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Stop Smoking - A Creative Way To Wean Off Nicotine In Only 10 Days

Updated on April 14, 2013

Have you ever quit 'cold turkey'?

If you have quit in this fashion then you are very aware of how powerful those nicotine withdrawal symptoms really are. Did you have success by quitting cold? I hope some of you did, but having been a nicotine addict myself, I feel that the answer might be "No!".

Have you ever quit and then started back?

Oh the torment we go through during the painful nicotine withdrawal symptoms, the fighting for our freedom from nicotine, the enduring increased stress and the revealing to others that 'I am quitting'. It is a huge event in our lives. Unfortunately, many times we are soon facing the incredible aggravation, irritation, frustration, embarrassment, blow to our self-confidence and ego when we seemingly helplessly breakdown and start back on the nicotine! It is incredibly miserable to experience this self-induced torment each time we conquer our nicotine addiction but then fall back into the clutches of nicotine again.


Why should we go through misery longer?

I don't believe we actually want to experience nicotine withdrawal for long periods of time, but I know that the experts recommend we quit slowly, giving our bodies time to adjust to each level of decreased nicotine. I have tried quitting nicotine in every way possible and many times over, with varied degrees of success. I have found that I much more prefer getting past the misery of nicotine withdrawal in a shorter amount of time and at a less expensive cost.

When I have followed the regular course of action using the nicotine patch, it seemed that I had to experience the misery of nicotine withdrawal all over again at each new decreased level of nicotine and then yet again when finally I stopped the patch all together. The recommendations are to use the nicotine replacement for a minimum of 8 weeks which includes up to 3 step downs before actually going through the final nicotine withdrawal when stopping the use of the patches. The cost of the patches are comparable to the cost of tobacco products as well.

I have often wondered if profit played a part in the nicotine replacement companies desire for people to 'take it slow' when quitting nicotine. I fully admit using a nicotine replacement is much less painful and much more conducive to remaining stopped than is quitting 'cold turkey'. This fact is why I choose to use them, however, I achieve success and maintain my results more effectively by altering the recommended amount of time I use the nicotine replacement product.


You CAN decrease your misery and still be successful!

If you're like me and you don't want to experience the pain of quitting for extended amounts of time plus you are tired of spending your hard earned money on nicotine, then this variation might be right for you. You can try this method and see if this will work for you. I know some people would rather have more time to adjust to each decrease in nicotine and for them, this is not the method to use.

I have remained nicotine free for over a year this time. Before this I was nicotine free for over 3 years. When I started back after quitting for 3 years I was absolutely disgusted with myself. I wanted to quit again and I wanted to do it QUICKLY! I hated the smell, taste, cost and effect on my health. I decided that I would not spend the hundred and fifty dollars it would take to follow the 'recommended' dosage instructions for the patches, but I also knew that if I tried to quit 'cold turkey' I most likely would not succeed. I needed a middle ground.

I contemplated using the gum sparingly, but I have had better success with the patches. They are tasteless, virtually odorless and out of sight. I purchased ONE box of the step 2 patches and made up my mind that this was going to be it.

The creative part...

Okay, I thought to myself, I am going to make this single box of 14 patches completely get me past the nicotine withdrawal. I began searching online for ideas on how to stretch the patches. All I came up with was precautions and health warnings. The precautions applied to being successful by using the patches for the full recommended time and the health warnings applied to the dangers of cutting a nicotine patch. Whatever you do, most definitely DO NOT cut a nicotine patch. Cutting a nicotine patch will allow too much nicotine to flow into your system and could be fatal. So I decided to experiment with blocking a portion of the patch to allow it to last longer.

Patch 1 & Patch 2 (worn 24 hours per patch) - I simply used the step 2 patches as directed on the box. I changed each of them after 24 hours of wear. This allowed me to quickly adjust to not having tobacco in my lungs, mouth or hands and to experience the first nicotine withdrawal due to starting on step 2 patches instead of step 1 patches, which have more nicotine in them. I saved the normally discarded, silver backing (what the patches are attached to in the packaging) for future use.

Patch 3 (1st 24 hrs 25% blocked, worn 28 hours) - I began blocking a portion of the patch in order to decrease the amount of nicotine I was receiving. I did this by cutting 'blockers' from the previously saved silver backing (the lining that your patch is attached to in the package) into circular shapes that were approximately ¼ the size of the entire patch. I used one blocker for this patch. I applied it to the patch before applying the patch to my skin, being careful not to cover the adhesive outer circle of the patch. I then wore the patch as normal. After 24 hours I removed the blocker and allowed the previously covered portion of the patch to contact my skin. I then continued wearing the patch for approximately 4 more hours before changing to a brand new patch. During this time of blocking a portion of the patch, I again experienced an increase in the nicotine withdrawal symptoms. However, being able to remove the blocker and continue wearing the patch for many additional hours really help me to feel more in control and empowered too. I knew I was on the fast track to freedom from nicotine misery.

