Smoking

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    Dec 16, 2009 9:33 PM GMT
    I'm not a heavy smoker by any stretch of the imagination, but even one is too many...i seem to continuously fail at quitting permanently...anybody else trying at the moment, or any othe smokers or ex smokers wanna put their wo penneth in and generally cough and hack while i light up and discuss this topic!?
  • bmw0

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    Dec 16, 2009 10:40 PM GMT
    I'll tell you that i smoked for 9 years (from age 13) and quit cold turkey almost four years ago. First off, you have to want to quit. Second, we are creatures of habit. Find something to transfer your addiction to.

    I used peanut M&M's and cinnamon mints, as well as burned cinnamon scented candles in my home. Also, challenge yourself. Go and stand by a friend while they are smoking and take a couple deep breaths. That small amount of second hand nicotine helped me when i had stomach pains from cravings. You have to be strong enough to resist the temptation though... It may sound silly, but it worked for me...
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    Dec 16, 2009 10:47 PM GMT
    hotpuppy saidI'm not a heavy smoker by any stretch of the imagination, but even one is too many...i seem to continuously fail at quitting permanently...anybody else trying at the moment, or any othe smokers or ex smokers wanna put their wo penneth in and generally cough and hack while i light up and discuss this topic!?


    Just quit. You're not that weak.
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    Dec 16, 2009 10:48 PM GMT
    No matter how many times you fail, it's important to keep trying again, over and over, until you can make it work. It's really worth it, which I'm sure I don't have to tell you.

    I've never been a heavy smoker either, 6 a day is pretty much a high for me, and over the last 15 years, I've spent most of that as a social smoker, smoking about a pack a year. But under stress, I get in a mode where I smoke every day and then I have to call it quits.

    I've succeeded at quitting (I define that as not smoking for a year or more) 3 times, and have failed at it about 6 times. I'm currently 2 weeks without smoking, and hoping for the best. I've tried to analyze the difference between the successes and failures, and for me, it has to do with my mental state -- essentially, how much I love myself. If I have confidence in me and my future, then I can summon the willpower to stop, but if I'm a bit depressed and gloomy, then I get a "oh what the fuck" thing taking over and I fail. I have no idea whether that's gonna help you or not.

    Another thing I've got going for me this time is that a very close friend of mine who smoked 1-2 packs a day for 20 years is doing well on his first real attempt to quit. He has a new life, new boyfriend, and I think has a different view of his future too. That, and he's on Wellbutrin, which has an off-label use for helping to quit smoking. That combo seems to be working for him, and we're reinforcing each other's determination.

    So, to summarize from my personal view:

    1) Love yourself. Love your potential. Look forward the the future, with quitting as you first big step to a new, more fabulous you. (Geez, I'm channeling Oprah now).

    2) Find a friend and quit together. Reinforce each other.

    3) Ask your doc about a prescription if you think that will help.

    There's been smoking threads on here before, and it's something that receives quite the hostile reception on RJ, actually, usually from ass hat know-it-alls who've never smoked (e.g. "ewww, gross!", "if he smokes, it's game over", "smokers are vile and awful", "I just can't understand how you can be so awful and freaky and scary and gross", "what's so hard, I mean just quit!", "I'm x years old and I've never smoked ever, so that means I'm awesome and you suck!", blah blah Junior High School blah, etc.). But the other things that come up in those threads that people have had success with is hypnosis and the patch.

    So there, you have 5 suggestions!

    That'll be 5 dollars.
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    Dec 16, 2009 10:50 PM GMT
    50 years, never have smoked a tobacco cigarette ever... Years ago a few expensive cigars though not anymore...
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    Dec 16, 2009 11:10 PM GMT
    Even if you only smoke a couple a day you can still be "dependent" on those. Especially if smoking's a coping mechanism for stress. I sometimes wonder if "social smokers" (subconsciously or not) smoke because of the fact that they're in the social situation to take the edge off. The same way that someone might drink a glass of wine for the same purpose, not necessarily overdoing it.

    Smokers say smoking relaxes them, but it's more than likely the deep breathing that relaxes them. Focusing on your breath. I'd say that at times when you want to smoke, maybe try just closing your eyes and checking in with your breath. Let that be your focus, and see if the urge passes.
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    Dec 16, 2009 11:29 PM GMT
    Snus is the cure.

