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My Battle with Cigarettes

Updated on December 25, 2015

How can I stop smoking?

It's very easy to give up smoking. Take my word for it. I've given up thirteen times

Every day I battle my addiction to cigarettes, I go to bed wanting a smoke and when I wake up I'm still craving.

Last year, on holidays, I didn't smoke for 3 months, but the craving is powerful and as I write this I could kill for a smoke. Sometimes I despair of ever stopping!

What's wrong with me?

I know why I started smoking

It's easy to pin the exact time when I started smoking.

(No, I don't mean when I was 12 and pinched one of my mother's virginia cork-tips)

I saw smoking as sophisticated, suave, somehow womanly and I wanted to be beautiful just like the women I saw on the screen.

When Lauren Bacall was framed in cigarette smoke in the scene from To Have and Have Not , I practiced her line " "Anybody got a match?" over and over.

I wanted to be like Lauren but I also wanted to be tough like Joan Crawford. I wanted to be bossy as well as beautiful.

Bette Davis was always smoking and even Audrey Hepburn puffed away on camera.

So much for role models!

Tobacco companies forked out hundreds of thousands - if not millions - of dollars in the first half of the 20th century, to persuade Hollywood icons to smoke on screen.

It's a timely reminder that the steady drip-drip repetition of positive smoking images can be a powerful force in encouraging people to smoke. Powerful enough make it worth paying actors like Gary Cooper, Clark Gable and Joan Crawford the equivalent of six-figure sums.

Achieve Now - Stop Smoking

What I'm reading to stop smoking

Yes! You Can Stop Smoking: Even If You Don't Want To
Yes! You Can Stop Smoking: Even If You Don't Want To

I'm reading this book at the moment. Going over it, reading again. And again. Jones knows smoking is an addiction and doesn't make me feel guilty. He makes me want to take charge of my life.


Yes, I know smoking kills

You never catch me in the fierce Australian sun without protection. I'm not stupid.

Recently I threw out an expensive electric frying pan because I'd scratched the non-stick surface. I was concerned that the coating would now adhere to my food and I didn't know what that coating was made of. Was it some chemical? To be safe, I turfed the appliance in the rubbish. Not worth the risk.

I never, ever, eat that fast food stuff from the big chain chicken, hamburger, doughnut (heck I don't even eat doughnuts) places. I don't eat any food. from take away shops unless I see them cooking it in front of me. And I mean cook, I don't mean heat up. I try to keep my diet healthy. I take the adage "You are what you eat" to heart.

So why did I smoke continually for years and years? Why do I crave a cigarette as I write this? How seriously stupid is that?

I want this picture on my wall!

OK I'm a victim, so what?

I'm quite aware that I'm a victim of aggressive advertising.

Being a victim does NOT mean staying a victim.

It means you have to fight your way out.

I've tried all these ways to quit smoking

I tried going cold turkey. Who was it coined that phrase? It's more like the red-hot screaming heebie-jeebies.

I tried hypnotherapy. There was no difference in my smoke cravings whatsoever. Even spending all that money on four sessions didn't deter me.

I tried the new anti-smoking drug. This is expensive, but my doctor arranged for it to be under $10 for a month's supply. It made me sleepy, but still desperate for a cigarette.

I tried the nicotine chewing gum. That made me feel sick and still craving for a smoke

I tried the nicotine patches. They help me hold off that first cigarette for about 3 hours. That's a good start!

Micro tabs. I've been having some success with sub-lingual micro tabs. They have a rapid 'hit' that takes the razor edge off the desperation. Followed quickly by an extra strong mint, I can delay the shrieks for an hour at a time!

I found my Vulnerable Times for Smoking - What are yours?

  • First thing in the morning

    When I wake I instantly want a cigarette. This is when I hit the nicotine chewing gum followed by extra strong peppermint lollies. I tell myself to hold off until noon. If I can get through the morning I stand a good chance of getting through the whole day.

  • After a good meal

    Why is it always after a meal? I drink glass after glass of water, clean my teeth and drink more water.This is a battle I often lose.

