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I Stopped Smoking Cold Turkey

Updated on October 28, 2014
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My personal story of how I was able to quit smoking cold turkey without using hypnosis, nicotine patches, prescription medicines, nicotine gum or any other prod

I was a smoker from the age of 18 to 31 years old, so about 13 years. I smoked about a pack a day with my preferred brand being Marlboro Menthol Lights which later changed in 2005 to Basic Menthol Lights due to the rising cigarette costs. I was spending a lot of money on my addiction and was bothered during the winter with troublesome coughs that wouldn't go away. I work in commercial roofing and also noticed my stamina had slowed down through the years and was getting winded much easier and it wasn't just related to me getting older. I decided to take the plunge on Feb 5, 2009 to quit smoking for my own health and to give my oldest son a birthday present that meant a lot to him. I will go into further detail about my struggles and what I went through during this time. I won't go into the psychology aspect of this or the health hazards since most individuals unless they have been living under a rock know what they are doing and risking by smoking. I will include links and the like for smoking products because not all of us are the same.

I had tried quitting smoking with nicotine gum before at the age of 28 but I was only doing it because of my wife and I didn't really want to quit. I would last several hours and then I would have a cigarette. I had every excuse in the book for smoking. My most regular excuse was that I have bad nerves and am under stress, needing cigarettes to calm me down. I never smoked in the home, I always stepped outside in respect of my children and their health. I don't want to die before my time and want to spend a better quality of life and see my children grow up and hopefully grandchildren as well. Now if you are offended by talk of God which I am about to go into then you may not want to continue reading. I believe in God as well and deep down believed I was polluting his creation. This doesn't mean that if you're a smoker that you are a bad person, don't take it that way. God knows we sin and err daily. As long as we try to do our best and follow his teachings, accept Jesus as our personal savior and practice the Golden Rule, God knows our heart condition so that is what is most important to our Savior. I decided to stop smoking cold turkey with my determination, support of my family, and with the power of prayer. Even then it was much harder than I realized.

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/polanaked/3097640389

Books that could be helpful - Some people need motivation and inspiration. I researched some books and listed the ones I found most helpful.

Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking
Allen Carr's Easy Way To Stop Smoking

Many say Carr's book is the best. Has great reviews.

 
Quit Smoking Today Without Gaining Weight
Quit Smoking Today Without Gaining Weight

For those who dread the consequences of weight gain when you stop smoking.

 

The early stages of withdrawals and issues I was dealing with when I took the plunge.

If at anytime, I revert back to smoking, I will delete this lens.

Feb 4th, 2009: Had last cig about 9pm.

Feb 5th morning: I woke up and of course wanted a cigarette. I am a big coffee drinker and I am so used to having my morning coffee with a cigarette to get me going. I bought a 3lb 12 oz bag of Jolly Rancher Hard Candy the other day for something to suck on. I have been using them a lot. Some people claim that lemon drops work but I couldn't care less about the sugar content right now. I know many like to chew mint gum or gum but I don't like to chew gum.

Feb 5th afternoon/evening: I keep going to where I always had my cigarettes like a zombie. I just took a Tylenol Extra Strength pill since my head is starting to hurt. More Jolly Ranchers. I think if I can go to bed early that it might help because if I'm sleeping then I won't be tempted to go out and buy any and maybe get some more out of my system, nicotine that is. I am feeling even sick to my stomach a little and I just finished watching Hell's Kitchen and am off to bed about 10:15PM.

Feb 6th morning/early afternoon: Howie's birthday today and feeling like crap. No other way to put it. I am second guessing myself thinking I should have tried to slowly wean myself off cigs. I am really miserable and want everyone to just leave me alone. I actually can't concentrate that well. My darn head feels a little dizzy and is pounding real bad. I still feel a little queasy to my stomach. I don't know if that is from the lack of nicotine or something else. It's about noon now and I've all ready taken 2 tylenols and since yesterday have had about 40 Jolly Rancher's. Been praying as well to help me out. Will update later this evening or tomorrow morning to show how the rest of the day went. I don't even feel like writing right now.

