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Smoking...

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st0nes
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« Reply #60 on: November 03, 2010, 16:02:08 PM »

Tell me something long time quitter friends...

People always say "I'm X years clean and I don't think about it at all".

Well, I may just be coming up to the 2m mark now, but I still have these random cravings that hit me out of nowhere. I would've thought they'd be "toned down" by now, but still they hit me full force and I just want to head for a shop that sells cigs.

So, long time quitters, at what point does this get better? I won't lie, the exercise is starting to seem futile to me.
The physical cravings have gone already--you have no nicotine left in your body.  What you are experiencing is the mental craving.  Your brain is kidding you that you'll feel so much better if you can just have a smoke.  It remembers when you were addicted and the tremendous relief you experienced when you lit up, and it wants you to recreate that feeling now.

But it's a chimera.  The fact is you felt like crap most of the time when you smoked and the "relief" was just getting back to feeling normal again.  Now you feel normal all the time, so you wouldn't get that relief even if you did light up, you would just re-addict yourself.  The brain goes back into its corner if you ignore it for long enough.  I've been free for 15 months now, and these brainfarts get less and less frequent all the time.  My beloved still smokes and I've been tempted from time to time to steal one of her cigs and light up, but I know it wouldn't be satisfying and it would undo all the hard work I've done.

I won't ever smoke again.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #61 on: November 03, 2010, 16:25:10 PM »

So, more than a year later, I can expect to still be on the "decreasing frequency" curve. Yowch!
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DNA
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« Reply #62 on: November 03, 2010, 17:41:11 PM »

At two years and 1 month now, I can't remember when I last had a craving, but they were still there some months before the two year mark, but very infrequent.

I struggled for the first year at times, but the craving does change and weaken over time.

I am lucky, 'cause my significant other quit before me. I think I would have struggled quite a bit otherwise, so much respect to st0nes and others that manage under those circumstances.

I think everyone has a different experience. I'd also find it going away for 2 months and then having strong cravings for a week.

Seems to be mostly in the past now.
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cyghost
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« Reply #63 on: November 11, 2010, 10:17:59 AM »

The physical cravings have gone already--you have no nicotine left in your body.  What you are experiencing is the mental craving.  Your brain is kidding you that you'll feel so much better if you can just have a smoke.  It remembers when you were addicted and the tremendous relief you experienced when you lit up, and it wants you to recreate that feeling now.

But it's a chimera.  The fact is you felt like crap most of the time when you smoked and the "relief" was just getting back to feeling normal again.  Now you feel normal all the time, so you wouldn't get that relief even if you did light up, you would just re-addict yourself.  The brain goes back into its corner if you ignore it for long enough.  I've been free for 15 months now, and these brainfarts get less and less frequent all the time.  My beloved still smokes and I've been tempted from time to time to steal one of her cigs and light up, but I know it wouldn't be satisfying and it would undo all the hard work I've done.

I won't ever smoke again.
Brilliant post!
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #64 on: November 11, 2010, 10:51:37 AM »

It was a good post, yes, from a motivational standpoint. I almost feel I shouldn't post this, they were my initial thoughts on reading it the first time. But I feel obliged since this is a SKEPTIC's forum, after all. Sorry st0nes, but I have to, it relates to what I think is the truth.

Quote
The physical cravings have gone already--you have no nicotine left in your body.

This is a non-sequitur, albeit that the first statement is probably true, it doesn't follow from the second. I really don't like that people equate the two.

Quote
But it's a chimera.  The fact is you felt like crap most of the time when you smoked and the "relief" was just getting back to feeling normal again. Now you feel normal all the time, so you wouldn't get that relief even if you did light up

I think this is wrong. I have quit before, and re-started before. I'll tell you this: Cigs WHILE addicted may just help you maintain your level, but that first cig when I haven't smoked for a long time is THE BEST CIG I can ever have. The head-rush effect is almost overpowering, and I feel waves of calm flowing over me. It's the subsequent cigs that have diminishing effect until they just help me "maintain" again. (As the brain becomes desensitized)

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still clean and I still maintain that I've quit for good, and I do not want to light up again. But these gripes give me an aversion to most of the self-help literature out there, including the link I myself gave. I can't seem to find anything out there that I would consider an accurate description of nicotine addiction. All of it seems to be horribly polarized. Like some literature tells you it's all cat's whiskers and bell-bottoms after just a couple of weeks, in an attempt to encourage you. But it's just not true. It's EASIER maybe, but there's still some hard roadblocks even now, months after I've quit.

I'm also growing weary of the "one cig will re-addict you just like you were before" statement that I myself have echoed. In one of my quitting exercises before this thread, I stopped for two weeks or so, and smoked one cig. I was not instantly re-addicted and proceeded cigarette free for the following weeks without problem. I don't think it was a wise choice, because it increased my temptation to give in again given the apparent lack of instant consequences. I also feel some may think that, having smoked that one cig, they have failed (due to what they've been told) and just smoke away as before since they feel like a failure already. BUT I don't think that justifies preventing it with a lie.

