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Support for those quitting smoking

  • 05-12-2003 9:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭ Yoda

    An FAQ taken from long ago, in 1995-03-31. I don't know if that list still exists, but the FAQ has some merits.

    1. What is the best method for quitting?

    The method(s) an individual uses to help them quit smoking is a matter best left up to that individual and their doctor. Many people prefer one method of quitting over another, and most have had to try several different ways or techniques before finding a suitable method. Three of the more common methods used are:

    * Nicotine-based patches
    * Nicotine-based gum
    * Plain and simple cold turkey.

    The Patch provides a constant release of nicotine throughout its life. The gum allows you have more control over the dosage. As things get bad, you can pop a piece in to get an instant (almost) fix. Some people have even used both the Patch and the gum.

    Cold turkey is generally not recommended unless one is fully prepared as it can be extremely difficult, taking a great deal of willpower. However, cold turkey can also be a very quick and effective method as well.

    The best thing to do is consult with your family doctor and see if he or she has recommends. However, experience in this group has shown time and again that no method is effective unless you want to quit smoking! Your desire is the most important ingredient in the process.

    2. How can I prepare for quitting?

    The best way to prepare to quit smoking is to set up a plan. This could include any one of the the following suggestions, although you may wish to alter some to suit your own personal needs. Other suggestions include:

    * Set a quit date!!! You should try to set the date around a stress-free time, although there is no perfect time as there will always be bad times such as exams, tax time, holidays, vacations, parties, etc.
    * If you plan on using the Patch and you require a prescription to get it, set a doctors appointment.
    * Gather all the information that you can on quitting including tips, motivational material, etc.
    * Join a support group such as Smokers Anonymous.
    * Look into restarting an old hobby or perhaps starting a new one such as joining the gym or taking an aerobics class and getting into shape -- the idea here is to keep busy, exercise and breathe smoke-free air!
    * When the quit day actually arrives, get rid of all remaining cigarettes ashtrays, etc - you might even clean the ashtrays and use them for candy dishes :-)
    * Try to keep a positive frame of mind. Nobody ever died from quitting smoking!

    3. Why is quitting so difficult?

    Quitting smoking may be one of the hardest things that you will ever do. This is primarily because smoking is actually a three-fold problem: it is a psychological, social, and physical addiction to the drug nicotine.

    Before you quit smoking, all your emotions were medicated with a cigarette: you relaxed with nicotine, you laughed with nicotine, you wept with nicotine, and you digested with nicotine -- just to name a few. Nicotine was your last drug before you slept and your first when you awoke. No wonder that, suddenly deprived of all that, your psyche goes into overdrive for a little while.

    Without nicotine, ex-smokers are suddenly forced to deal with situations on their own. This can be a difficult task but the important thing to remember is that things will get better as an ex-smoker finds new ways of handling old situations.

    4. Why am I having sleeping problems?

    You are going through one of the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal. Some people have difficulty sleeping while others can never seem to get enough sleep. Group members have found that one of the best things a person can do if they are experiencing sleep difficulties is to reduce or eliminate your caffeine intake temporarily. Many have found an additional connection between caffeine and cravings, so in this regard you may be helping to stop two problems at once.

    Starting an exercise program should also help you sleep better. In the case of not getting enough sleep, many have found success in trying to take a nap when and where ever possible. Remember, this condition is only temporary as your body is adjusting to and healing from the absence of the nicotine.

    5. How long will the physical withdrawal last?

    Physical withdrawals, as described above, are said to last anywhere from 48 hours to two weeks. This can vary from person to person depending on the amount that you smoked and your psychological make-up. Many in the group have found the physical effects typically last between 3 to 7 days.

    6. I tried the Nicorette gum and was pretty happy with the results, but, the gum for some reason really bothered my stomach.

