« thisday.isfullofcrap.com | Main | the diary, day one »

on the wagon, again

Once again - for maybe the 20th time in the past three years - I am trying to quit smoking. This was a sudden decision that happened about twenty minutes ago when I reached for a cigarette and the box was empty. The desire to purchase another five dollar package of tar and nicotine was just not there. So I'm just going to quit. If I went off those meds cold turkey and made it through three months of living hell, I think I should be able to handle this. Here's hoping. I'd like to be alive when the flying cars finally get here. Hmm..I'm going to have to substitute one vice for another in order to do this. Any suggestions?

Comments

Excessive masturbation?
Video game addiction?
Internet Porn Addiction?

I dont think any of those cause cancer.

Possibly carpal tunnel, though.

Fellatio. The benefits are obvious.

Chantico from Starbucks - half the price and much much tastier!

Depends on what the main psychological reward cigarettes give you is. If it's just nicotine, the various patches and gums can help if not replace the cigarette rush. If you like having something in your mouth, there's always gum and candy and the like; my uncle used to be a three-pack-a-day man, and now he's always got a wad of gum in his mouth instead of a cigarette. The gum certainly isn't solely responsbile for his successfully quitting, but it seems to have filled a hole.

I've known a few people who successfully made the transition from cigarettes to cigars, if it's the pleasure of smoking that's the main thing for you. They provide some nicotine hit, but not like a cigarette- slowly doled out over the hour or more it takes to smoke the thing if it's big enough to affect someone already used to nicotine. They certainly aren't GOOD for you, but so long as you're washing away the crap in your mouth with water or coffee as you smoke and aren't inhaling (you're not supposed to and will get very sick very fast if you try), they're by far the most innocuous of tobacco delivery systems healthwise. They also provide one other bonus; I used to occasionally smoke cigarettes during extremely stressful times in my life (I was never a habitual smoker, this was on the order of maybe two packs a year all told), but now I can't because they taste like absolute and total CRAP compared to cigars. The rest of your family may (probably) will hate them, though, so it carries the downside of exiling you outside for a long period each time, aside from the potential cost.

"My advice to you is to start drinking heavily."

Vintage bicycles.

Cultish fixation on riding restored and modified antiques long (or, what the hell, short) distances.

Ah, endorphin redux.

...works for me.

A water bong will remove a lot of delicious tar and ash.

I used tooth picks and nicorette.

At first, drinking coffee or alcohol will cause a craving but after a couple of days it will do the opposite and actually relieve a craving...in my experience at least.

You should listen to JFH, he's pre-med.

annie's right. Chantico.

Good luck, kid.
I need a role model.

I'm trying to quit, too.

I've been off the things for ten days now. In my opinion, the only way to do it is cold turkey. If you try a strategy of smoking less and less each day, you'll only end up torturing yourself in the long run because you'll have to fight the cravings over an extended period of time. The gum/patch stinks too because 1)they're incredibly expensive and 2)the vast majority of people who use them end up smoking again at a rate near equal to those who have never used them.

So what do you do? Like I said, cold turkey. TAKE IT ONE DAY AT A TIME. Like an above noter said, replace your reason for smoking with something else (I'd advise against SMOKING anything else though). Chew gum, put a toothpick in your mouth, suck on some hard candy, etc. If you have time to kill at work, check out http://www.whyquit.com and do some reading.

If I can do it, you certainly can.

Good Luck!

I quit cold turkey in 1996 after two or three other extended stints with no nicotine. In 96 I smoked a cigar most days for a while, and now I even have a hard time smoking cigars - - worse hangover than alcohol. I miss the comeraderie the most. I liked the fact that you had to leave the building to smoke - - smokers are definitely more social.

It's definitely worthwhile quitting - the money is crazy, and you'll defintiely feel better in the mornings.

Best of luck, Michele. I've never smoked so I can't offer any suggestions from experience, but I suspect that cold turkey is the most effective method of quitting.

My primary addiction is Pepsi One. I has a blend of Nutrasweet along with some other artificial sweetener and tastes vastly superior to any of the Nutrasweet-only diet drinks, IMO. I'm sure the chemicals aren't particularly good for you but - at least until I see some concrete evidence of seriously noxious side-effects - I'm gonna choose to see it as a relatively benign addiction...

