:41:40 AM EST

    I smoked one to two packs a day for three or four years.  I tried to quit multiple times; it never lasted more than a day or three.

    When I quit, it was a side effect of a relatively major life change.  I moved out after living with a woman for about six months, and, quite frankly, I just forgot to smoke.  I guess I was too involved in thinking about (obsessing over) other things to worry about keeping myself in cigs.

    The odd thing is that my experience as a non-smoker is completely different than any of the ones I read about here.  I have no urge to smoke.  Ever.  Even so, for the first five years after I quit, I would smoke one or two cigarettes a year, usually to be companionable with someone.  I never wanted another one; never felt the urge to become a smoker again.

    The only thing that bothers me about being around a smoker now is the nasty smell.  There is no temptation.
    Buy my stuff

    there probably would be (none / 0) (#109)
    by ph0rk on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:10:27 AM EST

    If you moved back in with that woman.

    The mind is a funny thing.

    [ f o r k . s c h i z o i d . c o m ]
    [ Parent ]

    Well (none / 0) (#125)
    by wurp on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:35:01 PM EST

    I killed her, so that shouldn't be a problem.
    Buy my stuff
    [ Parent ]
    To me... (none / 0) (#131)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:42:07 PM EST

    Smokers stink, their cars and houses stink, but the smoke that comes off of the cigarette doesn't smell bad.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Hardest Thing I Ever Did (4.50 / 2) (#104)
    by Idioteque on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:44:23 AM EST

    I quit almost six months ago. Probably one of the hardest things I ever did. This was my fourth attempt. Tried the patch, gave me really wild-vivid dreams and seemed to make me more moody, stopped using it after a week. One recommendation I can make is going to Quitnet. The people there can be a bit corny and they are definetly not as thick skinned as the k5 crowd, but if you truely want to quit there's a lot of good advice, experience, and support there.

    I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
    Just remember- (5.00 / 1) (#129)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:40:19 PM EST

    All it takes is ONE cigarette and you're hooked. You and I are worse off than reformed heroin addicts.

    Just remember the hell you went through quitting. You are still in great danger of relapse!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    That is the key... (5.00 / 2) (#134)
    by Idioteque on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:48:56 PM EST

    Remembering exactly what you stated, has gotten me this far. Once I made the realization that I can never have another cig, not even one, not ever, it all got a lot easier. I still have to remind myself of this almost on a daily basis.

    I have seen too much; I haven't seen enough - Radiohead
    [ Parent ]
    Given enough time... (none / 0) (#245)
    by mcgrew on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:48:33 PM EST

    You won't even think about it. But if you do, just don't forget!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Zyban (5.00 / 6) (#114)
    by mont4g on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:31:36 AM EST

    I used to dip Kodiak.  This has to be the most addictive tobacco concoction on the planet.  Started in high school during my party years, and stopped 7 years into marriage -- 20 years of nicotine.  I've been nicotine free for 3 years now.

    I'm an expert at quitting.  I've tried to tie it to an event:  marriage, before I'm 30, before the first kid, before the millenium, after a smoker I knew died of cancer, etc.  No dice.  In the end, it's just another day.

    It typically took some wierd health problem to raise the fear level and cause me to quit, like "Damn, why have I had heartburn for three weeks in a row?  Maybe it's CANCER!"   Then I'd try quitting, and more often than not would succeed.  

    Did it twice by scaling down the amount of nicotine slowly, but that's the hard road.  Patches don't work when you dip -- whether you put the nicotine between your cheek and gum or on your arm doesn't matter.  The easier way to quit was cold turkey.  The even easier way was cold turkey when I was so sick from a flu that I couldn't tell if it was fever or nicotine withdrawal making my head spin.  But cold turkey has its problems too -- you absolutely have to know your triggers and steel yourself through them each time to avoid starting again.  

    Stress was my trigger.  Every time the heat would get turned up on me -- all night pager episode, career issue, money issue, whatever -- it would send me to the store for another can.  There's a reason that the short name for Copenhagen is "cope."  I also found that caffeine amplified the stress and made it worse.  Alcohol worked as an uninhibitor, as it usually does -- it made it easier to give in to the urge.  In the end, I decided I'd better get professional help.  I went to the doctor and got Zyban.  

    Zyban is an antismoking drug.  Wellbutrin is an antidepressant.  They are actually the same thing -- just sold under different names, depending on the need.  Researchers discovered that Wellbutrin eased nicotine cravings when their test subjects spontaneously stopped smoking.  

    It's action as an antidepressant is a novel one -- it doesn't work like your garden-variety SSRI.  Zyban weakly affects both serotonin and norepinepherine, and moderately affects dopamine.  This gives you that easy serotonin-reuptake-inhibiting-"take the edge off" feeling with the stimulant effect of a norepinepherine inhibitor, and blocks the effect that nicotine has on dopamine levels.  It is truly amazing how nicotine just doesn't affect you on Zyban -- you find that you just don't have the urge for it.  

    However, two weeks into treatment with Zyban, I had a side effect.  

    See, Wellbutrin never took off like Prozac did because the media jumped on something that came out in research:  there's a risk of seizures on Wellbutrin.  What the media never found is that the risk of seizures on Wellbutrin is about the same as on any SSRI -- in the 1-2% range.  However, this was enough for Wellbutrin to get its marketing tainted and the other SSRIs to eat its lunch.  

    Still, I was wary.  That's all I needed was to have a seizure.  And then I had my side effect.

    Rash.  Little red dots appeared across my chest.  It wouldn't stop itching.  Checked the side-effects literature in the box:  yep, rash, not seizure, was the highest reported side effect.  Damn.  I instinctively stopped taking the Zyban, and the rash abated within hours.  But the nicotine craving came clawing its way from the depths of hell and wrapped its tentacles around every dopamine receptor in my body and squeezed.  

    I called my doc.  I must have sounded a mess.  He confirmed staying off of Zyban and phoned in a prescription for Xanax -- a benzodiaphene, kind of like a 4th generation Valium.  I waited at the pharmacy for it to be filled, and gulped a whole one down in the parking lot.

    The nicotine demons were still there, but for some reason, everything was...just...fine.  A week later, I was still off nicotine.  When I hit a stress area, I'd eat a quarter Xanax.  I decided I'd better do something about the stress.  I took up meditation.  Not good enough.  I researched my symptoms.  

    Aah, generalized anxiety disorder.  I hit almost all of the symptoms.  I had been self-medicating with nicotine for years out of my own pocket, and instead I could get this covered under my health plan!  I went back to the doctor.  He confirmed it, and put me on Buspar, a most excellent anti-anxiety drug with side effects about the same as a glass of water.

    A long road, but I am now nicotine free.  Oh, I still want it, definitely, but not nearly as bad as my pre-Buspar days.  But I still know that if I start again, I'm doomed.  So I went out and got a no-nicotine life insurance policy (passing the blood test for nicotine, of course, since I'm clean).  I've used this successfully as something to keep me from starting again, and as a reward for the efforts -- rates would be double if I was still dipping, and I very much want to provide for my wife and kids should I ever get run over by a bus.  Plus, if the insurance company ever found nicotine in my corpse, they'd probably stiff my wife and kids for the policy.  Carrot and stick.

    In the end, it's whatever it takes to get you off the shit and keep you there.  Just find a way and keep trying until you do it.  It took me 8 times over 10 years to do it.  You can too.

    I tried the Wellbutrin (5.00 / 1) (#127)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:38:47 PM EST

    Zyban isn't covered by my insurance so the doc prescribed wellbutrin. Side effects were horrible, rash, fever, I think I came close to a seizure.

    Insurance companies want their customers to make new customers and die. Birth control isn't covered, but if you can't have kids they'll happily pay for treatments.

    Anti smoking Zybamn isn't covered but wellbutrin is, even though it's the same!

    Insurance is evil. Gah! I hate insurance companies.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Wellbutrin (5.00 / 1) (#192)
    by akamoe on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:58:15 PM EST

    Just after my little one was born, I tried to quit smoking using Wellbutrin (as my insurance didn't cover Zyban), and I found that I had very little in the way of side effects: a little bit of sleep disturbance, that was easily cured by not taking in caffiene after 2pm.

    But I also had one of the annoying and less common side effects of Wellbutrin, that's the dead opposite of most other SSRI's: increased sex drive.

    I don't mean a little. I mean alot.

    I ended up being a single dad about 6 weeks after I started using it, and decided to quit the Wellbutrin, as I was having enough trouble sleeping, and it's kind of hard to be single, and be hornier than a 10-peckered owl (bonus points if you know where that's from).


    [ Parent ]
    Funniest thing (none / 0) (#193)
    by phatkat on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:01:32 PM EST

    I've read all day: "Then I'd try quitting, and more often than not would succeed."

    [ Parent ]
    You're right! (none / 0) (#231)
    by mont4g on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:31:44 AM EST

    Given a boost in motivation, you can find the will to quit.  Taking up the challenge is the first step.  Doing it is the second.  You will most likely succeed.

    The killer is the relapse.  A nicotine addiction is a lot like one's ego -- it induces rationalizations, from the simple to the most convoluted, to justify its behavior as OK.  So after you've been off nicotine for a week or two, you start to think things like:

    • That was easy.  I can quit any time I like.
    • I can just smoke/dip when I'm feeling stressed.
    • It was a lot easier to write when I had a little nicotine in me.
    • I miss that easygoing feeling of a nicotine buzz.
    • Life is too stressful without my nicotine.
    • Maybe I won't be one of the people to die from some wierd cancer.  (This is especially annoying when you read about some 114-year old person who smoked every day.)
    • I just can't get through this without a little nicotine.
    • etc.
    It's insidious.  Relapse rates are 60% to 90% in the first year.  Luckily, the rates drop off further as time goes by:  
    • Relapse rates of 2% to 4% in second through sixth years
    • Relapse rates of less than 1% after 10 years
    You really have to know yourself to beat it.

    [ Parent ]
    None of this really works for sure (3.00 / 11) (#115)
    by ubu on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:34:40 AM EST

    The only way to quit — guaranteed — is with drastic, dedicated action.

    When you have decided to quit, go ahead and do the normal rituals, like cleaning the smoke smell out of your car and home and clothing. Go ahead and throw away all your cigarettes and stop drinking or whatever. It doesn't matter if you do, because with this method you're going to quit one way or t'other.

    On the first day, stop smoking. The cravings will begin, and you will eventually decide it's not worth it, so you'll light up another cigarette. Here is where the program really begins.

    In between every puff of that cigarette, using a clean, sharp scalpel, make a half-inch incision across the head of your penis. For you ladies, this can be done with the labia. The incision need not be deep or large, but it should bleed at least a little bit. After every puff, a new incision in your genitals. You can do this in the bathroom at the office during a 15-minute break. At the end of a cigarette, you should have between 10 and 20 of these incisions.

    Let the blood flow freely. It will stop after a few minutes, but you will be incapable of masturbation or any kind of sexual intercourse for at least a few days, and you'll know it.

    You're not done yet. You're still going to smoke cigarettes, but by this time you're not going to cut yourself anymore because the pain in your genitals is furious; it feels like someone has wrapped your crotch in a blanket of fire. With the next cigarette, you're free to smoke the entire thing without interruption! Go ahead! Just be aware, you have to stub it out in the bloody mess of your genitals. Aim for the worst spots; open flame is an excellent cauterizing agent, and as long as you're pressing a lit cherry to your flesh it might as well staunch some bleeding.

    Maybe this is all you smoke for the day, maybe not. It doesn't matter, because the regimen continues. With the third cigarette, you're going blow every lungful of smoke onto your naked crotch. The effects won't be immediately obvious; you'll probably finish the cigarette with a disappointed feeling, thinking the plan has hit a snag. But within ten minutes you'll begin to feel a throbbing, then a searing pain in your penis as nicotine enters your bloodstream through the tender flesh and small, bloody incisions. The pain will last about as long as a nicotine high: around 20-30 minutes. Your skin will discolor slightly, and may swell temporarily in some of the worst-affected areas.

    You will repeat the above three steps, in order, with every 3 cigarettes you smoke after the quit day, and within a week you will be smoke-free forever.


    As good old software hats say - "You are in very safe hands, if you are using CVS !!!"
    did this work for you? (none / 0) (#140)
    by rkh on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:26:14 PM EST

    do you have pictures?

    [ Parent ]
    Strangely arousing. <nt> (none / 0) (#179)
    by Dr Caleb on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:48:40 PM EST

    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    Dazed and Confused Technique (3.66 / 3) (#118)
    by gjbloom on Tue May 13, 2003 at 11:51:23 AM EST

    My cousin successfully quit, (and says she's seen this method work for other addictions), by locking herself in a cabin for two weeks with nothing but food, TV and a bunch of primo cannabis. Every time she felt the urge to smoke, she'd roll a joint and smoke that instead. By smoking something, she was able to continue the "habit" while weaning her body off nicotine. Since cannabis is no where near as addictive as nicotine, giving up the dope after two weeks (or settling back to a "normal" recreational level of use) was trivial.

    I second this.. (none / 0) (#139)
    by rkh on Tue May 13, 2003 at 01:24:24 PM EST

    I used this time-honored method back when they were pushing the price up past 4/pack. Worked like a charm. (It is probably half the reason the stuff is illegal)

    [ Parent ]
    There's a vacation (5.00 / 2) (#158)
    by Aruspex on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:12:59 PM EST

    I might try that just for kicks even though I don't smoke anymore. It just sounds like fun therapy.

    [ Parent ]
    What worked for me... (5.00 / 2) (#126)
    by Ricdude on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:37:16 PM EST

    A couple of things I noted in quitting smoking:

    1) Have a solid reason for quitting.  You're not just doing this for entertainment.  You need to have a "happy thought" ready each time you think you want to light up.  You need happy thoughts for ammunition in your personal war against nicotine.

    My grandmother died due to complications from emphysema.  My mother-in-law was diagnosed with bladder cancer, and undergoing chemotherapy and surgery.  You might say that was a bit of a wake up call.  If I didn't quit, that was the path that lay ahead of me.  Every time I felt the desire to light up, I thought of my grandmother, and my mother-in-law, and it brought me back to reality.  Maybe you want to exercise, or save money for a particular goal.  Pick a solid reason, and maybe a few back up ones.

    2) If your significant other is a smoker, the two of you have to be in synch as far as quitting goes.  If only one of you is quitting, you'll both still be smokers.

    You may have friends that are smokers, and may not be quitting with you.  If you go out to dinner with them, ask for the non-smoking section.  They can hang out in the bar for a few minutes if they need to smoke.  Your temptation will be much lessened.  After my mother-in-law went into surgery, everyone around her quit.  Me, my father-in-law, my wife, two of her best friends.  We all could rely on each other for support in our efforts.  Only one of us has started smoking since then, and even now is only smoking one pack a day, instead of the three or four a day back then.  Every bit helps, and as always, remember why you're quitting.