    The package directions for Nicorette gum suggests that you should chew a piece with small chews every minute or so. The package also states most of the nicotine will be released within the first 30 minutes. If you chew Nicorette like regular gum before the nicotine is released, this could and probably will, upset your stomach. Note that after the 30 minutes you can treat it as regular gum and chew as often or as vigorously as you want.

    7. Why do I dream more using the Patch?

    As a smoker your sleep state is or was not as deep as it is now. This is probably due to difficulties in breathing, etc. With a deeper state of sleep you are able to dream and with the addition of the Patch overnight, you may experience increased or more vivid dreams. While the exact reason for having more vivid dreams while using the Patch is not known, it is a very normal and very common experience within the group.

    8. Can't I have just one last one?

    Like with any addiction, smoking is something that should be given up completely. It is not safe to smoke a single cigarette as this could send you right back to smoking as much or even more than you did prior to quitting. It's just not safe. Remember -- you're only a puff away from a pack-a-day!

    9. What can I do to encourage someone who is trying to quit?

    * Do not pester someone who is trying to quit smoking or who is in the initial stages of thinking about quitting as it is probably the worst thing someone trying to offer support can do -- also do not nag, insult, or attempt to shame a smoker into quitting.

    * Let your spouse/friend/roommate know that no matter what happens that you value him/her as a person (even though you may disapprove of their smoking) and that you respect him/her for trying to break free from their addiction.

    * Learn to listen non-judgmentally and attempt to understand and see the problems of quitting a powerful and seductive addiction through the smoker's eyes.

    * Remember to praise a smoker for even the smallest effort in trying to quit or cut down -- quitting is a process and it takes time!.

    10. Just how am I harming my body by smoking?

    Every cigarette you smoke harms your body - simple as that! A better analogy might be to suppose you lived near a chemical plant that emitted a number of toxic wastes that had seeped into the town's drinking water, so that every time you took a drink of water, it did a small but definite amount of damage to your body.

    After you'd lived there for a few years, you might notice that you didn't have quite as much energy as you used to. After five or ten years, you might notice that quite a few of the townspeople seemed to be getting ill with one thing or another. In the same way, every cigarette you smoke damages your body.

    Smoking is a silent and patient killer. In simple terms, the more you smoke, the greater the damage you do to your body and to those around you who breath your second hand smoke too!

    For your information:

    * Lung cancer risk increases roughly 50 to 100 percent for each cigarette you smoke per day.
    * Heart disease risk increases roughly 100 percent for each pack of cigarettes you smoke per day.
    * Switching to filter-tip cigarettes reduces the risk of lung cancer roughly 20 percent, but does not affect the risk of heart disease.
    * Smokers spend 27 percent more time in the hospital and more than twice as much time in intensive care units as nonsmokers.
    * Each cigarette costs the smoker 5 to 20 minutes of life.
    * A smoker is at twice the risk of dying before age sixty-five as a non-smoker!

    What has helped you stop smoking? 788 votes

    Nicotine Patches
    1% 14 votes
    Nicotine Gum
    14% 118 votes
    4% 34 votes
    Cold Turkey
    5% 40 votes
    Gradually Cutting down
    45% 359 votes
    5% 41 votes
    Meditative procedures
    0% 5 votes
    Other (please detail)
    2% 18 votes
    Alan Carr
    20% 159 votes



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭ Yoda

    11. What is Metastasis?

    Metastasis is defined as the transfer of a disease-producing agency from the site of the disease to another part of the body. One of the mortal threats of cancer is metastasis.

    Early detection of cancer can be the difference between life and death. Most cancers can be detection at an early stage mainly because of physical symptoms such as lumps, bleeding, or some other clue.

    Unfortunately there are two types of cancer in which early detection is highly unlikely: Lung and pancreatic cancer. By a dint of bad luck, if an individual has one of these two cancers, they will probably not know it until the disease has invaded other vital organs and parts of their body. By this time it may be too late for any meaningful treatment or cure. The five-year survival rate for pancreatic cancer is 5% and for lung cancer is 10%. This compares with a survival rate of 50-80% for most other cancers.

