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5 ways I tried (and failed) to kick the cancer stick
January 31st, 2012
01:53 PM ET

5 ways I tried (and failed) to kick the cancer stick

Editor's Note: Rick Morris is one of 7 CNN viewers selected to be part of the Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge program. Each participant receives all of the gear and training necessary to compete in a triathlon, and will finish his or her journey at the Nautica Malibu Triathlon in September.  Rick's biggest challenge, he says, is kicking "the cancer stick."

Two o'clock in the morning.  A couple bottles of my strong pale ale Belgium style home brew.  Got the '80s rocking on Sirius Radio.  What better time to write about my smoking cessation progress?

Perhaps it's a corny way to start a blog, but I don't care.  I'm in the mood for reflecting on the “good ol' days” when I was a non-smoker.   You know, the younger years... the energetic era.  Those were the days when responsibilities were minimal and my poison was nothing more than sweets.

Sure, I had to do my homework, mow the grass and clean my room.  But, generally speaking, I didn't have the slightest concern for personal health.  I was cut like a knife – all 126 pounds, a member of the great Pisgah High School wrestling team, and didn't think twice about running 2 miles to the store for a pack of gob-stoppers and various “junk food."

I could bench press twice my body weight, run full-court b-ball at the Canton, North Carolina, YMCA all day long, and still have enough energy left to make some football card money by hunting nightcrawlers (worms) until the wee hours in the morning. If you ever wondered where your fishing bait comes from, it arrives via “head-lamp-wearing” teenage fools like me.

But for some reason, I ruined my pristine health when I was 29 years old by choosing to “be cool” with my motorcycle friends and lighting up.  I mean, what's one lousy cigarette going to do?  I'm still young.  I have self-control.  I can smoke only when I'm around the biker boys.  Right!  It was only a matter of days before I rationalized buying a pack so I wouldn't have to bum off my friends.  Pretty soon, I was smoking a pack a day.

Since 1998, the cigarette has had an iron-clad grip on my soul.  I couldn't eat a meal without “rewarding” myself with a nice after-dinner toke.  I couldn't hang out with the guys, enjoy a football game, or even drive without a smoke.

I started thinking about quitting perhaps five years into the habit.  It seemed everywhere I turned, people were telling me how unhealthy smoking had become – as if it wasn't unhealthy in the past and only recently became dangerous!

I noticed the social changes, too.  Airlines quit asking if I wanted smoking or non-smoking.  Restaurants, where there were smoking and non-smoking sections, soon became entirely smoke-free.  Prices went from $1 a pack to $5 a pack within a few years.  Even tobacco companies were publishing campaigns on smoking cessation.

So, I thought, I'll give it a whirl... I'll stop smoking.  How hard can it be?

I started with the patch.  You know, a trans-dermal method for injecting just the nicotine and “not all the other harmful chemicals found in cigarettes."  I dealt with the vivid dreams and headaches and was able to stay smoke-free for a couple months.

But at the first sign of stress I was back at it.  The trigger?  Nothing more than a friend who lit up in front of me.  “Hey, can I get one of those?” I asked.  That one cigarette was all it took.  Within a week I was back up to a pack a day.

Next, I thought I'd try it “cold turkey."  That was a complete waste of time.  I think I made it through 2 days before I wanted to squeeze someone's neck.  It didn't matter to me... wife, son, daughter, friend, pet... any neck would do!

How about some tasty nicotine gum?  Sure, if you like freshly-cut rubber from a gum tree with a delightful feet-juice additive, then this is probably the best route a smoker can take towards their smoke-free life.  That idea lasted about two pieces of gum.

After another year of feeling like I was breathing through a box of grits, my new quitting scheme became a calculated science.  I opened up Microsoft Word and looked at the calendar for a stop date.  1 month from today.  If I smoke 16 today, and hold myself accountable for those 16 cigarettes, I can smoke 15 tomorrow.  My plan had me outlining what I call the “draw-down."

I mean, hey, if I built up my physical dependence on this crap, then I can forgo all the gimmicks of gum and patches and cleanse my body the natural way.

This, I rationalized, would reduce my daily dependence and I would be able to call it quits at the end of the month.  So, I created a chart.  Day 1: 16 smokes.  Day 2: 15 smokes.  Day 3: 14 smokes.

I calculated the exact time  I would smoke based on the day's allowance, divided by the number of “awake” hours I had in my typical day (for some reason, I had no trouble being smoke-free while I was asleep!).  This actually worked for me.  I would place my initials on one of the allowable spaces each time I had a smoke.  I finally had commitment.  I had viewable control.  I drew down and kicked the habit.  For 4 months.  Then, I relapsed.  I don't recall why, but I did.

So, I continued moving right along with my happy self.  Life was good.  I had my tobacco security blanket.  It solved any problems I encountered.

But as I neared my 40s, I started noticing subtle changes in my health.  It took longer to fall asleep.  Coughing became a constant nuisance.  My $50 cologne was overshadowed by “Eau De La Forest Fire."  There was never enough flavor in my food.  The term “renewable energy” made me laugh.  And, I found myself becoming lazy.