Feb 6th Evening: I'm being very impatient and wife is getting tired of my snapping so to speak. Some people have informed me that I may experience some flu like symptons, etc. I hope tomorrow will be a better day since I haven't accomplished nothing in the last 2 days. My dizziness and stomach upset has died down a little but I still have the headache and I have a blah feeling. Not a sick feeling but I can't explain it. Like I have no energy and motivation to do anything. Wife also out of the blue offerred to buy a pack of smokes and dole them out to me if it will make me more to my normal self. Like I said, she is getting tired of how I am acting. It was so tempting but I've come this darn far and fear if I try to ration myself on cigs I'll just go back and not quit. I have people that I know giving me encouragement and knowing I have people rooting and praying for me, gives me that extra help to keep on. This will be my last post of the night since it's about 6pm and wait to see what tomorrow brings. I just hope for my headache and miserableness to go away.

Feb 7th: Am not feeling physically better at all. Still have the headache and a blah feeling. Stomach still has a little bit of an uneasy feeling. I feel about the same as yesterday. I think maybe the sugar I am taking in is making me queasy? I don't like chewing gum but am trying a sugar free Trident. I am still irritable but am encouraged by my fellow family and friends giving me support. I also have to thank those who have sent encouraging emails and prayers my way that I know online at Blujay. I keep getting emails about your health will improve and the money you will save. At about 5 dollars a pack that does add up, almost 2000 dollars a year. That is more ammunition for me.

Feb 8th: Feeling just a tad better than the Feb 6th or 7th. Find myself very restless and pacing around. Headache has went down a lot and no longer have upset stomach. As stated previously, it may have been because of the increased sugar intake or withdrawal symptoms. I can concentrate just a little better today but still am irritable, so my wife says. I am starting to feel more optimistic because I was so scared that I would fail for sure. The temptation is so there and I found myself yesterday in the evening looking around the house, I knew subconsciously what I was looking for, a loose cigarette maybe just laying around. This is really hard and I don't know at this time if I would recommend anyone going cold turkey without cutting down first and then giving it a try.

Feb 9th: Feeling much better today. Finally am hopeful that things will get better. Still smoke free, yeah.

Feb10th/11th: Physically I am not feeling the withdrawal symptoms as I was. Of course the mental aspect is still there. I find myself reaching over the fridge where I used to keep my cigs at various times without realizing it when I have my morning coffee and am half awake. I keep hearing about a weight gain issue and food will taste better but at this time it's not something I have noticed. I will update every so often now in the lower module. I don't know if a week is enough to say you have kicked it but for this purpose I have at this time. The temptation will always be there and I can slip at any time.

Can't Quit? Bullsh*t! You Can Stop Smoking
Can't Quit? Bullsh*t! You Can Stop Smoking

The title alone makes me want to buy it if I relapsed, since I believe tough love and advice is necessary at times.

 

My longterm progress and thoughts

I'll add here occasionally and review my progress and how my life has changed

IT TAKES WILLPOWER to quit any bad habits. There is no easy way.

Feb 23, 2009: I am still smoke free but I still am tempted and have the urge for cigarettes but the extreme physical symptoms have passed and the mental/psychological addiction part has slowed down.

I heard that food would taste better again and you wouldn't have that persistent cough and cold that is real bad in the winter, at least for me it was. If food tastes better it is only by a slim margin but my coughing/breathing has improved. Maybe it takes more time for a person to experience better benefits. I do eat more and have gained about 5lbs in the last 3 weeks and I am trying to be more active so the weight gain has validity. I'll keep updating further observations I noticed a few times a month.

March 10th: Very happy, over 30 days being smoke free. I am feeling better and cough has improved a lot. I am exercising a little more because I've gained several pounds. If I wasn't exercising a little, lord knows how much weight I would have gained. I noticed when exercising that I don't get as winded as quickly. I am proud of myself as is my family, I am diligently striving to keep on this path.