    12. What if I quit ... will I ever get better?

    Smoking cessation has major and immediate health benefits for men and women of all ages. These benefits apply to people with and without smoking-related diseases.

    * Within 20 minutes of your last cigarette:
    - The blood pressure drops to normal.
    - The pulse drops to its normal rate.
    - The body temperature of your hands and feet increases to normal.

    * Within 8 hours:
    - The carbon monoxide level in your blood drops to normal.
    - The oxygen level in your blood increases to normal.

    * Within twenty-four hours:
    - The chance of heart attack decreases.

    * Within forty-eight hours:
    - Nerve endings start re-growing.
    - Your abilities to smell and taste things are enhanced.

    * Within seventy-two hours:
    - The bronchial tubes relax, making breathing easier.

    * Within two weeks to three months:
    - The circulation improves and walking becomes easier.
    - Lung function increases by up to 30 percent.

    * Within one to nine months:
    - Coughing, sinus congestion, fatigue, shortness of breath decrease.
    - Cilia regrow in lungs, increasing ability to handle mucus, clean the lungs, and reduce infection.
    - The body's overall energy level increases.

    * Five years:
    - Lung cancer death rate for average ex-smoker decreases from 137 per 100,000 people to 72 per 100,000 (... almost half!).

    * Ten years:
    - Lung cancer death rate for average ex-smoker drops to 12 deaths per 100,000 (... almost the rate for a non-smokers and a full order of magnitude less than a smoker.
    - Pre-cancerous cells are replaced.
    - Other cancer rates (e.g., mouth, larynx, esophagus, bladder, kidney and pancreas decrease as well.

    - Ex-smokers tend live longer than continuing smokers.
    - Smoking cessation decreases the risk of lung cancer, other cancers, heart attack, stroke, and chronic lung disease.
    - Women who stop smoking before pregnancy or during the first three to four months reduce their risk of having sickly babies, as compared to women who continue to smoke.

    13. I've smoked for so many years, what's the point of quitting?

    Lots! A new study proves for the first time that smokers who quit wind up with healthier lungs, no matter how long they've smoked. The study involved more than 5,800 smokers who were victims of chronic obstructive lung disease, a combination of emphysema and bronchitis (4th leading cause of death in the U.S.A.).

    The study was the first proof that if you stop smoking at any age, you will have healthier lungs. It was the largest study ever conducted on the prevention of lung disease and showed without a doubt that quitting smoking is the most effective way of preventing lung function decline.

    So there you have it, conclusive proof the it worth quitting no matter how old you are or how long you have smoked for.

    Smoking is a chronic disease and quitting is a process. Relapse and remission are part of the process. As long as you're continuing to make progress toward the ultimate goal of being smoke-free, you should feel good about your achievement.

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,648 ✭✭✭ smiles

    *stuck* thanks Yoda :)

    << Fio >>

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,797 ✭✭✭ Paddy20

    Yep, Great and timely, badly needed sticky.

    Nice one.

    P.:ninja: :)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 989 ✭✭✭ MrNuked

    easy way to give up smoking:
    play highly absorbing video games all day for about 2 weeks to get over the withdrawal phase.
    After that avoid drinking for a while, eat junk food in place of having a cigarette and exercise lots, you'll feel better than you did while smoking which will help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,514 ✭✭✭ Sleipnir

    Originally posted by MrNuked
    easy way to give up smoking:
    play highly absorbing video games all day for about 2 weeks to get over the withdrawal phase.
    After that avoid drinking for a while, eat junk food in place of having a cigarette and exercise lots, you'll feel better than you did while smoking which will help.

    Will the government pay my bills during the two weeks I stay at home instead of going to work :D

    I'm thinking of going to that Allen Carr Clinic in Castleknock. I REALLY want to stop forever.