    Get REAL snus, from Sweden. Use it anywhere, even in non-smoking areas. It is no different than popping a breath mint. Going from cigs to snus is 99% safer than smoking. And it is VERY hard to think about having a cig, when the snus keeps the nic level steady in the bloodstream.

    You can order snus, or samplers with different kinds from http://www.northerner.com/ or http://www.buysnus.com/. These are Swedish companies, so for cheapest shipping select "Swedish Post" shipping. Expect to receive your order from Sweden in about 11 business days.

    You can also buy Swedish snus (smaller selection than from Sweden) from US companies such as:

    http://getsnus.com/

    http://www.premiumsnus.com/

    http://www.clubsnus.com/

    For example, premiumsnus offers a 'try out starter kit' for $16 bucks, which includes 6 cans of Swedish snus, which is dirt cheap.

    If you go this route, just be sure and purchase 'portion' snus, and not los or loose, at least to start.

    Seriously, the Swedes figured out how use tobacco SAFELY (without the stink of the smoke) two centuries ago. There is no reason for anyone to smoke tobacco anymore. (And I smoked for 28.5 years, so I would know.)

    As far as flavors:

    LD Black - discount version, but said to be the best of the licorice snus

    Gotesborg Rape (aka 'goat rape) - juniper - if you like gin martinis you will LOVE this

    Catch Eucalyptus

    Mocca Pomegranate - supposedly pomegranate flavored, but really tastes and smells like bubblegum

    General Wintergreen - wintergreen flavor, but anything by General is top notch.

    Taboca strong minis - fig flavor - somewhat higher level of nic

    Tre Anakare (three anchors) - pure tobacco flavor, with no additional flavoring oils added.

    General - bergamot and citrus. If you like Earl Grey tea, you will like this.

    Skruf Cranberry
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    Dec 16, 2009 11:35 PM GMT
    Runninchlt saidEven if you only smoke a couple a day you can still be "dependent" on those. Especially if smoking's a coping mechanism for stress. I sometimes wonder if "social smokers" (subconsciously or not) smoke because of the fact that they're in the social situation to take the edge off. The same way that someone might drink a glass of wine for the same purpose, not necessarily overdoing it.

    Smokers say smoking relaxes them, but it's more than likely the deep breathing that relaxes them. Focusing on your breath. I'd say that at times when you want to smoke, maybe try just closing your eyes and checking in with your breath. Let that be your focus, and see if the urge passes.


    You're not a smoker, right?

    Social smokers are like social drinkers. There's a host of reasons for it, but I think it's quite simplistic to assume it's a coping mechanism for the stress of social interaction. Perhaps it's just cause, like beer, it's not something they regularly crave enuf to "stock" in the house, but look at it as a "special occasion" thing, like a 10 course meal, or a beer with friends. It's braintwisting for non-smokers to wrap their heads around, but smokers enjoy smoking. It's not like every time we light up, we think, "God this is absolutely awful."

    And your second paragraph is quite a bit detached from evidence or experience as well. There's lots and lots of medical research on why smoking seems "relaxing" psychologically, when in fact, physiologically it's quite stress inducing. Suffice it to say that it has nothing do with breathing, or that breathing exercises have had any effect on quitting. You can Google the rest. Please.

    And I know non-smokers are coming from a good place, and are just trying to help (well, most of the time, sometimes they just come in threads like this to scold, judge, or simply brag about how they've never smoked -- thanks much for that), but realize this:

    Non smokers almost ALWAYS know a hell of a lot less about smoking that smokers do. And I don't just mean the act of smoking. I mean its psychologic effects. Its physiologic effects. Why it's hard to quit. What are effective and non-effective ways to quit.

    As much as I try to hold my tongue when a non-smoker says stuff like:

    "I'm 50 and I've never had a cigarette ever!" (how nice for you!)

    "I think social smoking is just a compensation for the stress of social interaction." (Oh, you think?)

    "I think that if you just breathe deeply before you light up, you'll be able to avoid it." (Wow, that simple?)

    I feel like an overweight person must feel when a skinny person gives them "helpful" advice about losing weight. It's often the most incredibly ill-thought-out, fact-free gobbledygook you've heard in your life. As well intentioned as it might be, it really makes me want to ....