I suggest both the patch and nicorette gum (mint flavor)even asked my Dr. before hand, and he said if you overdose on nicotine, you'll know it and just take the patch off for an hour. It worked for me. When I did over do, the effect was just a little nausea, no big deal. It sure took the edge off for me. Now, getting off the gum, that was tough. It was quite the buzz after getting off the patch.

Do what I did ... find a friend who smokes and wants to quit too, and bet them $500. Worked for me ... 15 years ago. The bet is still running. The potential of losing a roll of cold hard cash to someone who will rub it in at every opportunity is a pretty good motivator.

Excessive masturbation?
Video game addiction?
Internet Porn Addiction?

I dont think any of those cause cancer.

I can attest to this - I remain cancer free to this day. And I beat the Internet porn addiction by seeing all the free porn that was out there. Now a quick Paris Hilton fix now and then is all I need. I think you have an X-Box, so I'd recommend Fable for the gaming addiction. It's twice as strong as Evercrack II, which briefly held the title as the most addictive game EVAR!1!!

You'll probably want to supplement the addictions listed above with selections from the Food Pentagram.

I'd avoid the gum and patches. Just go with snus, which is some sort of Swedish stuff that doesn't cause many health problems (according to the guys at Reason.com, which is the only place I've ever heard of the stuff). It might be Skoal Bandits for the Ikea set, but it's probably better than smoking. Of course, I never smoked. So what the hell would I know?

Or you could chew a lot of pencils. Or write more. Or carve gnomes out of soap. Or make colorful and decorative bunting for obscure holidays like St. Urho's Day. Or collect human heads. Or engage in personal blog-warfare with whatever new blogger appears on blogger.com's "new blogs" list at some random moment. Or you could learn to knit. Or take Goldstein's advice and worship Pat Boone. I'd prefer that Troy Cory receive that adulation, but what the hell.

Water, and lots of it.

Good luck!!! Your children and husband will thank you!

Good Luck, you can do it!!

This is all Henry Waxman's fault. Damn him, damn him to an undiagnosable case of irritated and itchy groin syndrome!

From one Michele to another:
I quit 6 years ago. As a psychologist, I suggest that it will help to completely disrupt the habit sequence. For myself, the morning and coffeebreak cigs were accompanied by coffee. So I changed from coffee to tea. Very good, expensive tea the flavor of which is destroyed by the taste of tobacco. I use a blend of Darjeeling and Assam. I also found a party drink that was incompatible with smoke. For me, it's white wine. Good luck!

I've been quit almost two years. I did the patches for three months. Nothing but pure willpower since then. Well, willpower, terrified children, cowering dogs, and reeces peanut butter cups. Lots of them.

I disagree with the cold-turkey school. I discussed this with a doctor who advises to count down one less cig a day from your starting average. He claims that 80-plus percent of people who go cold-turkey inevitably fail. Slowly weening your body off of the addiction makes for the best transition without going insane with craving. And who needs an excuse to have sex or masturbate more often?

you do know that you'll probably end up homicidally angry and throwing violent temper tantrums on day 3 of being quit, and then being suicidal for the next week or so, right? you're prepared for that?

And then you'll still want to smoke. Well, you won't LIKE smoking, but you'll still want a cig.

it's a really really rough thing. If you're losing it, remember it's just the not-smoking, and in a few years, it might go away.

not to scare you or anything, but it really is something that affects your brain chemistry and moderates your mood.

new vice: spray painting little devil template borders over your walls.

It helped me not going the cold turkey route. Went from a pack and a half a day to just smoking when I was headed to and from work (3-4 a day).

Then to one headed to work (did this for 2 months).

Then to nothing.

Everyone's different. I haven't had one in almost a year.

Good luck Michele.

Masturbation. Yeah.
Followed by gaming.