    3) Change your routines.  The hardest thing for me to change was the desire to light up a cigarette after getting in the car.  

    I had a motivational tape from some smoking cessation program (the pills that also act as an anti-depressant, can't remember the name...).  Every time I thought I wanted a cigarette, I popped in the tape.  The local news station, or NPR would have probably worked just as well.  Actively engaging in listening to something, as opposed to just cranking the local modern rock station, forced me to focus on my environment, and take my mind off of years of unconcious habits.

    4) Quitting smoking is easy.  Stop lighting them up, sticking them in your mouth, and inhaling.

    That's all there is to it.  Millions of other people have been able to do it.  So can you.  When you're ready to quit.  Really, really ready.  When you know all the reasons why you're quitting and can keep that in your head over your unconcious habits.  When you're really ready to quit, you'll find reasons not to smoke, instead of making excuses to "have just one".

    If you need patches or pills to get you past the worst of the physical addiction period, get them.   Don't be afraid to get help where you need it, in whatever form you need it.

    Will you never crave a cigarette after quitting?  Of course the urge will strike once in a while.  Remember again why you quit in the first place.  Chances are if it's been more than a few months of smoke-free living (eating in non-smoking areas, smoke-free friends and relatives, etc.), you'll probably be repulsed by the cigarette.  

    Good luck to all who undertake this quest.  You'll need it.  When you're ready, you'll do it.

    It's not easy. (none / 0) (#182)
    by Dr Caleb on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:56:34 PM EST

    I'm still in the process of quitting - which probabally will never end.

    But you are correct - you need a good reason to motivate yourself to quit.

    Vive Le Canada - For Canadians who give a shit about their country.

    There is no K5 cabal.
    [ Parent ]

    "probabally will never end." (none / 0) (#290)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 09:04:02 PM EST

    You can never have another cigarette, but it wil get so it won't matter that you can't have another cigarette.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    2) (4.00 / 1) (#190)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:17:30 PM EST

    I think the fact that the X didn't really quit, but cheated, led to our divorce. Certainly lying to your spouse is a slippery slope, and she had fidelity problems before. I wonder, if I hadn't quit, would I still be married? (If so, one more reason to be glad I quit! I'm now as glad to be rid of her as I am to be rid of cigarettes)

    After a year or so, (at least with me) being around smokers doesn't bother me. It was really hard at first, though. I've been spending weekend nights in smokey bars, lighting the pretty young ladies' cigarettes for them.

    4) Mark Twain said "It's easy to quit smoking. I've done it thousands of times."

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    How I quit (4.00 / 1) (#132)
    by mwalker on Tue May 13, 2003 at 12:45:27 PM EST

    Sorry to contradict the author, but I quit gradually. This is not to say that his approach does not have merit; this is simply my story.

    I had smoked since I was 18. I was smoking over a pack of Marl/Reds a day by the end of college. I cut back to Winston lights (organic/no additives) and then I started to cut back on dosage. After a year I was down to one cigarette a day. I would smoke it at night; it was my ritual. I would go out on the porch and light up my one cigarette and stare at the stars. I really liked it; to this day I miss the ritual. At the time I was also losing weight and getting into exercise.

    I have no idea when I smoked my last cigarette. I have no recollection at all of the event, I couldn't even pin it down to a six-month period. I just forgot to for a while, and one day I realized that I had 'quit', and that my new girlfriend probably wouldn't appreciate me being a smoker. So I just never smoked one again.

    My father has been addicted to cigarettes for 50 years and has been fighting them off and on his entire life. He's had a stroke and has developed diabetes, and he's back on the cigarettes right now. The addiction is strong in my family.

    I know that I'll never smoke again in my life, though. I'm just not sure why I was successful.

    Why I don't smoke and why I **HATE** cars (2.25 / 4) (#146)
    by Pig Hogger on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:01:27 PM EST

    When I was a kid, our parents would pack us in the back of the volkswagen, and they would each light one. Since you could not open the fucking rear windows of the fucking cheap car, and they would not open their fucking windows to get the fucking smoke out, we were thoroughly smoked up.

    This is why I hate both cars and smoking, to the point of wanting to have both outlawed.

    Somewhere in Texas, a village is missing it's idiot

    Is there a threshhold? (none / 0) (#150)
    by biggs on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:29:57 PM EST

    For a few months I smoked like 1 or 2 a day. Maybe skipped a couple days.. It was enough that it was still enjoyable, but I never was addicted... at any point i could easily just stop... and have.. totally painless... I'm wondering if everyone can do this, and if so what's the threshold? 5 or less a day? less than a pack a day? I wonder if any studies have been done on this.. And also, if you smoke in moderation like I did, how bad it actually is for you health.

    "Rockin my 'hell I made it' wetsuit stitch so I can swim in elevators crazy wet through piss" -Cannibal Ox
    Me too (none / 0) (#162)
    by frankwork on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:38:22 PM EST

    I've had one or two cigarettes a month for the past five years or so. (I've had mostly clove cigarettes, and have been accused by my smoker friends of smoking them like a joint rather than a cigarette.) This is enjoyable in that I don't spend much on the things, I get a good buzz off them, and the health effects are probably comparable to sitting in a smoke-filled bar a few nights a week. At any rate, if there is a threshold, I'm pretty clearly below it.

    I always feel a bit drained the day after, possibly because a chunk of my hemoglobin is gunked up with CO, or just having random weird chemicals floating around my system. For me, this is a pretty good check on wanting another cigarette for a while.

    But I could see that if your need for nicotine was a stronger motivator than any negative effects you perceive, you'd probably want another cigarette. A bit like having a drink to get over a hangover (not someting I've ever been tempted to do).

    [ Parent ]

    I think it could be possible (none / 0) (#189)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:09:03 PM EST

    and likely for some people. And there probably is some threshold. But it's like drinking- I have a friend who drinks 2 cases of beer a night, clearly an alcoholic. It started with "a beer or two".

    Thing is, a beer or two is good for you. A case or two isn't.

    I've heard that junkies are as addicted to the needle as they are the heroin, and if they can't het heroin they'll shoot water!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    never addicted (none / 0) (#241)
    by romperstomper on Wed May 14, 2003 at 05:11:08 PM EST

    I smoked cigarettes pretty consistently for about 8 months (about half a pack a day at my prime) and would quit for a week at a time every so often just to make sure I could.  I never had a problem quitting aside from a few headaches at first, but they soon went away.  I haven't smoked in about 6 months now and never felt anything to lead me to believe I was "addicted" to them.  Sure I feel like having one occasionally...but it's easily overcome, and I feel it's more out of habit than any sort of addiction.  So, in my case, the threshold was fairly high, i'd say.  

    [ Parent ]
    How I quit: (3.00 / 1) (#153)
    by V on Tue May 13, 2003 at 02:44:43 PM EST

    Very simple:
    I didn't have any money to buy them, somehow books and food were more important.

    I started again when I got a job, but after a while I started cutting and somehow I haven't smoked again and haven't felt the need to.
    Maybe I wasn't much into it anyway.
    What my fans are saying:
    "That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
    "well look up little troll" cts.
    "I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
    "goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens

    Cutting back (5.00 / 1) (#156)
    by Aruspex on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:02:26 PM EST

    You say "cutting back" on smoking doesn't work. Yet just 5 paragraphs later you clearly state that you cut back your dosage of nicotine, "We went through the full patch, half patch, quarter patch, no patch"
    The difference, of course, is that you weren't cutting back on both types of addiction at the same time.
    From my own experience, cutting back works just fine, and it's a *lot* cheaper than patches and gum. As long as you have the willpower (or in my case sheer stubborn hard headedness) to stick to whatever plan you make for cutting back. My personal plan was even ambiguous, not a structured follow-the-plan-or-fail thing like what you see most often. Every couple of days (2-3, occasionally 4 days) I smoked one less cigarette. Eventually, I was smoking one every other day, at which point quitting entirely was simple.
    I say simple. I still get urges occasionally (after 6 or 7 months) though less now than when I started. I don't have a problem with second hand. If it's too thick I get annoyed but it doesn't send me away in disgust. Stale smoke smell, like from a smoker that doesn't change his clothes for a day, is somewhat repulsive, but I think that's repulsive to everyone to a greater or lesser extent.
    My only weakness is drinking. I'll bum a cig or two when I get drunk, though inhaling a full puff will send me into a coughing fit. But I don't have an instant relapse.
    I don't know, maybe I just have a completely non-addictive personality/chemistry. But you'd have to argue that point with a past me that is fighting a craving for just one more cigarette. And that argument probably wouldn't be pretty.

    You have to remember (none / 0) (#188)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:05:27 PM EST

    I smoked a pack a day for thirty years- and you're right about cutting back on the habit. As I said, the habit is almost as strong as the physical addiction, esp after 30 yrs.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Differences (none / 0) (#235)
    by Aruspex on Wed May 14, 2003 at 10:59:49 AM EST

    It would make a difference that you had been smoking for longer than I've been alive I suppose. I started at 16, I think, and I'm 25 now. Though I averaged a pack a day when I quit as well, and had a tendency towards 1.5 to 2 packs a day if I wasn't careful.

    [ Parent ]
    Welbutrin is the key (5.00 / 1) (#157)
    by termfin on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:12:10 PM EST

    I tried every quitting method in the book (and failed), until on a friend's recommendation I asked my doctor for a prescription of Welbutrin SR (normally an anti-depressant). 7 days after I started to take it I physically couldn't smoke. 14 days later I stopped trying. 2 months later I quit the Welbutrin with no negative side-effects and haven't smoked since - nor do I ever want to.

    I tried Wellbutrin for quite a while (5.00 / 1) (#217)
    by spacefrog on Wed May 14, 2003 at 03:24:17 AM EST

    Just an FYI, at least in the US, Wellbutrin is also sold as "Zyban" for quiting smoking. Same drug, same strengths (I think). Your insurance may cover Wellbutrin (as an A-D), but not Zyban (as an anti-smoking aid). So figure that out before you see your doctor.

    Wellbutrin is prescribed as an A-D and sometimes for ADD.

    I was a 1.5 pack a day smoker for several years. I was in a fairly nasty anxiety<->depression cycle and my doctor (at recommendation of my therapist) put me on Wellbutrin.

    Well, within a few weeks, it helped the depression a lot. As an added benefit, my urge for nicotine went way down. I think my concentration improved as well, but I was not really thinking about that (no pun intended, no really).

    The downsides... Wellbutrin made my anxiety 100x worse and kept me up at night. It was horrible.

    First the doc added Paxil into the mix and other than making me a bit ill to my stomach for a while, it did wonders. Eventually we dropped the Wellbutrin out completely.

    Long story short, Wellbutrin/Zyban can be great, but watch out. Ritalin (speed) has almost no effect on my anxiety. Wellbutrin sent it through the roof.

    One day I just decided to buy gum instead of smokes. For the past five months I have not had a cig, and am slowly reducing the gum intake... So all is good. Oh yeah, and my depression, etc is under control, etc. with right combo of meds.

    [ Parent ]
    Immune but outraged (3.33 / 3) (#160)
    by StephenThompson on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:32:07 PM EST

    I grew up in a large family and every single one of them smoke except myself.  I was surrounded by cigarrettes 24/7 most of my life.  However, cigarette smoke makes me ill.  I have smoked a couple of cigarettes in my life, and each one made me sick.  So I am lucky in that I am effectively immune from nicotine.  

    I do know a lot about smokers though. The one thing that continues to astonish me is their total lack of outrage. YOU SHOULD BE OUTRAGED.  Cigarettes were designed to get you addicted and make you a slave to the tobacco lords.  They are completely deadly. [the horror of so many people dieing with cancer, emphasema,etc]  Those bastards didn't care a lick, they knew they were selling poison and didn't care if you died, as long as your children kept lining their pockets.  How can you let yourself be manipulated by those evil bastards?

    Immune but... WTF? (none / 0) (#207)
    by Smokin Juan on Wed May 14, 2003 at 12:04:55 AM EST

    "Cigarettes were designed to get you addicted..."

    This is utter damned bullshit. Hey, I smoke and want to quit. I have/will, but I'll never EVER blame it on someone else or some damned conspiracy. If you want conspiracy, go find those WMDs in Iraq, but don't squeal like a lawyer about tobacco. Do you think the indian's were selling it to their kids? Uhh, yeah, didn't think that far back eh.
    Tobacco's insidious nature evolved through good old fashioned CAPITALISM. Any misdeeds via studies of addiction and chemical manipulation can be traced back to that afore mentioned capitalized word and the connotations attached to it.
    I don't mean to jump shitty on you here, but people should be left to try, do, and quit on their own. No lawsuits, no laws, no commercials. If you get yourself into something with your own money then get yourself out of it with your own money. Capitalism by itself may be ok. Communism by itself may be ok. Capitalism mixed with communism, well, yeah, find me those WMDs. But I digress.

    [ Parent ]
    So.. (none / 0) (#228)
    by Magnetic North on Wed May 14, 2003 at 07:48:37 AM EST

    First of all, I'm not too happy about laws, lawsuits or commercials either.

    But do you really defend, in the name of capitalism, holding back information that could have saved somebodies life?

    [ Parent ]
    Nit... (none / 0) (#260)
    by Smokin Juan on Wed May 14, 2003 at 11:21:04 PM EST

    Naa, you read me wrong. I've got my bone to pick with capitalism and we happen to be treading on that right here. The "free market," wether it was the AMA or some lone doctor writing to the editor of his local paper, knew of the risks from smoking. That niche of information just lagged the almighty power of the dollar. A section of society knew of the dangers, but since smoking wasn't and epidemic (rolling your own is a pain as was carrying um peace pipe) there's no reason for those people to scream about how the sky falling. Then comes cigarrette machines to ease the burden of rolling, then comes marketing opportunity. I should imagine that when the marketing opportunity came around the noise about the health risk was fairly mute. At least, mute enough to thwart the concious of any REAL "capitalist". By the time they have their cigarette machines running full steam the noise from their advertising campeigns was plenty enough to drown out the sound of any nay-sayer and the fat bank-roll being produced by tobacco was enough to make those companies lie, flat out. Corporations behave almost as individuals in that they carry the survival instinct. Not only do they fear loss of food shelter and golden toilet seats but also bodily harm from the hundreds of thousands they just might've put out of work.

    So no, I ain't defendin' shit. Just saying let the free market take care of it without any government subsidies or commercials.