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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 989 ✭✭✭ MrNuked

    should have given up while in college shouldn't have you

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 52 ✭✭ silver_p

    Hi All,

    Just thought i'd drop a line to say i've quit & it's been so far so good.

    I didn't plan a date for quitting, it simply happened one day (Dec 13th 2003) while i was puffing away on a smoke, that thought came to my head... "What am i doing, put that smoke out and don't touch another".

    Well, so far it's worked. I have to admit, that night i prayed i wouldn't get cravings or bad withdrawals and i swear to you, i have'nt. I myself am amazed at the lack of cravings/withdrawals i've suffered.

    I know it's different for everyone but what i'd say is, give it a go, who knows, you might not suffer as bad as you think & the longer your off them, it's true, the better you begin to feel in yourself. I can now smell a smoke from distance, something i could never do before.

    Best of luck for all who tries...

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 414 ✭✭ Divine

    Hey ive just given up the fags since Monday, today is Wednesday the 11th of January, i didnt plan it or anything i just decided that i would. However i was sort of planning on giving up at some stage so i had cut down to Silk Cut ultra...makes a big differance in the cravings i have to say. You should try it...

  • Registered Users Posts: 2,342 ✭✭✭ ErinGoBrath

    Very informative post Yoda

    For the last few years I've attempted to quit smoking using a range of different methods but with very little success. Willpower was soul destroying, as were the patches. It was like having a permanent itch I wasn't allowed scratch.

    When a friend told me about Allen Carr's book I was more than keen to try it out. After reading the book I extinguished my last cigarette and haven't had a craving since. The book dispelled all myths about smoking and doesn't use scaremongering to make you quit. Six months later I'm still of them and have more energy, very healthier, better off money wise and mentally strong. All these I was deprived off as a smoker.

    I've recommended the book to all my smoking friends and all off who was open enough to do it have quit with ease.

    If your not into reading (it's quite a large book and takes a long time to read) I'd suggest you go to the clinic in Castleknock. The clinic lasts 4-5 hours and you'll walk away free from the trap of smoking. The clinic costs €250 (not expensive considering the amount you will spent on cigarettes!) and comes with a money back guarantee. The clinic also offers support for after the session so if you have any doubts a free visit will sort it out.

    Check out the link for bookings and book orders:
    Allen Carr Web Site

    Hope this helps as it's sorted me out very painlessly!

    PS: I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

  • Site Banned Posts: 197 ✭✭ Wolfie

    I agree completely with ErinGoBrath's post. I myself was a dedicated smoker for many years, I smoked at least 20 a day, and everyone knew I couldnt go into work in the morning without smoking a couple of cigarettes.

    I enjoyed smoking, and didnt really want to quit when I read the Allen Carr book (more out of curiousity than anything). Since finishing the book I havent smoked another cigarette. Read the book or go to the clinics. I would also imagine that hypnotheraphy could be very useful in quitting, and was not mentioned yet.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 528 ✭✭✭ Drexl Spivey

    - Make a plan of stopping smoking. Decide when you stop, and do it.
    - Read Allen carr 's book
    - Keep away from smokey areas / smokers for 3 weeks this is important, if you breeze smoke passively it will keep you addicted even if you don t actually smoke. You ll feel sorry for yourself.
    - Do not have JUST ONE, or you ll be back on the 20 a day in no time, believe me.
    - While you stopped smoking, be aware of your achievment and be proud of yourself.
    - Buy lots of stuff with the money you would have burnt away by smoking fags anyway.


    I was a heavy smoker for over 10 years. I am now off the cigs since end 2002, I don't miss it and I wish to have less smoke around me.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,853 ✭✭✭ Yoda

    Happy Lent and good luck to all who've decided to give up from today.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 71 ✭✭ dirty_latino


    Stop Smoking

    End of Plan

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,163 ✭✭✭ ZENER

    I feel safe actualyy saying it now - 4 days later.