Ten years into my habit, I saw the next big “quit-smoking” tool on late night television.  It was amazing!  An electronic cigarette!

This thing gave you the nicotine, produced the “smoke," and even lit up with a glow when you puffed.  I could smoke it anywhere – the restaurant, on an airplane – without repercussion.

What a complete waste of money.  While the e-cig addressed my habit of toking, I really didn't find it useful in actually quitting.  Probably the best thing that happened with this approach is my wife accidentally washed it, and I had an excuse to buy a pack of real smokes.

So there you have it - five ways I tried, and failed, to kick the cancer stick. But since being chosen as one of the Lucky 7 in the CNN 2012 Fit Nation Triathlon Challenge, I've been shown a completely new approach in becoming smoke-free: I've finally admitted that I'm unable to go it alone.

My personal trainer, Bill Wilkins, enrolled me in a Freedom from Smoking class at the MedWest Fitness Center in Waynesville, North Carolina.  Today was my second weekly class.

Our “teach” and Dr. Sanjay Gupta fan, Kathy, has a sincere approach in seeing us succeed, and has already enlightened me concerning some very interesting smoking facts and alternative methods for cessation.  In two weeks, we are scheduled for our quit day.  For some reason, I'm buying into what Kathy is teaching us and truly expect to succeed this time around.

I feel somewhat embarrassed that for the first time in my life I require outside assistance in accomplishing something important. However, I have a confident outlook on this humbling endeavor in becoming smoke-free forever.

Unlike my younger years, today I have far greater responsibilities.  People rely on me.  Plus, I'm still young, and I'm not going to allow tobacco to rob me of my prime any longer.

Who's with me?


soundoff (522 Responses)
  1. Guest

    Kudos to all of you who have tried and succeeded, and to all of you who are trying, period. From reading all these posts it looks like the key to success, like any other difficult but worthwhile endeavor in life, is that deep down feeling in your gut that you WANT it, and that you are READY for it, and will do whatever it takes to achieve it. The same goes for any other difficult health related goals such as losing large amounts of weight. I guess you just have to get to that point in your life and realize that YOU are worth it!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Lokust

      When I quit, I just bought one pack and decided it was my last pack and that I had to stretch it out to wean myself off. Well after a bit more than a week the last few were so stale I didn't really want to finish them anyway...

      January 31, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse |
    • Lokust

      oops did not mean that as a reply

      January 31, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse |
    • An

      Up until 2011, i have been mostly a social smoker with about a pack every two weeks with the majority of time after hours. I had a standing rule to be not reek of smoke during office hours. The urge of the after meal smoke was always there. Then a pattern of people bumming smokes off each other at the office made me ballooned to about two/three packs a week. I was really feeling the exertion of carrying groceries up a flight of stairs. Wanted to quit but couldn't defeat the urge. Until a faithful fishing trip with the boys, I know i didn't have the sea legs but enjoy the company and went anyways. I was extremely sick the entire trip, the diesel fumes, my buddies drifting smoke didn't help. When the day was over, I was so exhausted and yet happy to be back on land. It took a day of rest to recover from the trauma of sloshing on the water with no food and water - i couldn't hold anything on the boat. Then the following work week when my colleagues offered to take a smoke break, I suddenly quivered with all the queasiness from the fresh in the memory boating experience. I declined and that was it. Smoking for me is now congruent with vomiting. Haven't smoked a lick since that incident, it has been for about 7 months and counting. Hoping this will help others find a way to quit!

      January 31, 2012 at 18:42 | Report abuse |
  2. preacher

    Been a smoker for 45 years. Like I told my doc, why in the hell would I quit something I really enjoy. Besides, I have a myeloproliferative disease that will kill me way before cigs. Can't smoke in a restaurant, don't go there. Bar, nope, don't go there. Avoid anyplace that has no smoking policy. Works for me : )

    January 31, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • manfellow

      Heck after 45 years, the hell with it.
      The quitting could kill you.

      January 31, 2012 at 17:52 | Report abuse |
  3. Clo

    I quit last year after watching my mom get diagnosed with lung cancer and die 2 weeks later. Its an ugly way to die and I would never want my kids to watch their mom go through it. When its too late, its too late.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. NEM

    i applaud your persistence! My unsolicited 2 cents is that Chantix worked like a dream for me. I wasn't even half as committed as you have been. In fact I was terrified to quit – i truly thought i would not enjoy life again. It is worth a shot if you have any trouble quitting this time. It made it remarkably easy for me.

    Quitting smoking is easy. Being a smoker is what is hard!! Best of luck!!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. BrooksyWV

    I have been using an e-cig. I use Volcano's Inferno model and have been cigarette-free since 11/5/2011. I get the nicotine I need without all the other junk and it is perfectly safe in the house, car, office, etc...I'm basically exhaling water vapor. Good luck and God bless!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:28 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bryan

      Seriously, you should have tried more than the standard cheap Ecig... it takes time to kick it but once I found I could custom mix on my own juice (ecig liquid) and flavors with more strength, and run higher voltages to make the smoke thicker and give me more of a throat hit, I was golden. Anyone Ive gotten to switch to ecigs and stick to it have quit, its one of the easiest ways to quit I found.,

      January 31, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse |
    • manfellow

      After 18 years of heavy smoking the full strength V2 electronic cigs have worked great for me, after a few days I had no desire for a real cigarette. Started coughing junk up and feeling better, more energy, and taste coming back after just a week.

