Quitting smoking

Like many men of my age and generation, I love B&H special filters.

Well, when I say “Love”, I mean loathe. No, when I say “Loathe”, I mean I can’t live without them.

Wait, when I say “Can’t live without them,” I mean, I’d live longer if I didn’t smoke.

I’m a quitter.

Well, at least I’d like to be. Cigarettes are sh%t. I’m absolutely convinced of that. One of the most successful products of the industrial age. Billions of cigarettes are smoked every day – Just think of the CO2 greenhouse gasses that smokers emit.

Giving up tobacco products is not easy. I’ve been trying to quit for many years. It’s tough, the temptation to smoke, the opportunity and the desire all conspire against me.

But I’m not a quitter, I want to be a quitter. So I’ve signed up to the Quit Campaign’s online help centre. I don’t smoke in cyberspace, so I wonder if I can translate this into fleshlife.

I came to the Quit Te Mutu site from a link on Facebook. So perhaps there’s something positive in the mundanity of cyberspace.

My wife would be delighted. So would I.

Here goes. I’ll keep you posted.

19 Responses to Quitting smoking

  1. Good on ya mate. I’ve seen many smokers struggle with smoking. I’ve also seen a few die horribly, mutliated by surgery and weakened by radiation and chemotherapy. My own father is a life-time smoker an he has now had a right hemi-colectomy, half his liver removed, radio-therapy on what’s left of his liver….chemo-therapy and if the liver remains clear, they will remove the slow-growing cancer in his left lung. If that goes well, they’ll see what they can do about the fuzzy patch on the scans of his right femur.

    He’s also had several MRI, which he says are unbearable as he has to lie for 55 minutes inside the huge magnet and barely breathe…..with his arms stretched out over his head. The discomfort is excruciating, he says.

  2. medusa says:

    Good luck with your challenging “fleshlife” task ahead; the value of not smoking should serve you well physically, socially & financially if you can make it. As an ex-smoker from almost 15 years ago, I still suffer the occasional “smoker’s cough” but have found my general health has been much better since. My mate still smokes & it means he spends a great deal of time outside.

    Glad you found something not so “mundane” in cyberspace.

    Be strong, persevere & succeed, not only your wife will thank you…as you say, the whole world will!

  3. Thanks Medusa, it’s encouraging to get comments like these from people who know what it’s like.
    Best wishes

  4. Update #1:
    the worst time for me is in the mornings when I’m getting ready for work. I have this huge internal dialogue with myself about smoking.
    “Shall I smoke today, or not?”
    I’m usually able to convince myself that it’ll be OK, that I’ll stop one day, but not today.
    I had that dialogue with myself this morning, but instead of giving in to it, I put on a nicotine patch and came to work.
    It’s now 10.14am and I haven’t had a cigarette. The danger period’s almost over, but I’m going to the pub this evening to meet up with an English colleague.
    That will be the next danger time.

  5. Philip Matthews says:

    Good luck. I quit eight years ago this coming October after 12 years of more than a pack a day and long periods of trying to quit or, harder still, trying to cut down to perhaps five or six a day. I got on the nicotine patches and found they worked well — trying to quit without them made me feel nauseous, confused, vacant (okay, with the last two, people might say, what’s the difference?). But the most important thing was psychological: trying to cut down was just a way of avoiding the inevitable — that if you don’t stop, it will kill you — so you have to make a decisive, clean break from it. You have to announce to yourself that you will never smoke again. I learnt this from someone I know who smoked three packs a day and was HIV positive — when he got on some drugs that helped his HIV status, he realised that he had to stop smoking. He says that he simply decided then and there that he was an ex-smoker and never went back. It’s a will power issue.

    I haven’t lapsed either — had the odd dream in which I smoke, and feel I’m getting away with it, which is weird as I never really had a conscious desire to smoke again. The hardest thing was about three months of mild depression that followed the quitting — not something I really recognised at the time, but do looking back. The fact is that detoxing brings on quite intense physical and physiological effects, so be ready for those.

