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A Smoker's story

This was posted to the Yahoo group, Ther Feral Vegetarian.  I thought I might be interesting and maybe inspirational to those trying to stop smoking,  :)

-----Original Message-----
From: RnScarlson
Sent: Saturday, August 04, 2007 4:15 PM
To: 'theferalvegetarian @yahoogroups. com'
Subject: Re: Open Board & Question

I did not use any herbs. I had a heavy psychological addiction to
smoking as well as physical. And I really did not want to quit.. but did
not want to die either.

I chewed the nicorette or generic equivalent to it for about 9 months.
My Dh did too.. we quit together when he was diagnoses at age 25 with
beginning jaw cancer from chewing tobacco. So neither of us really
"wanted" to quit. But felt like we had to. That was about 10 yrs ago. I
fell off the wagon once during severe stress. I call that rather
successful. Apparently at that early stage mouth cancer of the tobacco
user can be reversed by stopping. They gave him 6 months to see if it
went away.. and it did.

I chewed it for so long to first break the psycho habits, lighting up at
each stop light, if I drank a beer, certain songs on the radio ( to
this day there are certain songs that I associate with smoking that I
can not listen or it will induce a craving) After a couple months it was
just to work on the physical craving. So watch out for those lighting up
cues.. and make sure you have some gum or a tooth pic or whatever.

Cinnamon and mints helped off the gum. After the third day you will be

I know this might not be a popular thing nor the most healthy.. but it
still beats smoking.

Its hard, but you can do it. B vitamins help too though.

Posted by: "RnScarlson"
Sat Aug 4, 2007 4:32 pm (PST)
OH yeah I forgot.. I had been smoking since age 11. When I quit at 25 I
had been smoking more than half my life. And I was a super heavy smoker
too. 2 - 4 packs a day when I quit. May be why I had such a hard time
quitting. Also.. if you're a heavy smoker. Be prepared to cough up a
lung the second week. Literally. You will likely cough up al lot of
stuff that you would look at and not sure if its compatible with life.
That made a profound impact on me. I coughed up black flakes with
phlegm- and all sorts of gray crud. And it had texture to it too. I
thought " great. Now I quit and I am going to die" I called the doc and
found that was normal. No one had told me that. Not even the prep book
that came with the gum. I heard from a friend that the book now warns
people to expect that as a sign of healing.

I also smoked in my sleep for a while. Not a pleasurable dream like I
missed it though.. it was like those dreams of falling and you jolt
awake. I would dream that I have fallen asleep with a lit cigarette in
my fingers - which startles me to wake cause I don't want to burn myself


Thanks for posting this!! 

My friend oddly had a small patch of mouth cancer that was 'reversed' by quitting for a while. Unfortunately she's back smoking.  :'(


i also dreamt that i'd fallen asleep with a cigarette in my hand quite regularly for a while after i gave up- i still do once in a blue moon. i also often woke up in a panic after dreaming that i was accidently smoking/had forgotten that i'd quit quite a few times- a bit like how some vegetarians have accidental/forgetful meat eating dreams. its amazing how the mind works.

about 3 or 4 years ago, i quit outright on my first try, somewhat grudgingly, with the help of hypnotism. i'd smoked about 20-40 roll-ups a day from age 17 to about 24. i was one of those smart-assed people who thought that they could try one and would never get hooked, but i found myself smoking 20 a day within a week of smoking my first cigarette. i always had one in my hand or was rolling the next one, i couldn't climb a flight of stairs without stopping, i was constantly coughing up a lung, and i must have absolutely reeked like a bonfire. i couldn't go for longer than an hour, bar when i was sleeping, without crawling the walls for a cigarette- sitting through a movie was a nightmare, and i'd be smoking in the morning before i'd even sat up in bed. it was pretty horrible, looking back.

i didn't subconsiously want to quit (even though logically i did)... it was more that i just knew that i had to. i think my sucess was in part due to mild hypnotic suggestion and reinforcement, and in part to stubborn bloody-mindedness- i paid out a fair bit of money on the trip to the hynotist, and i wasn't going to waste a weeks wages on not succeeding (i worked part time so the hypnotist visit was a lot of cash for me).

i'd say that i found the first week to be the worst, (i was pretty much a spaced out, sleep deprived, rapidly cycling emotional wreck, hehehe) but that after that it got progressively much much easier. changing my routine- driving a different route to work, eating tonnes of tic-tacs, wearing nice smelling oils on my wrists, etc, and focusing on dealing with cravings one at a time (if you wait it out and ignore the urge to light up for three to five minutes, your crave centres often give up on bugging you, or your attention gets re-directed, and the urge to smoke goes away for a while) really helped, as did having a very big reward and incentive looming on the horizon.

to anyone thinking about giving up, i'd say- just do it- go for it! its not a walk in the park, but its definatly do-able, and the rewards are massive. and if at first you don't succeed... try, try, try again!


That is actually very inspiring to quit. Thanks. I'll print that out, then hang it in my home office (can't at work, though).

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