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Addictive Behaviours Discuss and receive support for addictions not related to substance use, such as gambling, Internet, sex or work addictions, in this forum.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
weaved1 Offline
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Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 8th 2014, 08:17 PM

Hi guys,

I just came to realize that going beyond the 1 year mark of smoking that in retrospect, I look back at how much damage I've done, money I've spent, trust I've betrayed and respect I've lost and can't help it but to look forward to quitting soon. Or at least cutting down.

Why I decided to smoke?
One of my best friends and I last year purchased 2 packets of Marlboro Reds and promised each other we'd simply only have 1 ever 3 months or so. Well that packet disappeared in a week and then I bought another, another, another and another. And then it got me. I was struggling with sport and for a 15-16 year old you can classify us Heavy Smokers.

The expense:
How does $16-25 AUD for a packet of 20s or 25s sound to you? Do the math, a packet a day you're spending more than $100 a week. Several grand a year. I've lost over a grand due to smoking.

How much did I smoke:
First started with 1 or 2 a day, then it grew to nearly a packet a day.

Where I am now:
Smoking shags (or pouches) which cost either $17 or $27 (for Winfield) and considerably are healthier and generally last longer. (1-2 weeks?).

But, now, it's time to wrap it up.
So I'm wondering; what good techniques are there to go cold turkey on this? I heard sauna 3 days straight will help but I never made the effort to throw out lighters, my pouch, rolling paper and filters out, just yet. Anyone got anything to say? I don't want the withdrawal symptoms to distract my performance at school and sport. They don't sound pretty.



   
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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 9th 2014, 12:52 AM

Hello Dan

Ask a pharmacist about how to give up smoking. They should be able to offer you an over-the-counter product that will help wean you off the nicotine addition. These products come in either chewing gum (a brand that comes to mind is Nicorette), or an oral spray, or lozenges or a patch you adhere to your skin somewhere. While this products help cut the craving, some willpower is required.

I am in the same situation, though finding it difficult to give up smoking tobacco because I am stressed from my job. Maybe when I feel more relaxed I can be successful. If you, too, are stressed, try and find a time when you will feel better. This is what I intend for myself.

The cost of cigarettes/baccy is astronomical in Europe which is where I am. Even in France and the UK tobacco prices are extorionate. So let's make a list of how much we will be saving each day. Let's make this list for the week and tote it up after 7 days, see how much $$$/ we've saved. The amount I been smoking, I should think by the end of the year I could buy a second-hand car.

Good luck! Speaking for myself also.



   
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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 9th 2014, 07:47 AM

Hi Spiderpig,

thanks for the info. I'll be sure to keep the nicotine gum and patches in mind and will speak to a pharmacist ASAP. I also read that when quitting smoking, it's highly recommended to temporarily displace your routine in which case you don't do the things you do that requires you to have a smoke (coffee on the balcony), (specific smoking location), (work breaks) and to go for intense 15 minute runs (IF THAT'S POSSIBLE!) when failing to resist a craving. Two great pieces of advice I'll jot down.

Anyway, I wish us both loads of luck on our tobacco endeavours.



   
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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 9th 2014, 06:42 PM

Roll ups aren't considerably healthier. They still have a lot, if not more, added chemicals as normal cigs. Any form of smoking is going to be considerably bad, because a lot of unhealthy stuff comes from the combustion. They are much more affordable though. If you want to do something that is like smoking, but actually significantly less harmful, you are better off with electronic-cigarettes, because there are less chemicals and no combustion.

At your age, smoking is believed to be more harmful, as your body is still developing, so quitting smoking, is the ideal route. There are nicotine products available, or you can go cold turkey if you want to quit nicotine... but the smoking is significantly worse than anything nicotine will do to you, so don't feel you have to go cold turkey. If you decide to quit smoking, no matter what you choose to do, the first few days, and even weeks will be hard (yes, even if you continue using nicotine in another form, as nicotine is not the only addictive part of smoking).

