The Cigarette Diaries I: How to Quit Smoking

My Title

While beating my brains out for a proper title for this hub, I came up with "The Cigarette Diaries 1: How to Quit Smoking," perhaps as a subconscious tribute to an author I have long respected and followed. Jim Carroll wrote "The Basketball Diaries" in 1978 when he was still a child. It is a tale of his addiction to heroin, sexual antics and participation in the sport of basketball beginning at the age of 12. His diary recounts these experiences from 12 until he turned 16. It is a troubling read, but well worth the time and effort. Mr. Carroll died only last year and it is my hope that he would welcome such title 'piracy.'

My intention here is to communicate my struggles with my drug of choice, tobacco, which have been ongoing since 1972. I've been told that the addiction to tobacco is harder to quit than heroin, but since I've never taken that drug, I can't say. What I do know is that I have smoked cigarettes since the age of 15-39 years now-and was able to quit only once during this time. For 3 months, and under extreme duress from my surgeon. He wants me to be healthy while under the knife, you see.


In the tangle of the supermarket

my love of this drug

arches it's back with rage

extending, recoiling from reason.

You see, I was not successful at quitting these damnable things at the first of the year, and thus had to put off my surgery. If that isn't insanity, I don't know what is. This may turn into a rambling hub, my friends, because I am in the same situation again and must be tobacco-free in 2 days. Yes, 2 short days. My addiction is screaming in rebellion against this necessity, but I'm in need of another new hip in a month. I have absolutely no choice.

My Fear

Impossible to describe, my reluctance to repeat last year's events is overwhelming. I do believe that ignorance is bliss in this situation, and I am loathe to relive this operation. And the recovery is a special kind of hell. However, I must admit that my present inability to walk comfortably has convinced me to reschedule this damnable cutting and restyling of my very skeleton.

The Chantix Factor

Despite countless warnings from friends and frightening disclaimers from Pfizer, the manufacturer of this drug, I have decided to use the medication Chantix as chemical support in my effort to stop smoking. My love of smoking is so strong, so intimate, that I am willing to risk suicidal tendencies, violent outbursts, and other behavioral changes. Smoking itself is a slow suicide, so I will proceed. My 'back-up' is in place; my entire family is aware of the possible side effects and, believe me, they are watching my every move. And so am I.

I have been taking this medication for 5 days now and have felt none of these alarming changes. My family senses nothing different about my behavior. I will smoke my last cigarette tomorrow night. Pfizer recommends that the smoker take one week to contemplate and plan such a change in lifestyle, and I have found it to be a comfortable amount of time to become a non-smoker. Chantix also has 7 day support in the form of the "GetQuit" program, which combines online and telephone support. I am taking advantage of this and am finding that my 'urges' to smoke have been relieved to a great extent.

However, I have not quit yet. My smoking has been reduced dramatically, but I still turn to it when bored, stressed, happy, uncomfortable, and on, and on, ad nauseum. So it is with some hesitancy that I admit this drug seems to be working. I am actually slowing the smoking down.

Chantix contains no nicotine, so I plan-per my doctor's advice-to use the Nicoderm patch as an adjunct to the pill. The patch contains nicotine in varying milligram doses, to fool the body to some extent, thus rendering the withdrawal less agonizing. I used the patch last year and found it incredibly helpful, beginning with a 21 mg. dose. I have been a very heavy smoker for most of my life; this is the highest dosage for a patch. God knows I need it.

I did not intend this to be a commercial piece, however, quitting the cigarette habit requires me to use products. Some courageous souls can quit 'cold turkey,' but I can not. Thanks for bearing with me as I struggle through the flotsam that surrounds this process.

The Outcome

I'll most probably get fat. I will undoubtedly act the ass. Anticipating total hip replacement tends to stir my nerves. What a time to quit smoking. "Whine, whine, weep, wail and moan," was the lament of the vaccuum cleaner, Kirby, in the film "The Brave Little Toaster." Self-pity is spectacular in its exhausting monologues. I really do apologize.