    [ Parent ]
    Last sentence is key (none / 0) (#208)
    by needless on Wed May 14, 2003 at 12:07:26 AM EST

    That explains the lack of outrage. Being outraged would just make you look like a jackass. No one holds a gun to your head and makes you smoke pack after pack. Most people start smoking when they're young, which is a time you do a lot of stupid things that you've been told many times over are bad for you. Nicotine just happens to be one of the most powerfully addictive drugs, legal or illegal.

    [ Parent ]
    I don't get it (2.16 / 6) (#161)
    by the on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:34:24 PM EST

    I like playing computer games. But I don't play them all day. I like watching movies. But I don't do it all day. I like eating food. But I don't do it all day. I like some other things, but I don't do them all day. When I smoked I had no more than about 5 in one day. My peak average over a few days when I was a student was about 1 or 2 a day. It was a pleasure. It gave me a great high. It was fun at parties. I was never addicted. The people who become addicted are the greedy bastards who take something enjoyable and smoke all day. 10 a day. 20 a day. 50 a day. Of course you'll get addicted. Nicotine is a great drug. But treat it as such. It deserves respect and moderation. Something that enjoyable doesn't need to be used every day all day.

    The Definite Article
    You wouldn't (4.25 / 4) (#164)
    by skim123 on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:43:12 PM EST

    Some people are genetically predisposed to addiction, such as alcoholism, smoking, gambling, sex, etc. There is definitely a geneic correlation with addiction. Fortunately, you seem to be one who does not have such a predisposition, while the author of the story seems to fall into this unfortunate category.

    Money is in some respects like fire; it is a very excellent servant but a terrible master.
    PT Barnum

    [ Parent ]
    Oddly- (4.50 / 2) (#187)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:02:29 PM EST

    The only substance I ever had trouble with was tobacco. In my degenerate youth I abused many drugs, but the only one I couldn't quit or had any trouble with was tobacco.

    I could probably become an alcoholic if I didn't watch myself.

    I think it may be that I started smoking as a teen, while I never tried the other drugs until I was grown (except beer- they tell me I was drunk at age 2). I strongly support keeping all intoxicants away from minors, although I'm libertarian towards adult use of intoxicants and other vices.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Things that worked for me (5.00 / 3) (#163)
    by Bill Melater on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:42:59 PM EST

    I smoked for about 10 years, so the hook was pretty well set. A handful of the tricks I used (and it's been awhile ... October 11 of 1986 ... scary that I can remember that, but don't recall my sister's birthday).

    Take up some sort of aerobic exercise as soon as you can. Make it part of your routine. If taking up smoking again means you'll be losing all the investment and sweat that you've poured into exercise, you'll be that much less likely to restart smoking.

    You have to view quitting as a fundamental change in your life ... you're a non-smoker now ... acquire and keep the habits of non-smokers.

    I leaned on non-smoking nicotine supplements. You can get them in nice clean forms like patches and gum. I chose chewing tobacco ... the Skoal crap, either loose or in those little pouches. The dipping habit is so unspeakably vile that it'll be much easier to quit than smoking. I dipped off and on for about three or four years after quitting smoking and found it to be much easier to drop as a habit.

    If you're a K5 reader, you probably drink like a fish. You have to be real careful when you're drunk, because that's when you're most likely to cave in. Frankly, if a bit of drinking can make the last girl you slept with look even remotely attractive, it'll be no time at all before you're puffing away again.

    The thing to remember is that usually some or most of your drinkin' friends are smokers, and they secretly wish you to fail. They'll deny it, but if you quit it makes them look like spineless dweebs. If they can lure you back in, they'll feel better about how they're fucking up their own worthless lives.

    There are two routes to take here: a) kill your smoker friends and bury them in the back yard next to all the women and hitchhikers, or b) piss them off so they'll never give you a cigarette to smoke. With few exceptions, I generally recommend the second approach.

    The best way to guarantee that they'll never give you a cigarette is to ask them for one at the start of the evening (while you're still sober and in control). The friend will gladly give you a cigarette, secretly happy to be getting you off of this foolish "quitting" nonsense.

    Make a great show of crumbling the cigarette up and throwing it away. For some reason, borrowing then crumbling a cigarette really pisses people off. It's okay if you light it on fire and draw the fumes into your body, but it's somehow offensive if you just throw it away. The net result being that your friends will not give you any cigarettes later in the evening when you're stinking drunk and thinking that just one won't do any harm.

    You also need to know that, like an alcoholic, you can never have another cigarette. Really. Never. Never ever. You can't ever just be a social smoker, or only smoke when you drink. It's an addiction, and you've already established that you have little or no control over it. Tough shit, live with it.

    How my aunt quit (5.00 / 10) (#167)
    by winthrop on Tue May 13, 2003 at 03:59:41 PM EST

    My aunt, when she wanted to quit, wrote a check for $1000 to the KKK (this was years and years ago, so it was quite a lot of money).  She signed it and gave it to a friend and told her, "If I ever smoke another cigarette, I want you to mail that check to KKK offices".  And she never smoked another cigarette.

    I don't know if I'd recommend this method, but I think it's a wonderful story.

    I know of another similar way to quit (3.50 / 2) (#173)
    by einer on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:58:04 PM EST

    Laxatives. LOTS of laxatives. You'll be too scared to smoke for fear of coughing and subsequently ruining your pants (and reputation if you happen to be in public).
    Sports, politics, news and smart people telling me I'm dumb. einer.org.
    [ Parent ]
    Truck driver's trick (5.00 / 2) (#195)
    by rho on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:28:53 PM EST

    I heard something similar to this regarding truck drivers.

    Somebody told a truck driver that they would be afraid of falling asleep at the wheel, and the truck driver replied, "Just take a $100 bill, hold it in your hand, and stick your hand out the window. I guarantee, you won't fall asleep at the wheel".

    "The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw
    [ Parent ]

    toys and life-savers (5.00 / 4) (#168)
    by janra on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:00:59 PM EST

    I'm glad to say I never started smoking. I always thought my dad smelled horrible, so it never appealed to me.

    My dad quit ages ago, probably more than ten years now. He dealt with the nicotine withdrawal quietly - he didn't even tell us he had quit, and since he always smoked outside (Mom's rules) we didn't notice until weeks later. All he said (a few years later) was that you never stopped wanting a smoke, it just got easier to say "No" over time.

    He dealt with the habit portion of it by redirecting it: every time he wanted a cigarette, he'd suck on a hard candy, like a life-saver or something.

    He also redirected the money. Cigarette money was not allowed to be used for everyday stuff, for essentials, none of it. Cigarette money was for toys and only toys - and you know guys, they like expensive toys. He was very happy to be able to buy all the toys he could never afford before. And he could afford them - we'd been getting by just fine without the cigarette money before, so in that sense the finances didn't change.

    Discuss the art and craft of writing
    That's the problem with world domination... Nobody is willing to wait for it anymore, work slowly towards it, drink more and enjoy the ride more.
    Nonsense (5.00 / 1) (#169)
    by 5pectre on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:19:25 PM EST

    You cannot quit a step at a time. You can't "cut down". You can't gradually quit. When you quit, you have to quit. You have to make the decision that you will never, ever smoke another cigarette again.

    That's exactly how I stopped smoking. I cut down until eventually I was on two per day, one when I woke up and one before I went to bed, kind of like a ritual. Then I just stopped completely. The first thing I did was stop smoking cigarettes and just smoke rollies. Then I just gradually cut down. Starting off with just smoking socially and then not at all. The hardest thing was not smoking when drinking guinness (and I still fail on this count ocassionally). I found that dry-roasted peanuts provided a reasonable substitute however (despite probably being more expensive). I can't say I know of anyone else that's quit like this but thats how it worked for me.

    "Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

    Re: Nonsense (5.00 / 4) (#177)
    by Bisun on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:37:09 PM EST

    I quit one step at a time... but they were different steps.
    Step 1) Switch to organic cigarettes (Shermans). There's something in the paper of the common cigarettes that acts as a short term addictive agent. It has a quick peak, but the addiction is gone within a couple or three days. Unfortunately, the quick peak makes the remainder of the steps unworkable, so step one is switch to cigarettes that don't have the chemically treated paper.
    Step 2) Start keeping track of when you light each cigarette.
    Step 3) Space your cigarettes to a few more minutes apart. Keep this up until you have an hour (or more) of separation.
    Step 4) Don't smoke all the way down to the end.
    Step 5) Gradually smoke less of the way down. Be really gradual about this progression, but when you're done with each cigarette, strip it and throw the pieces away (don't economize!).
    Step 6) When you are smoking less than 1/3 of each cigarette, count your puffs.
    Step 7) Slowly decrease the number of puffs. This doesn't need to be at the rate of one / cigarette / day, slower is fine. But be monotonic about it. Start being real careful here. (I started noticing my memory playing tricks about time inversions around here, trying to convince me that I felt better after smoking... but careful observation indicated that this was incorrect.)
    Step 8) When you are at less than 5 puffs per cigarette, start increasing the space in between the cigarettes again. Work up to 3 hours between them.
    Step 9) Work your way down to one puff / cigarette.
    Step 10) Increase the space between cigarettes to one per day.
    Step 11) Throw away all of your cigarettes, lighters, etc. (Well, actually I gave them to bums on the street... but there was no chance I could get them back.)
    Step 12) Move to a new apartment. Thoroughly launder all of your clothes. Use some fragrant floor cleaner (pinesol?). Get all traces of the smell out of your life.
    After a year you will rarely crave a cigarette. After a decade, you will even more rarely crave a cigarette. I don't know about after that.
    Remember, the first time you quit is the easiest. If you have never gone through withdrawal, then just quit cold turkey. I did that the first time. Unfortunately, I then became convinced that it was easy to quit. So I didn't keep my guard up enough, and one time when I was drinking, I smoked a cigarette... it took me a long time to realize that I was really addicted again. I kept telling myself "I can quit whenever I want to." Then I wanted to, and I couldn't... until I came up with the way I have just described. Now I intend to maintain my fear level. I don't want to fall into that pit again.

    [ Parent ]
    And pot is illegal... why? (2.66 / 6) (#171)
    by Lethyos on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:50:43 PM EST

    I've been a pot smoker for a good long while.  I wasn't a dedicated smoker, but I certainly enjoyed it.  The other month, I decided to quit.

    So I did.

    And I haven't had the urge since.

    Why?  Because they're not physically addictive, only habbitual.  They're also not as bad for you as regular cigarettes (even unfiltered through a pipe).  They also have some beneficial effects.

    Could someone please remind me why the vice described at length in this article is legal, but cannibus is not?

    earth, my body; water, my blood; air, my breath; fire, my spirit

    because, dear sir ... (none / 0) (#178)
    by Burning Straw Man on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:43:27 PM EST

    ... the government knows better than you. why question its sovereign power to control even the most minute details of your daily life? this will only lead to confusion and frustration. instead, relax, and accept the fact that you live in a restrictive society of holier-than-thous and hypocrites.
    your straw man is on fire...
    [ Parent ]
    The worst, most disgusting hypocrites... (4.00 / 1) (#234)
    by tkatchev on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:52:29 AM EST

    ...are those that label others as such.

       -- Signed, Lev Andropoff, cosmonaut.
    [ Parent ]

    linkage (none / 0) (#180)
    by Burning Straw Man on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:49:20 PM EST

    This helpful article at theantidrug.com will help you understand. Surely you haven't missed the incessant commercials detailing that "Marijuana: It's More Harmful Than We Thought". God forbid teenagers (teenagers, for god's sake!) might have sex or something.

    Don't forget: TheAntiDrug.com was created by the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign ... In 1998 the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy launched the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign

    Yes this is your tax dollars at work, ladies and gentlemen, buying prime-time TV ads to tell us that marijuana is bad for you. The same Clinton presidency which brought you "I did not inhale" brings you TheAntiDrug.com.
    your straw man is on fire...
    [ Parent ]

    Of COURSE he didn't inhale (none / 0) (#186)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:53:41 PM EST

    Oxygen deprivation does strange things to the brain!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    One word- money. (5.00 / 1) (#185)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:52:13 PM EST

    It is in th ecigarette manufacturer's interest for cigarettes to be legal. They have a distribution system set up world wide, to outlaw it would ruin things for them. So they "contribute" to political races, and suggest that with the tax structure, it is in the pols' best interest in keeping butts legal.

    On the other hand, there is a very VERY huge markup in sale of illegal drugs. Were a single one of those drugs legalized, it would seriously harm the income of those producing, importing, and selling those drugs. So they, too, contribute.

    Don't kid yourself that the Crips have this power- the folks growing, processing, and importing drugs are the same people laundering the money, and producing other lucrative (but legal) goods.

    So don't hold your breath. Er, unless you have a lungful of good shit.

    Now watch me die or get busted next week. If you don't hear from me again, you'll know why.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    re (none / 0) (#203)
    by relief on Tue May 13, 2003 at 10:09:36 PM EST

    the folks growing, processing, and importing drugs are the same people laundering the money, and producing other lucrative (but legal) goods.

    probably not true. although i believe money is the issue, its probably related to 1) the extreme ease of growing pot and 2) overall decrease in productivity and motivation of working citizens.

    lets not kid ourselves, if pot were legalized, we'd get less work done. 1) people would quit dayjobs because they don't need the pot money 2) pot affects motivation.

    If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
    [ Parent ]

    Filtration (none / 0) (#202)
    by phenrich on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:55:52 PM EST

    I should start by saying that I have no personal experience in the matter, but I consider myself fairly educated on all matters drugs.

    On a note completely unrelated to your point, and to the point of the article, I would like to point out that the fact that you don't "filter" it is probably helping you. People who filter pot (with water bongs for example) actually reduce THC content of the smoke without reducing levels of carcinogens. Ultimately, you smoke more for the same buzz, and breathe in more nasty unhealthy chemicals. Proto-oncogenes + filtered pot == quicker death.

    Please, as is the tradition of k5, correct me if I err.


    Paul Henrich
    Owner, WorldHive
    [ Parent ]

    Experience (none / 0) (#259)
    by Politburo on Wed May 14, 2003 at 10:33:46 PM EST

    Based only on experience, I disagree with your statements about filtering. I most definitely achieve better results, but this may also be due to the larger size of a bong vs. other devices...

    [ Parent ]
    You never quit until you die. (1.25 / 4) (#172)
    by yunfat on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:54:25 PM EST

    This whole story is BS, as are all the other stories here about people who quit smoking. You can't actually call yourself a "quitter", it has to be done by someone else... only after you die, and lets say you haven't had a smoke in 35 years, can you truly consider yourself a person who has kicked the habit (no pun intended). If however, after a 35 year hiatus, on your deathbed you decide to have a cigar, you never actually quit smoking at all, you are in fact, still addicted. For this clown to say that he has had a couple of smoke free years and is now a "quitter" is ludicrous and an exercise in vanity.
    -- If you see a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra
    Actually (none / 0) (#184)
    by mcgrew on Tue May 13, 2003 at 06:41:48 PM EST

    I did say, more than once, that if you ever smoke one more cigarette you're hooked again.