  • Answering the phone

    I've overcome this by being as fast as I can on the phone. If it's going to be a complicated conversation, I tell callers I will email them

  • Being around Smokers

    This is the worst, this is really the worst. Even if my good friends refrain from smoking when they're in my house, I'm still tormented by the smell of cigarettes that surrounds them. Talk about craving! If I can't get over this one I'll end up with no friends left.

Do I have to spend the rest of my life fighting addiction?

I suppose I do,

I don't care if I spend the rest of my life relying on cigarette substitutes. I don't care if I still have to pay out to the big tobacco companies by purchasing nicotine patches and micro tabs.

I tell myself that I'm not going to inhale the stuff anymore

How about you?

Have you had success with quitting cigarettes?

See results

One day at a time

Help me quit! - Can you leave me some encouragement?

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    • profile image

      alfered 13 months ago

      Thanks for posting such an useful informative article, Thank you once again

    • mariacarbonara profile image

      mariacarbonara 4 years ago

      Yeah try the e cigarettes. The big thing with smoking is the habit, that's actually the hardest thing to break

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      Put it simply, smoking cigarettes is like committing suicide, slowly and surely. I didn't know this: "Smoking kills more people than alcohol, AIDS, car accidents, illegal drugs, murders, and suicides combined" Hubby got me a V2 Cigs and I very much recommend it to everyone (

      Don't let smoking take over your life, quit, or at least switch for the time being. I can tell you for sure that the vapor from this e-cigarette is 99% cleaner than the smoke from ANY cigarette!

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 4 years ago

      I'm sorry this has been your struggle - I work with being over-weight and food cravings, and know this one would be so hard. I will light a candle for you and your courageous struggle tonight. One cigarette will eventually be your last, I hope it comes mercifully soon.

    • redroses lm profile image

      Jenny Campbell 4 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I'm still a smoker and one of the people who you dread to see because of it. I certainly relate to the Hollywood movies and trying to look sophisticated, but that's not an excuse given that I'm 65 now. Every day, I think how I'm killing myself. I've given up 9 times. So don't ask me how to give up. Exercise is necessary I think. When you can sweat or swim out all the nicotine from your pores you are less inclined to smoke. As for you, your most successful time was when you went away. That's the key isn't it. Being away from all that you associate with smoking.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 5 years ago from Canada

      Are you still trying to quit Susan? Just work hard to get over the 4 month mark and you will have it made. I lived on pumpkin seeds when I was trying to quit smoking. I remember that everything else tasted just horrid and the air smelled so strong of pollution that I could not believe we could breathe it and live lol. I thank God every day now that I am a nonsmoker. It is wonderful.

    • annieangel1 profile image

      Ann 5 years ago from Yorkshire, England

      I feel for you - I actually wrote a lens on how I stopped smoking in 6 weeks - following a plan I picked a day 6 weeks ahead (26th August 1989) and committed myself to stopping smoking on that day never actually believing I would - the day came and I haven't smoked since.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      The best advice I got while batteling the drug nicotine was this: Don't think of it as "quitting"....most of us are taught from infancy to not be a "quitter" if you go into this with the mentality of "I'm going to quit" are automatically setting your mind up to fight against your efforts.....instead....tell yourself you are going to become a "non-smoker"....ths worked wonders for me....I am now going on 7 yrs smoke free!!

    • profile image

      cmadden 5 years ago

      I've never been a smoker, so I really have no idea what you're coping with; I do hope you find a way that works for you! It is so true that people react quite differently when trying to stop - I've known folks who quit cold turkey and made it look easy (though it certainly wasn't), and others who had to try multiple times before finally winning the battle. I grew up smelling of it even though I never smoked because both parents did at that time; I didn't realize this (a friend clued me in) because my sense of smell was virtually nonexistent (likely due to the second hand smoke). Good luck!

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      The difference after you quit is amazing. The skin gets rosier, your gums stop bleeding and you don't have to worry that your clothes carry a smokey odor. Oh yes, and house cleaning gets easier -- the mirrors, windows and TV don't have that icky nicotine film. Think about all the benefits of being off cigarettes.