      January 31, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse |
  6. SardonicSardine

    Wow – cigs are bad for you? Wait, don't they put that right on the pack?

    Hmmm...

    January 31, 2012 at 17:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Commandrea

      Logic does not apply to addicts. Good for you if you're not addicted to anything; judge not, before ye judge yourself.

      January 31, 2012 at 17:43 | Report abuse |
    • SardonicSardine

      Commandrea: "Logic does not apply to addicts. Good for you if you're not addicted to anything; judge not, before ye judge yourself."

      Well then, Commandrea, your comment begs the question: why would you start in the first place with all of the common knowledge and nonstop horror stories, not to mention (but I already did) that they pretty much put a skull n' crossbones RIGHT ON THE PACK? Can you answer that one, hon, pretty please? You see all of these comments from people who took up smoking in their 20s, 30s, 40s, etc. Can they not read? Darwin, baby. Can't read, don't breed.

      January 31, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
    • SmokeFree5Mmonths

      There is no need to be snarky about it, Sardonic. It may make you feel superior by commenting annonymously (and, thus, safely), but it's not very becoming. Instead of being sarcastic and not offering anything of any value to the conversation, maybe you can try a simple "Good for you!" and leave it at that. Who knows, someone else may do you the same honor when you finally admit to not being a perfect human being.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
    • manfellow

      Humans living for 100 years each due to modern medical advances/drug comanies is what will face correction through natural process. Who wants to keep people alive decades beyond their productive/healthy/independant years?
      Who benefits from this?
      Most 30 year olds don't take hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of pills a month.
      Most don't go to a doctor unless they have some kind of accident.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:16 | Report abuse |
    • SardonicSardine

      SmokeFree5Mmonths:
      "There is no need to be snarky about it, Sardonic. It may make you feel superior by commenting annonymously (and, thus, safely), but it's not very becoming. Instead of being sarcastic and not offering anything of any value to the conversation, maybe you can try a simple "Good for you!" and leave it at that. Who knows, someone else may do you the same honor when you finally admit to not being a perfect human being."

      Good for you, Rick....NOT!!

      Hahaha....oh my...

      January 31, 2012 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
  7. bigDizzle

    I was smoking 1.5 packs/day in college (half of the time it was marlboro reds too, eventually switched to camel lights). I'd been smoking for about 4 years by that point. I burned my last cigarette out in my arm and showed my friends. Partly because it is kind of a tattoo to remind me – but mostly because I knew it would make me look like a complete moron to my friends if I started smoking again. Funny thing is I did 2 weeks later! But instead of just giving in I just burned out another cigarette on the same spot – and that did it! Its been six years now without a cigarette.

    I think part of it is accepting that no matter how you go about it – IT IS GOING TO SUCK! And even though most of the cravings go away after a month or so, it still took a couple of years for all of the random cravings (ie running into an old buddy you used to bum cigarettes off of) to go away as well. And to be honest – I have a convoluted promise with myself that if I ever in a situation where death is imminent then one of the first things I'm going to do is pick up a carton of cigarettes.

    Lets be honest...it feels good to smoke cigarettes. They're addicting for a reason...but it just isn't worth it! Accept it is going to be hard to quit and just brace yourself for as much stress, weight gain, and cravings as you can handle. There is no easy way out.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ChrisP

      One of the bests posts yet. So true. Adding to that- what also helped me was trying to develop a hatred for it. Admitting that it stinks so bad and other smokers stink. When I see someone with a cigarette hanging out of their mouth, it looks so low-class. I know that will pi$$ people off, but hey, it's what worked for me. Like Diz said, it took about two years not to DREAM of cigarettes! It all came down to love it or hate it.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:41 | Report abuse |
  8. So

    Hi Rick, I wish you the best of luck. I share your story, but with almost 48 years of smoking and every attempt at quitting imaginable. I finally had my last cigarette this past July 6th after doing the cut down plan for over a year!!! I finally got some help with chantix (no ill effects) and while I still have occasional cravings, I am now able to say to myself, "Thank, God, I got that monkey off my back!!!" BTW, even though I live in Minnesota, I spent significant time in Waynesville, NC helping open The Laurels of Junaluska in 2007. What a gorgeous area of the country in which to live!!!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Burbank

    I quit and failed at least 15 times before I finally quit for good. The secret is really wanting to quit from the inside out, when you do, it will be relatively easy. I feel for anyone that is addicted and don't judge them. It doesn't bother me to smell it or have people smoke around me. Why? Because I quit from the inside out, not the other way around.

    I think people that quit and then get really anal or turn into put-down artists to other people who still smoke havent really quit inside out and covertly feel threatened by people still smoking. They are emotional "closet cases" in a way. There is no way to force yourself to really want to quit, it just has to happen. Maybe prayer helps.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Washington Girl

      Thank you for sharing your comment. It really hits the spot for me. After many attempts of trying to quit, I know that this time it is for me and I am ready. I haven't smoked in a month and I am weaning myself off of the nicotine supplements that I use. Thank you again!