March 29th: I'm now about 51 days smoke free. I have noticed changes now and my raspy breathing and coughing in the morning has pretty much went away. I do have more stamina/energy without getting winded so easy. I eat more and even with my moderate exercising still am several pounds heavier than when I quit smoking but overall I can live with that over the damages smoking would cause me more in the future.

April 22: Still smoke free and feeling great. Been about 2.5 months now.

May 18: Yahoo. Smoke free for over 3 months. I am glad I made the change but as I've stated it is hard work. If you fail on an attempt just keep trying. Everyone is different and what works for one may not work well for another. You must have the desire to quit which is probably the most important thing in my own opinion.

Aug 22: Still smoke free. Yeah.

Oct 26: About 9 months smoke free. I forgot to mention that after a year I can lower my life insurance rate by being smoke free. There is a huge difference between what a smoking male pays monthly versus a nonsmoking male. It will cut my rate around 50 percent. How cool is that?

Feb 5, 2010: Celebrated my 1 YR ANNIVERSARY SMOKE FREE.

June 2010: Still Smoke free and has been about a year and a half. Michigan now has a law that bans smoking in bars, restaurants and any public places. When I was smoking that would have really irritated me and also how much cigarettes cost nowadays, about 6 dollars a pack.

Sept 2011: Around 2.5 years smoke free.

March 2012 Still smoke free for over 3 years now. Feeling good and recent doctor visit made me feel good when stated that my breathing and lungs were in good shape.

Sept 2014: I've been smoke free for over 5 years now. I feel great and besides myself being happy, my wife and children are as well.

What is the best way to quit smoking?

How would you quit smoking or if you quit smoking, how did you do it?

See results
The Easy Way for Women to Stop Smoking: A Revolutionary Approach Using Allen Carr's Easyway™ Method
The Easy Way for Women to Stop Smoking: A Revolutionary Approach Using Allen Carr's Easyway™ Method

I found it interesting that they have a stop smoking book just for women.

 

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    • profile image

      eweteae 3 years ago

      good

    • profile image

      Doc_Holliday 3 years ago

      A man after my own heart. Well done.

    • EricKnight profile image

      EricKnight 4 years ago

      Congratulations on your success with quitting cigarettes. Its not easy, I know!

    • JeromyS7 profile image

      JeromyS7 4 years ago

      I read Allan Carrs book and just quite. I had made up my mind that that was what I was going to do, when I finished the book. I spent years and years 'wanting' to stop smoking and waiting for the 'right' time. Finally, just before my son was born, I did it, I stopped, cold turkey, no patch, gum, electric cigarette, pill, nothing. I just stopped. The first bit was hard, but it really was not as hard as people make it out to be. Or, it doesn't have to be. I think the whole 'it is so hard to stop smoking' is somewhat over inflated, perhaps by the tobacco industry themselves. It really isn't that hard, if you make up your mind and do it! Great lens!

    • aliciamaggie54 profile image

      aliciamaggie54 4 years ago

      This is so great! I have some loved ones that smoke and I wish that they quit or had quit a long time ago. Thanks for sharing your story about quitting:)

    • SusanRDavis profile image

      Susan R. Davis 4 years ago from Vancouver

      Congratulations! Any bad habit is a killer to break, and I have to say that cold turkey is the hardest. When I started weight loss, I couldn't maintain diets at all so I use a very gradual process for changing things so that the better habits stick. There are so many elements to kicking an addition - both physical and mental. I'm glad you've made it over the hump.

    • CanInsure profile image

      CanInsure 4 years ago

      I used the Nicorette gum, but it also takes will power to do it. Good job!

    • profile image

      grahamlewislive 4 years ago

      Yeah I also quit cold turkey, but used thought field therapy also. And ran a lot as it helped clear and expand my lungs. Also relieved stress in steam and sauna and meditation.

    • OUTFOXprevention1 profile image

      OUTFOXprevention1 4 years ago

      Great story and cause. Thanks for the lens!

    • profile image

      Hillbilly_Direct 4 years ago

      Congrats! I have just passed one year as a non smoker. So glad I stopped!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      You should be proud m8 :)

    • merfzel profile image

      merfzel 4 years ago from Atlanta, GA

      I'm quitting on Monday (9/24/12)... and this time I WILL succeed!! Thanks for this lens!