I'll return to deliver the news of my progress in "The Cigarette Diaries II: How to Quit Smoking." I have no idea what or who will prevail, but I must keep writing.

Or I'll smoke.

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Comments 65 comments

weaver 6 years ago

wow... what a hub with such honesty... thank you for posting... i finally quit smoking by doing a very bizarre hypnotherapy program years ago and it actually worked... i don't even remember what it was now.. something that friend gave me to do that he had paid 100s of dollars for... i basically smoked my brains out for a whole weekend while at the same time listened to a cassette tape of some phd telling me what to visualize... and had to get rid of all my smoking stuff and resort using a mayonaise jar filled with some water as my ashtray and then choose a stronger brand of cigarette for the duration of the weekend... anyway to make a long story short... it worked and i've never looked back... that was in the day when they still didn't have the patch or any other real means to quit other than that and cold turkey.. and i had tried to quit i can't tell you how many times... anyway... have you ever tried using an electric cigarette - where you're not smoking smoke but vapour?... and apparently you can still smoke without all the nasty chemicals and pick the strength of nicotine you want and wean yourself down with lowering strengths of nicotine to zero... maybe give it a looky... if they had had that when i was trying to quite, i would have tried it for sure cuz i really loved smoking too and always thought i would forever... i wish you the best.. it can be done... i know that much... blessings... weaver (((o)))

R. J. Lefebvre 6 years ago


I can relate. My quitting smoking was a long term trial and error journey, but I finally made it. With me it ended up as mind over matter. However, no two people are alike. With perseverance and a mode of your choice you can make it work! Good luck.


Green Lotus profile image

Green Lotus 6 years ago from Atlanta, GA

You are a trouper lorlie and a brave one to face Chantix and even the patch. Desperate times create desperate measures as the saying goes.

I still promote the e-cigarette avenue and as you know I've hubbed about it a lot. I've known many to wean themselves off real cigarettes using that method but I do know Chantix promises the same. I wish you success. Think positively and you'll make it stick.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

weaver-wow, what an ordeal that must have been! My hubby and I are planning to smoke like chimneys this evening-he's quitting, too-and wake up to a new day!

Ronnie-I sure wish I knew who you were so I could read your stuff. You're always so kind. Horray for you, although I know it can get discouraging!

Green Lotus-Hi, my sweet! You know I can't buy those e-cigs here in this small town, but I might just get a pre-paid Visa card and get some.

Thanks all for your kind thoughts!!!

Jane@CM profile image

Jane@CM 6 years ago

Lorlie, good luck! I successfully quit three times, twice when I found out I was pregnant and once prior to my breast reduction surgery. I always went back (shame on me). I'm glad to hear Chantix is working for you, I am totally horrified by the possible side effects, but you are living proof that is working okay! I want to quit to - but like you, I love my smokes - they are part of me and have been since I was 15 or so. They are like family LOL.

Good luck with quitting & your surgery. My thoughts are with you. ~j~

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Hi Jane-it is awful, loving the damn things. But I've been trying my best to hate them. Yep, the Chantix seems to be effective, but it's a 12 week program, so we shall see!

Thanks for coming by, and thanks for your well wishes.

sheila b. profile image

sheila b. 6 years ago

Good luck, and we're all pulling for you.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks so much, sheila-I appreciate it!

mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

I think I said this before and I really belive it - as long as you buy cigarettes and have them around you are probably not going to quit. period. and if you hang around with people who smoke (especially your mate) then it is going to be next to impossible to quit. Because, if smokers had great self-will they wouldn't be so addicted, is what I think. We just have to accept that we are weak pussies and need strong dog mind to overcome our weaknesses! keep laughing, baby, you're gonna do it! (I didn't mean you should stop hanging around with your mate - oh, I don't know wtf I mean!) I smoked on Sunday and that is why. I am being A#1 hypocrite right now.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Ah, Mega! Don't worry about the hypocrisy. I am a huge hypocrite in many-most?-circumstances...Well, anyhow, my mate's quitting with me, so hopefully we can do this thing together. Smokers ARE pussies, and I've been crying my stupid eyes out thinking about quitting, but shit, I've got to get off my ass and do this thing!