    • Frischy profile image

      Frischy 5 years ago from Kentucky, USA

      I am an inveterate relapser. But, I have quit and managed to not have a cigarette since Valentine's Day 1997. I cut back gradually to just two per day, then one per day. Then those last few in the pack were nasty and stale. I just stopped. Munched on baby carrots, Sucked on cinnamon sticks (the kind you buy in the spice department and float in hot apple cider). Drank lots of water. But, for me, the key was letting go of the chemicals in the cigs & that is not easy. The brain thinks it needs them. So difficult! Keep up the good work! Why make the cigarette executives rich at the expense of your bank account & physical well-being? I wanted more out of life & this goal gave me the determination I finally needed. Best wishes!

    • Paul Ward profile image

      Paul 5 years ago from Liverpool, England

      I've reached the point where the health problems are here: give up and they'll be manageable (though the emphysema will be with me for the erst of my life). No sympathy requested - I chose to smoke long after I knew some of the risks, I'm trying patches and an inhalator in combination - fingers crossed. That sounds like an approach that might benefit you?

    • Kailua-KonaGirl profile image

      June Parker 6 years ago from New York

      I smoke 2 packs a day for 45 years. I didn't want to quit because I loved, loved loved smoking (imagine that), but knew I had to. I use to tell my kids that my last words on my deathbed would be, "Please get me a cigarette." The time had come when I just couldn't justify spending $10 a pack. Before they got that expensive in price I had gone through the same things as everybody else did, but just didn't have the will power over this drug that I loved, loved loved.

      I had already put a stop to everyone smoking in the house. I was sick of my white clothes turning brown in the closets when I hadn't even worn them and of the walls and ceilings turning brown from nicotine. That helped me to cut down, but not to quit. Finally I got a scrip for the drug Chantaix. I couldn't believe how easy it made it for me to stop in comparison to everything else I had tried. Don't get me wrong, I still had to use a bit of will power and self control whenever I would have a "moment", but with this drug I was able to do it and way before I went through the whole prescription.

      I still miss my love - smoking, but I am finally over it. Whoot!! Susan, yes, there is hope for you.

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      @cdcraftee: I think I remember right that cigarettes were possibly less than $1 a packet when I started smoking, and don't know what they are nowadays, but they were already $18 for a pack of 50 when I quit in 2004!

    • profile image

      Helene-Malmsio 6 years ago

      I smoked 60 a day for decades (could have bought a couple of houses for investment properties with that money!) and just could not quit. Tried hypnotherapy session in clinics, tried herb cigarettes, tried cold turkey, tried just cutting back, tried the chewing gum. Nothing worked. But when my dental specialist told me that he would not even begin the $40,000 worth of work he could do to heal the damage from smoking, if I did not stop smoking, I found the determination. So I made myself # 1 stop smoking inside the house and in the car. (I remember breathing from a brown paper bag when working on the computer because there was too much oxygen and I was hyperventilating) I've never done anything harder than this in my life - including walking on fire! But after a couple of months of having to go out in the garden to smoke, I finally got down to about 15 cigarettes a day. #2 Bought a self hypnosis recording. Played it on repeat all night long while I slept. #3 Bought nicotine inhalers, patches and gum. # 4 relaxed and told myself that I would know when it was the right day for me to stop smoking - put no pressure of a "quit day" on myself. I had one simple goal - if I could NOT smoke for 24 hours straight, I knew I would never, ever, let myself light up again. #5 One day I felt very nauseous and was driving in the car (so could not smoke) and even when I got home I felt squeamish, and instead of looking forward to my first cigarette I felt ill, so didn't light up... slapped on a patch.. went to bed and slept ... decided to see if I could put off smoking for just a few hours more... then at the 24 hour mark I knew I could not break my own promise to myself... I had stopped smoking! And since '04 I have never lit up again. It helps that I stay away from anyone or any place that smokes... I refuse to be surrounded by temptation. And since all my friends are non-smokers, its easy to even forget that I ever smoked.

    • Marcel W profile image

      Marcel White 6 years ago

      I'm glad I don't have the addiction but, as an outsider, it seems to me that you are having the right approach.Lucid, inteligent and calm. I hope you succeed. If I had the same problem I wish I had someone like you to help me. All the best.

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

      Excellent lens. It is a tragedy that in spite of knowing the cons of smoking a smoker cannot quit cigarettes!