    • profile image

      gracielapischner 4 years ago

      good job man.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      One really big CONGATS my friend... I can do it...:(. I didn't decided yet i think this is a problem to quit smoking... Great lens...

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have quit twice, cold turkey, was a fool and went back, my sister started smoking again after 10 years and has still not quit again. I feel a 3 time lucky charm coming for me. Getting ready to quit again. With the patch

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Congratulations! Great lens by the way.

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      Congratulations to you. I think "cold turkey" is the way to go.

    • kevingomes13 lm profile image

      kevingomes13 lm 5 years ago

      Good lens. My dad quit cold turkey too. When I was little I would sometimes cry just to make him stop.

    • profile image

      Ladyeaglefeather 5 years ago

      wonderful

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 5 years ago

      I think you don't need a Nicotine gum to take away that habit if you are persistent enough to remove you can. Excellent lense.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      After trying a bunch of other ways, I finally quit cold turkey after smoking for 7 years. I only smoked 2 cigarettes in the 21 years since then. Isn't it great?

    • profile image

      futuresadmin 5 years ago

      Reading about your experience is very inspiring!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I smoked for just over a year but i have successfully kicked the habit, it does sometimes get to me when having a really stressful period or around a group of friends that smoke, but the hardest thing of all that I sometimes struggle to overcome is the Physiological act of smoking,

    • profile image

      marydixon 5 years ago

      Thanks - and e cigs have helped me totally quit the real cigs.

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 5 years ago from Land of Aloha

      Congratulations! It was a battle for me after being a smoker for years, but I'm so thrilled I'm no longer a smoker. It's a great feeling!!! :)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      GREAT GREAT GREAT JOB!!! I'm 51 days into cold turkey method & it's not easy. As you said in your story I too want to live.

    • spritequeen lm profile image

      spritequeen lm 5 years ago

      Great job! I know it was hard to do and I commend you on your success! Thanks for sharing.

    • bamajaw profile image

      bamajaw 5 years ago

      Good work.

    • tcorbs profile image

      tcorbs 5 years ago

      Congratulations! I commend you for quitting the way you did.

    • trainstorm profile image

      trainstorm 5 years ago

      I stopped two weeks before I'd planned to do. I realised it was stupid to carry on for another forthnight just because my self-designated stop date was my birthday. That was 20 years ago and I've never looked back!

    • profile image

      lifebroker-australia 5 years ago

      Great that you quit smoking - it's hard; not only expensive like you said but it also pushes up life insurance premiums.

    • plrsource profile image

      plrsource 5 years ago

      I quit cold turkey01/03/2011....Yep 8 months....I feel great.....Very cool lens!!!

    • KarenTBTEN profile image

      KarenTBTEN 5 years ago

      It's nice to see a personal story here. I think many people do use smoking as a form of self-medication -- and sometimes for things that need treatment of some sort -- so it's good to include the other resources. SquidAngel blessings.

    • profile image

      professionale 6 years ago

      Loved the story! I also have sites on drug addiction maybe these can help out some of your reader.

      heroin addiction

      Vicodin addiction

      Hope you enjoy

    • profile image

      griffinhenderson21 6 years ago

      Amazing story! How much life would be for everyone if people had the mental strength you did. People have actually done this with hardcore drugs too. But that is a very rare case just like yours. Please come check out my lense and let me know of any suggestion you may have.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Congratulations on winning the battle!

    • profile image

      sugunalinus 6 years ago

      Really nice to see a good lens about stopping smoking. Good effort.

    • beckwong profile image

      beckwong 6 years ago

      I am glad to hear that you quit smoking.

      You definitely improve yours and also your family member's health (second hand smoking)

      Congratulations!

    • jvsper63 profile image

      jvsper63 6 years ago

      I have been tobacco free since jan of 2010. Great job..