      January 31, 2012 at 17:50 | Report abuse |
  10. thibault

    I quit by going for a run everytime I wanted a cigarette it worked for me and got me in shape. That was 16 years ago and I have only smoked two cigarettes since

    January 31, 2012 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • reallyquit

      So you haven't quit......you just take long brakes between cigs.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:23 | Report abuse |
  11. Swimmer

    This is going to drive some of you crazy, but maybe it will help a few of you smokers to address your habit. I earn roughly 6% interest on my tobacco stock. With a $20K investment, I make a very reliable $100 per month off of smokers.
    I'm not proud that I profit off of your addiction but I'm not turning away the money either. My father actually died of lung cancer caused by smoking a pipe. You knew that corporate America is making this product, but have you ever thought that individual investors are actually the ones reaping the dividends. I figure that our local, state and federal governments plus non-profit organizations and the media have all done plenty to warn you about smoking. The rest is up to you. Meanwhile, thanks for the handsome profit in these unpredictable economic times.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. James

    I never smoked for 40 years, got divorced and picked up smoking, I was an exercise addict and fitness guru when I was younger and knew better,but started smoking cigars, led right to cigs and I got hooked. Now a pack a day smoker for 2 years, tried chantix, e cigs and cold turkey with no luck. Cigs are my close friend, it's always there for me, just the friend that will probably kill me.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Marc

    I have struggled with the addiction of smoking for several years. I began when I was 16, and actually was able to quit 8 years ago. However, as addictions apparently go I recently (6 months or so) began again. One of the worst problems that must be dealt with is the problem of dealing with failure. I hate that I am controlled by a substance, and angered with myself for picking up the habit again. So, even if a person quits and fails, you must never stop trying. It is a nasty habit. Here's to trying not to buy another pack, and good luck to those who continue to better themselves by already stopping.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Mary

    I had smoked for 40 years when I had a mild heart attack and had to go to the emergency room. My family was really concerned and scared, I could see it in their faces. I quit cold turkey, when I couldn't have a smoke in the hospital, I just kept not smoking afterwards. I wanted to smoke though, I dreamed about it, but eventually I stopped even thinking about it. Now, I'm really surprised when I see people still smoking especially given the price of a pack of Marlboros. Outrageous!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. SardonicSardine

    Hey Rick,

    You look sooo cool with that ciggy in your hand...NOT!

    Goof...

    January 31, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Grand

      You should probably get a bullet in the forehead.

      January 31, 2012 at 17:53 | Report abuse |
    • SardonicSardine

      "You should probably get a bullet in the forehead."

      Duly noted, camper.

      You should probably get sterilized and THEN smoke a bunch of cool ciggys (just like cool Rick). Isn't that the same as shooting yourself in the head? Guys??

      January 31, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse |
  16. JimAR

    I smoked from the age of 16 to 51. The last two decades or so, I smoked over 2 packs a day. I tried dozens of times to quit and twice I was off for about 6 months. Cigarettes, I have heard, are more addictive than booze or drugs. And the sad thing is people make fun of you for trying and failing. I have been off the smokes now for almost 10 years. I quit with my wife on the same day, April 1, 2002. Her support, the high cost of cigarettes, the patch, the gum, and welbutrin pills from my doctor helped.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. LouAz

    Started smoking in 10th Grade. Both parents smoked. Everybody smoked. More Doctors preferred Lucky Strikes than any other cigarette. Airline meals came with those little 5 packs of cigarettes. In the Military, C-rations came with cigarettes.
    There were no no smoking areas. Smoked at my desk at work. All those years, people I worked with put up with my filthy smelly habit, and never said anything. At 59 (Nov 17, 2001) my heart attacked me. I have not had a gigarette since.

    First 6 months was tough . . . crazy even. Kind of helped myself whenever I thought about all those years that the cigarette companies advertised, gave away those 5 pacs, manipulated what they put in the cigarettes to get you and keep you hooked. Not one of them is in jail. They still "boost" what is in them.

    Read some about the nicotine addiction. Kind of burns pathways in your brain. Always there, waiting. One puff and it's like you never quit. I still get craving about every six months. Only lasts for a second or two, but I know what it is.

    I think I quit because I quit one minute at a time. I made no deals with myself about one day, or one week. Made no deals with anyone else. You're in it all alone. Your brain is addicted to nicotine. Think ! I can make myself get up and go to work. I can force myself to "hold it" to the next Rest Stop. There are lots of things plesant and unplesant that I control myself about every day, every minute. Why can't I control these foul cigarettes ?

    Make no mistake about it. Cigarette smokers are as addicted to nicotine just as much as any heroin or crack addict or alcoholic. I understand that about myself now. I quit because I refused to let Marlboro or anyone else control me.One minute at a time. You'll get so mad at yourself if you think about it clearly. That self control is there. It is in everyone of us. You control your own life. No one will slap you on the back or throw you a party after that one minute, or one week, or two years. But you'll be among the living again. With, among, interacting with other people that don't smoke. They don't smell, their clothes don't smell. The windows in their cars don't have that yellowish tint on the inside. They are just regular people living. So are you. You'll know what you went through to quit those damn things. There are enough other challenges in living without cigarette addiction. Only you will know. It is enough to know that at least that terrible craving is now controlled by you. That control ? It's there . . . !