This is why I'm meaning to ask Fearie: How did the weaning go? At last check-in you seemed to be doing fine using the taper-down method?
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Faerie
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« Reply #65 on: November 11, 2010, 11:01:38 AM »

I'm still smoking, albeit a hell of a lot less, down to around a pack a week.  I notice that I'm having the most trouble in the car (nothing else to do sitting in the traffic) and late evenings, evenings because that is the time that the S/O and I just park off watching sundown and talk. He's a smoker too, and thats problematic. Its also a little ritual that means a lot to both of us, so thats going to be a tough one to break eventually. Its a habitual addiction more than anything else.
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cyghost
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« Reply #66 on: November 11, 2010, 11:25:11 AM »

This is a non-sequitur, albeit that the first statement is probably true, it doesn't follow from the second. I really don't like that people equate the two.
Fair enough. It is a mental craving more than anything, even when it feels physical.
Quote
I think this is wrong. I have quit before, and re-started before. I'll tell you this: Cigs WHILE addicted may just help you maintain your level, but that first cig when I haven't smoked for a long time is THE BEST CIG I can ever have. The head-rush effect is almost overpowering, and I feel waves of calm flowing over me. It's the subsequent cigs that have diminishing effect until they just help me "maintain" again. (As the brain becomes desensitized)
I have never smoked and will never smoke. I have tried smoking, tastes like absolute shit and the "head rush" just makes me nauseous. So for me it is astounding that anyone can get any sort of "calming effect" from it. (I've smoked marijuana and it either does nothing for me or I am paranoid beyond belief so I don't do that either)

Discussing this with my brothers, both whom smoked since childhood, always leaves me shaking my head. Both admit they are addicted. Both tell me they don't really get anything from it except in the younger one's own words "It is like wearing tight shoes to experience the release of taking it off" - point being you shouldn't wear tight shoes in the first place). The second one is clean for two weeks, went to a wedding on the Weekend and had a ciggie.

My gripe with all this is I *see* how they struggle. I cannot fathom a single positive thing from it and while I understand the addictive nature intellectually, I don't make the emotional connection. It pisses me off to no end that they can't get rid of this monkey.
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Now, don't get me wrong, I'm still clean and I still maintain that I've quit for good, and I do not want to light up again.
Good stuff. Keep it up.  Cheesy
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Mefiante
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« Reply #67 on: November 11, 2010, 11:41:17 AM »

I cannot fathom a single positive thing from [smoking]…
Well, there’s the fact that smoking can be a social icebreaker and is often used as such:  Offering a cigarette has the potential for opening all sorts of conversational avenues.

I’m not for one moment suggesting that it’s a good reason or that there aren’t other, healthier ways of interacting with others but smokers will probably agree with the above view.

'Luthon64
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #68 on: November 11, 2010, 11:46:17 AM »

If you wanna know what goes on in your company. Go outside and have a smoke.

It's an acquired taste, like most things that are worth it. Same with cigars. (I've become a bit of a cigar fiend too...)
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kollectiv
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« Reply #69 on: November 29, 2010, 20:48:18 PM »

You know, we were allowed to smoke at school (hey, it was Rhodesia, and a Catholic school, and a long time ago), and the habit followed me into varsity - where I remember going up to a breath-meter / lung capacity machine at a health stand at UCT, taking a suck on a Lucky, and blowing it off scale...but by the age of 31, after 13 years of smoking (30+ at a party, 20+ on a normal day), and a girlfriend who didn't like it, it was time to quit.

So I did: cold turkey.  Well, actually, a couple of months of "other peoples cigarettes", then one or two a day, THEN nothing.

And here we are: age 55, stopped smoking age 31 - and a certified anti-smoking Nazi, with zero tolerance for public smoking, and 120% of normal lung capacity.  Instead of the 140% or so I USED to have....

It's a FRAKKIN' stupid thing to do, smoking; it's antisocial, unhealthy, makes you smell crap - and actually does help you concentrate (clinically proven), but if you need it, you're a frakup.

Born again non-smoker...B-)
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thrift
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« Reply #70 on: November 29, 2010, 22:53:10 PM »

I've been following this topic and have almost felt inspired to join the quitters, but hey, I'm weak & stressed and still smoking. 
But since I read this
 
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/blogspot/wuOP/~3/iPHmQN68F88/vascular-cuts.html
(now I'm not sure if I've pasted the link dorrectly.  It's on our blogroll - [other things amanzi] vascular cuts.

I've been feeling even more inspired.
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kollectiv
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« Reply #71 on: December 14, 2010, 20:42:42 PM »

Seriously, though - skeptics, smoking??!!

Get a grip, folks!
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GCG
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« Reply #72 on: December 15, 2010, 09:12:07 AM »

If you wanna know what goes on in your company. Go outside and have a smoke.

that's no lie.  if you want time with the md, go have a smoke outside with her.  or want to discuss something with the ceo?  ditto.
i am one of the few who dont smoke here, so i tend to find things out via the grapevine, because i wasnt busy pulling on a fag while the decisions were being made.
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BoogieMonster
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« Reply #73 on: December 15, 2010, 09:50:42 AM »

Seriously, though - skeptics, smoking??!!

Get a grip, folks!

Some of us weren't always skeptics, and moreover, addiction is stronger than reason, more-moreover, schoolyard pressure is a bitch....

Especially nicotine addiction, it's been placed as high on the addictiveness scale as heroin. That is seriously addictive.

Luckily in my case it seems that I've been able to break the habit now. But it is a lot harder than a non-smoker can realise.
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Lilli
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« Reply #74 on: December 15, 2010, 12:56:28 PM »

Seriously, though - skeptics, smoking??!!
Get a grip, folks!
Hey, I happen to like smoking. I wont smoke in any geographical space where it might offend or annoy anyone else, but what I do in the privacy of my own home or car is entirely my business. What does the fact that I'm skeptic have to do with the fact that I enjoy smoking? Sure, I am aware of the fact that its not healthy, but so what? I'm never sick, never go to the doctor, etc. So, maybe I will get cancer because I smoke and then die. But we all have to die somehow. And cancer is not restricted to smokers either, so even if I didn't smoke I could still get cancer and die. Its not like I will be able to justify quitting by saying shit like "my body is the temple of god and therefore I must not pollute it with filthy smoking habits".
Big applause to those people who wanted to quit and did. Maybe I will too, someday  Undecided but to tell me that I shouldn't be smoking because I'm skeptic is, to my mind, simply... not reasonable.
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