    LIGHT UP.
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    Dec 17, 2009 12:03 AM GMT
    Runninchlt saidI sometimes wonder if "social smokers" (subconsciously or not) smoke because of the fact that they're in the social situation to take the edge off. The same way that someone might drink a glass of wine for the same purpose, not necessarily overdoing it.
    Smokers say smoking relaxes them, but it's more than likely the deep breathing that relaxes them. Focusing on your breath. I'd say that at times when you want to smoke, maybe try just closing your eyes and checking in with your breath. Let that be your focus, and see if the urge passes.
    I smoke on occasion (every other month or so) with no apparent rhyme or reason. Sometimes I'm alone, sometimes I'm with friends, sometimes with strangers, sometimes I'm drinking, sometimes it's after I eat, sometimes I'll smoke one, sometimes two. In general I don't like the smell or taste of cigarettes but sometimes it is exactly what my senses want and it tastes and feels damn good.
    I don't think you meant to be patronizing, but it did come off that way a bit. I'm not tied to smoking but I admire when I see others trying to quit and sometimes the best way to support someone is let them find their own way and give them the encouragement and unconditional support they need... whether they be loved ones or strangers in passing.
    No one likes to have assumptions made about their personal struggles and quitting smoking is just that, a very personal struggle.
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    Dec 17, 2009 12:04 AM GMT
    I smoked heavily for about 10 years. I tried all kinds of quitting schemes. My favorite was the one where I got a literally $1000 shot (and this was two decades ago!) of something that supposedly instantly detoxes the body and also throws you into such shock that they give you thorazine to endure it. This supposedly eliminates physical addiction. Whatever. I resumed smoking almost immediately -- just like I continued to smoke while chewing that gum that makes cigarettes taste like shit.

    I finally faced the reality that it was going to be agonizing for me to quit smoking and that I wasn't going to do it unless I gave it absolute priority. I let my assistant do most of my work for two months -- because I was dizzy all the time. I was also angry all the time, enough so that friends began leaving packs of cigarettes on my doorstep. Oh, and I kicked a large hole in the wall of my office.

    The hardest thing was writing without a cigarette. It was like I was missing a necessary 11th finger at the keyboard. I suspect most people associate smoking with a particular activity and the activity continues to trigger the craving.

    It was at least a year before my craving subsided to a point that it was easily dismissed.

    If I ever resume smoking, I will die a smoker. I never want to go through the agony of withdrawal again.



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    Dec 17, 2009 12:09 AM GMT
    iguanaSF saidI feel like an overweight person must feel when a skinny person gives them "helpful" advice about losing weight. It's often the most incredibly ill-thought-out, fact-free gobbledygook you've heard in your life. As well intentioned as it might be, it really makes me want to ....

    LIGHT UP.
    I'm so very proud of your 2 weeks. I'm rooting for your success... or rather, whether you light up or not, I'm rooting "for you". xo
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    Dec 17, 2009 12:30 AM GMT
    I can't offer advice or insight because my short period as a smoker when I was in college ended abruptly and permanently before I graduated, because I got disgusted with it.

    And this may piss off smokers who say "all I need is unconditional support in this very personal struggle," but I'm just being honest: Smoking is a disgusting, destructive habit and I find it very hard to sympathize with smokers who can't seem to quit. Make the decision to do it. And never, ever smoke again. It's gross, you stink, you're killing yourself. Period. Does that mean it's easy? Absolutely not. But neither is getting in/keeping in shape. QUIT NOW, FOR GOOD. Don't wait for New Year's, do it now. I have close friends who smoke and I tell them the same thing to their faces. Why would I stand by and say nothing when they are killing themselves?

    You've probably seen this thread... there is a reason nearly all the people posting say they would never date an ashtray, er, a smoker.
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/753307/

    Go ahead, bring on any criticism of my tough love. Smoking is indefensible. I'm rooting for you... but it's a no-brainer. DO IT!
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    Dec 17, 2009 12:31 AM GMT
    EasilyDistracted saidI'm so very proud of your 2 weeks. I'm rooting for your success... or rather, whether you light up or not, I'm rooting "for you". xo


    Awww, thanks.

    And OW, your story about being angry and kicking the wall made me realize why I might be posting like a crazed cranky bitchy maniac on RJ lately. Oopsie. No cigs to calm me down from my exploding life.

    So apologies to Runnin - I think you got caught in the crossfire of my... uh psychologic withdrawal.