Also, as you stop smoking, you won't just get cravings, but your body will go through some changes which may be unpleasant (increased coughing, nasal drip, etc), whilst it recovers. If you've only been smoking a year, your physical symptoms probably won't be too bad though. Withdrawal itself is strongest in the first week if you get it (when I smoked, I sometimes went days at a time without smoking without getting withdrawal, so I think it depends on the person), but there will be urges long after that (people often relapse in the future), so be aware of that.

Plenty of people have quit smoking. But its really down to you.
   
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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 10th 2014, 01:28 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by weaved1 View Post
Hi Spiderpig,

thanks for the info. I'll be sure to keep the nicotine gum and patches in mind and will speak to a pharmacist ASAP. I also read that when quitting smoking, it's highly recommended to temporarily displace your routine in which case you don't do the things you do that requires you to have a smoke (coffee on the balcony), (specific smoking location), (work breaks) and to go for intense 15 minute runs (IF THAT'S POSSIBLE!) when failing to resist a craving. Two great pieces of advice I'll jot down.

Anyway, I wish us both loads of luck on our tobacco endeavours.

While I am unsure of the legalities of smoking in your country as to your age, you could always ask your parents to buy you some E-cigs. These would be a useful method to help give up smoking and are way cheaper, too. Mum has bought some E-cigs for me and I've found them quite pleasant. Good luck anyway and thanks for your encouragement.

Alex



   
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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 10th 2014, 03:23 AM

Hello Dan,

Going cold turkey will only lead you back to the pack, again and again. Regardless if you feel a lot better, possibly a few days go by and you are okay with not smoking cigarettes. Then you find yourself having another cigarette and you forget about why you even stopped smoking in the first place. Then weeks go by without a cigarette, again you forget why you even quit in the first place but start to feel crappy because you gotten that far. Possibly 2 months go by or a few, in your hands in another cigarette; might feel like a upset stomach, head may hurt a lot, your quickly forget why you stopped in the first place.

Going cold turkey is proven that it's not the best way to quit smoking. It doesn't work because you put nicotine in your system, it disappears (doesn't take long) and your body adjusts, it adjusts like when you crave another cigarette and you have one. However, cold turkey, if you have a craving you just satisfy that craving or you find yourself in the store buying another pack without much thought.

Since your body is used to having that nicotine you will want it again, might be an hour after, a day after, a week after, or even a month after; whichever you always fall back into smoking.

You need to ask yourself if you are ready to quit. You need to ask yourself if you will be prepared to handle the withdrawal symptoms as the nicotine is leaving your body. You need to ask yourself if you are okay or can handle your emotions well. You need to ask yourself if you know any supports that you can access or call. You need to ask yourself what it means to you to quit smoking.

Outlining
You need to ask yourself if you will be prepared to handle the withdrawal symptoms as the nicotine is leaving your body. You need to be aware of what your body will be doing during withdrawals and everything is normal, a normal process of withdrawal symptoms. However, sometimes it can do really weird things to our body, you may notice your taste has been more weirder as one. You might feel sick, headaches, dizzy, tired, you may not even be able to sleep, you will most likely will be feeling tired and out of it.

You need to ask yourself if you are okay or can handle your emotions well. It's important to understand your feelings during this time. You will experience every emotion going and sometimes you may feel so many emotions in 1 hour that it may seem very unbearable. Knowing there is help you can call someone. You also need to know these emotions will pass as your body adjusts. It's perfectly normal. In any way shape or form you feel you can not handle your feelings or make sense of them, you should call your doctor, call a helpline, or go to a clinic/hospital.

You need to ask yourself if you know any supports that you can access or call. Have a list of supports that you can call, if you have a cell phone, program those into it. Come here and talk about your feelings. We are also a very good support.

You need to ask yourself what it means to you to quit smoking.
Everyone has a meaning and reason why they want to quit smoking. What is yours? Why do you want to quit? Is it for your health, financial, family, social interactions, being smelly (smokers tend to smell badly) bad teeth, etc., whatever your reason is that is your reason and no one else reason.

Finally...
You need to ask yourself if you are ready to quit. Are you ready to quit?