Patch 4 (1st 28 hrs 25% blocked worn 34 hours) I repeated what I did with patch 3, using the same blocker, but this time removing it after 28 hours, then continuing to wear the patch for approximately 6 hours after removing the blocker.

Patch 5 (1st 24 hrs 50% blocked worn 48 hours) This time I used two blockers covering ½ the size of the patch. I wore this for 24 hours then removed one of the blockers and wore an additional 10 hours. I then removed the second blocker and wore the patch an additional 14 hours. I used band-aids to help keep the patch stuck to me. I also rotated areas of application on my body to avoid skin irritation.

Patch 6 (1st 18 hrs 75% blocked worn 96 hours) This was the final patch. I used three blockers covering ¾ of the patch area. I wore all three blockers for 18 hours, then removed one blocker. I continued wearing the patch with two blockers for 22 hours, then removed the second blocker. I continued wearing the patch with one blocker for 26 hours then removed the last blocker and wore the patch an additional 30 hours. I used many band-aids to keep the patch on and had to rotate areas multiple times.

No more patch - At this point I was so glad to get that itchy patch off my skin. The nicotine withdrawal symptoms were at a minimum now. I was at a place in my quitting where I could practice other techniques to thwart off any strong urges. The other techniques that help me the most are deep cleansing breaths (slowly in through the nose, slightly hold, then blow out gently through mouth--don't hyperventilate), chugging a large glass of water, careful positive self-talk, and most importantly to me, prayer. Avoid eating as a technique to deal with urges unless you are consuming a vegetable or fruit.

Reader Participation Area!

Which technique works the best to help you quit nicotine?

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The never ending journey of success.

I am happy to continue nicotine free after one year of being stopped this time, but I absolutely do not take it for granted. I know all too well just how simple falling right back into the nicotine trap is. I have a friend who once quit nicotine for seven years, started back and then quit again. They have now been nicotine free for over ten years this time. I have talked to other people who have broken their nicotine addictions and most agree that the urge to use nicotine never fully leaves you. I continue to employ my other urge fighting techniques to help me through any urges or thoughts of using nicotine again.

The bottom line is this: If we have had an addiction to nicotine in our life, at any point, we are vulnerable to return to it even after an extended amount of time having been stopped. This is why knowing about and participating in other 'urge fighting' techniques, using positive self-talk, and raising it up to the Lord in prayer are all important steps in our continued effort to maintain freedom from the misery of nicotine dependence.

Copyright 2013 Sunflowerforests



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    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      2 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      So to update this: I did quit and it was basically cold turkey. I wore one patch. Now the trick is to NOT allow myself to ever smoke again. It's a matter of being present and decisive, even when you don't feel like you want to. Quitting smoking feels uncomfortable, so not starting back is an important thing to focus on. Good luck to all who want to quit. You can do it.

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      I would like to report that these patches have changed! I fell back to smoking and am trying to stop, but the way I used before isn't working! The patches are clear now and I'm allergic to them. I think I'm gonna have to go COLD TURKEY. Oh my gosh. Please pray for me.

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Good luck on the 9th day. Try peppermints instead of food.

    • profile image

      Richard Foote 

      3 years ago

      I have 8 days of cold turkey , no smoking. MY only problem is, i eat everything i can shove in my mouth! I am 62,smoked most of my life. I have gained 15 FRICKIN lbs. and i dont really jones for a cigarette, but can sure frickin eat,omg. My wife caught me chewing on the front tire on my truck, lol, just kidding, but dam. I hope i dont start on the house next,lol..II can't do the patches because of meds....

    • fpherj48 profile image


      3 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Looks to me like you came up with a very creative and clever recipe for using the patch to quit!.....Good for you! I say whatever works---Do it!! If we're deadly serious, we can handle the struggle. White knuckles and all!.......UP+++

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Yes, praying is alright too. I read a really good hub about that just now and wanted to direct your attention there. Personally, I believe the big guy is inside of you at all times. The spark of life that we are seeded from. For if prayer is the deciding factor in a positive outcome for myself or anyone else, then it begs me to inquire why only some prayers are affirmed and others are denied? All lives are important. Not just me and my family's lives, but every life. That 'big guy upstairs' idea just doesn't quite fit for me anymore. For me prayer has now become a form of creating love, light and positive energy to hold the space for that person who is enduring some outcome of human life which is undesirable or who is hoping against all hope that something they feel they need will work out for them, or whatever challenge that I/we/they are facing at that time. That is what being love is all about. For we are the hands, the feet, the voices, the thoughts, the consciousness of LOVE and until people accept what that truly means and starts living it with their actions, then the unanswered prayers of the masses of suffering humans will not be affirmed anytime soon. We are the change that must take place for that to happen. Damn I'm gonna write a hub on this. It won't be any match for your masterpieces, but at least I will have a voice in some small portion of the internet...

