Have you tried to quit smoking while undergoing treatment?

The decision to quit smoking is a very personal one. Everyone has his or her own reason that helps start the journey to quit smoking. The diagnosis of a serious illness or chronic condition, like cancer, a heart condition, lung condition, diabetes, might be one reason to quit smoking as part of treatment and recovery.

Are you currently undergoing treatment for a serious illness or chronic condition, or are you a survivor of a serious illness who made the decision to quit smoking while undergoing treatment? If yes, and you feel comfortable doing so, please share the experience of your journey to quit smoking.

Thank you for sharing your experiences anonymously in the online survey. The survey is now closed.

However you can continue to share your experiences here in an open discussion with other members. Your story can help others on their journey to quit smoking.

  • Did you decide to quit while undergoing treatment? Why or why not?
  • What uncertainties or challenges did you face?
  • How did your care providers support you to quit smoking? How could they have supported you differently or better?

There was a time I was surrounded by smokers and did not start until I was 40. I learned that I blended better. Dumb reason to start. Yesterday was one of those dreadful days where I wanted something tangible for comfort and company. I had not thought of a cigarette in a long time. I wrestled with this thought for a while and realized my trigger was the neighbor above me going in and out her sliding door with others for a smoke. I am glad she smokes outside as she is on oxygen and lives most of her life tied to a home unit. We all need something at times and I chose to not need that as they now make me dreadfully ill as does anything in the Nightshade family. Also a reminder that it could as easily be me trapped by tubes because of smoking.

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@parus

There was a time I was surrounded by smokers and did not start until I was 40. I learned that I blended better. Dumb reason to start. Yesterday was one of those dreadful days where I wanted something tangible for comfort and company. I had not thought of a cigarette in a long time. I wrestled with this thought for a while and realized my trigger was the neighbor above me going in and out her sliding door with others for a smoke. I am glad she smokes outside as she is on oxygen and lives most of her life tied to a home unit. We all need something at times and I chose to not need that as they now make me dreadfully ill as does anything in the Nightshade family. Also a reminder that it could as easily be me trapped by tubes because of smoking.

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@parus– Good for you! The mental picture of your neighbor smoking and on oxygen could also help! I certainly don't want to be trapped by tubes!

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@rcfan9

Break it down to do I want to live or die? You can do it if you love life enough.I smoked 45 years and I quit using Chantix.best move I ever made

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@rchan – Congratulations on quitting smoking. I did it after 35 years. I only used a patch for a week. But it was extremely difficult for a while. "If you smoke you'll die" was my mantra. I'm not sure that it was my love of life or love for life..I didn't want to leave my world, my son, husband, sisters, house, trees in my yard, friends, etc. But the motivating factor was not wanting to die. It's an either or situation for sure.

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@merpreb

@parus– Good for you! The mental picture of your neighbor smoking and on oxygen could also help! I certainly don't want to be trapped by tubes!

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@merpreb Thank you for the feedback. I have known several. I am thankful the neighbor chooses to do so outside as the thought of a big boomey above my head…I would also like to clarify I was not being critical. I know some on oxygen for other reasons too.

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@parus– I didn't find what you said at all critical.

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I have never smoked, but my father did for 50 years. The day he learned he had SCC of the mouth he quit. Just did it. What incredible will power. The desire to live is strong. Unfortunately it was too late to change the course of events and he died of his cancer a few years later.

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@spedvm- I am deeply sorry that you lost your dad. A lot of times with addictions we unfortunately stop when we are in a health alert mode. Sometimes it's too late like your dad's. But that is the nature of addiction. Smoking unfortunately is so hard to quit that a lot of people delay it. The thought of stopping brings on cold sweats and panic. To avoid this we continue to smoke (or take pills, etc..). It's a horrible circle.

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I quit smoking cigarettes at the same timei quit drugs and alcohol. Cigarettes was probably the hardest thing to overcome, but there were many resources. I went to a treatment facility that was non smoking and that helped alot not having other smokers around me when I was struggling

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I was diagnosed with SCC in January 19 and scheduled for surgery in February. I scheduled my "Quit" to coincide with my surgery. I was on the patch for a week before surgery. I was in the hospital for 4 days, but pretty heavily sedated for 2 days, so I figured that would cover the 3 days of physical withdrawal from cigarettes. I haven't smoked since.

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@karenjf I quit in 1995 after about 25 years of smoking. It too several tries, but nicotine gum helped. Still after all these years diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma in my lower right lung. Had a lobectomy. Mercifully the cancer was small–hadn't spread and I feel blessed. There are still times, I miss smoking! I won't do it again, but I've heard quitting cigarettes is worse than quitting heroine–much more addictive. Anyway, good for all of us for quitting.

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@karenjf

I was diagnosed with SCC in January 19 and scheduled for surgery in February. I scheduled my "Quit" to coincide with my surgery. I was on the patch for a week before surgery. I was in the hospital for 4 days, but pretty heavily sedated for 2 days, so I figured that would cover the 3 days of physical withdrawal from cigarettes. I haven't smoked since.

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Hello @karenjf and welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm glad that you offered your success story to our discussion on quitting smoking. Congratulations on your success!

How are you feeling since your surgery? Was follow up treatment needed?

Liked by karenjf

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@alamogal635

@karenjf I quit in 1995 after about 25 years of smoking. It too several tries, but nicotine gum helped. Still after all these years diagnosed with Adenocarcinoma in my lower right lung. Had a lobectomy. Mercifully the cancer was small–hadn't spread and I feel blessed. There are still times, I miss smoking! I won't do it again, but I've heard quitting cigarettes is worse than quitting heroine–much more addictive. Anyway, good for all of us for quitting.

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I'm so glad that you also were successful in smoking cessation, @alamogal635. I'm sure you are enjoying a healthier lifestyle.

Liked by karenjf

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@hopeful33250

Hello @karenjf and welcome to Mayo Connect. I'm glad that you offered your success story to our discussion on quitting smoking. Congratulations on your success!

How are you feeling since your surgery? Was follow up treatment needed?

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Just finished up 6 weeks of Proton Therapy on Friday. So the next month will be for healing. Hopefully, this will be the end of my treatment. I will, however, need to be fitted for dentures, and that won't happen until 3 months after proton therapy. So I'll be without teeth for awhile.

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@karenjf

Just finished up 6 weeks of Proton Therapy on Friday. So the next month will be for healing. Hopefully, this will be the end of my treatment. I will, however, need to be fitted for dentures, and that won't happen until 3 months after proton therapy. So I'll be without teeth for awhile.

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Was the need for dentures related to your treatment, @karenjf?

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@zeph317

I quit smoking cigarettes at the same timei quit drugs and alcohol. Cigarettes was probably the hardest thing to overcome, but there were many resources. I went to a treatment facility that was non smoking and that helped alot not having other smokers around me when I was struggling

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Being in a non-smoking environment was probably very helpful, @zeph317. It looks like you've made lots of healthy decisions!

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