A question for any ex-smokers out there

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  1. Muttface profile image70
    Muttfaceposted 9 years ago

    Hey there,
    I quit smoking in January and so far so good, I'm not consumed by the need to smoke.
    My main problem is when I socialise and have a few glasses of plonk (and before anyone suggests giving up booze, let me tell you, it's not going to happen!). I start looking at people smoking and they always seem to be enjoying themselves more. And I have these raging visions of myself jumping across the table, snatching the fags out of their hands and devouring them in one puff.
    Of course this hasn't happened yet, but I was wondering how long it took you to be able to socialise completely free of any of these thoughts?

    1. Susana S profile image93
      Susana Sposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      I stopped smoking in January too using the EasyWay method. Though I haven't had to deal with the drinking part yet as I'm preggers, I reckon you'd be better off watching the non-smokers rather than the smokers smile

      Part of the way EasyWay works is to spend a lot of time observing non-smokers - do they really look like they are having less fun than smokers??!! To me the non-smokers always look so much more chilled out - not having to rush outside for a fag every 10 minutes - and just getting on enjoying the company they're with.

      The biggest thing for me that makes me think about having a cig is stress, but I just remind myself that if I do have one it's not going to make the slightest bit of difference to how I'm feeling. Its working well so far!

  2. karthikkash profile image87
    karthikkashposted 9 years ago

    It is good that you quit smoking. As an ex-smoker, it wasn't easy for me to quit. I have gone through the temptations you are currently going through. Since you have just quit smoking, it is easy to get into those temptations. The best way to avoid them is to avoid those parties for a brief moment (as Dinesh said) for maybe a couple of months. If you face a circumstance which is unavoidable where you have to stand with a group of smokers, refuse to smoke (if they offer) or tell them that you quit smoking. From my experience, no one usually forces you to smoke if you refuse to smoke. However, if they insist a couple of times (most usually it happens playfully), still be adamant that you won't smoke (easier said than done, and it does take a strong decision not to smoke). They won't force you anymore.

    I am a NLP and an NAC (Neuro associative conditioning) practitioner. So, I can suggest this. One thing that worked very well for me is to associate a negative emotion for cigarette (I attached giddiness and a vomiting sensation for myself when I smelled the smoke). It automatically kept me physically and mentally away from the temptation of smoking. Attaching a negative feeling for smoking (even if you don't have cigarette near you, imagine the smell and associate a negative feeling to that) works really well.

    I use to keep a tab of the number of days without any temptation. I think it took me about 3-4 months to be free of any temptation.

    Hope this helps.

    1. Muttface profile image70
      Muttfaceposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Hi karthikkash - Funny you should mention negative association. I was really surprised when I got into someone else's car the other day. It stank of  years of smoking and it immediately brought me back to my childhood and the nauseous car journeys we had to make with the windows down and the smoke being sucked into the back seats.  I had forgotten how awful those journeys were, but the smell immediately made me feel nauseated and hostile towards the owner.

  3. WriteAngled profile image79
    WriteAngledposted 9 years ago

    I stopped three years ago. Did it cold turkey without patches, e-cigs, support groups, hypnosis, etc.

    I found it was a gradual transition. Initially I felt grossly deprived when sitting near smokers, but at one point after some months realised that I was actually starting to be repelled by the smell of the smoke.

    My main support was looking at the financial cost. I knew that if I took a cigarette from someone else, I would be out buying a pack for myself the next day, and the day after that, and....  Each time I was tempted to ask someone for a ciggie, I multiplied the cost of a packet by seven in my head and thought about what else I would have to go without to use that money on cigarettes.

    A second booster was walking into the house and realising it had finally stopped smelling of stale smoke.

    A third booster was knowing from past experience that although the first cigarette after a long break is wonderful, that semi-high wears off very fast and is never recaptured again during regular smoking.

    I do still occasionally have fleeting thoughts of smoking, but they pass.