God be with you!
I gave up 2-3 packs a day about 15 years ago--I'm 52.
But here is some folk medicine from the mountains of Northern Arizona---or just BS.
Here is what I did---Purchased from the grocery store a small bottle of a product located near toothpaste and mouthwash called "Kankia" used for relief from a nasty little sore. The bottom line-the product contains Lidocain. The bottle has a dropper, drip once on your lip and an area about the size of a dime will become numb for a few seconds--and that will kill the harsh demand for more nicotine that seems to be waging a war with your will power. Stopping Nicotine is one of the most difficult challenges we can confront in our life, one of the most courageous actions one can take is to announce the intention to quit and initiate the action..What I offer to you may not help but I hope it does..anything that helps for the first week should be used.
Again good luck!
David Cobb [The good David-not the dip shit with my name in Ohio challenging the vote for a career]

Zyban worked for me...it's actually, Wellbutrin, an anti-depressant and it kills the craving and keeps you from becoming homicidal at the same time! Oh, and when I first started taking it, I had boundless energy...cleaned out a dozen years of junk in our attic and got the house ready to sell. That was almost 6 years ago and haven't had a cigarette since!

I quit in April of last year. Haven't had a cigarette since, stopped cold turkey. Here are the provisos, though: I waited until I was slightly sick from something else (mild chest cold) that made smoking itself just a little less satisfying. That gave me the 'impetus' to get me over the couple-day hump of physical addiction. Just as importanly, I substituted plenty of Tootsie-Pops. Allows you to still get the hand-to-mouth fixation satisfied, which was part of the psychological addiction. I hope it works for you.

i say give the patch a chance i beat a 3+ pack a day habit with it and have been tobacco free for almost 8yrs now the ability to step down the nicotine with the patch is the key another key is to not skip the last month of the patch people think hell i havent had a smoke in 8 weeks i have this beat not thinking that middle patch is equal to pack and half a day
good luck i hope you find something that works for you

regards gbfan

Michele, no matter what technique you choose it's not gonna be easy quitting. I myself decided to stop it early December last month., The longest I could go without a single cig is five or six days; nowadays I smoke when I go out drinking with my best friend and that's about the extent of my smoking. Two cigarettes a week. I don't buy smokes anymore and don't even bum them off strangers. I no longer experience what is described as nicotine withdrawal.

Point of my post. My goal has never been about being completely smoke free, just to rein in the habit to a manageable level. Maybe one day I'll just notice that I don't want a cig when I'm hanging out with my friends... and after that maybe not ever. But if I end up having a cig occasionally I don't let it bother me, although I write the dates down so I can keep track of how often I "slip."

I AM OVER SIX WEEKS NICOTINE FREE!

Michele, if I can do it, anyone can. I was smoking two packs a day +.

I joined a smoking cessation class at the LGBT Center (where else?).

I actually stopped smoking before my target date. I was at my sister-in-law's house for Thanskgiving. Her gay uncle that I loved to talk to was not there, as he had recently died from Lung Cancer at age 52.

I did the nicotine gum for three days, and then ditched it. For me it was too much effort, chomp-chomp-chomp to get the nicotine, and I probably would have reached for a cig. Still, the nicotine gum helped for a while.

The first week nicotine free was challenging. My brain kept trying to rationalize picking up. Slowly, the mad urges are fading.

Now, to lose the extra pounds!

You can do it. I am telling myself I'm not smoking for this period in my life. Too hard to think of never smoking again.

Oh, one other thing, I couldn't write nor concentrate the first week. I think your fans will understand.

Michelle,

Here's some more info:

1) Don't replace smoking with food. You are likely to gain 15 pounds in the first 2 moenths (I did). This will make you less attractive and force you to take the (many) suggestions of masturbation seriously as you will become less desireable to anyone but yourself.

This will have the side effect of causing you to subconsciencely WANT to start smoking again to get rid of the weight.

2) Reward yourself. One of the best ways is to take the $5 bill (the one you were going to buy the cigs with today) and put it in an envelope. Tomorrow add another $5 bill. Next day, add another. When you can't stuff another one into the envelope ... you will be quite amazed at what you can now go splurge on.