    * bites lower lip really hard *
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    Dec 17, 2009 12:42 AM GMT
    djdorchester2 saidSmoking is a disgusting, destructive habit and I find it very hard to sympathize with smokers who can't seem to quit. Make the decision to do it. And never, ever smoke again. It's gross, you stink, you're killing yourself. Period....

    You've probably seen this thread... there is a reason nearly all the people posting say they would never date an ashtray, er, a smoker.
    http://www.realjock.com/gayforums/753307/


    Thanks so much for your help. I find that telling people they are weak, disgusting, and gross is a sure fire way to help! Especially when it's peppered with helpful "tough love" suggestions like:

    "Just quit!"

    "Just make the decision and do it! Then never ever smoke again!"

    "I smoked for a tiny bit, and I hated it and never smoked again. So there! You can do it too, cause I did it!"

    These suggestions are really full of insight, and are things a smoker probably has never ever thought of!

    Oh, and thanks so much for pointing out that thread where everyone says smokers are weak, disgusting, smelly, gross, and will never get a date, let alone a boyfriend. You know, I was so unaware of such feelings, especially here on RJ, where everyone is so supportive and knowledgeable.

    I think you've really helped me in my struggle to quit with your post. I do love all you wonderful folks who are brave and courageous enough to "tell it like it is" and "be real" with people like me.

    Thanks again.
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    Dec 17, 2009 12:44 AM GMT
    You're welcome.

    You left out the "you're killing yourself" comment I made. Not sure why...

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    Dec 17, 2009 12:55 AM GMT
    Good luck if it's what you really wont to do.

    But such topics make me think of all those people who never smoked, drank, and had lots of foods they would never eat, like hot chips; yummy.

    Then one day as they are about to cross the road they are knocked down by a big red buss, and as the wheel of that bus was about grind into them, they must think: "shit I could of gotten drunk last night!"

    I love the saying smoking kills, would make sense if we only died if we smoked, but we die regardless, sooner or latter, smoking or not.

    Oh I will be caring for an 80 year old latter today, who has been smoking since 19, and she is still doing well for an 80 year old; good genetics.
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    Dec 17, 2009 1:20 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Runninchlt saidEven if you only smoke a couple a day you can still be "dependent" on those. Especially if smoking's a coping mechanism for stress. I sometimes wonder if "social smokers" (subconsciously or not) smoke because of the fact that they're in the social situation to take the edge off. The same way that someone might drink a glass of wine for the same purpose, not necessarily overdoing it.

    Smokers say smoking relaxes them, but it's more than likely the deep breathing that relaxes them. Focusing on your breath. I'd say that at times when you want to smoke, maybe try just closing your eyes and checking in with your breath. Let that be your focus, and see if the urge passes.


    You're not a smoker, right?

    Social smokers are like social drinkers. There's a host of reasons for it, but I think it's quite simplistic to assume it's a coping mechanism for the stress of social interaction. Perhaps it's just cause, like beer, it's not something they regularly crave enuf to "stock" in the house, but look at it as a "special occasion" thing, like a 10 course meal, or a beer with friends. It's braintwisting for non-smokers to wrap their heads around, but smokers enjoy smoking. It's not like every time we light up, we think, "God this is absolutely awful."

    And your second paragraph is quite a bit detached from evidence or experience as well. There's lots and lots of medical research on why smoking seems "relaxing" psychologically, when in fact, physiologically it's quite stress inducing. Suffice it to say that it has nothing do with breathing, or that breathing exercises have had any effect on quitting. You can Google the rest. Please.

    And I know non-smokers are coming from a good place, and are just trying to help (well, most of the time, sometimes they just come in threads like this to scold, judge, or simply brag about how they've never smoked -- thanks much for that), but realize this:

    Non smokers almost ALWAYS know a hell of a lot less about smoking that smokers do. And I don't just mean the act of smoking. I mean its psychologic effects. Its physiologic effects. Why it's hard to quit. What are effective and non-effective ways to quit.

    As much as I try to hold my tongue when a non-smoker says stuff like:

    "I'm 50 and I've never had a cigarette ever!" (how nice for you!)

    "I think social smoking is just a compensation for the stress of social interaction." (Oh, you think?)

    "I think that if you just breathe deeply before you light up, you'll be able to avoid it." (Wow, that simple?)

    I feel like an overweight person must feel when a skinny person gives them "helpful" advice about losing weight. It's often the most incredibly ill-thought-out, fact-free gobbledygook you've heard in your life. As well intentioned as it might be, it really makes me want to ....