    1. Muttface profile image70
      Muttfaceposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      Interesting that after three years a cigarette still randomly tries to capture your attention.
      I want to get to that point of being disgusted by the smell of them and it annoys me to watch people blowing smoke out of their mouths, waving their hands and jabbing the air with their bloody cigarettes. They could at least have the decency to look miserable and make some unflattering choking phlegm noises. Gggrrrr!

  4. Muttface profile image70
    Muttfaceposted 9 years ago

    Dinesh200666 Thanks mate for the encouragement. I have been off the fags for 5 months now and I am just wondering how long before these cravings go.

    Susana S - Congrats on the bambino. I gave up when I was preggers too, but went back on them when I started socialising again. I managed to keep my smoking down to about twice a week. It's funny, smokers would not call me a smoker and non smokers would call me a smoker. In any case, because I was allowing myself to smoke twice a week, I was fairly hoovering them up. I have read Mr Carr's book before, but this time I didn't use any quitting aids. And I agree, stressful situations at work always make the little devil on my shoulder whisper sweet cigarrettey nothings in my ear. The only problem with watching the non-smokers at these dinner parties is there is only 1 besides me and he looks pretty stressed! I need to find some new friends ha ha!

  5. SAM ELDER profile image72
    SAM ELDERposted 9 years ago

    I give up smoking on September and I still want to smoke each time I drink my coffee. They say after a year desire to smoke will fade away. It's just a habit nothing more.

  6. Paul Kuehn profile image94
    Paul Kuehnposted 9 years ago

    karthikkash has hit the nail on the head.  The best way to avoid relapsing and smoking again is to avoid all situations where there are a lot of smokers lighting up.  When I quit, I did exactly that, and then about a year later when I was with smokers, I just couldn't stand the smoke and stench.  Attaching a negative emotion will also do the trick.  I quit because I suddenly became afraid of getting lung cancer due to a pain at that time in my chest.  I still have that fear that the pain and lung cancer will develop if I light up again.  On June 30 of this year, it will be 18 years that I have kicked the habit.

    1. Muttface profile image70
      Muttfaceposted 9 years agoin reply to this

      A year??? I've just spluttered a delicious grape drink all over my computer screen.
      Jeez, I didn't think it would take that long.
      But then again, I guess I never thought our relationship would last so long either.

      Thanks Paul Kuehn, Sam Elder and Beth37 for the bad news and good advice!

  7. profile image0
    Beth37posted 9 years ago

    I read this book. It really helped.
    http://www.amazon.com/Allen-Carrs-Easyw … 0615482155

  8. sparkster profile image84
    sparksterposted 9 years ago

    Good timing, I was talking to someone earlier today about exactly this.  Although I'm a smoker at the moment (again) but very close to giving up completely (again), I personally find it's not the socializing that's the problem,  it's the alcohol!  If I don't have a drink I'm fine, but if I do have an alcoholic drink that, for some reason, makes me start craving a cigarette.  The thing is that quitting smoking can make you feel so clean, fresh, healthy, alert and more stable financially - and you don't stink of smoke either and you don't burn your clothes/furniture.  You also start to smell it on other people who smoke and when you haven't been smoking for a while, you begin to realize just how awful you must have stunk!  There are way more advantages to giving up - just keep reminding yourself of them.

  9. Muttface profile image70
    Muttfaceposted 9 years ago

    Damn you! You sneaky drink!
    OK, at these dinner thingies there is booze, I must admit. And of course after a few glasses of something, that's when I start thinking about them. But since January I have somehow managed to retrain my brain - when I just sit at home I can drink a few glasses and not even think about them. Of course it helps that there are no fags or smoke or ashtrays beckoning me to 'come and enjoy myself.' (Yes, as you know cigarettes can talk. They have fun-loving carefree personalities too ha ha!)
    It's just a matter of getting to that safe place where I don't envy smokers any more. The two lads above were saying it takes a year. How long did it take you Sparkster?


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