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?
@kowalski

My whole family wants me to NOT quit. A doctor told my friend with cancer, the jolt it would create would hamper my recovery. This sounds crazy, but I found several articles stating the same thing. The best I heard is slowly cutting down until you are at zero. This would not shock the body. Sounds nuts to me but also makes sense. Ideas?

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@kowalski, there are many approaches to successfully quite smoking. For some a gradual decrease helps, especially with aids like nicotine patches or quit medications. Others find cold turkey works for them. The website https://www.becomeanex.org/ in partnership with the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC) offers support and resources.

Here's some information and a video specific to your questions:
Why it’s so important to quit smoking when you have cancer https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/blog/Why%20it%E2%80%99s%20so%20important%20to%20quit%20smoking%20when%20you%20have%20cancer

Kowalski, have you tried quitting before? Are you ready to try now?

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@colleenyoung

@kowalski, there are many approaches to successfully quite smoking. For some a gradual decrease helps, especially with aids like nicotine patches or quit medications. Others find cold turkey works for them. The website https://www.becomeanex.org/ in partnership with the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC) offers support and resources.

Here's some information and a video specific to your questions:
Why it’s so important to quit smoking when you have cancer https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/blog/Why%20it%E2%80%99s%20so%20important%20to%20quit%20smoking%20when%20you%20have%20cancer

Kowalski, have you tried quitting before? Are you ready to try now?

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Tobacco. The only product left in America that when used exactly as recommended by the manufacturer, will kill you.

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Well….I spent a few years smoking. I remember one day looking at the ashtray and thinking how did I get here? I guess I just couldn’t find any thing positive about smoking. I was an “adult” smoker (later in life, 40-50 yr range), so I know the addictive process is somewhat different than a person (my husband) who had started smoking in his late teens. His job made it more difficult to smoke while working, so that was good. He was diagnosed with a autoimmune disease eight tears ago. Between being hospitalized, then treated with a cancer like infusion, he was “restrained” from smoking and at some point, decided to quit. That decision made me very happy. For reference, we r both 68, so for him, especially, he was fully addicted to the nicotine in cigarettes. He still remembers smoking and still has an emotional/psychological draw, but as time passes, he finds more reasons to have quit than continue. It takes a lot to quit smoking. I can say that from watching my husband and being empathetic to his struggle. If you asked him today if it was a good decision, I think his response would be it was a “no brainier” Hard, but quality of life and his health were paramount. I hope this gives someone encouragement and a “reality” check for your health and quality of life. How and the steps to quit are yours to make. That is our story Definitely, from seeing the responses, you have many members cheering you on. Good luck. Would Love to read your success story

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@vernonkent

Tobacco. The only product left in America that when used exactly as recommended by the manufacturer, will kill you.

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I know, and am trying. I did cut down and write down every time I light up
This helped me count how much I smoke and convert it to dollars. Gotta quit. No excuses.
Embarrassed I still smoke.

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No, no, no. No embarrassment necessary. Just desire and persistence. I think writing it down sounds like it’s working. You can see and track. That’s a great idea and sharing it might help somebody else. I started a $ log and found all the STUFF I could buy with that $. My wish list.

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@virgo1952

No, no, no. No embarrassment necessary. Just desire and persistence. I think writing it down sounds like it’s working. You can see and track. That’s a great idea and sharing it might help somebody else. I started a $ log and found all the STUFF I could buy with that $. My wish list.

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Thank you for the support.

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Your welcome and I really do wish you success in this battle.

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@kowalski

I know, and am trying. I did cut down and write down every time I light up
This helped me count how much I smoke and convert it to dollars. Gotta quit. No excuses.
Embarrassed I still smoke.

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I agree with @virgo1952 No need to be embarrassed. Turn that feeling into desire and motivation. Motivation to do it for you, your health and ?? who else? Who might you think about to motivate your quit goal? Grandchildren?

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@colleenyoung

@kowalski, there are many approaches to successfully quite smoking. For some a gradual decrease helps, especially with aids like nicotine patches or quit medications. Others find cold turkey works for them. The website https://www.becomeanex.org/ in partnership with the Mayo Clinic Nicotine Dependence Center (NDC) offers support and resources.