    • somethgblue profile image


      3 years ago from Shelbyville, Tennessee

      Well of course it can 'kill' you as can cigarettes, if you prefer the slow decline and misery of addiction or if your prefer the taste of lung cheese, its not just for breakfast anymore!

      The power of coughing up a big, thick, juicy, grey chunk of sputum with just the right amount of crusty red lung tissue can be very satisfying but what to do with it if your in a public place? Having never been a very good spitter, I prefer just swallowing it but if you like getting a good visual for your trouble then spitting is the answer.

      Why not just cut down on the amount of cigarettes you smoke, going from full flavor lung cancer to light cancer to ultralight cancer to just few ultralights a day and finally abstinence and freedom.

      Yeah if it was easy anyone could do it, good article but I never like the patch, gum or the expensive Chantix method, I still think the cold turkey method and resulting insanity adds to the satisfaction of smoking no more for ever.

      Of course their is one more method hardly anyone talks about . . . the praying method, after all the Big Guy upstairs is always there for us!

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Um, no. I think it's a true fact. If you cut the patch, you expose yourself to the full strength of the nicotine. Nicotine is a toxic substance to humans. It will make you sick, perhaps not kill you, but why take a chance. It can kill you too.

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      3 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Thanks for the comment!!! LOL Be careful, dear, you really shouldn't ever cut the patch. LOL

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      I cut patches in half, quarters, never had a problem with doing this.. Perhaps its just a marketing ploy?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      I definitely disagree with the part about cutting the nicotine patch. I think the companies making the patch just use that so that you buy more product. I've been cutting the patch for years. Yes, years. I've been addicted to this stuff for years, and the only way I can afford it is to buy the step 1 patch and cut it into thirds, effectively using a step 3 patch. I am finally trying to end the insanity of being addicted to the patch by now using only 1/6 of the step one patch for a while and weaning myself off. I don't know if it will work, but one day at a time. Otherwise, a good article. Thanks!

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Hi Nell. That's a bummer about not being able to use the patch. Does that restriction apply to the gum or lozenges too? Thyroid problems are the pits! Thanks for commenting. Hagd!

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 

      5 years ago from England

      Hi, I wish I could try the patches, but as someone who suffers with a thyroid problem we are not allowed to wear them. I gave up smoking for five year, then trouble happened and without even thinking about it I picked up the first one, put it in my mouth and lit it without even realising I was doing it, then last year I quit again, but no back on them again! Arggghhh! lol!

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      @Sheri: Being hooked is what it is, but when you are ready you can defeat it. I think it has so much to do with mindset too. Thanks for reading.

    • Sheri Faye profile image

      Sheri Dusseault 

      5 years ago from Chemainus. BC, Canada

      I'm gooked...maybe I will try this! Thanks

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Thank you for stopping by, reading, voting & commenting. 8-)

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      @Fat: This is wonderful news for you and those who love you too! Cold turkey is very raw. You have every right to feel pride over moving past nicotine misery! Yes, I'd agree the first 2 weeks are the toughest. Now the trick is to keep the focus on staying quit. Bravo!

    • FatFreddysCat profile image

      Keith Abt 

      5 years ago from The Garden State

      I gave up smokeless tobacco (cold turkey) six weeks ago. It sucked for the first two weeks or so but (knock on wood) I think I'm well on my way to making it stick.

    • Eco-Lhee profile image


      5 years ago from Alberta, Canada

      Great information on how to use the patch. Nice to see something besides warnings and precautions :) Voted up and useful!

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Thank you for reading and I too hope it helps someone else. Have a blessed day!

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 

      5 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Hooray for you and well done! I hope this information helps many.

    • sunflowerforests profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from The light in the forest of doubt.

      Thanks for your vote and comments.

    • LongTimeMother profile image


      5 years ago from Australia

      I like your way of thinking, sunflowersforests. This will be helpful advice to anyone hoping to give up smoking.

      Most interesting that you should never cut patches. I've never used a patch, but I would probably have cut one in half!

      Great hub. Voted up +


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