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Smoking Cessation Message Board

Smoking Cessation Board Index

Hey there,

I quit after an episode with my heart about 4.5 years ago (age 30 after 15 years of smoking). It wasnt an attack, I was smoking and drinking a soda after having a few beers and I had too many stimulants in my system at once which put my heart into a funky pattern (called Atrial Fibrilation). It was a single episode, but it scared me enough to quit my alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine dependancies right then and there. What I did to support myself during that time:

1) Water, Water, and MORE water. Picture yourself flushing the impurities out of your system. Adequate water intake prevents dehydration, cleans out the body, and promotes healing processes. Substituting water for beverages high in calories can also help control weight. Keep a water bottle with you at all times. I drank at least 10 glasses a day.

2) Exercise. If you don't already, quitting smoking is a great oppertunity to take up exercise. Even walking 30 minutes a day can have dramatic impact on your overall health. I took up martial arts and meditation since they helped relieve stress significantly and promoted better mental and physical health and balance (you'll need that stress relief outlet to combat the lack of nicotine). Yoga is great as well. You don't have to fork out for expensive schools and such either. Most city recreational departments have low cost programs for a lot of activities. You just need to motivate yourself to signing up ASAP and actually make an effort to attend. You'll find by being around physically active people, you'll feel motivated. Tell them your quitting smoking and trying to get back into shape and you'll be surprised to see how much support they'll give. The last thing you'll want after a workout is a smoke, you'll have enough trouble keeping your breath if your doing it right anyways.

3) Drop associated habits at the same time. I always smoked when I had a soda or alcoholic drink. We'll those went out the door too. Sure it added to the list of things I couldn't have any more, but hey, if I was going to change my life, I had to REALLY make some changes. I do drink socially now and then, but the association with nicotine is long gone. As mentioned before, you need to change your routine. There are very defined points in your day that signal lighting up. You need to find a way to get past those instances if you cant avoid them. I found an inspirational song or two that I'd keep in my truck. I'd play those songs which would lift my spirit and give me some strength. Hell, you're alone in your car, sing along at the top of your lungs (they need the exercise too) :)

4) Candies, gum, and snacks...... I was firmly against this in excess. I used Altoids since they were VERY strong and almost cleansing. I would take deep breaths with them and imagine my lungs getting healthier. Surrounding myself with all sorts of candies, gum, and pretzels seem to only remind me of what I was trying to avoid, and that was a problem for me. I was trying to keep my mind off of smoking. Chewing on carrot sticks and celery all day seemed to just remind me of what I REALLY wanted to be doing..smoking, so that was a no-no. If it works for you, great, use it.

5) Don't spend all your time obsessing about it. Sure everyone like to use support boards such as this one, and informaiton on smoking is plentiful on the internet, but your only keeping the thoughts in your head. You need to be doing things that are NOT associated with smoking. Getting information and support from time to time is great, just don't overdo it. Take up reading (remember those things called books). If you're not a regular reader, thats even better. You'll be making a change thats not only a great way to spend time, but you'll be making a change thats not associated with smoking. Time really flies when you're into a really good book.

6) Keep in mind the long term benefits, but don't make it your intial goal. Quitting forever is a daunting taks and puts a lot of pressure on you. I set a goal for a week. That was it. Make it a week and see how it went. It seemed a lot more palleatble than forever. After that week, I set another week goal. After about two weeks it got a LOT eaaier. After a month, it was really downhill from there. Sure the cravings come back, buyt they will never be as strong as that initial 3-4 weeks. Think about getting past that time first. Taking it a day at a time was great, but unfortunately, I needed a longer term goal. I tried the 'day at a time' thing and wound up smoking the next moring in celebration for my day off. Although it was a crucial step, it didnt set a good foundation for me to quit indefinetely.

7) Lower your brand and decrease your frequency in preperation. We all know that all cigs are dangerous, but the amount of nicotine you take in per day has a huge impact on how much trouble it will be to quit. I had been preparing for years. About two years before I quit, I switched to the lowest tar brand I could find (I'd list them here, but would proabbly get yelled at). Lets just say they start with a 'C' and end with a 'N'. These were so low in tar that people I knew wouldn't even bum smokes from me. And when they did, they had to cut off the filter completely. This made quitting that much easier. My chemical dependancy was so low, all I really had to battle with was the physical aspect (which can be the worst). Try to lower you tar intake proir to quitting. It will help.

As they say, quitting smoking is one of the hardest and best things you'll ever do for yourself, but you can't do it unless you REALLY want to. It's a major lifestyle change. The toughest part for me was filling in all those little gaps in the daytime that I used to smoke. I'd finish one task and immediately go into 'smoke break' mode. Getting past those gaps was the hardest but it passes quicker than you think.

Millions have quit smoking already. Anyone can do it, some just try harder than others. Your success depends solely on your determination. Don't wait for a doctor to tell you bad news. By then it may be too late and you'll never have an oppertunity to go back to TODAY and make the right choice. This is your only chance. Good luck all. :)


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