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Smoking, need ideas to kick it before I get really hooked

Discussion in 'Anything goes' started by Bradley Guire, Jul 17, 2016.

  1. Bradley Guire

    Bradley Guire Well-Known Member

    Yeah yeah, I'm a shit heel smoker, at least right now. I was a light social smoker in my 20s, hanging out with folks at the bar after work, but that never lead to anything serious. And I'd have a cigar about twice a year.

    But back in May I started stress smoking, taking breaks from work. I'm the design chief of my small paper, and we went to a central desk last year (under a different design chief, whom I replaced when he took other work). The other designers were laid off. So I'm the only guy in the newsroom with even a basic knowledge of design or working the software.

    Anything not handled by the centeal desk like special sections or weeklies is on my plate. Of course, I was salaried. No OT and I've got to work until the job is done.

    We've had a lot of big projects lately, and I'm not able to hire a freelancer for everything. Either there's not enough in my budget, or the project is deemed too important to farm out.

    I've got another bulged disc in my lumbar, the nerves in my legs are firing like crazy, and I can't put in less than a 50-hour week most of the time.

    So I started smoking. The nicotine buzz from the first one on my first break of the shift calmed things down. A couple of them, and in 15 minutes I was ready to get back in the cubicle.

    I'm going through 2-3 packs a week, which is a lot for me. But I know I have to quit before it gets worse. Plus, the wife is going to kill me if I don't.

    I stopped by the tobacco shop and tried a disposable Blu e-cig. Wasn't worth a shit. I didn't feel anything from that. So I'm two days without a smoke and going crazy.

    Any smokers or ex-smokers care to weigh in? Let's take five to chat about it. Light 'em if ya got 'em.
  2. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    First, you caught yourself pretty early. You can do this. It might take a few tries, but it's worth it.

    I smoked Marlboros (and Pall Mall unfiltered for a year or two) from the time I was 16 until I was 28, and I was up to about a pack and a half a day. We lit 'em up one after another in the newsroom in those days. Then we'd go to a bar after the shift and smoke and drink. It was accepted.

    But, at some point, I decided it was kind of disgusting -- full ashtrays around the apartment, smelly clothes, smelly hair, brown-tinged fingertips. So I quit cold turkey. Started again. Quit again. Started again. Then finally quit for good.

    On about the third or fourth try I made it. That was 30 years ago.

    You have some advantages now. It's not socially acceptable, it's way more expensive, there are fewer places you can light up and there are better products and programs to help if you want to go that route.

    Good luck.
  3. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member


    But seriously, what cran said, plus you might look into SMART Recovery. It's a science-based recovery program applicable to all addictions, based on REBT. One big part of SMART is all about urge control.

    It can be a big help, is NOT a 12 step program, no God / Higher Power stuff. If interested, I can tell you more or you can Google it. It's been helping me a lot over the past year, and I have mainly used it to help get my weight down (now 206 from a high of 260) and trying to reduce my internet addiction, alcohol intake, etc.

    All that said, Pornhub?
  4. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    You're already halfway through the hardest part -- the first week. Give it another day or two and you'll be noticeably less crazy and it won't seem so daunting.

    I smoked for 22 years. I quit on a Monday, and by Thursday, I looked and felt so much better that I never looked back.

    I replaced the stress relief with walking around my building. I also kept a pack of twizzlers at my desk at all times. If I kept busy enough, I barely thought about it after the first week.

    Edit to add: I wouldn't try an e-cigarette if I were you. The more we find out about them, the more they look as unhealthy as real cigarettes. I had one for a few days and it made me sick.

    Best of luck.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
  5. Twirling Time

    Twirling Time Well-Known Member

    Is that you in your avatar?
  6. exmediahack

    exmediahack Well-Known Member

    Not a smoker but married to one who said she would quit... 20 years ago. Said once the stress of the wedding was over, she'd quit.

    Still smokes a pack a day.

    The silent resentment that stews within me over this is nearly at a breaking point. If you're in a relationship with a non-smoker, I imagine a similar resentment would foster.

    Here is what I would suggest.

    Go to your nearest Walmart. Look at the women or men who are in their 50s and have spent their lives smoking. Skin is all charred and dicey. They probably move a little slower. Perhaps they have the "lean over the back of the cart" look.

    That's your life in 2040 if you don't grab a hold of it now.

    Not to mention the thousands of dollars that you'll save each year.

    I have kicked some things I consider addictive in the last 11 months. Diet Dew (was 64 ounces a day for previous eight years) and extra sugar. It wasn't easy but I did both cold turkey about eight months apart. Mine was done out of fear of diabetes and heart attacks. 11 months later, my labs were crystal clear, weight was down and vitals were perfect for a middle age guy.

    You can do this.
    Tweener likes this.
  7. Baron Scicluna

    Baron Scicluna Well-Known Member

    No, it's wrestler Becky Lynch.

    I'm not a smoker, but I've found getting outside and taking a walk is a good stress reliever. I've read several articles which say that it's unhealthy to sit at a desk all day or night. So at some point, I get up, go out and walk around the neighborhood for 10 minutes or so. I also rationalize it by if it keeps me a little healthier, I'll be saving the health insurance company money with medical bills and the paper by not taking as many sick days.
  8. Riptide

    Riptide Well-Known Member

    In the short term, get on nicotine gum. It's fairly addicting in itself, but as least you're not smoking. When you get tired of paying the money for nicotine gum, wean yourself off it with regular gum. Any questions about this method, PM me.
    cranberry likes this.
  9. Vombatus

    Vombatus Well-Known Member

    Also, it helps to read up on and practice the "relaxation response" which is the opposite of our adrenaline-filled survival mechanism of "fight or flight".

    One basic way to relax, like Baron's walk breaks, is to pause, and take three to six long deep breaths with long exhalations. Can be done at your desk.

    Or, another great place is when you get caught at a red stop light. You're not going anywhere for a minute, might as well relax, breathe and re-energize.
  10. MisterCreosote

    MisterCreosote Well-Known Member

    Another way to make it easier is to keep track of how much money you're actually saving.

    When I quit, I was spending about $60/week on cigarettes. On top of that, the "smoker surcharge" from my health insurance was another $60/month on top of that.

    I transferred the insurance money into my 401k. I gave my wife the cash I would've used to buy smokes and she put it in a (hidden) rainy-day fund that we'd raid once a month to go out for a nice dinner or something.
  11. cranberry

    cranberry Well-Known Member

    This is probably the approach I'd take these days rather than cold turkey.
  12. outofplace

    outofplace Well-Known Member

    See the bold part, BG? You might need to get lucky for that to happen. My father started smoking when he was 12 and died from lung cancer when he was 56. He lost his mother, another lifetime smoker, to cancer at 38. Your wife is right to be angry if you don't quit, especially if you have children.

    I watched cancer eat up my father, then do the same to my father-in-law, who also smoked most of his life. They were ugly, horrible, painful deaths. They were absolutely devastating to my family and yes, I blame the smoking.

    I've lost both parents, my father nearly 17 years ago and my mother last month. Both died in part because they didn't take care of themselves properly. (Hers is a bit of a long story I haven't told on the board, but not related to smoking.) You don't want to leave anybody behind with that knowledge. Trust me on this.

    Sorry if this is a bit heavy. Mrs. OOP and I are celebrating our wedding anniversary this weekend. My father was already very sick by that day and he died later that year, so it always brings him to mind.

    If you don't want it badly enough for yourself to quit? Do it for everybody who cares about you. If that isn't enough, nothing we say here can help you.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2016
    Dick Whitman and Vombatus like this.
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