    January 31, 2012 at 17:39 | Report abuse | Reply
    • justmeanddog

      That was one thing that really ticked me off when I was going through withdrawal all those years when I looked down on drug addicts and I came to realize I was one. My drug of choice was Nicotine and I didn't even know i had chosen it. The more I thought about it the madder I got.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:12 | Report abuse |
    • Miss Manager

      I love your response. Very well said and so true.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:19 | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      Thanks Lou, You put it so well I'm going to try to quit again. 45 plus years of this is a long time but you inspired me with your rational well put writing. It is such an addition. I want to quit now and you have helped. Wish me luck.Going to use the Nicotrol Inhaler.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:52 | Report abuse |
    • LouAz

      Hey Roger,
      Luck has nothing to do with it. You can't make luck, or me, or anyone else part of it. No deals. No I will if you will.
      You know who picks that cigarette up, lights it, and drags on it. You and you alone.
      This may be one of the biggest, hardest things you have ever done. It's you or the cig.
      A couple weeks from now you may be SOBing me, and all around you.
      Then for one minute you'll think . . . about your own self . . . time to fish or cut bait.
      Just who are you to YOU ? That is what counts.
      A year from now, two years . . . you'll know who you are. No one else will know . . . but you will.
      Quit smoking for one minute . . .

      January 31, 2012 at 19:20 | Report abuse |
    • Roger

      Lou, It just so happens I know who I am. I know my standing in this life and have every regard for myself and the wonderful person I am. NO One, not even you can change the great opinion I have of myself. As for the term "luck" that is a figure of speech. If I believed in luck I would buy lottery tickets. But I believe in Karma so if you can note say something encouraging I suggest you have your Oxytocin levels checked.

      January 31, 2012 at 20:21 | Report abuse |
    • LouAz

      "A clear conscience is the sign of a bad memory. “ – Unk
      Have you killed other messengers ?

      January 31, 2012 at 23:43 | Report abuse |
  18. traveling lady

    I used to be a 1-2 pack a day smoker – quit a couple of times. Then decided to do it "cold turkey". I was an absolute b-ch for about 3 weeks. I quit hanging around smokers. My friends began to be non-smokers. It was tough but I have been smoke free for over 20 years and I won't say there aren't times I would like one but I go do something else. It is tough but you can do it. Nothing in life is easy – if it is worthwhile to you – you will do it.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Hadantor

    I woke up one morning not wanting a smoke. Now it has been one year and one month later and I only had one smoke and that was on the day I quit. It tasted like someone shoved a soiled pair of underwear in my mouth. Now I cannot say I will not relapse but I work hard at not smoking. this method is not for everyone. My friends told me that I was temporarily insane for the first three months.

    Good luck to you I hope you kick the habit. You have support from Greenville Sc here.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. GrayFox

    I smoked, on and off, for 30 years. I quit a few years ago when I had trouble sleeping one night because of the wheezing in my chest. I used the 4mg nicotine gum (not the 2mg which is useless). Than, I started exercising. The secret about exercise is that, when one pushes the workout close to their current physical limit, one feels really great afterwards. This helped me quit smoking and lose weight. I know it is hard to start working out but once one starts, it is all good.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. DIOXINS

    part of the tobbaco ingrediants

    January 31, 2012 at 17:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. lcg123

    I wish I could quit. I've tried to quit with Chantix and became paranoid, depressed and sad. I would rather quit the same week I have PMS than to use Chantix again. My next step is the e-Cig. If anyone has any brands they can recommend, I would be very appreciative. Good luck Rick!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Smoker too

      There is also a book called Allen Carr's easy way to stop smoking. Three friends have read it and quit! Heard this book is a miracle as it addresses all the issues and facts about smoking. AND he was a cronic smoker too. Good Luck lcg123 and I'm going to be following in your footsteps soon too!!

      January 31, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse |
    • guslv

      Try V2 e-cigs. Have been using them for almost a month now. Good vapor output without all that regular cigarette crap in them. Down from 3 packs a day to between 1 and 4 cigarettes a day so far. Will have to wait and see if I eventually say the hell with regular cigarettes and perhaps eventually the e-cigs also. Am 70 years old and have been smoking since I was 15 yuears old. Expensive, wish I had all the $ I have spent on cigarettes.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
    • Mary

      Go to Cignot.com and order a Joye ecig kit. I smoked for 42 yrs and tried every method there is to quit , I got my ecig kit and 3 days later realized I had not smoked in 3 days !! go to ecigaretteforum.com for the tons of information and forums you need to learn all there is to know about e cigs.
      I quit virtually by accident , you can too!