    • profile image

      AsterITSolutions 6 years ago

      NicLite is good drinking product for stop smoking solutions

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I ran out of my nicotine inhaler cartridges, so have been nicotine free now for about a week. Closest nicotine is the gas station down the highway- but that would mean buying cigarettes. (Not!) Looks like I'm doing 'forced' cold turkey from the inhaler anyway -:)

    • profile image

      s4mudr4 6 years ago

      glad to see another person who stay away from cigarette.. make this world better without burning our "money"...

    • profile image

      stop_smoking_help 6 years ago

      I've never met anyone who wanted to quit smoking who didn't. The key is you have to have "determination". Without that or a very strong reason to stop, you're just messing around. Time to get serious about it. If you want my advice, try http://www.stopsmokinghelper.org or http://unbiasedstopsmokinginformation.blogspot.com

      Both sites can help you out.

    • profile image

      Christina_Moore 6 years ago

      Not only will quiting smoking help your health, but it might lower your Life Insurance plan. Smoking can create an added risk factor which may impact your rate.

    • ZenandChic profile image

      Patricia 6 years ago

      Stopping smoking is sooo hard. I did it cold turkey in November of 2005. I hated doing it, but I Have not smoked since and I am glad now. I smoked from age 16 until I quit at 35 in 2005. I wish you well on your smoke free journey. I can breathe better for sure!

    • QuirkySue profile image

      QuirkySue 6 years ago

      I quit smoking over 13 years ago and never looked back. "Cold Turkey" worked for me too.

    • QuirkySue profile image

      QuirkySue 6 years ago

      I quit smoking over 13 years ago and never looked back. "Cold Turkey" worked for me too.

    • darciefrench lm profile image

      darciefrench lm 6 years ago

      I have quit many times, but seem to revert back to alternative nicotine. Way to go cold turkey! Lensrolled to my Nicotine Alternatives lens.

    • jdwheeler profile image

      jdwheeler 6 years ago

      I used the prescription CHANTIX. It was amazing. After a week, I didn't even think about cigarettes.

    • profile image

      GoGreenEnergy 6 years ago

      I quit smoking several times during the past ten years but started back up several months later. Once I quit for just over nine months. I have over a year under my belt now but I have been using an electronic cigarette this whole time. I think even though I can't really say I quit but I believe it is a better alternative for sure. Glad to see you quit so long ago yourself, wish I did. Cheers!

    • ClinicallySigni profile image

      ClinicallySigni 6 years ago

      Another great lens. I too quit smoking and cold turkey was the ONLY way for me to do it. I "only" smoked for about 5 years so it may be more difficult if you've been smoking for a decade or two. I was smoking 1 to 1.5 packs a day and slowly cutting back just didn't work for me. One night I ran out of cigarettes and I just decided that's IT...no more.

      The most difficult part for me was driving without smoking. That took a long time to get used to. Gum, pretzel rods, candy, anything to keep me busy while driving for the next few months were the things that got me through.

      It's been almost 4 years since my last cigarette and if I can do it ANYONE can!

      Congrats on the great health decision and for a wonderful lens outlining the process!!!

    • profile image

      DaleMaxwell 6 years ago

      You were very brave to go cold turkey. I am on a similar quest now to quit but mine is over a 20 week period

    • profile image

      WriterBuzz 6 years ago

      This is a great lens. Thanks for making it. Very informative. I gave you a thumbs up

      cause I like your lens.

    • profile image

      gck 7 years ago

      Wow you did it the tough way. I heard there is this new nicotine craving relief formula, that helps reduce your nicotine withdrawal sypmtoms. Could help double peoples success rate, and they have free trials Quit Smoking Nicotine Craving Relief

    • profile image

      ekunkeljr 7 years ago

      Hi Howard,

      Thanks for sharing this! I can relate to your story, and I hope you remain smoke-free. Good lens here!

    • wondersmoke lm profile image

      wondersmoke lm 7 years ago

      Wow that's really tough. I wish i had shown you Green Smoke man...

      www.greensmoke.com/wondersmoke

    • profile image

      Videoart 7 years ago

      2 thumbs up.

    • retro-gamer profile image
      Author

      Howard 7 years ago from Michigan

      Back from vacation.

