Stopping Smoking - Best Ways - Worst Ways - Tips

Conor_Myers

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David Coleman had a piece in yesterdays Indo about stopping smoking, his journey and the options and pitfalls out there.

https://www.independent.ie/life/health-wellbeing/how-to-quit-smoking-for-good-psychologist-david-coleman-on-his-own-nicotine-addiction-36586298.html

I was a solid smoker up until my late 30s and never had any success in giving up until I read Allan Carr's easyway book. It is probably fair to say that the book is very badly written but the laboured journey it takes you on perhaps allows you to fully absorb the final message - that message was the key to me going from smoker to non-smoker and never being at risk of smoking again. I don't have triggers or people or situations I need to avoid for fear of temptation. Once I got through the initial withdrawal I never felt tempted to smoke again.

In my opinion everyone reaches the stage where they are ready to stop at different points in their lives so I would never hector anyone about smoking and would not be a supporter of extreme anti-smoking measures.

However, once a person reaches the stage when they feel they are ready to stop, Allen Carr says that the key is to switch your mindset around completely from the feeling that you are denying yourself something - you have to embrace the opportunity to free yourself from this costly, inconvenient and unhealthy habit.

The implications are that you should avoid patches, gum, vaping or anything that reinforces the belief that you are missing out. Equally having sweets or treats instead of ciggies also reinforces that belief.

So to cut a long book short - stop. You will have withdrawal for a few days and after that work on your mindset to constantly appreciate that you are now free of the need to smoke.

I was useless with willpower so I just told myself one day - "I'm not a junkie! I will go 24 hours without a smoke." Once I had done that I never looked back.

What methods have worked for others and what advice would you give to those hoping to quit for good?
 


Banjo Baker

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Ultimately cold turkey is the best method if you can tough out the 2-3 days of withdrawal. In my case I became very agitated and my fuse was even shorter than normal. I was fcking people out of it right left and centre. Even my wife said at one point that maybe I should just stay smoking.

But thankfully I came out the other end clean and free. I still have a vicious temper but medicate it these days by chewing sunflower seeds and squeezing a stress ball instead of reaching for a cig.
 

Banjo Baker

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I also avoided alcohol for about 2 months after quitting. I was terrified that I would slip under the influence, as we all know alcohol can heighten nicotine cravings.

Thankfully I can indulge in it these days without fear.
 

Nesuno

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I used Allen Carr's book. Worked for me. That was 14 years ago.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Cold turkey. The only way with nicotine. Clean the blood of this poison and the craving ceases. Cut down or use patches and you keep the craving in place but struggle not to gratify it.

I gave myself six weeks to kick my 50 a day habit. I drank coffee, ate chocolate, drank alcohol--anything to get me through that 6 weeks. Focus your whole attention on surviving that six weeks.

It was very simple. See that box of cigarettes there. Don't open it. That's all.

I found it easier than dieting. Diets are complex because you have to eat and cook while trying to cut out some carbs, but not others,... good sugars, bad sugars,.. good and bad fats etc etc

But with cigarettes it is beautifully simple

That box of cigarettes is your enemy.

Don't open the box.

Keep not opening it for six weeks.

Then you won't want to open it.
 

statsman

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I smoked from 12 to 30, Old Holborn for the last 10 years or so. Then I just stopped one day, total cold turkey. Never looked back.
 

Conor_Myers

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Ultimately cold turkey is the best method if you can tough out the 2-3 days of withdrawal. In my case I became very agitated and my fuse was even shorter than normal. I was fcking people out of it right left and centre. Even my wife said at one point that maybe I should just stay smoking.

But thankfully I came out the other end clean and free. I still have a vicious temper but medicate it these days by chewing sunflower seeds and squeezing a stress ball instead of reaching for a cig.
Cold Turkey is what I feel too but I think the term is intimidating - The Psychology in that first phase is very important.