    I should have mentioned in the story, I did mention it in a response, that if I ever get stuck in a nursing home I plan to start smoking again. I don't want to get stuck in a nursing home.

    If I won the lottery I could well start smoking again- I wouldn't have to work, and I could afford butts.

    I did say that the reason I quit was so I wouldn't have to put up with the withdrawal in the times I couldn't have a smoke.

    Or didn't you bother reading the article? Just took issue with it on principle?

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    i read it, i just found it vain... (1.00 / 1) (#263)
    by yunfat on Thu May 15, 2003 at 03:03:57 AM EST

    that you would call yourself a quitter, and then mention the fact you would, by your own admission, smoke again (if something happened, i.e. your nursing home example). You haven't quit anything... the article is BS, you are an addict in denial, that was my point.
    -- If you see a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra
    [ Parent ]
    Vain? WTF? (none / 0) (#288)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 08:58:51 PM EST

    Nowhere did I say I stopped being addicted. I said I stopped smoking. I detailed how, didn't preach to anybody.

    So fuck you and the high horse you rode in on.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    you said you "quit" smoking... (1.00 / 1) (#303)
    by yunfat on Sat May 17, 2003 at 06:20:43 PM EST

    See my definition above... you never quit anything, you are an addict in denial, I apologize if I offended you, but, thats just how I see your article. A pathetic attempt to pat yourself on the back for something you haven't even done yet. Again, I beleive, as I am sure many people here beleive that if you quit something, it implies that you never go back. Your article implies that in fact you quit your addiction, for you to differentiate your addiction from the actual act is a circular argument, IMO. Again, I didn't mean to offend, its just that I feel, based upon your responses, that I have hit pretty close to the mark. Thank you for affirming what I had previously percieved.
    -- If you see a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra
    [ Parent ]
    Not offended, annoyed. (none / 0) (#311)
    by mcgrew on Mon May 19, 2003 at 08:47:57 PM EST

    Look, I clearly said that I could NOT ever have another cigarette. How can I possibly be any clearer? Are you stupid or just trolling?

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    I apologize... (none / 0) (#318)
    by yunfat on Fri May 23, 2003 at 03:46:13 AM EST

    I never saw your comment regarding your admission that any kind of smoking would rebrand any altruistic activities (i.e. not smoking) on your part. I am clearly at fault. Please accept my apology. This confession is an honest assesment of your condition, something a highly skeptical person such as myself would regard as overwhelming evidence that in fact you have changed, for the better. I wish you the best of luck, and will regard this as a learning experience of how not to judge a book by its cover.
    -- If you see a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra
    [ Parent ]
    np, no apology needed. [nt] (none / 0) (#324)
    by mcgrew on Fri May 23, 2003 at 07:36:25 PM EST

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    How pedantic can you possibly be? (none / 0) (#197)
    by schwong on Tue May 13, 2003 at 09:09:31 PM EST

    I mean, seriously. When someone says they quit smoking, they mean they've stopped smoking. Of course they're still addicted, that's why so many quitters start smoking again. But they didn't say they quit the addiction, they said they quit smoking -- just as I can say I quit my job at Wal-Mart, and then after I quit, I can go back to work for them.

    Quitting is the action you take to stop smoking. One who quits is called a quitter. Defining the word "quit" so narrowly that it's not useful anymore is just silly. So quit it.

    [ Parent ]

    quit, the definition... (1.00 / 1) (#264)
    by yunfat on Thu May 15, 2003 at 03:12:47 AM EST

    From dictionary.com:

    To cease or discontinue: asked them to quit talking; quit smoking.

    If you cease or discontinue something, how can you start it up again? By definition, you never quit anything. BTW, if I was unclear, I was referring to smoking the addiction (noun), not the physical act (verb).
    -- If you see a fork in the road, take it. -Yogi Berra
    [ Parent ]

    and your point is...? (n/t) (none / 0) (#209)
    by needless on Wed May 14, 2003 at 12:10:13 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    wow... (none / 0) (#301)
    by pfooosk on Fri May 16, 2003 at 11:17:20 PM EST

    That's quite the high chair you're sitting on up there.

    Related to a high authority are you?

    pfooosk, inc.
    [ Parent ]
    Like an addiction. (5.00 / 2) (#174)
    by Ruidh on Tue May 13, 2003 at 04:58:48 PM EST

    I have to say that I agree with the addiction bit. I quit in '86 after about 10 years of smoking and I stayed quit for 7 years. Then I started having one cigarette a month and I was able to keep it there for about a year. Then I'd hsmoke only on Friday when I hung out with guys who smoked. Then I changed jobs and smoked everyday while I hung out with my new friends. Then I was hooked again.

    Now, after 7 years of smoking, I have quit again.
    I had to change a lot of things in my life to quit.

    I decided in advance on a day I would quit and, when I finished my cigarettes, I stopped. Cold turkey. I never liked the patch or nicotine gum and I knew that the nicotine just reinforces all of the other little habits that contribute to the smoking habit.

    It helped that I was just starting a vacation and I tended to smoke mostly at work. I was able to get through the vacation before I had to face my smoking buddies at work. When I did, I told them that I couldn't hang out with them anymore. I had to give up my smoking friends to quit.

    The thing that keeps me going is my new daughter. I never want her to see me smoking or know that I smoke. She gave me the strength to keep it up.
    "Laissez-faire is a French term commonly interpreted by Conservatives to mean 'lazy fairy,' which is the belief that if governments are lazy enough, the Good Fairy will come down from heaven and do all their work for them."

    Children (4.00 / 1) (#255)
    by sgp on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:56:54 PM EST

    The thing that keeps me going is my new daughter. I never want her to see me smoking or know that I smoke. She gave me the strength to keep it up.

    I had always sworn that I'd give up as soon as I had a pregnant girlfriend/wife/whatever.
    I never managed it while my wife was pregnant, and my daughter is now 9 months old. Of course, I never smoke near them - never had - but I still do it.

    I know that I'm killing my daughter's father every time I light up.

    Here in the UK, the brand is minimised to about 1/6th of the packet, and over 1/2 of the packet is a large warning, of the "Smoking Kills" / "Smoking can cause a slow and painful death" / "Smoking causes fatal lung cancer" warnings. I know these things; putting these warnings on is not going to educate me or change my behaviour. It'd be good if they put the national "give-up" phone number on the packets (sorry, don't know the number off the top of my head - it's not on my fag packet!) - that might be something.
    Don't just tell me I'm stupid - I know that already.

    There are 10 types of people in the world:
    Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

    [ Parent ]

    I've smoked before (5.00 / 1) (#176)
    by BankofAmerica ATM on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:06:42 PM EST

    I guess you could say I was addicted, smoking 3 packs a day.  But then I just decided it was stupid and quit just like that.  Sure, I got headaches etc., but they go away after a while if you just remind yourself that cancer is not worth getting over little sticks stuffed with death.  I don't like pills or patches or anything, they're just a waste of money.  Patches contain nicotine, and by using them you actively use nicotine, which is what you're trying to avoid.  Cold turkey can be a pain, but you gotta stick with it.  I notice a lot of people who quit with other methods begin to start again, and keep going through cycles.  I know not everyone is alike, but people seem to forget willpower.  I have an addictive personality myself.
    I'll smoke when I'm dead (5.00 / 3) (#181)
    by fantods on Tue May 13, 2003 at 05:52:36 PM EST

    Everyone has a different story, everyone's story is the same. It's nice to share them, even though they're multitudinous and similar and no one will read this one.

    Just do whatever it takes to quit. It's not worth it. I loved smoking, truly loved it with a passion, and wish I could do it again, but I'm not going to give up my lungs or my life for it.

    Smoking is the most wonderful daily ritual I've ever indulged in. And I'm glad I quit. It was sheer, stupid hell getting over it, and I'm amazed at the dumb things I'm proud of, having gone through it. What a fucking mess! God, aren't we humans idiotic goddamn complex stupid sonsofbitches!

    I figure I'll start again when I'm 90, and don't have a pot to piss in or a brain cell left to share. Just sit there mumbling and smoking, having a great ol' time. 'Cause, well...fuck 'em if they can't take a joke!

    Congrats. But you make me feel weak (5.00 / 2) (#191)
    by fluxrad on Tue May 13, 2003 at 07:31:49 PM EST

    mcgrew, your story is both inspiring and depressing. As soon as I finish this post, I'm going to go outside and have a cigarette.

    The problem is this: I know how to stop smoking. I just really don't want to stop smoking. I know it's the addiction, but I don't think I'm at the point where I accept that it's part of the addiction.

    In spite of all the ways to quit, the family support, the groups of friends, the hardest part is getting yourself to admit that it's time to quit. I just wish someone would write an article on how to do that.

    "It is seldom liberty of any kind that is lost all at once."
    -David Hume
    Me too. (4.00 / 1) (#254)
    by sgp on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:45:24 PM EST

    I'd always sworn that I'd stop as soon as I had a pregnant wife... I got married, she got pregnant, we've now got a beautiful baby daughter, 9 months old, and I keep on saying to her, "Daddy will be back in a few minutes, I'm just going outside to be bad."

    So that's 9 months of pregnancy + 9 months of life = 18 months ago I should have quit... Now, I still smoke, and *choose to take time away from my child to do so* - this is crazy! Nothing beats being with my daughter - but, in the instant, I want a smoke.

    This is a sucker's game.

    OTOH, here in the UK, someone is trying to get a law through of a blanket ban of smoking in any public place (if I understand it right; I've only heard a gist of it). When I went to the pub with a bunch of non-smokers last night, I found it quite objectionable to have to sit by myself in a seperate part of the pub to smoke; if I had to go outside, that would be unacceptable (it was a rainy night). It's one thing to say that I shouldn't smoke, and if I didn't, then I wouldn't get wet, but at the same time, is this any way to treat human beings (or customers, whichever is most important to you)?

    There are 10 types of people in the world:
    Those who understand binary, and those who don't.

    [ Parent ]

    Smoking makes you sick (none / 0) (#287)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:18:56 PM EST

    ...because you have to go out in the cold and rain to do it!

    When I smoked, I'd hear morons complaining about how smokers had higher absenteeism, as the complaining non-smoker hacked and coughed from the flu. If the bastards had to go outside for ten minutes every hour when THEY had the flu they'd stay homne with it too!

    And if they wouldn't come to work with the flu I wouldn't catch it!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Do you have a reason to quit? (none / 0) (#286)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:15:00 PM EST

    If you don't really have a reason, why do it? I had a reason- I hated spending the cash, but more than that I hated freezing in the winter and sweating in the summer. If I was a truck driver pulling in 100k per yr I'd still be smoking.

    I'm not starting back up, tho. It's nice to not HAVE to smoke!

    If you have a reason to quit, well, I'll pull for you.

    That's one thing that makes it so hard- alcohol or crack or heroin will fuck up your life long before you die. Grat motivator!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Easy Way (none / 0) (#296)
    by ocrow on Fri May 16, 2003 at 12:34:01 PM EST

    There's a book called the Easy Way to Stop Smoking by Allen Carr. His observations are in many ways similar to mcgrew's, but he goes into much greater detail about how to actually arrive at a decision to stop. Although I have never smoked I know several people who have successfully stopped using this book. I recommend it heartily. http://www.allencarrseasyway.com/ If you believe that there are no good objective reasons to stop smoking, I submit that your habit is skewing your perspective. If you believe that there are good reasons to stop but that you do not wish to stop anyway, you may find this book helpful.

    [ Parent ]
    ...the reasons to quit... (none / 0) (#300)
    by pfooosk on Fri May 16, 2003 at 11:09:15 PM EST

    That's the trouble you see. The reasons have to be your own, for yourself. No ad, article, doc, or donkey posting comments will convince you to quit. You convince yourself and then reap the rewards.

    The short-term:

    <<not necessarily in this order>>

    -you stink much less
    -you breathe much better
    -your immune system actually starts working, and you get off the myriad of pills you take for colds, allergies and who-knows-what-else...
    -your teeth, (should you have any left) return to off-white instead of that old-corn-yellow
    -you are less tired, (nicotine is a stimulant, but the rest of the shite in that cigarette always had me yawning 10 mins later)
    -you are more motivated to do stuff, (me, I'm on to exercise to burn off that extra energy and control stress)
    -you drink less alcohol, (in my case)
    -you drink less soda and coffee
    -you have a better sex drive
    -you don't have to think about people telling you where you can and cannot smoke... (Though SUV drivers suffer no such restrictions)
    -people who sit in their high chairs stop looking down their nose at you, (particularly in Boston), even though they are bereft of manners and consideration...

    The long-term: (provided you don't expire prematurely)

    -you actually have an extra $2000.00 a year to spend
    -you will look back fondly at the years when you used to smoke and remember how you actually had fun while those others were bitching and moaning...
    -your children: hopefully they won't smoke and hopefully will not suffer the ill effects...

    Too often have I observed the link between parents who smoke during pregnancy, (or before and after) and depressed immune systems in the children. Allergies to this, intolerance to that. To top it off, the kids take up smoking.

    I shouldn't preach, and I hope I haven't. I'm on my third or fourth attempt to quit. although this time I fear it is for good; I've found my reason.

    Oh, and I hope you'll excuse the sarcasm...I'm in a mood...

    pfooosk, inc.
    [ Parent ]
    Yet Another "How I Quit" Post (none / 0) (#196)
    by rho on Tue May 13, 2003 at 08:46:02 PM EST

    I, too, used the patch. mcgrew is absolutely correct, you can't quit on a whim--you need a motivator. Mine was a fiancee that laid down the law: there would be no smoking at *our* house. For other people, it's a sick child, or a medical scare, or something similar.

    The patch helped with the physical cravings a great deal. It also evened out my mood pretty well--I was quite the grump if I forgot my patch in the morning. The next challege is the habit.

    One thing that really helped me was going vegan. Not vegetarian, but hard-core vegan. For one, the effort required to eat well, i.e. not just eating raw carrots and broccoli 3 meals a day, distracts you. I spent my time where I would normally be walking outside for a butt searching the Web for recipes. Another benefit is that you will very likely gain weight when you quit. A vegan diet is slightly more difficult to blow up like a balloon than the normal American diet. About the only fast food you can go for is a plain baked potato and a salad without dressing.

    I also cut the drinking a great deal. For me, after a year of no smoking, I stopped having that feeling that I wanted a smoke. Even while travelling, I no longer long to light up like I used to. I hit the road-trip snacks pretty hard, but I always did that, even when I smoked. Now that my hump is over, I can drink like I used to without troubles. I can go to bars (not that I do, or ever did much), I can be around people who smoke, but I've found that I do tend to hang around with more non-smokers than smokers now.