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sord87 6 years ago

I quit smoking a year ago but weight gain is the problem i am facing now,quitting taken more than what you expected,a great tobacco article!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks so much, sord87, for coming by. Congratulations on your year. Weight gain? Well, I guess I'd rather be fat than dead!

Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

My husband had smoked non filtered cigarettes since he was a teenager. He quite using Chantix without any problem about 4 years ago. He has stayed quite after 45 years of smoking. Best of luck to you.

Singing Bill profile image

Singing Bill 6 years ago


I feel so bad for you, but it is life and death. You know what I mean. We have communicated extensively about this. Those awful things killed your mother and my father. They are not something to love. They are lying to you.

Hang in there. I know you don't believe in it, but I will be praying for you anyway.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks Pamela and Bill-the Chantix is REALLY helping, believe it or not. I haven't had a single cigarette today!

Thanks both of you for coming by-I'm staying strong!

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ralwus 6 years ago

Best of luck darlin'. Do you have strange dreams now as a result of Chatix? I can't quit either and I do not envy your upcoming surgery. Best of luck with that too. Keep me posted now. Much love, Charlie xox Oh, you musy be the alien all growed up and pretty now, LOL

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Yeah, that would be me! Anyway, CC, yes, the dreams have been quite vivid and fairly bizarre, but I've now gone one day without smoking, so fuck it, I don't mind. Not at all. The surgery will be a pain, but I'd like to walk gracefully one day.

Love you, sweet man!

tonymac04 profile image

tonymac04 6 years ago from South Africa

Oh Laurel, I really feel for you! The prospect of the surgery must be frightening, to say the least. And to have to cope with letting go of the cigs at the same time makes it even worse. I quite cold turkey in 1975 (dear heaven, that makes me sound old!) and just determined that I would not smoke again. Hearburn and weight gain were my main enemies after quitting.

I just wish you well and hope that the surgery goes better than hoped for and that the quitting finally is permanent. I'm sure you will walk gracefully again, quite soon!

Love and peace


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Lord love you, Tony! Hey, in '75 I was in my first year of college, so don't feel alone...You know, the surgery is kinda scary but I do know what to expect-which is good and bad.

And good morning on my second day smoke-free! Number one was a real bitch. That's not really true, it was not bad, actually.

Guess I'll credit the pill and the patch. Who knows?

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Duchess OBlunt 6 years ago

So honest - always. I wish you the very best!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks, Duchess-I really appreciate it!

itakins profile image

itakins 6 years ago from Irl

Good luck Lorlie.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks so much-it seems to be working!

Sage Williams profile image

Sage Williams 6 years ago

I can't tell you how many times I quit, before I actually quit for good. It is an extremely hard addiction to break. I actually went through a mourning process as my cigarettes were like a best friend. I always, always knew where they were at all times.

I know this is a very difficult time for you to quit smoking, but you can do it! And you will!

I finally quit for good at one of the most stressful times in my life. Go Figure! For me it was about taking back control of my life.

Good Luck with your surgery and quitting.


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

As I'm beginning to face day 3 (!) as a non-smoker, I really welcome your comments, Sage. In my second installment of these 'diaries,' I mentioned how cigs have been my lover and more. I know what you mean exactly.

It is pretty crazy to quit at this time, but, hey, whatever motivation works, right?

Thanks for your kind words!!!

De Greek profile image

De Greek 6 years ago from UK

Wish you teh very best :-)

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks, De Greek!

prettydarkhorse profile image

prettydarkhorse 6 years ago from US

I am cheering you up and I am proud of you lorlie. my friend is also into Chantix, take care ok, and I hope your prob with google password is ok now, HUGS, Maita

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

I just gave up on the old email, Maita. Now I'm good, and thank goodness there was nothing really important in my emails, like bank information or something!

I sure hope Chantix is working for your seems to be going well in my system.