      January 31, 2012 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
  23. d

    Ive been trying for 35 years to quit. I havent smoked in five days. I quit because it gave me a sore throat. I feel great now and the healing was practically overnight after weeks of being in denial. The body can heal fast, especially the soft tissue. Now I know I can be pain free if I dont start again. I know that if I start again, my sore throat will return. Wish me luck.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Erica

    I smoked a pack to a pack and a half a day for about 12 years. Tried cold turkey (lasted 4 months) and patches (1 month). When I got pregnant, I quit cold turkey. We lost that baby, but I decided that since we were still trying, I didn't want to have to deal with the first days of withdrawal again and didn't start back up. I also promised myself that I could start smoking again on my 80th birthday. Mid February will be ten years since I quit smoking, and I haven't cheated once. Talk about hard! Every so often I sitll get a strong craving and can even taste it, but hang it there, quitting is worth it. I knew if I cheated I'd have to start all over. I'm even starting to think that I might NOT smoke again when I hit 80, but I don't want to be too hasty!

    January 31, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Jerry

    I smoked for 16 years. Started when I was just a kid. My folks told me it relieved stress...I was stressed, and I had an old zippo I got while cleaning out a house for demolition with my step dad. I smoked a pack a day for several years and quit when I was younger for three years. One smoke was all it took to get back on a pack a day habit. After three years and one smoke blew it. Kept smoking for the next 7 years and found an electronic cigarette at a county fair. It was a piece of junk sold to me by a con artist. It wasn't even the brand it claimed to be. I tried a different brand that was more well known and found similar results. It was junk. Didn't work half the time and it was completely useless. I decided to try one more time and found a brand that worked. (wont name the brand, this isn't an advertisement) I found electronic cigarettes to be similar to the real thing in that some brands are good for some people but there is on silver bullet (unlike with beer....). I had to find the one that worked for me. Once I found the one I liked, I didn't turn back. I haven't had a real smoke in almost six months. I wont be smoking again. Tried to once when my batteries were dead and felt ill after the first puff. It was disgusting. If people stopped smoking after their first experience with a cigarette because it was gross and made them feel a little sick, nobody would smoke. Finding a good alternative is similar. For those with the strength to quit cold turkey or with the patch, pills, gum, hypnotherapy, or whatever other method they used...awesome. Very proud of you and keep up the good work. For those like me, who couldn't hack it *rimshot* Vape on.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. JoJo

    Willpower. You either have it, or you don't.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. JoAnne

    At the risk of looking like a spam hit on here, I think you need to re-try the Volcano Inferno, E-cig. I smoked for 15 years and quit for good using the E-cigarette from Volcano (Inferno series) (www.volcanoecigs.com). Its the best one out there. I was a pack a day smoker, up until this. I used the gum, the patch, Ziban, Chantix. cold turkey. I always went back. The other E-cigarettes don't compare to the Volcano Inferno. They don't have the same throat hit as a cigarette would.So if you get the cheaper E-cigs, you feel like you are puffing air. I am satisfied with this thing. I have had beer, and been on vacations, and don't even consider buying a pack during those times which always seemed to draw me back.So do your homework. I have other friends who were smokers, that use them now too. I bought them for my parents for XMAS, I am so serious about them. Just so you know though, it feels different at first. You have to give it a week or two, but during that time the withdrawal is minimal. After that, you will be happy you did. Sorry, I am off my soap box now. But these are the best things that happened to me, and I wish I had known sooner about them.Yep, my comment definitely sounds like a fake testimonial, but seriously check them out.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. brian

    Have a little balls about you . I'm sick of all these crying, whoa is me whelps.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Roger

      I suggest you have your Oxytocin levels checked

      January 31, 2012 at 19:47 | Report abuse |
  29. woodie

    Here's how I quit a 40 year habit. I studied meditation. Watching breath. Very basic meditation. Then I got the nicotine patch. When ever I got a craving, I meditated till it went away. After about a month I quit the patches and just meditated. Now I'm very proud I quit and would never go back. And the meditation really helps with everyday living. I'm happy as a pig in mud.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Steve-o

    I started somking when I was 17, quit at 25, started at 34, quit at 44, clean since and couldn't be happier. I was a devoted and inveterate smoker who earned the name "Uncle Ashtray" from a nephew-he is now known as Ashtray Jr.
    I quit clod turkey and pretty much lived an out of body mourning experience for 2 weeks. After the first year or so the urges lost their intensity and knowing that just one cigarette would undo it all. As much as I hate to say it, being around smokers makes me cringe from the pure dependency and smell. A few are family members and I deal with it but whew it's nasty. Best of luck to those trying to kick it and believe me-it is well worth it.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Nick

    READ "THE EASY WAY TO STOP SMOKING" by Allen Carr. Don't try anything else, no chantix, ziban, e cigs, that stuff is all nonsense. Its 'hard' for the first two weeks or so – then it just gets easier and easier and actually enjoyable to not smoke.