    LIGHT UP.


    Actually you would be wrong in your assumptions and I guess it's my fault in a sense because of the way I wrote my post. I was passing along some thoughts and a technique that had been helpful for me to the OP. I didn't mean to offend anyone. Some people do write here with a know it all standpoint, but I never claimed to have any of the answers. I do know a thing or two about addiction and I really hate to see anyone struggling with it. I'm not here to judge anyone for anything, that's not my place (or anyone else's for that matter).

    Iguanasf"I think social smoking is just a compensation for the stress of social interaction." (Oh, you think?)

    "I think that if you just breathe deeply before you light up, you'll be able to avoid it." (Wow, that simple?)


    Read what I wrote again...I did not say it like that and I did not MEAN it like that. I wish you success in your quit.

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    Dec 17, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    djdorchester2 saidI can't offer advice or insight because my short period as a smoker when I was in college ended abruptly and permanently before I graduated, because I got disgusted with it.

    And this may piss off smokers who say "all I need is unconditional support in this very personal struggle," but I'm just being honest: Smoking is a disgusting, destructive habit and I find it very hard to sympathize with smokers who can't seem to quit. Make the decision to do it. And never, ever smoke again. It's gross, you stink, you're killing yourself. Period. Does that mean it's easy? Absolutely not. But neither is getting in/keeping in shape. QUIT NOW, FOR GOOD. Don't wait for New Year's, do it now. I have close friends who smoke and I tell them the same thing to their faces. Why would I stand by and say nothing when they are killing themselves?

    Go ahead, bring on any criticism of my tough love. Smoking is indefensible. I'm rooting for you... but it's a no-brainer. DO IT!

    What's disgusting is people's broad and short sighted assumptions that everyone lives their lives by one set of standards and vantage points. You can throw in as many "Period"s and "no brainers" as you want. What's also disgusting is assuming that "you know shit" about what anyone else besides yourself is going through.
    Unless you have the wherewithal to actually stand by someone and support their cessation of any dependency then you really should keep your judgments, opinions and egocentric perspectives to yourself.
    Tough love is too frequently used to label what is otherwise known as "being an asshole". You advice is as shortsighted as your time was short as a "smoker"... I fucked women in college, doesn't make me a official on straight sex any more than it makes you one on smoking cessation.
    For the record, *I* don't consider myself a smoker. But I don't need to be one to take offense to bullshit when I see it.
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    Dec 17, 2009 1:39 AM GMT

    Every time you feel like lighting up...have a donut instead. icon_surprised.gif
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    Dec 17, 2009 1:56 AM GMT
    Runninchlt saidRead what I wrote again...I did not say it like that and I did not MEAN it like that. I wish you success in your quit.



    I did, and I apologized in a subsequent post. I'm cranky lately. icon_sad.gif
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    Dec 17, 2009 5:45 AM GMT
    iguanaSF said
    Runninchlt saidRead what I wrote again...I did not say it like that and I did not MEAN it like that. I wish you success in your quit.



    I did, and I apologized in a subsequent post. I'm cranky lately. icon_sad.gif


    No worries. Hope you feel better soon.
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    Dec 17, 2009 5:51 AM GMT
    I quit 3 months ago cold turkey. haven't had one since. I would love one RIGHT NOW. I won't do it, because I refuse to let the addiction win.

    Having said that, I will NEVER disparage someone who is trying and strugglng, because I know how hard it is, first hand. It's a daily struggle and I will be forever fighting the urge to lightup.

    I made itg through a 3 day trip to Vegas, and my next hurdle is a 3 day trip home for Christrmas where my brother and sister-in-law smoke like chimneys. the only saving grace is that i KNOW i can fight the urge.

    Stay strong and ask anytime for help.
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    Dec 17, 2009 6:42 AM GMT
    GuiltyGear said
    Every time you feel like lighting up...have a donut instead. icon_surprised.gif
    Oooooo... donuts... that's a whole different dependency...
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    Dec 17, 2009 7:29 AM GMT
    hoosierlad saidStay strong and ask anytime for help.


    You sir, are awesome!

    I'll be rooting for you when you're home with the chimneys, er, family!

    * looks around desperately for a donut *
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    Dec 17, 2009 10:03 AM GMT
    EasilyDistracted saidTough love is too frequently used to label what is otherwise known as "being an asshole".


    There is a certain someone who needs to internalize this.