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      Great lens 5* I am lenrolling to my nicotine replacement lens. Great job.

    • retro-gamer profile image
      Author

      Howard 7 years ago from Michigan

      Will be gone on vacation for a couple of weeks and won't be able to update or approve new links, comments, etc that you may have submitted. I will get around to them when I get back. Thank you.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great lense and a good idea ! Maybe use bullet points (html) for those journal entries , they deserve to be drawn ttention too ,good lense

    • profile image

      FinallyHealthy 7 years ago

      Thanks for your experience, it is an inspiration. I agree that the one most important factor in quitting is having a real, personal desire to quit.

      http://www.squidoo.com/Stop---Smoking

    • profile image

      StopTheSmokes 7 years ago

      Great lens... What an experience!

    • sneakerz profile image

      sneakerz 7 years ago

      Great 5 star lens. It is good to see someone's struggle as they deal with the smoking demon. Congratulations and I hope you continue to be smoke free.

    • profile image

      boutiqueshops 7 years ago

      Outstanding personal experience lens ~ GREAT job!

    • profile image

      concentrate 7 years ago

      Congratulations mate!... This is a good thing to share the world of benefits in quitting smoking.

    • profile image

      ajfrank 8 years ago

      Congratulations on quitting. Worth it but it's a struggle. Just have to make it the first week.

    • profile image

      MysticKrystal 8 years ago

      I quit smoking a few years back. I tried cold turkey but had to do the patches and gum route. Loved how you put a human touch to it and I could relate.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Congratulations!

      I also quit smoking cold turkey about 15 months ago. I had pneumonia and bronchitis and I was so sick that I couldn't even think about smoking so when I felt well enough to smoke again I figured that I had already gone so long without a cigarette that I should just quit. So I just quit! I haven't had pneumonia or bronchitis, a yearly occurrence in my smoking days, since I quit. I still crave cigarettes when I get really stressed out but I would never consider lighting up again!

    • profile image

      Quit-Smoking-Today 8 years ago

      Yeah, I have been a smoker for a long time too. I got the Stop Smoking System and took the bull by the horns, so to speak and finally quit. Great page and story! Good Job

    • profile image

      dorisbly 8 years ago

      Thank you for quitting smoking. You'll thank yourself you did down the road. Quitting smoking reduces chances of heart attack, strokes and cancer.

    • retro-gamer profile image
      Author

      Howard 8 years ago from Michigan

      Thank you for all the visitors and comments. Due to work related relocation for the next few months I may not be able to update or approve links regularly. I will get around to it though when I have the time. Thank you all

    • profile image

      danie5 8 years ago

      smoking is bad. great that you quit.

    • profile image

      geraldsinclair 8 years ago

      Good to quit. I did it about 10 years ago and best decision I could have made.

    • profile image

      zach22g 8 years ago

      never quit quitting. Good for you.

    • profile image

      peekapoo 8 years ago

      Besides health it costs a fortune to smoke currently.

    • profile image

      juanhdz 8 years ago

      I'd like to quit smoking. Hopefully one day I can.

    • profile image

      Lucas73 8 years ago

      Way to go. Hang in there.

    • profile image

      JStabler 8 years ago

      Good job quitting. I smoke but with new prices and I know should quit anyway. Im going to cut down for sure and maybe give it a real go in future.

    • profile image

      katesale 8 years ago

      Good for you. I quit smoking a few years ago best thing I did.

    • profile image

      tdove 8 years ago

      Thanks for joining G Rated Lense Factory!

    • BusyQueen profile image

      BusyQueen 8 years ago

      Hi C, I hope you never delete this lens, regardless of how it turns out, it really is some good reading! It helps to read about real life experiences and others will know that they are not alone with this habit.

      WOW, I am impressed, that you have come this far and very happy for you! *smiles*

      Please keep us updated.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      I was unable to add this to your list of smoking or inspirational links. This will help you-

      Matthew chapter 11, verses 28,29 and 30.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Great lens and I'am glad you are taking care of your temple.

      Debra