    Some suggest cutting out coffee if you have cigarettes and coffee together, but that never bothered me. But going to the pub was difficult — I found (and I’m sure you will find) that I got a lot drunker. Not sure whether smoking helps you pace yourself or whether some chemical combination in the cigarettes keeps you more sober. But drinking definitely become a hazard.

    Also, on the positive side: my health improved immensely. I used to have chest pains, shallow breathing — not good signs at 32, as I was when I quit. Other people said that I looked grey and that changed immediately on quitting.

  6. truthseekernz says:

    Stay inside the pub. Smoking isn’t allowed….though the alcohol will weaken your will power. if you make it, you’re good to go for tomorrow.

  7. Medusa says:

    Great point, stay inside

    Well done getting this far!! Beware of habitual situations as you say, definitely the hardest time…however you can do it if your really WANT to, no point trying if you don’t.

    I reminded myself how much I didn’t like the side effects; coughing, wheezing, out of breath, lack of energy for physical activities, bad breath, stained teeth, let alone the state of my lungs & heart,etc!

    Maybe try a change in thought process, it may help!

  8. Update #2:
    It’s 2.30pm, it’s day five. I’ve just come out of a three hour meeting. Normally (or abnormally if you’re a non-smoker) I’d go outside now and have a smoke.
    Instead I’m going to have some lunch (late, but better than never).
    Thanks to everyone who’s been offering advice here. It’s nice to know you’re loved.
    My lungs appreciate your concern.
    Doing this in public makes it tougher and easier at the same time.
    Now you all know what I’m trying to do, if I backslide I’m letting down the collective.

  9. Rod J says:

    smoking calms. It slows thinking and thus movement.. It saves your heart (if you’re a hyper). The lung or the heart it’s a choice.

    I doubt that smoking is bad for the heart. Maybe its a fact that most who died of heart ailment are or were smokers. But fact is most smoker are also hyper thinker.

    Ive been smoking for forty years. Its been said that man living in the city inhales carbon (by industries and transports) equivalent to 4 packs of cigarettes a day. What’s the use in quitting if you’re one who believes (as a need) in smoking ?

    That makes mine equivalent to 5 packs a day! And non-smokers have no reason to think they are free. 😛

    For people who have weak lungs surely smoking aggravates but I think it is dirty city air by fossil fuels that cause most lung cancer. Cigarette is a scapegoat?

  10. Wow Rod, cigarettes a scapegoat. That’s a strong statement. Medical evidence would suggest that smoking does cause cancer and heart disease, but then again perhaps I believe the lies of the medical profession over the lies of the tobacco companies.

    I know that my fitness is low and that it’s largely down to smoking – though of course lack of exercise plays a part.

    Update #3:
    Steve you’ll be pleased to know I went to the Brooklyn after work yesterday and sat with two smoker friends in the beer “garden” but didn’t have a fag. It was interesting sitting there not smoking and not even really getting twitchy about it.
    Very good, now at work and this morning didn’t even hesitate to put on a patch.

  11. Rod J says:

    Farmers in the countryside smoked pure, home made cigars some of them as thick as an inch. My grandma was one of them. She died at age 85. Many of them died very old. But then, maybe those were the days. Home grown tobaccos were pure organic, since people never used chemicals to grow and cure or preserve them. In fact, old Filipino folks advise tobacco smoking when one is under attack by asthma. (They did not have modern medicines and gadgets for asthma in there or in those days.)

    Father had a weak lung. He fought in WW-II as a young lieutenant in the army. He got malaria and TB living in the hills through those hard years. He was a smoker until he was about 70 years old – that’s when he quitted. [Migrating to U.S. territory, his lungs failed medical check, strong reason for him to quit or he could not migrate.] He developed Lung cancer when he was no longer a smoker. While no longer a smoker, he was taking about half a dozen simultaneous medicines for his lung prescribed to him by some bitch. He died at age 73 of lung cancer.

    My mother died of heart failure when she was 64 years old. She was a non-smoker. A workaholic in the house. She was always tireless for my father to quit smoking.