    I was a 60 a day smoker spending in excess of 500 euro a month. Even though I don't really drink in pubs I decided the workplace smoking ban was as good a time as any to quit.

    This is not my first attempt at quitting being truthful ! Ive managed it on at least three previous occasions each lasting 18 months to 2 years.

    Knowledge is important for anyone planning to quit and while everything Yoda writes is spot on, a diary of the the first 2 weeks of someone quitting may paint the picture prospective quitters should really see not to put them off but to give a realistic picture of what to expect. Many people fail to quit because of being unprepared for the moodswings and withdrawl symptoms they will experience.

    At this stage I've gone past the 3 day wall unscaved and am looking forward to my first week smoke free. The coughing phase has started and will probably last about 3 or 4 days before it subsides.


  • Registered Users Posts: 4,666 ✭✭✭ Imposter

    Well done and good luck.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 121 ✭✭ lilulila

    well done to all who have given up i had a bit of a slip today. I had a bad morning and of course i went and bought ten. I feel awful that i did it cause i had been good since the smoking ban came in. I think tomorrows another day and i will start again first thing i just hope i dont slip now everytime i find the excuse that something bad has happened. I really want to give up. Im going cold turkey i dont believe in patches i was fine till this morning pray for me :o)

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 343 ✭✭ parker larkin

    I've been smoking for ten years which kinda disgusted me. Gave up once for about a year and a half and then gradually started having one occassionally when pished. Started to get pished all the time and was hooked again. Since Xmas I cut down drastically to about 3 a day, then about 5 a week and went for it completely there for lent. Have been totally successful, but only because I knew it was a wee test for myself and within a limited time frame.
    I hope I stay off them. But dognamit I like smoking!

    But I figure if you slip up, just start over again.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,163 ✭✭✭ ZENER

    I dont think I will ever NOT want a smoke. I know people will say this is daft but having a fag in my fingers actually helps me focus and concentrate. It's tough going trying to convince yourself you have finaly managed to do without, but be strong and proud of your achievement.

    Heading for 2 weeks now and feeling great for it - just need to watch the eating :( I don't feel so guilty now when that add with the kids and second hand smoke comes onto the telly, I dont feel proud or anything but I don't feel as guilty as I used to.

    Aside from the financial savings and the health benefits think of the time you now have on yer hands !!! It takes , say, 10 mins to have a smoke, @ 20 a day thats over 3 hours !!!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 343 ✭✭ parker larkin

    See that's the thing. I actually like smoking, but not smoking just makes so much sense.
    big tester last night, went out on the piss and didn't smoke! The hangover isn't half as bad as usual either

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,163 ✭✭✭ ZENER

    The hangover isn't half as bad as usual either

    Heh heh . . it's all in the head anyway !

    If you're the sociable kind and see the pub as the center of all things mingling then the smoking ban is just what the doctor ordered isn't it !?

    Keep strong !!


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2 fielle

    hypnotherapy has been proven to be more effective that cold turkey alone, 3 sessions should be enough for most people to give up,

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 492 ✭✭ climaxer

    Hi guys posted the following in the wrong place:

    Didn't know which forum to put this in but its quite interesting if you're thinking of giving up or are currently off cigarettes.

    I've never smoked (thanks to years of my Mam drilling it into me) but my Mam smoked since she was a teenager until two years ago when she was only given months to live if she didn't quit. She will be off the fags 2 years on the 16th september and thankfully is doing brilliant. Anyway she used to smoke at least 40 a day and according to this if she hadn't quit in sept 02 she would've spent approx. €6,959.50 on fags and smoked approx. 27,838 fags!!!!

    Hope this gives you some inspiration and not depress any of you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,163 ✭✭✭ ZENER

    Your use of a capital M for Mam illustrates the high regard in which you hold her - good for you !

    I use a method similar to the quitmeter when I quit - I smoked 60 a day before I quit saving myself just over 500 euro a month. To put that into perspective thats twice my mortgage repayments or the repayments over 5 years on a 25000 euro new car !!