    Good on ya for accomplishing your goal, mcgrew. It was tough, but you're a better person for it. Oh, and if you still smoke, you're a hard-core moron. Cut that shit out.

    "The thought of two thousand people munching celery at the same time [horrifies] me." --G.B. Shaw

    Tongue in cheek (none / 0) (#237)
    by synaesthesia on Wed May 14, 2003 at 12:45:04 PM EST

    Oh, and if you still smoke, you're a hard-core moron. Cut that shit out.

    One of the advantages of never having become addicted to nicotine, is spending the rest of your life able to have a cigarette if and when you feel like one (although admittedly this can be like dancing with the devil). So perhaps we are less hard-core morons than yourself?

    Sausages or cheese?
    [ Parent ]

    Hogwash! (2.66 / 9) (#210)
    by usmanc on Wed May 14, 2003 at 12:55:58 AM EST

    I must respectfully disagree with the author: there's no scientific evidence that smoking harms one's health OR that this "nicotine" is addictive. Don't let these so-called "experts" tell you otherwise - practice your God-given right to SMOKE!

    - Your Friendly Tobacco Executive

    oh ffs (none / 0) (#222)
    by Goggs on Wed May 14, 2003 at 05:10:44 AM EST

    where in the bible does it say 'thou shalt be free to puff burning chemicals through a filter'?!

    -----== This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    [ Parent ]

    It doesn't have to (5.00 / 1) (#224)
    by enterfornone on Wed May 14, 2003 at 05:51:33 AM EST

    The bible tells you what not to do. Everything not mentioned is open to you.

    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    [ Parent ]
    Yes, but- (none / 0) (#319)
    by Goggs on Fri May 23, 2003 at 08:11:26 AM EST

    I guess I'd agree with that, but in that case, smoking isn't a 'god given right'. eg You 'have the right' to wear what you want, but you don't specifically 'have the right' to wear a polkadot dress with red shoes, a clown hat, green facepaint and black socks. Hate to point out the obvious, but something isn't given if it `aint given.

    -----== This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    [ Parent ]

    Where does it say (none / 0) (#285)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:09:55 PM EST

    "Thou shalt not smoke?"

    I quit, but I'll still stand up for YOUR right to light.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    To those who rated this one... (2.00 / 1) (#236)
    by idiot boy on Wed May 14, 2003 at 11:50:08 AM EST

    The guy is joking. Fairly obviously so. OK so it's not a great joke but definately not worth punishing with a one.

    I've fived it in the spirit of correction of past wrongs...

    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself
    [ Parent ]

    Good writeup; bad advice (4.46 / 15) (#211)
    by anoland on Wed May 14, 2003 at 01:31:20 AM EST

    Please dont cut up the patches. They are specifically designed to deliver the medicine (in this case nicotine) at a specific rate. Between 1 and 1.5 milligrams/hr, depending on the manufacturer. Cutting them up DOES NOT reduce the dosage. In fact it can be detrimental to your health. If you cut up the patch you just destroyed the semi-permable layer that prevents the medicine (also engineered for this purpose) from surging into your blood stream. You just applied 11-15 mg of concentrated nicotine to  your skin. High dosages of nicotine, a vasoconstrictor, can cause serious medical problems. The worst being a stroke.

    more serious medical problems (5.00 / 3) (#212)
    by anoland on Wed May 14, 2003 at 01:44:46 AM EST

    From WebMD.com "Symptoms of a nicotine overdose include nausea; vomiting; watering mouth; diarrhea; abdominal pain; cold sweat; headache; dizziness; disturbed hearing and vision; confusion; weakness; weak, irregular heartbeats; chest pain; seizures; and death."

    Replying to my own post. Bad form, I know. But I didn't think "serious medical problems" stood well enough on its own.

    [ Parent ]

    Been there (5.00 / 1) (#227)
    by Magnetic North on Wed May 14, 2003 at 07:38:48 AM EST

    Nicotine overdose is very nasty and quite easy to acomplish (at least for me). It's far worse than anything I've ever accomplished with alcohol (or other stimulants).

    [ Parent ]
    Sounds like the side effects of Paxil (none / 0) (#281)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 06:28:06 PM EST

    I didn't have any adverse reactions from cutting the patches at all. Now, the patches themselves gave me skin leisions, but it didn't matter if they were whole or not.

    And wow, your first post was on my article! I feel all warm and fuzzy inside!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Smoking has clear benefits for socialism (none / 0) (#215)
    by imrdkl on Wed May 14, 2003 at 02:24:31 AM EST

    Or so says this article from the local paper where I live, yesterday. They emphasize that it's a purely "academic" result, but it's true - smokers in Norway cost the health-care system far less than non-smokers. Seems they die sooner. :-/

    Anyways, thanks for a good, motivational (without being preachy) article.

    so ... is shooting up heroin also good for ... (none / 0) (#266)
    by drgonzo on Thu May 15, 2003 at 03:25:06 AM EST

    ... socialism?

    [ Parent ]
    I don't know (none / 0) (#294)
    by imrdkl on Fri May 16, 2003 at 10:52:25 AM EST

    But most socialist countries in Europe provide a safe, or at least, unchallenged, place for addicts. They don't have to hide, so when they do OD, they're usually found before the asphixiate on their own vomit and die alone.

    [ Parent ]
    slavery would be good to (none / 0) (#309)
    by drgonzo on Sun May 18, 2003 at 05:01:41 PM EST

    i just wanted to say that financial gains are not relevant in contrast to the negative points (i.e. human rights & killing ppl for personal gain [tabaco industrie])

    [ Parent ]
    a different experience (5.00 / 3) (#216)
    by Alt SysRq B on Wed May 14, 2003 at 03:11:50 AM EST

    Well, my addiction was to caffeine, actually to coffee. I have no idea how that compares to cigarettes/tobacco, since i never smoked.
    Anyhow, i used to drink coffee way beyond the point where my hands started to shake, to the point where i actually experienced a dizzyness not unlikely to the one caused by alcohol. Very nasty. :-(
    It was obvious i had to quit, but i had no idea how. In any case, i always suspected the "cold turkey" methods wouldn't work. Now, if those methods don't work in my case (or in the case of people like me), or if it's a more general issue... i have no idea. It probably is something that's true only for my psychological structure.
    So, instead of going "cold turkey", i just started to build up inside the idea that i don't have to drink coffee anymore. Didn't try to throw the coffee can out the window, or anything. When i felt like drinking coffee, i just did, without feeling guilty. I just persisted in pushing my feelings towards detachement from coffee. And i did that stubbornly, yet without using an exagerated effort.
    Simply put, it was an investment in stubbornness, not in effort or strength or intensity of will.
    It worked, albeit slowly - but that was to be expected. In a year, i was already drinking coffee only rarely. After one more year, it became completely neutral to me - i didn't crave for it, i didn't hate it. It was just like that, yet another drink among other.
    Nowadays, some years after that, i drink a decaf every once in a while, probably one per week or so, but that's just because i get bored of other drinks. But the feeling that the caffeine gives to me actually became somewhat disturbing. I learned to appreciate the value and the strength of a clear mind.

    Hope that helps.

    shrug (3.40 / 5) (#219)
    by tokage on Wed May 14, 2003 at 04:31:35 AM EST

    I like to smoke. I am currently not smoking. I seem to go through periods of 3 months to a few years of not smoking, from a pack+ of marb reds a day(all I've ever smoked). Quitting for that long really doesn't bother me at all. Sometimes I just don't want to smoke anymore, so I stop, it's really not that hard for me. I do miss it sometimes, mostly when drinking. Not enough to make me start up when I don't want to though. The cost gets a bit much, and smoking kinda makes you feel bad physically.

    I never could stand people who smoke in front of kids. I really tried to limit how much I smoked in public places, no matter if they allowed it or not. 95% of the time I wouldn't smoke in resturants that allow it. I never smoked in enclosed areas around non-smokers either, even if they said they didn't mind. Going outside for a cig and getting away from everyone is really part of the appeal for me..

    I do agree about the cold turkey bit though. The stupid "power to quit" patch commercials are ridiculous. I don't have a lot of respect for the people who whine and moan when they try to quit; either do it, or don't. It's just a matter of willpower.. maybe I'm just lucky in that department or something though.

    The anti-smoking fad really irritates me too for some reason. The Truth commercials need to die. People get caught up in popular "healthy" fads the same way they get caught up in fashion fads. Guess I'm just an irritable bastard :)

    I always play / Russian roulette in my head / It's 17 black, or 29 red

    The 'truth' commercials (none / 0) (#221)
    by Goggs on Wed May 14, 2003 at 05:06:02 AM EST

    I think the purpose of these commercials is to stop people from thinking of taking up smoking. Every smoker I know ignores or dismisses them, so they're not much use. IMHO, the 'f*k this lets go for a smoko' frame of mind is as strong as ever. It seems people do it just for a sort of sense of belonging. It could have something to do with breathing slowly, too. I couldn't care less, but I'd prefer smokers moved to the bottom of the list when it comes to throat and lung cancer operations...

    -----== This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    [ Parent ]

    your argument (none / 0) (#270)
    by Ashran on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:51:11 AM EST

    > I couldn't care less, but I'd prefer smokers moved to the bottom of the list when it comes to throat and lung cancer operations... I'd prefer car drivers moved ti the bottom of the list when it comes to emergency surgeries

    [ Parent ]
    missing the point (none / 0) (#272)
    by saitoh on Thu May 15, 2003 at 12:25:44 PM EST

    smoking cigarettes serves absolutely NO valuable purpose, so that comparison is pointless if you wanted to perhaps say "drunk drivers should be moved to the bottom", that would make sense.

    [ Parent ]
    how about... (none / 0) (#307)
    by deano871 on Sun May 18, 2003 at 07:13:02 AM EST

    How about: "people who eat too much fat should be moved to the bottom of the heart surgery queue"?

    [ Parent ]
    Re: how about... (none / 0) (#320)
    by Goggs on Fri May 23, 2003 at 08:17:11 AM EST

    Yes, overweight people are looked down upon when it comes to health problems caused by their 'condition'.
    When you get a car, you know you could be in an accident, but try very hard not to. When you go skydiving, you know you there could be a problem with your parachute which kills you. When you light up a cigarette, don't damn well tell me you weren't warned about the major implications on your health...

    -----== This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
    [ Parent ]

    Forgot my sodding patch.... (4.50 / 2) (#223)
    by idiot boy on Wed May 14, 2003 at 05:18:45 AM EST

    Forgot to put it on this morning. You reminded me, thanks.

    Spot on throughout the article. I've quit 4 times over 14 years. 6Mo, 18Mo, 6Mo, 6Mo. I'm 4 days into quit number five but this time things are a little different.

    Had my first ever high blood pressure reading last week. Always been perfect up to now but it would appear to finally be getting to me. Nothing like a wake up call I suppose.

    Still, managed to plan it a few days in advance, a big blow out back in my home town at the weekend (took me back....) and then quitsville.

    Oh yeah. Just one ciggie, it's all it takes. Every single time, one cig and I was back on. That 18Mo stint was particularly annoying.

    Now... Where's that patch?

    Science is a way of trying not to fool yourself

    Nicotine is a great drug (3.50 / 2) (#225)
    by SimonTzu on Wed May 14, 2003 at 06:11:30 AM EST

    It is mostly the means by which we generally ingest it (by inhaling lots of carcinogenic smoke) that make it dangerous.

    Once nicotine enters the brain, it starts to mimic the brain's most powerful chemical messengers. The result is a temporary improvement in brain chemistry that is experienced as enhanced pleasure, decreased anxiety, and a state of alert relaxation.

    Nicotine helps one cope with an over-stimulating environment, gives positive pleasure, helps one relax, reduces feelings of distress, helplessness, and loneliness, and also keeps weight down.  Nicotine can even provide a burst of energy when feeling tired, and improves concentration.

    Studies have sow huge potential for nicotine in Alzheimers:

    In Sweden people use moist snuff which is kind of like tobacco in a bag which you tuck into your mouth.  It is now more popular than cigarettes. The negative side-effects of snuff appear to be minor: (http://www.sos.se/sos/publ/refereng/9700-74e.htm)

    Unfortunatlety moist snuff is largley illegal outside of Sweden.  Most other non cigarette sources of nicotine which could gain widespread acceptance are either illegal or very expensive.  This is usually attributed to the "Dangers of nicotine addiction".  

    Why have we let the idiots in be in charge?
    Simon Tzu

    Agree about snus (5.00 / 1) (#226)
    by Magnetic North on Wed May 14, 2003 at 07:33:53 AM EST

    When a friend of mine tried to stop smoking, a couple of years ago (he didn't make it, btw.), he started using moist snuff (or snus, as it's really called) and convinced me to try it too.

    I have been doing it ever since, and I've got to say, it's great. Perfect for evening relaxation, or for an after dinner fix. You will get the nicotine "high" and the good tobacco taste.

    There are some drawbacks though. You get very yellow teeth, quite noticably so. Your gums and the insides of your lips (this is where you put it) will eventually crumble if you don't change between left/right/up/down in the mouth, once in a while. It looks very unattractive to the opposite sex (a big fat lump under your lip), and women who use it, well.. what can I say? Also, there's the claims about cancer in the mouth, that pop up from time to time. Granted, Swedish researchers also debunk these claims from time to time, but I wonder how biased they are.

    In the country where I live, there was recently a poll on the usage of moist snuff. One of the main findings was that in the last ten years, the predominant users have shifted from manual labourers to academics, which is quite surprising.

    If you ever try snus, here's a nice tip; open a box of pouched snus (it comes prepacakged in a teabag pouch, contrary to the loose snus) and pour in a small amount of apple juice. Put it in the fridge and give it time to soak in. Enjoy. The mixture of tobacco and apple flavour is excellent.

    According to the Gothiatek website, you can also get pouched snus in the US, sold as "tobacco packets".

    To get back on topic, I must admit that I have thought of quitting, but haven't quite gotten around to it yet.

    [ Parent ]
    bullshit ... (1.00 / 2) (#265)
    by drgonzo on Thu May 15, 2003 at 03:20:53 AM EST

    so ... is it save to eat it? would you like to inject it? and the part with 'improved brain chemestry': the same can be argued for E or opiates or whatever ... just realice that you are no more than your locol heroin addicts

    [ Parent ]
    Sure (none / 0) (#267)
    by SimonTzu on Thu May 15, 2003 at 04:44:29 AM EST

    Well I do use opiates and MDMA - responsibly.  Its like driving a car or scuba diving, a dangerous activity that you undertake with awareness and allowances for the risks.  Its called being an adult.