Giving up is often presented as almost insurmountable but I think once you find a way to get through the first few days the rest is down to frame of mind.
 

Conor_Myers

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I also avoided alcohol for about 2 months after quitting. I was terrified that I would slip under the influence, as we all know alcohol can heighten nicotine cravings.

Thankfully I can indulge in it these days without fear.
I don't think I could have handled giving up booze aswell! Fair play to you.
 

gatsbygirl20

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Cold Turkey is what I feel too but I think the term is intimidating - The Psychology in that first phase is very important.

Giving up is often presented as almost insurmountable but I think once you find a way to get through the first few days the rest is down to frame of mind.
Yes the psychology is important.

We kick bad habits according to our deepest natures.

If we are team players or talkers, we might find groups supportive.

But I didn't.

My theory is: in extremis we are always alone.

We experience death alone. At the toughest moment as we give birth, despite our partner's support, the pain and struggle are all our own.

Likewise, when you kick cigarettes, there will come a dark night of the soul when you--and you alone--struggle with that terrible craving and feel yourself weaken

And only you--and you alone--can reach down into that place in your deepest self and fight the craving with all you have within you

And live to fight another day
 

ShoutingIsLeadership

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Throw out your smokes and don't buy more.

After that, go through the pain and stop looking for excuses.
 

edg

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Patches and nicotine gum for me. 3 weeks and two days so far and I have no urge to smoke today or for the past few days. Had a few bad cravings but they were at night so I went to bed instead of thinking about them.
 

Toland

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Become increasingly disgusted with yourself. Let the self-hatred build up until you can't take it any more.*

Then go cold turkey.**

Visit the smoking area just outside the ground of your local hospital. Daily if possible.

Imagine the urgings that you can have one now and go back off them tomorrow as a monkey on your shoulder whispering in your ear. Supplement it with an angel whispering in your other ear putting the case for the prosecution.

I found acupuncture very helpful too. Probably as an excellent placebo. But whatever works.

Allen Carr's book probably made a contribution too.






*This bit is more a description of what actually happened than a recommendation for action.
** With the right preparation and the right frame of mind, it's surprisingly easy.
 

brughahaha

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Really really want to stop.......prepare for some mild discomfort .....stop... ignore temptation to be weak and pathetic , use whatever works ,they are all just crutches anyway as the battle is entirely mental ..then dont think about it anymore ......6 months later try to forgive yourself for being such an absolute bell end and wastrel for smoking in the first place .......
 

Gin Soaked

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I've an e cig habit that needs kicking. The concentration is the hardest part. I was never much of a smoker but find e cigs way more addictive. Probably because you don't stink on them. ( relative to cigs, that is).

Chilling how they were so heavily promoted in such a short time.
 

Gin Soaked

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Sod it. If you all can be nice for a few weeks...

I've just thrown the two batteries and chargers in the trash.

It is Ash Wednesday. Traditional quitting day. Let's see how it goes.

I need to quit this. The older lad goes on about how disgusting it is....
 

Toland

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Sod it. If you all can be nice for a few weeks...

I've just thrown the two batteries and chargers in the trash.

It is Ash Wednesday. Traditional quitting day. Let's see how it goes.

I need to quit this. The older lad goes on about how disgusting it is....
Remember! The voice of evil is just a poxy little monkey. The angels are on the side of good. Listen to the angels. Tell the monkey to go and jump on somebody else's shoulder.

Eventually he will.

The very best of luck to you.
 

Conor_Myers

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The only time I ever felt tempted after stopping originally was at a summer barbecue - nice weather, couple of beers and then someone suggested cigars.

Sounded great until I thought to myself - hang on even when I was a smoker I didn't like cigars - get a grip man!
 

Spanner Island

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Cold turkey is the only way.

If you're mentally ready and have definitely made up your mind you'll do it.

If you're half arsed about it forget it.

The nicotene cravings only last 3 days - EVERYTHING after that is in your head.
 


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