    That American centenarian I saw in TV must still be out there wiping cars for a job and jogging for a sport. And last time I heard he was joining a marathon! And he smokes and drinks beer, he said. Fidel Castro, another example, won’t be himself if he does not have a Cuban cigar in his mouth and he is quite old. 🙂

    As a baby, I guessed, I always sucked my thumb. As a kid in school I bit pencils and fingernails and when I was 17, I was a cigarette smoker. I smoke more when I am at work. Like working at my computer, it brakes me from saying too much, for example.  🙂

    For non-smokers, don’t ever try it. For those who want to quit, maybe it’s the best thing. For us like me, I guess its just carefree living, sort of living with Russian roulette like every man on earth – no exception. 

    Cigarette smoking MAY be bad for the health. Also, maybe Health and Safety should peek at what cigarette manufacturers have added to our tobaccos. Profit can warp matters, as we all know.

    To surpass any of my parents’ years is fine with me.  🙂

  12. I think you should smoke until you’re no longer able to Rod, that’s your own choice.
    For me giving up is a holy grail.

    Update #4:
    I’m still not smoking. Today has been OK, I think the patches are helping. There was a moment of temptation, but I didn’t give in.

    In fact, this is day 7, so I’ve gone a week, the longest time in a long time I haven’t had a cigarette.

  13. rltjs says:

    I had heart trouble about four years ago. I was not the same after fifty plus years in my life. I caught my problem was psychological- fear that I am dying made my BP around plus 120. I also read from PIMS about the medications I was already taking and I was surprised to learn the truth that what made me different and nervous were in fact side effects of the drugs. I threw them all away – drugs and fear, and Ive been myself again these past three years now. No drug. [I have one in my wallet though just in case]

  14. Update #5:
    Now into my second week. This morning the desire to smoke was intense. I got to work in a foul mood – I owe my colleagues an apology. Some of it was nicotin withdrawal, some was just the sheer fcukwittedness of someone around the office.
    I ranted and raved for five minutes and felt better.

    Today is day 10. That’s getting close to a record for me.

  15. Medusa says:

    Outstanding committment EM! Go for the record, you can do it!!
    watch out for the mood swings, they can be very dangerous if you don’t have a plan to manage them
    good to see your email subscription may be assisting as a constant reminder to persevere through all the tough times.

  16. rltjs says:

    Yes, what we take is what we are. Nicotine and tar that’s what many people are. For those who want to quit, (alcohol and cigarette) ‘apply the brake easy’ or there could be a spin.

    I tried quitting some four years ago. 10 sticks a day was the best I’d managed. Withdrawal symptoms just added to my high BP. I threw away my medicines like I said and gave myself back my cigarettes. 🙂

    But don’t mind others. Its YOU and what YOU BELIEVE that is important. Yeah, you can do it.

    [One of my point was, maybe people should be more aware about dirty air caused by fossil fuels. That ordinary 1600cc machine on the road, exhaling more lethal carbon monoxide 2000 X per minute is deadlier than 10,000 people smoking!]

  17. Update #6:
    Mood swings, I don’t get bloody mood swings. Go away, no wait, come back I love you.

    It is getting easier, but some moments I’m daibolical and almost in a smouldering rage.
    The mother of all catses has to tiptoe around me which is unfair. I do apologise.

    No ciggies though!

  18. Medusa says:

    Ah, good work EM… you must continue with your quest.

    The mother of all catses will love you even more for trying so hard to be rid of those horrible things. Yes, it is unfair but like any addict, it is those around us who will help to support & achieve the desired goal.

    Hang in there

  19. Rod J says:

    Just in case you are taking any medication that promises to free you from smoking maybe it would be good if you will look it in the PIMS. Medicines are scary because most of them are bad for people with liver ailment. (Nothing is said about their effect to a healthy liver. I don’t trust MDs and salesmen!)

    My guess is they sort of poison or weaken a good liver. Would not that be like inviting any ailment that may strike anywhere?

    No to any drug, cigarette included, unless you are dying. 🙂

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