Ways to curb your cravings for nicotine

Posted by Merry, Volunteer Mentor @merpreb, Jun 19, 2019

I smoked for 35 years and wore a patch for a week before I had my first lobectomy. I did not put it back on after I got home from the hospital. There is no getting a way around the difficulty that most people have with quitting smoking, especially women. (https://www.livescience.com/19452-women-harder-quit-smoking.html). Most of us will get cravings that will push our tolerance in deprivation. After my operation I came very very close to picking up a butt that I thought that I had left in the ashtray in my car. I thank the Sun that my husband had cleaned it out. I never tried again. I went from one craving to another, instead of one minute to another or one step at a time. I went from one thought to another too, I got busy, joined ballet and exercise groups, walked and walked and walked. I did not substitute anything in my mouth because I read that you have to break the habit of putting something in your mouth.
My mind wouldn’t shut off thinking about cigarettes, not that I would smoke, but in general . When I was busy I didn’t think about it or crave smoking.
I actually fumbled around trying to stay busy and then it became easier and my thoughts of smoking were less frequent until the weren’t anymore. I remember my realization when I knew that I had it beat. I was so thrilled! I had a mantra that I stole from my husband. He told me that if I smoke I would die. I said it every time I felt the urge, over and over and over again. It saved my life.
Why did you quit> How did you quit? What helped you?

Hi @merpreb thank you for sharing your success with being able to quit smoking and how you curbed your cravings. I wanted to tag @littleonefmohio @stressedmesseddepressed @travelgirl and @jo54 as I thought they would find this interesting. Merry, how long has it been since you stopped smoking?

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@ethanmcconke – Hello again- Ethan it's been 22 years since my last puff. Believe me when I say that I NEVER thought that I would ever be able to quit. But I did. When you have to do something- I mean that there is no way around it- you find the means.
It's like having a baby- when you feel as if you can't push one more inch or deliver the head (big big ouchies) you do it because you can't stay like that and the baby can't go back into your womb. You find whatever it takes to do it. Preferably with help. There are stop smoking groups, your family, helplines, pills, patches and good ole cold turkey. I suggest that you do this with lots of support.
My mantra was life saving- "if you smoke you die". Bang, every time I wanted a cigarette. And yes cigarette smoke smelled good. But seeing someone smoke did NOT kick off a craving. My body had it's own rhythm for that. I could go have a drink, have coffee, watch someone smoke and the only thing that bothered me was my wish that I could smoke without harming myself. It looked so damn cool.
But that's impossible for me. First of all I would never be able to inhale because even the thought has elicits a coughing response. Nd If I did start it would be the stop agent for me.
Everyone who smokes will have emphysema or/and COPD. Everyone who smokes puts other organs at risk.
https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=17ace3fc-fb01-45c3-8617-1beb81404fc4
When I began smoking it was back in the 1961 and Life magazine was still giving lessons on the proper way to hold a cigarette. The best way to purse your lips to look sexy, different types of cigarette holders. They were like what cell phone cases are now- one for every outfit. As time went on and doctors began realizing that smoking caused cancer it was way too late for many of us to just quit. The tobacco company had us addicted it was much like like cocaine, in a very short period of time. It was about image, mouth feel, taste, how cool it was, until it wasn't. Smoking was about image and money and the tobacco company had a deadlock on us with nicotine. What a horrible thing to do to people.

My first lung cancer was in 1997. That's 22 years ago in October. That's 22 years of 2 lobectomies and recoveries, chemotherapy, different elements of radiation piercing my chest and all possible side effects. After my second operation I needed a bag of red blood cells because someone nicked one of my pulmonary arteries. Eleven years later I had to have a special operation designed to fix it.

Lung cancer also led to PTSD- more pills, and deep deep depression. All because someone came up with the idea that they could make a lot of money when you entice them to inhale a carcinogenic and charge them big bucks for it, and because they would become addicted they would keep buying your product. I could have been the Marlboro Woman. Oh, by the way, every single Marlboro man died of lung cancer.

I'm sure that all of you have stories too. I'd be interested in knowing what was good about smoking? What did it make you feel? I felt cool. And after a while, forgetting the addiction part, nicotine was also calming for me. Did anyone else feel this way?

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@shelleyk – Hello. I'm glad that you liked my post. Is this something that you are struggling with or have struggles with?

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I went in for dental work 3 months ago they said I couldn't smoke for a week so I took that time to quit smoking

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@merpreb

@ethanmcconke – Hello again- Ethan it's been 22 years since my last puff. Believe me when I say that I NEVER thought that I would ever be able to quit. But I did. When you have to do something- I mean that there is no way around it- you find the means.
It's like having a baby- when you feel as if you can't push one more inch or deliver the head (big big ouchies) you do it because you can't stay like that and the baby can't go back into your womb. You find whatever it takes to do it. Preferably with help. There are stop smoking groups, your family, helplines, pills, patches and good ole cold turkey. I suggest that you do this with lots of support.
My mantra was life saving- "if you smoke you die". Bang, every time I wanted a cigarette. And yes cigarette smoke smelled good. But seeing someone smoke did NOT kick off a craving. My body had it's own rhythm for that. I could go have a drink, have coffee, watch someone smoke and the only thing that bothered me was my wish that I could smoke without harming myself. It looked so damn cool.
But that's impossible for me. First of all I would never be able to inhale because even the thought has elicits a coughing response. Nd If I did start it would be the stop agent for me.
Everyone who smokes will have emphysema or/and COPD. Everyone who smokes puts other organs at risk.
https://www.unitypoint.org/livewell/article.aspx?id=17ace3fc-fb01-45c3-8617-1beb81404fc4
When I began smoking it was back in the 1961 and Life magazine was still giving lessons on the proper way to hold a cigarette. The best way to purse your lips to look sexy, different types of cigarette holders. They were like what cell phone cases are now- one for every outfit. As time went on and doctors began realizing that smoking caused cancer it was way too late for many of us to just quit. The tobacco company had us addicted it was much like like cocaine, in a very short period of time. It was about image, mouth feel, taste, how cool it was, until it wasn't. Smoking was about image and money and the tobacco company had a deadlock on us with nicotine. What a horrible thing to do to people.