Give yourself some time. Also going cold turkey will not benefit you if you really want to quit. You need replacements to help you. You don't need to quit altogether, you can reduce your smoking. For instance, you smoke 20 a day, instead of 20, smoke 15 for a week and see how you feel, if you need another week, smoke 15. Keep reducing it until you feel you can handle the quit. This allows you to set yourself up for your quit.

Setting a quit date is very important. Set a date that isnt during a time of high stress this will cause you to be less likely of following your quit date, you would smoke instead. Set a date next week, in a month. Also getting educated before your quit also is a big help.

Also you may have slips where you may smoke a cigarette or two, that is fine, just know and understand you can get past it. It is hard, so slipping happens and don't be hard on yourself.

I want you to know and to understand, the information I provided may or may not happen to you, however this is something I've gone through more than 30 times, to quit cold turkey. I understand on a deep level how hard it is, if you need anything else or would like to chat about it you may PM me.

Here are a few links for your area:
Quit Now: http://www.quitnow.gov.au/
Reach Out: http://au.reachout.com/Smoking-habits

Take Care,
Chantal


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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 10th 2014, 04:15 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spiderpig View Post
While I am unsure of the legalities of smoking in your country as to your age, you could always ask your parents to buy you some E-cigs. These would be a useful method to help give up smoking and are way cheaper, too. Mum has bought some E-cigs for me and I've found them quite pleasant. Good luck anyway and thanks for your encouragement.

Alex
I've tried e-cigarettes but rather not bother with them. Though they are fun and you can smoke them practically anywhere - I've had many bad experiences with the cheap ones and ended up starting again and don't want to make the effort to buy an expensive one for substitution. Rather quit as a whole. Apparently e-cigs aren't FDA approved either.

p.s age of purchasing tobacco-related products is strictly 18 but I have my ways.

@Maleia, many thanks for that large wall of helpfulness! Will record that down and refer to it when needed. Many thanks.



   
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Re: Nicotine addiction gone too far. - March 12th 2014, 03:15 PM

E-cigarettes don't do much for nicotine addiction. You're still getting your nicotine that way. The only difference is that they have less issues due to the smoke and can be cost effective, though I've heard of some people smoking more after they switch to e-cigs since they can smoke anywhere.

I recommend:
1. Talk to your family and friends (or anywhere who knows about your smoking really) and explain to them the issue. Ask them to not smoke in front of you. There's an inevitable immature person who blows smoke in your face. If this happens it's a good idea to temporarily avoid that person.

2. Throw out or give away all your smoking material (lighters, rolling papers, cigarette packs, tobacco pouches). The hassle of having to buy them all over again especially if you get cravings in the middle of the night will make it easier to avoid.

3. If there are any ash trays in your living space (your bed room for example), clean them out and put them away where you can't see them if you plan on using it for something else later, if not, give them to someone who may use them or a secondhand shop.

4. Clean your living space. This sounds weird and pointless, but getting rid of the smell of cigs on your clothes, personal items, and in the places where you smoke can make a huge difference. Get those air freshener things, get those sprays for clothes, get that incense that neutralizes the smell of smoke. You get the idea. This will make you less tempted to give in.

5. Finally, I heartily recommend talking to a doctor or at least a pharmacist about this. They may be able to prescribe you something like patches, sticks, gum, etc.

And a final piece of advice: even if you fail, don't give up. I've been a smoker for years now and I desperately want to quit (let this be a warning to anyone who might be curious about smoking... it's not worth the hassle). I've tried to quit cold turkey for years but I've failed every time, mainly because I'm always around smokers in and in non-smoke-free places, so even when they're considerate enough to not smoke in front of me I still feel the smell of smoke a lot. Maybe it'll take more than a few tries for you, or maybe you'll figure out that cold turkey isn't the way to go for you and in that case doing a step-by-step treatment with a doctor can help. That's what I'm going to try next.

Plus you've only been smoking for a year and not even a whole pack a day through that... it's not really going to be as tough on you as you think, and half of it will probably be psychological. Good luck.


   
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