Here's some information and a video specific to your questions:
Why it’s so important to quit smoking when you have cancer https://www.cancercareontario.ca/en/blog/Why%20it%E2%80%99s%20so%20important%20to%20quit%20smoking%20when%20you%20have%20cancer

Kowalski, have you tried quitting before? Are you ready to try now?

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@colleenyoung i think the difference depends on whether you are an “all or nothing“ type or the type who has the self-control to stop at just one or whatever number you are allowing yourself. I had to quit smoking cold turkey and have never had another cigarette since then. Basically it’s the same thing that alcoholics have, an addiction. If you are an alcoholic, from what I’ve heard, you can’t stop at one drink which is why they have to totally stop.
With the Coronavirus going around I am so glad I stopped smoking 40 years ago. I suspect that smoking will cause the lung issues to be worse. My son always took credit for me quitting when he was young since I did it because I was pregnant with him. Admittedly that was a great incentive.
JK

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@kowalski – I agree with Colleen. There has to be motivation involved when you want to quit smoking. Mine was being afraid of dying. I had been told that I had lung cancer and needed to stop smoking. After I came home from the hospital my urge to smoke, even when I was on pain meds, was very strong. My husband helped me immensely as he had quit too, many years before. What he said to me was, "If you smoke, you'll die." That became my mantra and from then on in. I have not smoked and repeated it millions of times. Even now I use it when I don't want to do something like exercising.
The important thing is that you can stop. If you need motivation think about how much better your life will be without it. How will it be better? What will you do?

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@merpreb

@kowalski – I agree with Colleen. There has to be motivation involved when you want to quit smoking. Mine was being afraid of dying. I had been told that I had lung cancer and needed to stop smoking. After I came home from the hospital my urge to smoke, even when I was on pain meds, was very strong. My husband helped me immensely as he had quit too, many years before. What he said to me was, "If you smoke, you'll die." That became my mantra and from then on in. I have not smoked and repeated it millions of times. Even now I use it when I don't want to do something like exercising.
The important thing is that you can stop. If you need motivation think about how much better your life will be without it. How will it be better? What will you do?

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So well said. No one wants to think they have become addicted. No one can appreciate the power of the addiction until they try to quit. The way you faced it is an inspiration. So hard. I applaud you for how you found the strength to quit. Your mantra is powerful.

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@merpreb

@kowalski – I agree with Colleen. There has to be motivation involved when you want to quit smoking. Mine was being afraid of dying. I had been told that I had lung cancer and needed to stop smoking. After I came home from the hospital my urge to smoke, even when I was on pain meds, was very strong. My husband helped me immensely as he had quit too, many years before. What he said to me was, "If you smoke, you'll die." That became my mantra and from then on in. I have not smoked and repeated it millions of times. Even now I use it when I don't want to do something like exercising.
The important thing is that you can stop. If you need motivation think about how much better your life will be without it. How will it be better? What will you do?

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@kowalski– I'm checking in to see how you are feeling and doing. Have you conquered smoking as yet? It's a long process to withdraw.

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@merpreb

@kowalski– I'm checking in to see how you are feeling and doing. Have you conquered smoking as yet? It's a long process to withdraw.

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Not yet. Goal is April 15
Have to quit. It's going to be very hard.

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@vernonkent

So well said. No one wants to think they have become addicted. No one can appreciate the power of the addiction until they try to quit. The way you faced it is an inspiration. So hard. I applaud you for how you found the strength to quit. Your mantra is powerful.

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@vernonkent– How are you doing? Are your treatments still on-going?

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@kowalski

Not yet. Goal is April 15
Have to quit. It's going to be very hard.

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@kowalski Is April 15 the date to be done with smoking or the date to start cutting back? I was one of those who had to go cold turkey but I understand your situation where the doctor recommended cutting back slowly. I just don't know if I could have quit that way.
You can do it though, try to be strong. I am having a similar battle with eating. I have gained weight and am trying desperately to lose that. Both eating and smoking are addictions.
JK

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