    Were nicotine chewing gum the same price as normal chewing gum I would buy and use it when warranted.  
    Simon Tzu
    [ Parent ]

    no, you missed my point (none / 0) (#308)
    by drgonzo on Sun May 18, 2003 at 04:55:17 PM EST

    i take drugs too
    (and have experience(s) with all of them)

    it's one thing to do E at a party but another to consume a substance because of addiction (especially if it is only to counter the effects of withdrawl ...)

    so long

    [ Parent ]

    Smoking is good (2.09 / 11) (#229)
    by enterfornone on Wed May 14, 2003 at 07:50:02 AM EST

    After dealing with hundreds of lusers on the phone all day, there is nothing more relaxing than heading outside and having a few smokes. Sure it's going to kill you, but I don't see non-smokers becoming immortal either.

    efn 26/m/syd
    Will sponsor new accounts for porn.
    sucking the little white corporate penis (1.15 / 19) (#238)
    by peckerhead on Wed May 14, 2003 at 12:57:29 PM EST

    smokers are zeroes.  no matter how addictive, you've gotta be a total loser to smoke.  you're all worthless whores.  give rj another corporate blowjob.

    no will, no reason, no thought ... just desire.

    not just for cigarettes... (none / 0) (#242)
    by mocktor on Wed May 14, 2003 at 06:20:08 PM EST

    Good advice, and similar is true for rather more addictive substances.

    What most societies don't like to admit is that addictions start for a reason - often because the substance is rewarding and it goes on giving until its too late for the user to stop easily.

    From personal experience i'd say its hard to beat any addiction until you've understood why you're addicted, emotionally far more than physically.

    actually (none / 0) (#250)
    by LilDebbie on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:02:22 PM EST

    nicotine is the most physically addicting chemical known to man, so there are no "rather more addictive substances." the reason people think heroin and crack and all that is more addictive is because both drugs are much more debilitating the nicotine, but nicotine is still more addictive.

    My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
    - hugin -

    [ Parent ]
    Stop sucking (1.00 / 3) (#243)
    by Lode Runner on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:03:32 PM EST

    That's how to quit smoking and improve yourself.

    Stop sucking (none / 0) (#284)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:03:56 PM EST

    uh, if I do that I won't get air into my lungs and I'll die!

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    You're an aspiration to us all. [nt] (none / 0) (#293)
    by Lode Runner on Fri May 16, 2003 at 03:03:09 AM EST

    [ Parent ]
    This article made us light a cigarette. (nt) (1.66 / 3) (#248)
    by The Terrorists on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:52:00 PM EST

    Watch your mouth, pigfucker. -- Rusty Foster

    Oops, sorry! [nt] (none / 0) (#299)
    by mcgrew on Fri May 16, 2003 at 06:48:26 PM EST

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    the secret of giving up (none / 0) (#249)
    by chu on Wed May 14, 2003 at 08:55:16 PM EST

    is knowing that it's not as hard to kick as people say. The idea that it's such a big deal to give up fags creates a high additional psychological hurdle - I've even read people saying that nicotine is more addictive than heroin!

    nicotine IS more addictive than heroin (none / 0) (#252)
    by yammering communist on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:14:33 PM EST

    my thoughts about the addictive nature of tobacco fumes have already occured to others:


    but yeah, excellent article


    I fear nothing. I believe nothing. I am free.

    --Nikos Kazantzakis, epitaph.

    [ Parent ]
    No, that's an urban myth (5.00 / 2) (#257)
    by Big Sexxy Joe on Wed May 14, 2003 at 10:19:07 PM EST

    The article you linked to shows people who try nicotine are more likely to get addicted than people who try heroin. This doesn't mean it's more addictive. This is a correlation not a causal relationship. If I were to guess, I would say people avoid repeat heroin for fear of addiction. It destroys your life far more than nicotine.

    It certainly easier to quit nicotine than heroin. Also, people quit smoking out of an abstract fear of illness in old age. People quit heroin because their lives are falling apart.

    I'm like Jesus, only better.
    Democracy Now! - your daily, uncensored, corporate-free grassroots news hour
    [ Parent ]

    I have a diferent opinion (5.00 / 1) (#278)
    by C0vardeAn0nim0 on Thu May 15, 2003 at 04:02:28 PM EST

    let's check some facts:

    - heroin is illegal, nicotine is not (yet);
    - heroin is dificult and dangerous to find, nicotine is as easy as buying a pack;
    - heroin is more expensive than nicotine;
    - adverse efects of heroin are felt in a few months, adverse efects of nicotine takes years to show;
    - quiting heroine cold turkey is painfull and can even kill you, quiting smoke cold turkey will make you anxious and you can gain a few killograms;


    there's more people adicted to nicotine because it's legal to do so, is easier, cheaper and take decades to kill. but in terms of adictive power, it take half a dozen shots of heroin to cause adiction, the adiction shows in the form of several simptoms felt after a few hours without taking any, and these simptoms are way worse than the ones caused by absence of nicotine. so forget the bullshit about nicotine being more adictive than heroin. this is mith created by anti-smoke groups as a scare tactic.

    I quited smoke twice already. the first time i went cold turkey and returned after 8 months. why ? bacause i tought "what the heck. I'm young. I have time to quit later and I need a stress relief NOW."

    I'm currently 9 months away from smoke, but I quited slowly. after a bad flu, which left my lungs in bad shape, I decided I didn't want to spend the rest of my life coughing, so i reduced the smoke intake to half a pack a day, then to 4 (1 in the morning, i after lunch, 1 after leaving the office, one before bed) and then i quited. it took a month and worked.

    this week was the first time in 6 months that I felt the urge to smoke again (personal problems). I resisted, but if I didn't it'd be as easy as stoping in a gas station to buy a pack without thinking twice. now to get some heroin, ok cocaine since heroin is hard to find in brasil, I'd have to find a dealer, what takes time. time enough to think twice or more, and give up.

    [ Parent ]

    A little English help (none / 0) (#326)
    by RadiantMatrix on Sat May 24, 2003 at 06:37:29 PM EST

    It's obvious that English isn't your native language. Here are a few pointers regarding your post that might help you as you continue to learn.
    • "there's" is short for "there is", and should only be used when speaking of one thing. For example, there's only one brain in my head. When speaking about many things, use "there are", which doesn't have a commonly-used contraction.
    • "quitting smoke" is invalid syntax. I smoke works, however, one should quit smoking.
    • the past tense for "quit" is "quit", not "quitted". For example, I quit smoking a few months ago.
    Spellcheck will help the last one, but the others can be difficult to adjust to if English isn't native to you. However, I must say that you do very well -- some friends of mine in Germany write English so poorly that I've asked them to mail in German, since I get better results from Babelfish then from their English! :)

    As an aside, I'm really not being picky or sarcastic, just trying to be helpful.

    I don't like spam - Parent ]

    When I was in Thailand in the Air Force (none / 0) (#283)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 07:00:43 PM EST

    A lot of the black guys I knew smoked heroin (mostly the 1st term white guys smoked pot, 1st term black guys smoked heroin, lifers drank like fishes)

    Some of them really surprised me. One guy, middle class type, five striper, I drove him to the plane to go home (I drove the flightline there), as he's getting out of the truck he tosses me his vial of heroin. "Here, I won't need this any more."

    The heroin was nearly 100% pure, and was to American junkie killer (1-2%) like crack is to cocaine. That vial, ten bucks worth, would have gone for thousands in New York.

    They would shake half the tobacco out of a Kool cigarette, tear the filter in half and stick it back in (the smoke would go around the filter) and pass it around like a joint. Called it a "rail".

    Most of the black 1st termers and a lot of the black lifers smoked heroin. I never met a heroin addicted GI in the states. They'd do as the one guy did, toss it away and go home.

    But that telltale square in their shirt pocket stayed. So I'm inclined to believe that cigarettes ARE more addictive than heroin.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    they are two completely different things (none / 0) (#297)
    by chu on Fri May 16, 2003 at 01:21:46 PM EST

    I think to compare tobacco and heroin addiction generally is facile as they serve completely different needs. But if cigarettes were outlawed and cost the same as heroin, it's safe to say that very few would sell themselves for a packet of smokes. Cigarette smoking is not a lifestyle despite the best efforts of Philip Morris. I don't know if anyone has done a study but I have no doubt that you would find a higher percentage of smokers successfully quitting than heroin takers.

    A few years back, I had a lot of friends who became addicted to heroin, all young people, most of them are now dead. A few managed to kick their habits but when they saw their old friends again, they heard something along the lines of, 'You gave up? That's great!... but you do know it's not possible to give this stuff up permanently'. Of course, none of them stayed clean for long after they heard this information.

    [ Parent ]

    there's only one response. (5.00 / 1) (#251)
    by burntfriedman on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:07:18 PM EST

    "I quit smoking everytime I extinguish my lit cigarette."

    Hmm... (2.50 / 2) (#253)
    by valar on Wed May 14, 2003 at 09:21:04 PM EST

    I guess I just don't have an addictive personality. Or maybe I just don't ever get addicted.

    how about this (5.00 / 1) (#256)
    by relief on Wed May 14, 2003 at 10:04:46 PM EST

    in par with my previous post about how cigarette addiction doesn't seem to affect some people much, try this, this is what i do. may not work for anyone other than me.

    stop thinking about how you want to quit smoking. don't bring up the concept of cigarette or smoke, except when you smoke. don't feel guilty that you smoke, or pressured to quit. stop reading and writing these articles about quitting.

    instead, spend that time 1) doing something mundane yet fun that doesn't require nicotine (musical instrument practice for instance) 2) learn how to enjoy withdrawal, see if you can fight it, or try to understand why its happening but don't associate it with quitting.

    smoke when you feel like it, but before you strike down your thumb on that lighter, double check whether you really want it. it's important not to feel pressured. if you can put the cigarette back in the pack, walk on and forget about it. don't reward yourself.

    and notice any changes in your lungs and body.

    hopefully that fun activity you do will replace your smoking habit. with a little luck you might even associate nicotine withdrawal with improvement in your activity.

    If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.

    fighting helped me... (none / 0) (#312)
    by pi on Tue May 20, 2003 at 10:36:10 AM EST

    learn how to enjoy withdrawal, see if you can fight it, or try to understand why its happening but don't associate it with quitting.
    I've quit cold turkey in 1998 after 4 pack-a-day years. The above suggestion was far-and-away the most helpful strategy in helping me quit. Whenever the urge for a butt set in, I would just get *really* pissed off that I was so pathetically beholden to somebody's product. It became enjoyable to fight the urge, particularly since I did not give into it.

    [ Parent ]
    The last legal form of suicide (none / 0) (#261)
    by Smokin Juan on Thu May 15, 2003 at 12:05:34 AM EST

    That's right folks. It tastes like shit, smells even worse and all the spout-off about any "calming" effect smacks if convoloution. Anything that we think we might be gaining from smoking is really just filtered and twisted perspective of our subconciousness trying to do ourselves in permanately. Live in America? No, our subconciousness realizes that we live in a re-hashed version of nazi-germany and what kind of dick wart wants that. Live in Yugoslavia? Iran? Russia? Your subconciousness is telling you that there is no hope, because you could live in a nice cozy place like America but look at what kind of fucking asshole you'd be then.

    I don't claim to be an expert on suicide, but my guess would be that every sort of flim-flam government has a law disallowing it. Look at Kevorkian... Illegal. Slit your wrist? Better not get caught. Smoke a cigarette? Ahh, now someone's makin' some cash! Now we've got legions of docile cigarette rollin' cogs who can be called up on active duty if ever some installed dictator is accused of having WMD. Now, we've got progress. Now we've got shorter life-spans AND a bunch of scape-goats for rising health insurance premiums. Well, that's what the man tells us anyway. I always figure that that "smoker" check-box on the insurace application was saving a few pennies for the non-smokers amongst we capitalists.

    Face it, we're killing ourselves and we know it. It's the only legal and therefore respectable way to do it, so I guess at least we're saving face. It wasn't always this way. It used to be that people did it because... Well why in the fuck would anyone pay $150 for Nike shoes? But now we know. Now they tell you right there on the pack, "This shit will kill you and if not you then your baby or maybe someone elses baby."
    "Well, fuck the babies," you say, "this is the only respectable exit their givin' me."
    So as you drive to work the next day with three squares left in the pack you think, "better not get left without." And there you are at that convenient counter saying, "... and a pack of Pall Mall Lights."

    After all, who'd want to live in a society that only offers one route to suicide?

    Uhh, anybody got a light?

    Slow suicide (none / 0) (#269)
    by monkeymind on Thu May 15, 2003 at 05:18:04 AM EST

    The problem as I see it. Even though every westerner who has started smoking in the last 30 odd years knows the risks on an intellectual level, they really don't believe it will happen to them.

    I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
    [ Parent ]

    I disagree (none / 0) (#282)
    by mcgrew on Thu May 15, 2003 at 06:40:36 PM EST

    It's more like, "you gotta die from something". Better to die than want a smoke. Glad I don't have to feel that any more.

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    A couple of points. (1.00 / 1) (#289)
    by bakuretsu on Thu May 15, 2003 at 08:59:44 PM EST

    First of all, suicide isn't actually illegal. It might be illegal on paper, but if you're dead they can't put you on trial. ATTEMPTED suicide is illegal. So do it right, kids!

    Also, I think suicide would be legal if anyone stood to benefit financially from it. I mean, apart from insurance. If suicide were a valid ENTERPRISE, then I think things would be different.

    Smoking cigarettes is a pretty unreliable way to kill yourself, too. One guy dies at 45 from lung cancer, and my grandmother is 82 and happily smoking four packs a day and drinking like a fish. Going strong! If you're going to kill yourself, use a gun or something, have some dignity.

    As for social acceptability, I thought my generation was going to see the decline of smoking, but no, my 19-year-old sister just started. Great, maybe in ten years when she notices that she hasn't kept any of those promises to herself to "quit next summer" she'll realize what a fucking idiot she was to start in the first place...

    Don't plead ignorance with me, even if you grew up in a smoking household, SOMEONE told you how bad it was for you. But when it's wrong, it's so much more satisfying! What an ironic culture.

    I'm glad I never started, and I never will. I live in Connecticut and we're just on the cusp of passing legislation banning cigarettes in all public restaurants in the state. It's already going into effect. I laugh in the faces of those friends of mine chained to their addictions, forced to go out in the weather to get that fix. Serves them right for being idiots.