    January 31, 2012 at 17:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • David

      I totally agree about the book "The Easy Way To Stop Smoking". I read this book and have now not smoked for over 15 months. Best thing I ever did.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
  32. Aacon

    Oh and I forgot to mention I stopped for a little over or just a bit under five years once.If you try the patch DO NOT lick the patch to try to cheat that way to get some nicotine,because it burns !!!! Believe it or not all those years after I stopped smoking I found an unused patch,( the largest one ) and put it on to see how it would make me feel.I felt so mellowed out.It actually gave me a great buzz ! It made me realize I was smoking to try to get that feeling.Do not be fooled nicotine is a drug.A very potent drug.Anyone trying to stop smoking is actually trying to stop doing one of the most addictive drugs known.Nicotine.I`d like to see a stop nicotine center in every city funded by all the tobacco companies.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Big Jon

    I can honestly say that quitting was fairly easy for me. I had smoked for 15 years, with 1-2 pack a day habit. 3 months ago, I decided to quit. The 3rd week was rough, and i was grumpy, but other than that, it wasn't bad at all. No patches, no gum, no e-cig. Just wanted to quit. So I did.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Rob

    Please update on how it goes.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Geronimo

    Come on! It is perfectly ok to smoke sometimes. I am going to smoke as soon as I get out of office, right outside NYMEX. I will dream of winning Megamillion. I will put my wife's social security number as I wont live long enough to enjoy the money. But I will enjoy this evening for sure with my Marlboro red.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. stevie68a

    I'm almost 62, and I've been smoking for 50 years! I'm still healthy, but a smokers 'hack" scares me. As a matter of fact, when
    they show those dreadful effects commercials, I get so nervous, I light up.
    I've tried to quit, but on some level, I don't want to. I'm angry that when I was growing up, the TV ads were full of cigarette comm-
    ercials, even though these companies knew about the dangers of their products.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Daniel

    All of these people trying to quit.... that's what they're doing wrong: they're "trying," or they're "quitting." Just quit if you want to, keep smoking if you want.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Matt

    I'm 41 and smoked cigarettes for twenty years. Four years ago I quit for a full year with the patch. Then I started smoking again while still on the patch. On December 31, 2011, I quit cold turkey, (no patch, no gum, no e-cig) and today is my 1 month anniversary of being a non-smoker. I also had to quit alcohol and caffeine because they're too strong of triggers for me. My skin feels better! My lungs are starting to clear up some, my mouth and tongue are pink again, I can go longer at the gym, my clothes don't reek of smoke, my mouth doesn't taste like an ashtray. I put the money I save from cigs into my savings account. Sometimes I crave them so bad but there's no way I can have just one. I know how bad the addiction is and now that the nicotine is out of my system, I want it to stay out. My partner is very encouraging and says I don't cough all night anymore. That its nice to kiss me. That he's proud of me. It helps a lot to have some support, so when you quit, let everyone around you know, then soak up their support. Its really hard to quit smoking but, like my doctor says, eventually everyone quits. I want to be smoke free for the rest of my life and I hope the cravings go away someday.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. MrHammer

    It was a on and off battle for 4 years before I quit... When ever I drank I would find myself sucking on a exhaust pipe, so I figured why not drink less? As you would have it I started drinking less and less, and as I did that.... I started being able to control myself from smoking when I was drunk, from 6,4,3,2,1, and finally 0 cigs... I figured out you half to start of with a beer or two... and then work your drinking up to more and more if you like to drink... Now when ever that rare occasion of me blacking out drunk, or getting highly intoxicated occurs I only think about smoking cigarettes, but it's not such a benign need that i forget about even wanting one(hence being drunk(easily distracted)) Might I add that, that is also a feeling that is fading away very rapidly every time I do partake....Maybe this might work for you if you understand my concept... It was the only logical thing I could thing of, after I finally kicked the habit sober. ( I was to poor at one point to afford ciggerettes, and people stopped bumming, so i had to go with out while sober) Let me know what ya think 🙂

    January 31, 2012 at 18:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Mi Poo

    Hang in there, Rick. It's been 12 years since i quit (this time). I had my success with the nicotine patch. I started smoking when I was 14 so I'd be "cool". I've tried "cold turkey", and you're right – it's dangerous to be around anyone. Plus it just doesn't work. Then I quit right before I went in the Air Force. And started up again about the 3rd week into basic training, because they let the smokers have breaks to light up while the rest of us were stuck inside polishing our shoes. All in all, I quit a half dozen times or more before this last go round. I don't know what made this one stick. Maybe it's because my current spouse is violently opposed to smoking. Or maybe it's because now cigarettes cost more than really "good" drugs like crack (I should imagine). Anyway, I hope the 6th time will be a charm for you. Best of luck.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Primal

    You either want to quit or you do not want to quit, period. Any excuse is a cop out. I quit cold turkey and it worked because I really wanted to quit. Stop being weak and take control of your own life.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Steve

    I smoked from age 15-42. The last 15 or so years it was easily a pack and a half a day. More if drinking was involved. Heard all the warnings. Even saw my dad have 2 heart attacks and tripple bypass. Still I smoked. I finally found the best way to quit. Have your last smoke in the car as you drive yourself to the E.R. with chest pains. The cardiologist said yeah it'd be a good idea to quit smoking after putting 2 stents in my heart. That was 6/28/2007 Smoke free since then and absolutely no desire at all to go back. Anyone one can quit. You just have to be ready. Good luck to everyone!