Thanks for the cheers, hon, I need them.

Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

My thoughts are with you. I know you can do it. I wonder if there is any Herbal Remedy for it. On a positive note, it's nice to know Chantix is working well for you.

Best Wishes.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thank you, Lady_E. I am on my seventh day now. Whew! I have heard of various herbs, but I am willing to go to any lengths!

Mystique1957 profile image

Mystique1957 6 years ago from Caracas-Venezuela


YOU WILL SUCCEED! I am telling you! You will! I shall see you laughing sometime from now, and telling about it in a great hub! And WE will celebrate with you! Have Faith, Sister! You're kicking "this devil's ass" I tell ya!

Warmest regards and infinite eternal blessings,


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thank you, Al, so very much!!!

habee profile image

habee 6 years ago from Georgia

Brutally honest! I know what you're going through, girlfriend!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks, Holle-it is one hell of a battle. Thanks for coming by!

mega1 profile image

mega1 6 years ago

good job, lorlie - we're all still standing by with mints and gum and hugs! some of those dreams might be interesting! hmmmmmmmm . . .

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Umm, mega, you naughty girl...thanks for the support. Today's my 10th day! Ever heard of brushing your teeth with Listerine?

What a rush!

Luv ya!

Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 6 years ago from East Coast, United States

lorlie - actually, now they say that brushing your teeth with Listerine is bad for you. It's got alcohol in it which dries out your mouth and can create gingavitis (or whatever it it). You should use salt water. So, now you're gonna have to quit Listerine too! Sheesh.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Well, okay, Dolores! I'm not addicted to that. thank God! Thanks for the heads up, though!

Faybe Bay profile image

Faybe Bay 6 years ago from Florida

Keep it going Lorlie! Good girl! What's a little Gingivitis compared to smoking. I never tried brushing the teeth with Listerine, but when I was in the Hospital they gave me some mouthwash and swabs, with a very severe warning not to swallow the moisture (I was in for surgery, no liquids!) it seems it fights dry mouth. The stuff tastes awful, but it fights the cravings for a cigarette. I love them too, but I am teaching myself to hate what they turned me into, an addict. :(

I didn't know Jim Carroll passed away, that makes me so sad! What a great he was! What a legacy he left behind!

Big Hugs! And thank you so much for your support of me, I think we must be related, you even look like kin!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Well, folks used to call me 'foxy,' he he. Just kidding...really, we look alike? That's so cool. You know I used to be a dental assistant, so I sort of know the pros and cons.

Anyhow, thanks so much for the hugs! I have one crazy hub to write tomorrow, and I sure need those big time!

Keep it up, girl!

dohn121 profile image

dohn121 6 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

Kudos to you Lorlie for going about this. You are mature enough to do this and I believe that you will succeed (but only if you want to!). We're all pulling for you buddy!


lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks so much, dohn, for stopping by. It is a daily struggle, but I'm not giving up!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Lorlie first time visit to your hub. I know cigarette addiction is hard, most of the members of my family were smokers some still do while others have successfully kicked the addiction. However having said that, there is a time in life when one say's what the heck like my dear mother said, may she RIP..she could not give it up and went to her grave knowing it was to late. I am a strong advocate of Cannabis for medicinal reasons, and many in our countries are suffering with pains of all types and are achieving great results from cannabis. It is finally legal in 14 states and more to follow. Just my two cents worth, all the best and I wish you peace and love and healing.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Hey, saddlerider! I am all in favor of the legalization of Cannabis as well, but tobacco should be outlawed, don't you think?

Petra Vlah profile image

Petra Vlah 6 years ago from Los Angeles

I am still smoking (and have done so for 40 years now); it may be a lesser evil than other bad habits, but I never said I was perfect. If you can quite great, if it is going to create more stress and anxieties, think again.

A friend of mine quite smoking and regreted it ever since; when I asked her why did she do it in the first place she said: I wanted to “buy myself” two more years in a f.. retirement home.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Petra-a breath of fresh air, you are! I do appreciate your words and wholeheartedly agree with you.