    -- Airborne
        aka Bakuretsu
        The Bailiwick -- DESIGNHUB 2004
    [ Parent ]

    That makes me angry (none / 0) (#306)
    by deano871 on Sun May 18, 2003 at 06:59:37 AM EST

    Please don't laugh at your smoking friends. You should be glad you never started; congratulations, really. But that means you have no idea what your friends are going through. If you continue to laugh at them, they might not be your friends for much longer. I've never plead ignorance. I remember when my Dad bought back a carton of duty-free smokes from overseas, I wrote "These cigs are a no-no" all over every pack. Two years later I was smoking a pack a day. I knew the health risks when I started. But I never intended to get addicted. I wanted to "learn how to smoke" so I could relate to a girl, but nothing happened there, and I ended up addicted to the f*n things. I was 16. I was stupid. I'm now 31. It's damn hard to quit when you've been doing it for 15 years. And it's a lot harder than giving up, for example, chewing gum or your fingernails. And banning smoking in restaurants, pubs, etc can actually make people smoke more. If you can spy out the other smokers, you form a little club where you slip outside and talk gossip over a smoke. Then you go inside and within a couple of minutes someone else will come up and say "how about a smoke?"....

    [ Parent ]
    alternative legal methods that are slow (none / 0) (#292)
    by juln on Fri May 16, 2003 at 02:55:04 AM EST

    How about obesity? It's known to lead to heart attacks and more similarly to cigarette smoking, it seems to me. Alcohol? Even more obvious as a legal toxin. Obsessive consumption of diet pills can fit in there too, as most are stimulants that are dangerous to your heart in the same way as cocaine or amphetamines. Mixing together ammonia and chlorine while cleaning your sink? Well, I guess its like some other laws: to prosecute they'd have to prove you acting willfully to die by your own hand and not out of ignorance or a accident. Theres even more round about methods. How about becoming a prominent politician with the sole aim of being assassinated? Or intentionally getting too involved with with the girlfriends of large angry men?

    [ Parent ]
    Do Smoking Bans Help? (5.00 / 1) (#262)
    by weave on Thu May 15, 2003 at 01:33:00 AM EST

    Please ignore the over-debated argument of whether a smoking ban is right or not, I'm just curious, for those trying to quit, does a locale that has a smoking ban help things? Like, if you go to a bar and no one is allowed to smoke, wouldn't that remove yet one more situation that might trigger the craving to start up again?

    yes and no... (none / 0) (#268)
    by monkeymind on Thu May 15, 2003 at 05:13:23 AM EST

    Yes, it can help when you are first starting to quit but until you can be in a bar/party/whatever surrounded by other people smoking and not think about it, you are kidding yourself about really giving up.

    I believe in Karma. That means I can do bad things to people and assume the deserve it.
    [ Parent ]

    Re: Do Smoking Bans Help? (none / 0) (#276)
    by ravnx on Thu May 15, 2003 at 02:56:13 PM EST

    Recently on a vacation to Boulder, Co. my girlfriend and I experienced city-wide smoking bans, we (without realising it) went from one pack a day each to roughly 5 cigarettes each a day. So I think yes smoking bans definately help reduce smoking.

    [ Parent ]
    Sort of had the opposite effect on me. (none / 0) (#295)
    by porkchop_d_clown on Fri May 16, 2003 at 11:02:52 AM EST

    By making it so I could only smoke in my truck, smoking bans helped create the situation where I want to smoke whenever I sit down in my truck....

    Fishing for Men, Trolling for Newbies, what's the difference?

    [ Parent ]
    Quitting Caffeine... (none / 0) (#271)
    by pgrb on Thu May 15, 2003 at 11:09:12 AM EST

    I liked the story on quitting smoking.  I also like the comments that different folks find different methods work (or don't work).

    I've never smoked cigarettes, and at worst smoked a cigar a week for a period of about 6 weeks. I got *really* fed up of waking with a mouth that tasted **awful**.

    Caffeine was different.  My primary ingestion method was coffee, but tea and chocolate helped.  I loathe Coca-Cola, Mountain Dew, Pepsi and other carbonated water/sweetened/caffienated drinks.

    Plain black coffee.  Mmmmm.

    I was drinking so much, my hands shook, and my stomach was just plain painful - so I stopped.  I was giving it up for Lent (not that I'm especially religious) - and it was interesting to see if I could do it.  I ran through the gamut of herbal teas, some of which smelled wonderful, and all of which tasted like lukewarm water - which is not my favorite drink - except for peppermint. Decaffeinated tea and coffee just taste *dreadful*. Since then (about 3 years ago), I've drunk two cups of tea because I wanted to, and a couple because I was given them in social situations where it was easier just to drink them rather than make a fuss - but none else.

    I still like coffee.  My partner drinks the stuff daily - decent filter coffee that smells very nice in the morning - but  I  just  don't  drink  it any  more.  It's possible I'll start again when I feel like it, but I'm happier racking up a longer and longer tea and coffee free period.

    I'm not caffeine free.  About once every 6 weeks or so, I *have* to eat some plain chocolate.  Lindt 70% Cocoa, Green & Black Organic 70%, or Bendick's Bittermints Couverture Chocolate (95% cocoa) - but that's it.

    However, my drug of choice appears to have become menthol (the key chemical in peppermint as far as I can see).  Drinking about 6 mugs a day of this at present.  I can't find any literature on the possible health effects of that.

    Right now, I'm off alcohol for medical reasons (it doesn't play well in my liver with a long term anti-fungal I'm taking), so the no-smoking, no caffeine and no alcohol qualifies me for membership of some religious sects.

    Being alcohol free is irritating - but I know I'll be going back to that - there's no way I'd take the pledge.  Sitting out the duration of the medication isn't a problem though.

    I couldn't give up chocolate either.  I don't need much of it (as I said - about once every 6 weeks) - but if I don't get it, I *really* crave it.  Tried to give it up for Lent once - no dice.

    For me, giving up is about setting a challenge - can I not have a coffee for a day? A couple of days? A whole week? Two weeks? A month? Oh look - three months have gone by.  I don't neeeeed a coffee - but I *could* have one whenever I want, but lets see how long I can go.  It's been more than 3 years now.

    What I do know is that if I start drinking coffee again, I'll soon be back to overdose levels - so I just don't.

    Hope the rambling was helpful to someone...

    Wake up, man, caffeine is _not_ addictive, (none / 0) (#313)
    by VasyaPoup on Wed May 21, 2003 at 08:07:55 AM EST

    neither is menthol or chocolate.

    You are imagining things.

    Or, maybe, you're much more sensitive to your whims than any average person. ;)

    I had been drinking a lot of very strong tea, for weeks and monthts, and then had not any caffeine contained stuff, again, for weeks and months, and
    I felt no, absolutely no need or urge or anything like that.

    Yes, I know, there are clinical cases of
    addiction, like people consuming an equivalent
    of hundreds grams of dry black tea every day but
    that's quite extreme cases.

    When _I_ had an overdosage of caffeine, and I did
    many times, it was sufficiently bad so, in most
    cases I can't look at tea or coffee for at least
    a week or so. This tells for itself.

    Don't even try to compare one of the most
    addictive drug, nicotine, to caffeine! :)

    [ Parent ]

    Caffeine is addictive (none / 0) (#325)
    by RadiantMatrix on Sat May 24, 2003 at 06:04:55 PM EST

    Actually, caffeine is addictive in both the chemical-dependency and psychological-dependency flavors:

    Most regular caffeine consumers will have withdrawal symptoms (headache, lethargy, hypersomnia, muscle tension) for a time after going "cold turkey" off of caffeine. Fortunately, caffeine is processed quickly (IIRC 48hrs) and therefore quitting isn't difficult.

    Also, caffeine is both a neural stimulant (makes you more "awake") and a pleasure trigger (makes you happier). Those effects are prime triggers for psychological addiction.

    However, now that I've made those points, let me add, "so what?". Caffeine does not generally build a significant tolerance, so caffeine overdoses are rarely a side effect of addiction. Also caffeine is readily available in many forms, and isn't likely to spawn criminal trafficking rings. The withdrawal effects aren't crippling, you can "ramp down" (unlike other drugs), and the "high" doesn't reduce your capacity to function. As for the psychological addiction, *any* activity can be addictive in that manner.

    So. Caffeine may be addictive, but it isn't a big deal.

    I don't like spam - Parent ]

    =sigh= those chemicals, you can never be sure :) (none / 0) (#335)
    by VasyaPoup on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:45:19 PM EST

    > So. Caffeine may be addictive, but it isn't a
    > big deal.

    We are arguing over terms then.

    Because the author of the main article definitely
    had a problem. For him a nicotine addiction was
    really a big deal.

    "Chemical dependency" are nice looking words, but
    try to look at it from the practical side: will
    the regular intakes of caffeine _below_ the
    significant disturbing side effects (overdosage)
    form the stable dependency? My answer, from my
    own humble experience is no. Neither will any
    casual drinker of cola develop any dependency.

    It's a nice thing to imagine that half a population are addicts, but that's fantasy. An urban legend, like shrinken testicles from drinking Mountain Dew :))

    BTW, is the salt (NaCl) addictive? Many people
    say it is...

    [ Parent ]

    Everyone is an addict... (none / 0) (#336)
    by RadiantMatrix on Tue May 27, 2003 at 12:39:34 AM EST

    It's a nice thing to imagine that half a population are addicts, but that's fantasy.
    Actually, human processes depend on addiction -- hunger is a withdrawal symptom for a calorie/protein addiction.

    The problem is that our culture puts such emphasis on words like "addiction", "addict", "dependency", etc. As a result, anytime someone is classed an "addict" we conjure up images of someone so hopelessly addicted to a substance that their lives are destroyed. Fortunately, addiction isn't a big deal in most cases. I have many addictions (both chemical and psychological) -- caffeine, sugar, programming, video games, jelly beans (don't laugh).

    However, just because someone is addicted to something doesn't mean the addiction is a problem. My addictions, for instance, aren't so severe that they interfere with more important matters (like job, family, etc.). Also, addictions like the ones I mention are relatively easy to break -- it just takes a bit of focus and patience.

    So, as I said above, caffeine may in fact be addictive -- but unless your particular psychological makeup makes that a problem, so what?

    I don't like spam - Parent ]

    huh, terms again... (none / 0) (#338)
    by VasyaPoup on Wed May 28, 2003 at 07:34:04 AM EST

    > Actually, human processes depend on addiction --
    > hunger is a withdrawal symptom for a
    > calorie/protein addiction.

    Mistake. Hunger is hardwired. Newborn babies have
    hunger. Cannot be a withdrawal symptom then.

    > So, as I said above, caffeine may in fact be
    > addictive -- but unless your particular
    > psychological makeup makes that a problem, so
    > what?

    "May"? Just "may"? I see a little inconsistency
    with previous claims (or definitions?) that nearly
    everything in the world is addictive :))

    I'm not an english native speaker, so my position
    when arguing over word meanings is somewhat
    weak,:) but what I was trying to say was that
    people having no real problems often imagine those
    just to make life less boring.

    You've seen the comment of the other guy who said
    his teacher said that caffeine addiction is almost
    as bad as nicotine's. Putting aside all this
    linguistic babble who can raise a hand and say
    -- Yes I was struggling with my caffiene addiction
    for 5 years, had a courses, paid for them... was
    treated in a mental hospital may be...and finally

    I know, all kinds of people read kuro5hin, but is
    there anyone here as crazy as that?? ;))

    I support legalizing drugs, however we still have
    to solve a problem which substances could be given
    to kids and which mustn't.

    And this problem have very little to do with the
    problem you have fighting community into properly
    using some terms, such as "addiction" ;))

    [ Parent ]

    Terms once more... (none / 0) (#339)
    by RadiantMatrix on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:54:55 AM EST

    Hunger is hardwired. Newborn babies have hunger. Cannot be a withdrawal symptom then.
    Yes, newborns have hunger. But you're implying that they had no calorie intake before they were born, which is simply untrue. From embryo to just before birth, the human unborn are "fed" calories and nutrients via connection to the mother. The calorie/nutrient addiction is formed *very* early.

    But, as I'm pointing out -- this is a good thing.

    "May"? Just "may"? I see a little inconsistency with previous claims (or definitions?) that nearly everything in the world is addictive :))
    No contradiction. "May" doesn't always mean what you think it does. For instance, you could say in a criminal trial "this man threatened to kill her!" A valid response could be "well, that may be, but it doesn't mean he's guilty."

    That exchange would be taken as acknowledgement that the threat occured, but that it is beside the point. In the same form, "caffeine may be addictive, but so what?" means 'yes, caffeine is addicive. However, that is beside the point as it doesn't matter.'

    You mention English isn't your native language, so I can understand the confusion. Trust me, it only gets worse. :P

    As for your other comments, I agree completely: caffeine may be addictive, but there are levels of addiction. To suggest that caffeine is so addictive that it can be compared with nicotine or heroin is ridiculous.

    As for legalization of drugs: what you're talking about is regulation, which is one of the reasons I support legalization. If most drugs were legal, then we could establish standard dosages, rules for making them as safe as possible (i.e. purity laws), and ages at which consumption is legal. Obviously, you don't want some 13-year-old snorting coke...

    My point about the word "addict" is that it carries so many connotations that are unfortunate. We make drugs illegal based on "well, they're very addictive." That term "addictive" is so associated with destroyed lives and crime that the public is more than happy to have things outlawed on that criterion alone. My point is simple: "addictive" isn't neccessarily evil -- in other words, we shouldn't outlaw something based solely on whether or not it can form addiction.

    I don't like spam - Parent ]

    Wake up (none / 0) (#328)
    by jhaddon on Sat May 24, 2003 at 10:53:50 PM EST

    caffeine is addictive dude. Have you not heard of cafeine headaches. My teacher told me the only thing that even compares to quitting smoking, was quitting caffeine. Personally, I still do both, so i dont know, but I do know that caffeine is addicting. I also know, that until you've experienced something, theres -no- way you have any right to make a comment on it. So please, just dont. (sorry for any spelling mistakes, Im sick and on my way to bed)
    Joseph D. Haddon jhaddon@jmtechsupport.com
    [ Parent ]
    not addictive :) (none / 0) (#334)
    by VasyaPoup on Mon May 26, 2003 at 12:29:12 PM EST

    > Have you not heard of cafeine headaches

    I am not exactly sure what do you mean. If you
    mean overdosages, I wrote I had those, some were
    pretty bad. If you mean abstinence syndrome, I
    hadn't. That's why I claim what I claim.

    > I also know, that until you've experienced
    > something, theres -no- way you have any right
    > to make a comment on it.

    Again, I'm not sure what do I have to experience.
    There's not much people over there who never had
    any caffeine. On the other hand, heavy addicts,
    as I wrote, are very rare, and, btw they don't
    live long :)

    I consider myself between these cases. I had
    overdosages many times, so if caffeine be
    addictive I had to be an addict. But I don't feel
    myself as such :) I haven't had caffeine for months and never experienced a slightest discomfort, sometimes even a relief.