    I hope your Mam succeeds in staying of them and well done to you for heeding her advice.


  • Registered Users Posts: 258 ✭✭ DivX

    I stopped smoking last december after reading (actually while reading) the new Allen Carr's book, 'Easy way to stop smoking' this was the revision with two cd's, the aim of the cd's was to reinforce what he told you in the book, no hypnosis, no preaching, just puts a new perspective on why you smoke.

    The nicotine substitutes never worked for me and only made me feel worse about the whole addiction side of things, maybe it works for some people... not for me.

    My recomendations if you wanted to stop would be either the book mentioned above or hypnosis is also supposed to be very effective, even better the Allen Carr day course mentioned above, i know it sounds expensive but with the price of cigs these days, it wouldn't be long before you save the cost of it.

    And anyone that's attempting a quit, good luck and if you fail or lapse, don't worry too much about it, try again when you feel ready.

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 17 teaser

    Ive been off the smokes since Dec 20 2003
    havent had a single one, mind you i still get very small cravings for no reason,
    20 a day straight to 0, yes, im very proud :D

    the health benfits are unreal, big improvements.

    and I thought I would be smoking till the day I die, haha

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,219 ✭✭✭ Falkorre

    off them about a month and a half now, cold turkey def the way to go, patches etc, ur still addicted to nicotine.....

    *has* to be the right time tho, been smoking 17 years and never been able to b4, now i dont even want them that often and when i do, it lasts seconds.


  • Registered Users Posts: 258 ✭✭ DivX

    Falkorre wrote:
    off them about a month and a half now, cold turkey def the way to go, patches etc, ur still addicted to nicotine.

    Keep up the good work, it gets easier.

    I find after 8 months stopped, I still think of them the very odd time, not in an affectionate/hankering way, but just like a memory of something I used to do and then wonder why I though it was so good...

    Great to be able to breath again, heart rate back to where it should be, more energy, and funny enough I thought it used to relieve stress, when in fact it was the opposite with the constant nagging thoughts of when I could have the next cig.
    been smoking 17 years and never been able to b4.

    Was on them for 15 years myself :(

    But now free :D

  • Registered Users Posts: 9 mountgarrett

    Nice to read of others experiences in giving up the dreaded weed. Been off them a little over 7 months and feel a lot better. Just did an 8 hour hike through The Knockmealdown Mountains the other day, the fifth trip I've done since I packed them in. But I still get a longing at certain times, I could trip up at any moment. Like this morning I found my cat dead on the side of the road. How will I tell the kids she's not coming back. I feel like reaching out and striking up and inhaling ...hhhhaaaaaa! exhaling....hhhhmm! You can't beat an old smoke.

  • Registered Users Posts: 6,163 ✭✭✭ ZENER

    The irony is that you're concerned about your kids feelings !! Don't give in. My daughter declared me huggable now because I don't stink any more ! I haven't worked out if she meant of smokes or booze though . . bless !


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  • Technology & Internet Moderators Posts: 28,697 Mod ✭✭✭✭ oscarBravo

    DivX wrote:
    I stopped smoking last december after reading (actually while reading) the new Allen Carr's book, 'Easy way to stop smoking' this was the revision with two cd's, the aim of the cd's was to reinforce what he told you in the book, no hypnosis, no preaching, just puts a new perspective on why you smoke.


    My recomendations if you wanted to stop would be either the book mentioned above or hypnosis is also supposed to be very effective, even better the Allen Carr day course mentioned above, i know it sounds expensive but with the price of cigs these days, it wouldn't be long before you save the cost of it.
    You do realise that the Allen Carr seminar method involves hypnosis, right?

    I remain wryly amused by Allen's assertion that it wasn't because of hypnosis that he quit smoking, especially when - in a later book (Packing It In) - he stated that he knew hypnosis would be an important part of his seminars...