I'm going to publish the third 'Tobacco Diary' soon and hope you'll come look.

My outlook has evolved, at least I think so.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

I have several friends who quit for good using Chantix. It really works! The best of luck to you, my dear. I know all too well what a struggle it is.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks for reading, James!

Micky Dee profile image

Micky Dee 6 years ago

God bless you Dear! The only way I stopped smoking (forty years ago) was leaving a pack of Kools, opened, in my glove compartment and trying to smoke them later. I have no idea how that worked but it did. Thank you Dear!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Fascinating technique, Micky! What EVER works!

HudeieG profile image

HudeieG 6 years ago from The land of love of happiness.

loved loved loved it! i love personal stories they help me relate to similar ones that i am facing.. great hub

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks so much for the visit, HudeieG!

saddlerider1 profile image

saddlerider1 6 years ago

Hello Lorlie thanks for stopping in for the first time to one of my hubs and you couldn't have picked a finer hub but fer my Phantom 309. I just added the classic song and video after you and Habee mentioned it, how could I have forgot to put in that tune. And yes I am all for legalizing Cannabis, nice to see it's legal in 15 of your states and the big one in November. California, they will now be able to hopefully get out of their massive debt with taxing cannabis. Yippy Yi Oh Kyee

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

I KNOW!!! I'm a Californian and will be at the polls to vote early in the a.m. But Californians are notoriously conservative, so we'll see what happens. I so hope it passes!

Oh boy, I'll have to go back and look at your updated hub.

Thanks for the visit!

Mercedes-Benz30 profile image

Mercedes-Benz30 6 years ago from Memphis, TN

Intriguing information! I, myself, am a habitual smoker--to the tune of about 11 years. Your article gives me just a little bit of hope in one day quitting...

Best of luck and success with your efforts!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

As you've read in #3, I'm still a smoker. GAWD! Rereading this reminds me that I can do it, have the spirit and everything, but right now is just not the time!

Red2010 profile image

Red2010 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

Interesting content! Keep up the good work. :)

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks Red2010-I will do my best!

cluense profile image

cluense 6 years ago from Cartersville, GA

Awesome Hub! I rated it up a notch! Keep on writing! Congratulations on your 7,000 page views! That is a big accomplishment, you should be very proud of yourself!

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 6 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

Thanks so much, cluense! I am proud of it, but know I'm not the most prolific and 'SEO' literate writer out there. All that stuff is so new to me, I just enjoy the storytelling.

Thanks again for coming by.

oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Hi Lorlie, Thanks for sharing this information and your journey. I wish you the very best in life, and hope others can benefit from what you have gone through. Great hub, voted up, useful, interesting, awesome.

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 4 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

oceansunsets, your comment is quite an inspiration and I very much appreciate that you took the time and effort to write it!

I confess that I've relapsed since writing this particular Hub, yet actually am planning to wear a nicotine patch tomorrow morn!

Wish me luck, please?

Thanks again for coming by,


oceansnsunsets profile image

oceansnsunsets 4 years ago from The Midwest, USA

Lorlie, It is so easy to relapse, and I think nicotene has to be one of the meanest addictions ever....

Please know that I am wishing you luck! Every little break one's body gets even from smoking, I think helps it some. I heard once the very tiny cilia in the lungs begin to grow and heal very very quickly upon stopping. Our bodies want to help themselves, and are amazing really.

Wishing you the best, and don't be hard on yourself. (Not that you would, but we tend to do that sometimes!) Have a great rest of the weekend and week ahead. :)

lorlie6 profile image

lorlie6 4 years ago from Bishop, Ca Author

os, if nothing or no one else, YOU are one 'helluvan' inspiration to me! My poor lil cilia are drooping, I imagine, do need that break desperately. Hopefully this will stick-with the help of the Lord and me, and you, and, well, everyone!

Thanks so much for re-commenting-I'll be sure to let you know how it goes in another hub, or in the forums.

Take good care,


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