    > My teacher told me the only thing that even
    > compares to quitting smoking, was quitting
    > caffeine.

    Does this mean that nicotine and caffeine are the most addictive drugs known or I'm taking it wrong? :)

    [ Parent ]

    Kudzu? (none / 0) (#280)
    by pingflood on Thu May 15, 2003 at 05:48:55 PM EST

    I know that some alcoholics have used kudzu to help with their addiction; supposedly it messes with the 'addiction center' of the brain (according to the little I've read) to suppress cravings. Anybody have experience with using it in relation to nicotine addiction?

    Sell fitness equipment, make bucks. Cool affiliate program.

    kudzu! (none / 0) (#314)
    by relief on Wed May 21, 2003 at 07:48:06 PM EST

    i lived in marietta GA once. i swear the soil is addicted to kudzu. the way it grows, once you see kudzu sprouting, next year you can't see the ground. it swallows buildings too.

    If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
    [ Parent ]
    B vitamins (none / 0) (#291)
    by gorme on Thu May 15, 2003 at 09:23:55 PM EST

    One thing that helps a lot is to take lots of B vitamins. Niacin and Choline Bitartrate are very similar chemically to nicotine and take away the craving.

    Keeps your lips from getting chapped too [nt] (none / 0) (#298)
    by mcgrew on Fri May 16, 2003 at 06:46:10 PM EST

    "The entire neocon movement is dedicated to revoking mcgrew's posting priviliges. This is why we went to war with Iraq." -LilDebbie
    [ Parent ]

    Thanks for making my day! (none / 0) (#302)
    by Lysol on Sat May 17, 2003 at 02:47:06 PM EST

    what an entertaining bunch of posts. you've put a smile back on my face and lifted some heavy dread from my soul!

    i was havin a piss poor day. it's fucking packed in nyc; there's a street fair 30 somethin blocks long right outside my house (i hate people); some old asshole yelled at me for almost knocking him over (which was bullshit and my food was gettin cold!) as he almost knocked over some old blind dude walkin with his dog; *and* to top it off, yesterday, my friend was trying to tell me that if i'm hangin out w/his ex and he's not allowed to pick us up from the airport, then i can count on not staying w/him when i fly back to visit all my friends! sheesh! what a shitty two days..

    but then, the smoking posts. i don't smoke. i look at those who preech about their rights, etc, to and think, fine i have a right to blow a fine mist of hydrochloric acid in your vicinity as well. however, unless i'm really drunk and they're my best friends, i never say shit.

    my dad smokes. my girlfriend smokes (altho, thank god not as much anymore). some of my best friends smoke (poor fucking bastards; i'll be attending their funerals sobbing "why?!"). it's all about themselves.

    i did for a bit - it was all about a girl. but one night after she flew the coop and i was trying to calm down, i lit up and then just got the worst headache and felt like i was gonna puke. so that was it. after 6 months straight, no mas.

    nyc is smoke free in the bars now and people bitch about it all the time, but fuck, what's the big deal? just go the fuck outside! take a break from the bottle. it's good fer ya. i lived in s.f. up until last year and they implemented the same thing. people bitched, but then they got over it. now tho, when you're caught outside, u can see the extremists eyeing those smokers down thinking 'filthy pigs, if i had some wmd's right now...'.

    ah, ya gotta love it. time for a beer...

    why would I quit? (none / 0) (#304)
    by urbanRealist on Sat May 17, 2003 at 09:40:57 PM EST

    "To get more chicks"
    I couldn't care less about an early death, but if I didn't smoke, I think I'd be more appealing to more girls.

    Money Is Another (none / 0) (#310)
    by The Turd Report on Sun May 18, 2003 at 09:44:32 PM EST

    One less thing to buy and it does add up.

    [ Parent ]
    I recently... (none / 0) (#305)
    by ThreadSafe on Sat May 17, 2003 at 10:17:33 PM EST

    stopped (not quit) smoking after eight years of a pack a day.

    This might sound weird but when it comes to giving up nicotine I've found that practice makes perfect.

    Try giving up for a day at a time. Then maybe a week. Se how long you can go. Don't get to down on yourself if you don't last very long.

    It's been a month since my last ciggarette, and even then it was only one packet on a weekend where there was a lot of drinking to be done, and that was the first pack in a about 6 weeks at the time.

    Eventually you'll get to a stage where the reflex of reaching for your smokes will dissapear.

    Also it helps to keep it mind that smoking is for weak-minded bitches. Make your a abstinsance a source of pride. Remind yourself how bigger knock your self esteem will take if you bow to the pressure and start smoking again.

    Make a clone of me. And fucking listen to it! - Faik

    hmmm (none / 0) (#315)
    by kaens on Thu May 22, 2003 at 02:00:08 PM EST

    lets see.....why quit and put up with cravings when i can just smoke? i tend to not take advice from people who cant spell flammable.

    --I surface, and I stagnate.
    don't mean to but in... (4.00 / 1) (#337)
    by sbash on Tue May 27, 2003 at 08:32:49 PM EST

    but when you are criticizing others spelling, you should remember your apostrophes... generally makes for a stronger argument...

    "Eating curry with the boys? You must be British or boring" - Stinky Bottoms
    [ Parent ]
    well.. (none / 0) (#340)
    by garrepi on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:32:12 PM EST

    Shouldn't you also remember your apostrophes when criticising others' apostrophe usage?

    [ Parent ]
    My quitting method (none / 0) (#316)
    by awgsilyari on Thu May 22, 2003 at 04:39:17 PM EST

    My quitting method is this: the next time I feel the urge to smoke, I will come to this page and re-read all the comments.

    This morning, I walked out into the garage, and found my mother already awake (I live at home still, erf). She's been smoking since 17 or so (she's in her early 50's). A bad feeling suddenly came over me. I did not fear for my own life, but for my mother's life.

    I said, "Hey, mom. This is my last pack of smokes. What do you say we both stop doing this?" She looked at me for a second, then nodded. We finished our smokes in silence. That was the last Marb in the pack, for me.

    On the way to work, I bought another pack. I said to myself, "I'm going on a trip this weekend, I'll quit then." I smoked a few here at work this morning.

    Then, I browsed over here. I started at the top of this article and simply read it all. Not even ten minutes ago, I walked outside for my last smoke. I took the newly purchased pack, still with 17 cigarettes in it, and chucked it into the dumpster.

    This will be the last time I will taste cigarette smoke on my breath. The end of the noxious odor emanating from my index fingers. Coughing up bits of black crap every morning. Maybe I can finally break level 20 for a long period on the stepper machines at the gym, since my blood will be able to hold more oxygen than ever before.

    But most of all I want to quit for my mom. As long as we live under the same roof, neither can quit without the other. And I'm far more concerned about her than about myself.

    Let's make this article into a sort of smoker's support group, what do you say? Whenever any of us is having a bad day, or an irresistable urge, let's come here and post our frustrations. Writing this message right now is helping me immensely.

    Please direct SPAM to john@neuralnw.com

    The Razor's Edge (none / 0) (#321)
    by usurper ii on Fri May 23, 2003 at 05:58:14 PM EST

    > This morning, I walked out into the
    > garage, and found my mother already
    > awake (I live at home still, erf).
    > She's been smoking since 17 or so
    > (she's in her early 50's). A bad
    > feeling suddenly came over me. I
    > did not fear for my own life, but
    > for my mother's life.

    Damn if that didn't almost bring a tear to my eye... Usurper_ii

    [ Parent ]
    Chucking them in dumster is a good start (none / 0) (#322)
    by CuteAlien on Fri May 23, 2003 at 06:38:10 PM EST

    I didn't manage to stop it yet. But every time i just dumped 'em i was able to pause for a longer time. It's a lot psychological and just to rumple a package seem to help a lot.

    [ Parent ]
    Why i failed (none / 0) (#323)
    by CuteAlien on Fri May 23, 2003 at 07:00:11 PM EST

    I've managed to stop smoking for a whole month. This was the longest time without cigarettes since i started (about 7 years ago). And while i disagree with the sense of smell thing of the article (i didn't remember what i missed and the bad smells may be part of recovering this sense but this was definitly worth it imho) i still endorse any helpful articel which will support me next time i'm trying this. Well, why i failed... After a month without smoking (guess it - i was proud of it) i walked home to my rooms slightly drunken. I passed a pub and suddenly someone called my name. It was the owner of the kiosk wher e i've usually buyed my cigarettes. He was even a lot more drunken 'n me and invited me for a whiskey. And after about 2 or 3 free whiskey he offered me a cigarette. Hard thing. I refused and told him that i've stopped it and didn't want to take one. He just kept it in front of my face and nearly pleaded me just to take one. Well... he has spend me some free drinks, i was not sober and i didn't want to disappoint him - so i finally took one. I didn't hesitate long when he offered me the next one. It was a really nice evening (he took me to a really f*cking nice bar and we did trink a lot...). When we left he gave me the rest of the package and i took it. Next morning, well, i had some cigarettes left and thought it wouldn't be such a problem to smoke em.. i could finish after that. But no chance, i was hooked again! I was back to a package a day withing less than a month. My next tries to finish this failed miserably. I still wish i could stop, but currently i just fail to have the mental strength which is necessary for this (new job, new town, 'nough trouble already). If i've learned one thing from this, it is that i am just not able to smoke one more and stop again, when i quit next time i have to say NO, no matter the circumstances.

    some things learned in medical school (5.00 / 1) (#327)
    by gilgul on Sat May 24, 2003 at 08:19:50 PM EST

    --many people stop smoking because their doctor told them to. --some people just won't become addicted: "Most of the nicotine is metabolized to cotinine by the genetically variable enzyme CYP2A6 [which has 3 alleles]. However, some individuals lack full functional CYP2A6, and therefore have impaired nicotine metabolism. [i.e. the nicotine stays in their system longer] Thus these individuals are significantly protected against becoming tobacco-dependent smokers. In addition, smokers whose nicotine metabolism is thus impaired smoke significantly fewer cigarettes than those with normal nicotine metabolism." (German Torres, Ph.D. in handout entitled Neuropharmacology) --smoking kills the cilia (cellular hairs that move like waves of grain) lining your trachea, which moves mucous and the germs trapped therein up your windpipe to be swallowed and killed by your stomach. This explains "smoker's cough", which is the only other mechanism (other than standing on your head) for removing mucous from the lungs. It also explains a higher predilection to infections in smokers. --smoking is one of the most potent carcinogens known. --my father, an oncologist, says that most (90%) of his patients have lung cancer, and it usually kills them. The irony is, they still can't quit, and smoke while having their I.V. chemotherapy at his office. Outside, of course. --Lung cancer typically metastisizes to the brain. --typically, the tumor marker for lung cancer irreversibly converts to positive at around 20 pack-years of smoking, which means a pack a day for 20 years, or 2 packs a day for 10, etc. This means that there are cancer indicators in the blood at 20 pack years whether the person is sick or not or diagnosed with CA or not. Statistically speaking, of course, so everyone will show some variation from this, but it represents an average. I still smoke, despite every professor pontificating about the hazards of smoking. I've set a stop date at June 6 (a day after the last exam), but my ultimate goal is to become an occasional smoker. Smoking once a month, I think, would be ideal. I've gotten some good stuff from this forum. thanks and good luck people!

    new thought (none / 0) (#332)
    by relief on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:06:23 AM EST

    i study the mind when i have nothing better to do. recently i convinced myself of where "wills" and "urges" come from. in short, i hypothesize that the reason why cigarrettes are so hard to quit, is because one thinks about their cigarrette while they smoke. if nicotine causes "pleasure", and one thinks of cigarrettes while smoking, for several reasons one would naturally begin to crave cigarrettes. i recommend not thinking of the thing between your two fingers, while smoking. make your brain active, think of productive things while its lit.

    If you're afraid of eating chicken wings with my dick cheese as a condiment, you're a wuss.
    Quitting is Hell (none / 0) (#333)
    by SteveTheRed on Mon May 26, 2003 at 05:32:03 AM EST

    I smoked for about 15 years. I finally decided to quit after I watched my mother-in-law die a horrible death of cancer. She died at 52. I never really believed in my heart of hearts that a perfectly healthy person (who smoked) could have her body destroyed in a few months. I believe now, and I believe that it could happen to me. I decided that I didn't want to put my children through what my wife had been through.

    I used Zyban (Wellbutrin) and increased my caffiene intake to heroic proportions. The Zyban helped with the physical addition, but it didn't do a damn thing for the ritual habit.

    The hardest part for me was joining the ranks of the nonsmokers. You know them. They stay inside at break time. They eat healthy stuff. They are BORING, but at least they (and I) are probably not going to die young and in pain.

    no shit (none / 0) (#341)
    by KaizerWill on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:35:29 PM EST

    i live in a place without a cigarette tax, and its still a whole lot of money. $25 every 10 days. geez.

    You were there for that...
    supposed to be a reply (none / 0) (#342)
    by KaizerWill on Wed May 28, 2003 at 09:36:10 PM EST

    to a comment about how much it costs...

    You were there for that...
    [ Parent ]
    It's all a mental thing... (none / 0) (#343)
    by Invaderstin on Sun Jun 01, 2003 at 06:23:04 PM EST

    Let me first say that for younger adults like myself, quitting is most definately easier than someone who already has 10 or 15 pack years.  

    I myself only smoked a pack a day for 2 years, but I found that the best way to quit was to do it gradually.  Nobody can just "quit" smoking right away, you have to slow down smoking, then just stop altogether...try to think of it that way.

    If you are at a pack a day, begin by trying to limit yourself to 15-18 the first week, then every week or two weeks, cut down that number.  When you are down to 7-10 cigarettes a day, that's already halfway there!  It is tough and some days you will smoke more (weekends) but overall try and lower the number just slightly.

    It takes courage and heart and dedication to want to quit naturally.  I refuse to take gum, patches or pills to quit.  That is unhealthy and who wants side effects?  You have to be willing and able to quit by yourself with just your mental capacity at work.


    This is Going to Sound Sad (none / 0) (#344)
    by wickedripeplum on Fri Jun 06, 2003 at 04:15:05 PM EST

    Reading that article made me want a cigarette. Really badly. Actually anyone talking about cigarettes makes me want one.

    I've found that I can get through the day with only one or two, but as soon as anything makes me think of them I start having terrible cravings.

    This is Going to Sound Sad (none / 0) (#345)
    by wickedripeplum on Fri Jun 06, 2003 at 04:16:09 PM EST

    Reading that article made me want a cigarette. Really badly. Actually anyone talking about cigarettes makes me want one.

    I've found that I can get through the day with only one or two, but as soon as anything makes me think of them I start having terrible cravings.

    How to quit smoking cigarettes | 346 comments (328 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
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