3) If you fail this time, but still want to quit, I have a GUARANTEED way to quit: Skip your flu shot and get the flu. The flu is about a 5-day ordeal. You will be bed-ridden and completely unable to function as a human being. You will NOT want to smoke for the first two days. Three days in, you will TRY to smoke, but it will taste funny. Five days later, you will be over both the flu AND your smoking habit. They will taste like you just licked the bottom of an ashtray.

Stay away from: coffee, alcohol and eat a balanced breakfast as SOON as you get up.

And good luck. Your kids will love you for it (they aren't smart enough yet to realize you've just put off their inheritance by about 20 years.)

I am absolutely the worst at this, and I stupidly quit for 9 months, then went back to it, so I have no advice as such. But one thing that kind of helped me back when: Exercise. Aggressive exercise. Like, punching things and kicking things, both of which I felt like doing all the time anyway.

Good luck this time out. I can't think of anything harder to succeed at. If there are harder things, I don't want to know about them.

Although I in no way recommend a nicotine overdose, wendyt mentioned the method that did it for me. I was using the inhaler and in frustrastion applied a patch also. The next day whenever I couldn't resist the urge to light up, the nicotine from the cig made me SOOOOOOO nauseous. I guess it was like food poisoning, you never want to eat that particular food again. I haven't smoked in 5 years.

According to American Lung Association research, there is truth in the saying, "It's easy to quit, I have done it hundreds of times!" Each time you attempt to stop increases your strength to stop finally.

Michele, there's some good advice here. My experience is: it doesn't matter if you go cold turkey or use the patch, gum, or anti-depressants. I quit many times before I quit for good. You WILL not quit until deep inside you WANT to quit. Not to please your husband, not to please Bloomberg, but because YOU want to. Believe me, you will have to be HIGHLY motivated.

Going by what little I know of you, you seem to really respond to getting pissed off. It's a good motivation for you. Find a way to get highly pissed of at smoking!

Also, the advice for exercize is a good one. Aggressive, lashing out exercize. I found a kickboxing class was perfect. If you're going to be pissed off all the time, you'll be tempted to smoke. Let it out another way. Not to sound like Tommy Thompson, but exercise makes so many things better: sleep, your health, sex, your mood. I quit anti-depressants 5 years ago while in an exercise flurry, and I've never been better.

GET PISSED OFF, MICHELE!

Oh, Michele - I KNOW you're going to do this. So a request: PLEASE do not become one of those zealous ex-smoker anti-smokers!

sugar-free popsicles. I'm not kidding, they are addictive as hell. I've eaten an entire box in one day on several occasions.

Good luck.

The first time that I quit was right after graduating from West Point (hard to find a bigger change in daily habits). That lasted around 6 months, until I was freezing my butt off in a field problem in Kentucky. I then smoked 2 to 3 packs a day for another 9 years.

I was driving back to Texas from a class in Georgia when I finally noticed the stench from my car's overflowing ashtray somewhere in Mississippi. I decided that I'd stop smoking when I finally got home. I lasted around 24 hours, then tried a cigarette. The first puff tasted bad, so I put it out. Another 24 hours later, I tried another cigarette. The first puff on that one tasted bad too, so I put it out. That was in 1989 and I haven't smoked since.

Yeah, a long-ass story but my point is that if you really want to quit, you'll be able to do it. Even if you take a few drags during the first few weeks of quitting, don't sweat it. Just make sure that you 've got some really shitty tasting smokes laying around for when you backslide. :-)

And yes, sometimes fresh cigarette smoke still smells good. I then ask myself if I really want to have to quit a 3rd time. That's worked for me so far.

If you find that you can't concentrate without cigarettes or have some other problem that isn't going away, you could replace nicotine with some related drug that won't rot your lungs.

Huperzine A is a supliment that you can get super cheap at any big health food store - it's a acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.. It does SOMETHING at the same receptors as nicotine anyway and they keep testing it for alzheimer's patients and deciding that it doesn't do very much.

Another one you can get by mail is galantamine which does something similar (and is much more useful to alzheimer's patients).

I have no idea whether these drugs are all that useful to smokers, but there must be SOME smokers who keep smoking because they really need some drug that oils those nicotinic receptors.

When I quit smoking tobacco.. I switched to marijuana. That probably won't work for you, so I suggest... beef jerky!

=darwin