My first lung cancer was in 1997. That's 22 years ago in October. That's 22 years of 2 lobectomies and recoveries, chemotherapy, different elements of radiation piercing my chest and all possible side effects. After my second operation I needed a bag of red blood cells because someone nicked one of my pulmonary arteries. Eleven years later I had to have a special operation designed to fix it.

Lung cancer also led to PTSD- more pills, and deep deep depression. All because someone came up with the idea that they could make a lot of money when you entice them to inhale a carcinogenic and charge them big bucks for it, and because they would become addicted they would keep buying your product. I could have been the Marlboro Woman. Oh, by the way, every single Marlboro man died of lung cancer.

I'm sure that all of you have stories too. I'd be interested in knowing what was good about smoking? What did it make you feel? I felt cool. And after a while, forgetting the addiction part, nicotine was also calming for me. Did anyone else feel this way?

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Yes before I quit it use to make me feel at ease

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@trellg132– I made me less tense too, but I think that was more because of not wanting to withdraw from nicotine than any real calming effect. I just don't know.

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@merpreb

@trellg132– I made me less tense too, but I think that was more because of not wanting to withdraw from nicotine than any real calming effect. I just don't know.

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Me either but one thing I know is that the battle is real so is the withdrawals

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Cause some health issues also

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@trellg132

Me either but one thing I know is that the battle is real so is the withdrawals

Jump to this post

@trellg132– It absolutely is a huge battle. But it doesn't last forever and the benefits are worth every second of struggle. I had to wean off of valium and long long time ago. Although they are different drugs the battle to end an addiction is a courageous one.

Liked by trellg132

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@trellg132

I went in for dental work 3 months ago they said I couldn't smoke for a week so I took that time to quit smoking

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@trellg132 – thinking of you and wondering how it's going with trying to stay away from smoking?

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It is not going well. I quit trying to quit. I know I have to start over again. wish I could have a prescription for some kind of tranquilizer pill that iI could take when I feel like I am going to jump out of my skin. I get so emotional and angry and that is when i give in and start smoking again. I never last more than one day or so.

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Hi – some of you have talked about trying to curb nicotine cravings in this Connect discussion. I wanted to invite a few others to join this discussion and offer their thoughts and tips on dealing with cravings,such as @parus @waterboy @shortshot80 @danab @sammymm2 @bill54321 @unbreakable @joangma @veteranspouseinpain @joelars.

I also wanted to reach out and see how things are going for you.

@susangourdlady – how are your efforts to quit going lately?

@trellg132 – how are things going for you with nicotine cravings?

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As I've said before it always helps to have the inspiration to quit smoking. Mine was wanting to live after I was diagnosed with cancer. Even without being diagnosed with cancer cigarettes can make you more suspectable to contratcing the virus because of what it does to your lungs.

Liked by Lisa Lucier

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Hi everyone and i know how tough it is to quit. For me i was finally convinced to quit when one day Oct 2011 after 30 years of smoking. i was hospitalized from a arrythmya attack and my pacemaker had to shock me back from certain death. But me being optimistic that it couldn't be from smoking. So here i am in the hospital and begging the drs and nurses to let me go outside and have a cigarette. Against Medical advice they let me. Well i did it and took a few puffs then tried to go back to my room and was having problems breathing. The clincher for me was when i got into bed and put the finger probe back on and my o2 level was like 81. It was that moment by the Grace of God he convinced me i was being stupid. That was the last cigarette i ever had. And im glad i did because 6 years later i would probably not been approved to receive the heart i have now. So after leaving the hospital after quitting whenever i got the urge i would eat pistachios. They say if you can take your mind off of the urge for 5 minutes the urge goes away. So the act of deshelling the nut and eating it worked for me. Plus i believe a lot of help from God. And the reward was worth it all. No more fretting about long plane rides, i get to see the whole movie in a theater. And the biggest plus is my kids were so happy that i didn't smell anymore or that there friends didn't complain about smelling like smoke at school. I don't remember how long it took before i did not have the urge anymore but after about 6 months it turned into a challenge that if i start back up now i lost all that time. Good luck and you will love the new you.

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A very dear friend of many years is a smoker and is working at quitting. However, she says that with COVID-19, the progress she'd made by reducing the # smoked ea. day or week. Now she is smoking more than before she began trying to stop. She tried Chantix in the past; she's used gum, patches but now is terrified … not only by the added stress but also because she is afraid to shop for more. Any tips I can share that might help? I like the "mantra", Merry, and will share it with her. I've mentioned that meditation is calming for me and I know focused breathing helps because I have compromised lungs from chronic bronchitis. Thank you.

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