    • profile image

      SandyPeaks 7 years ago

      Great lens! It's been suggested that visiting cancer sufferers might help people to quit when non-personal suggestions don't work. Aversion therapy often works too. Best of luck!

    • profile image

      bcarter 7 years ago

      Keep at it, I'll be going through the same thing as you in a couple of months. I've already been trying to break my habit of taking cigarette breaks at work. I've gone a week and a half without a cigarette in the AM. Two more weeks and I'll be cutting out the afternoon cig too.

      This seems easy now because it's cold out, I seem to smoke less at work when it's cold out. I tend to get spring fever and crave getting outside once the weather gets warmer. In the future I'll just have to step outside, but without a smoke.


    • cdcraftee profile image

      Christine Larsen 7 years ago from South Australia

      I practised a heap of times (too many to remember). But the last and successful time, I coughed my heart out for three days and nights, and then felt fabulous and never 'craved' again. Today I feel the greatest every time I check out the rising prices - apart from the all the 'healthy' issues. Good luck - you CAN do it!


      PS My husband quit when they reached $4 for a pack of 50!! He wasn't going to waste THAT much money!

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Smoking like any addiction can be conquered one day at a time. Or should I say the reality is one minute at a time. I know you can do anything you set your mind to do. So I am routing for you to conquer this habit.

    • SandyMertens profile image

      Sandy Mertens 7 years ago from Frozen Tundra

      Wishing you the best in breaking the smoking habit. I have never smoked, but I know many people who do or have smoked. For some, I know how hard it is to stop. But you can do it!

      Love the intro photo!

    • profile image

      GiftsBonanza 7 years ago

      All I can say is ditto - wishing you all the best in your quest to quit and hope I can do the same

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      The only encouragement I can give is that I understand and would love to stop smoking so am sending good vibes your way. BTW, loved the picture of the "think it makes you pretty", Cracked me up!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 7 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      @redroses lm: I wonder what the 4 weeks supply will be? Chewing gum?If it's patches, they may be scaled in strength over the 4 weeks. But I shouldn't complain, it's a big step forward for the Federal govt and long overdue

    • redroses lm profile image

      Jenny Campbell 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      I know how hard it is. I'm still smoking. But you are doing well and over the past few years you have smoked 95% less. As of February, the Australian government has put nicotine substitutes on the PBS. You will get 4 weeks supply for $3.50 (if you are on a pension) That's when I'm going to give it a go again.

    • jmsp206 profile image

      Julia M S Pearce 7 years ago from Melbourne, Australia

      A very hard addiction to beat,but it can be done.Throw then all away and don't look back.Good luck to you!

    • LissaKlar LM profile image

      LissaKlar LM 7 years ago

      I hate that I smoke when I feel stressed. My kids are 11 years apart and when my oldest was born I smoked a lot til she was five then hardly smoked at all - until the second one came along. She's almost 15 months and I haven't slowed down yet. Don't know what I'm going to do because I've no desire to try to stop. (Of course I never smoke where they can be affected)

    • Gordon N Hamilton profile image

      Gordon N Hamilton 7 years ago from Wishaw, Lanarkshire, United Kingdom

      Good luck, Susanna. The thing that rankles with me is that I actually gave up for almost a year! Unfortunately, I was doing a job for the calendar year 2003 which involved constant travelling. I hate TV so was stuck in a hotel one night, bored out of my skull and thought I would treat myself to ONE cigarette... I'm sure you can guess the rest...

    • hayleylou lm profile image

      hayleylou lm 7 years ago

      Good luck Susanna, you can do it. You sound like such a strong person.

    • sheilamarie78 profile image

      sheilamarie78 7 years ago

      You'll get there!

    • Glenn619 profile image

      Glenn619 7 years ago

      Ah not much of a smoker but have a few friends who have quit smoking after going through rehab. All the best to you in overcoming smoking.

    • Elle-Dee-Esse profile image

      Lynne Schroeder 7 years ago from Blue Mountains Australia

      I gave up thirteen years ago and from time to time I still feel like one. Good luck. We're cheering you on.

    • DecoratingEvents profile image

      DecoratingEvents 7 years ago

      Good luck Susanna! It is the hardest thing I have ever attempted.