    January 31, 2012 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. tj

    I agree with the posters here who say that you have to really want to quit, be reday for it, and understand that you can never smoke another cigarette. I quit so many times I lost count. I used patches, gum, I even quit but then buy a pack the next day just to smoke one, then put the pack under running water and throw it out. I had to put it under water otherwise I would be pulling it out of the trash at 3am. One day I had just had enough and knew I really wanted to stop smoking. It wasn't just that novel idea I had so many times before where I quit but always figured I would go back to it. I smoked from age 15 to 45, pack a day, and stopped cold turkey. It was tough but it did not kill me. One other thing, I found that starting excercise helps alot. I joined a gym and believe it or not going there to work out really helped me overcome the constant cravings. Every once in a while I think of a cigarette but that is where it ends. Good luck to all who are trying, you can do it if you truly want it for yourself.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Zhaylin

    Sympathies for everyone trying to quit.
    I started when I was about 12. By the age of 18, I was smoking 4 packs a day. When I was about 26 years old, hubby, a friend and I drove the RV to Nevada for a model airplane show. I was bored to death and decided to quit smoking. I slept for about a week, used the patch during that time and for one more week, then I was nicotine free for 8 years.

    Then I hit a traumatic period of life and I started again. I've been back at 2 packs a day for a couple of years now :/ I love smoking. The only reason I want to quit is for others AND to save money, but I'm not quite motivated enough at this point.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RK

    Read the Allen Carr book "Easy way to stop smoking". Worked for me, and you will never look at cigarettes and smokers the same way as before.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:19 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Primal

      Unlike most I don't want to look at smokers differently. Many are my friends and I could care less if they continue to smoke.

      I no longer smoke, however, I would never try an ban the practice like moronic liberals who think they are better than everyone else. This is America, so smoke'em if ya got'em.

      January 31, 2012 at 18:26 | Report abuse |
    • SardonicSardine

      Primal: "Unlike most I don't want to look at smokers differently. Many are my friends and I could care less if they continue to smoke.

      I no longer smoke, however, I would never try an ban the practice like moronic liberals who think they are better than everyone else. This is America, so smoke'em if ya got'em."

      Wow, please, for the love of all that is holy and sacred, DO NOT breed...

      January 31, 2012 at 22:11 | Report abuse |
  46. John B

    Smoking has been around for a long long time. I was going to say it's dumb, but being it's been around so long it's obviously something people do in their pastime. But today people don't do it as a pastime, they do it all the time. That is definitely dumb. Willfully knowing that you are shaving days off your life span with every cigarette you smoke is pretty dumb. I don't really know what other word to use. What baffles me the most is that it tastes like garbage and yet people do this everyday. This is no joke when I say this, I can smell a cigarette from 525 yards away, minimally, who knows maybe I can smell if from further away. But I told someone I smell smoke as we were on the tee of a par 5. Nobody I was with smoked. Three holes later we caught up to the guys in front of us and one of them was smoking. When I say I can't breathe around cigarette smoke I mean I really can't breathe with it around. I literally have to run the other way. It stifles my lungs like standing in a firepit. But people do this all day everyday. It's incomprehensible how or why someone would do this. I really can't process it at all. You might as well tell me you eat dirt a lot also. Just makes no sense to me. But you dumb people have some real serious problems. Hope you get better.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:20 | Report abuse | Reply
    • bob

      I'm a volunteer EMT. I've smelled all the body smells you can imagine associated with sick and dying people. But the smell that makes me sick and stinks the worst is cigarette smoke. It's absolutely horrible and smokers have little idea how truly offensive it is. I wish the best to all those who are trying to quit. As to those of you won't quit, well, I'll be seeing you!

      January 31, 2012 at 22:14 | Report abuse |
  47. Smooth

    excercise. Just go for a walk instead of smoking.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Lisa

    I did most of what you did to quit. I was a great quitter, bad at saying quit. After 30 years I have finally quit, been almost 2 years. I planned it, but it was MY plan. Bought a box of nicotine gum. Finished my pack with 2 first thing in the morning, took a shower, and my non-smoking husband and I went on a 3 day vacation. I haven't even taken a cheat drag since then...but I still use the gum anytime I feel the need. I feel a ton better, I don't stink, and I can identify ingredients in food I eat. I may still chew the gum, but I will wean that away. I'm just enjoying that I have finally broken that nasty, filthy, discusting habit. Good luck to you...do whatever it takes, even if it's someone elses plan. It's hard, but every single day you don't is the best reward ever. Just get through 1 day...every day.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Quitter

    You should give e-cigarettes another try. Buy a recommended model like one of the Ego/Kgo/Riva models. I smoked 1.5+ packs a day for almost 38 years and tried everything out there to quit. Nothing worked for long, except for the e-cig. From my first experiment with an e-cig, I turned my back on tobacco cigarettes. I'm closing in on 2.5 years now as a non-smoker. E-cigs are a miracle. I would strongly recommend that you do some research on GOOD e-cigarettes; there are many to choose from out there. Good luck.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Pot Head

    I quit by smoking pot every time I wanted a cig. By the time I relized I wanted a cig, it was 45 minutes later and I was ready to smoke more pot.

    Now if I could just stop smoking pot.. Maybe I will replace that habit with crack.

    January 31, 2012 at 18:29 | Report abuse | Reply
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