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General : Tips requested from a five week quitter  
 Message 1 of 7 in Discussion 
From: Joel  (Original Message)Sent: 12/6/2005 9:03 PM
I've been off cigarettes now for five weeks after smoking 40 a day for the past 35 years.
The first week I used a nicotine patch until my daughter sent my your book, it is due to that-that I've managed to stay off the cigs.
I have found it a bit rough for the past few days which surprises me as I was doing really well.
Any tips?
Many thanks
North Wales UK
ps My Mum died from lung cancer aged 69 and my Dad died from a heart attack aged 58.

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 Message 2 of 7 in Discussion 
From: JoelSent: 12/6/2005 9:06 PM
Hello Pat:
I am running out the door on an errand but I would suspect a few members will be here before I get back. I am going to attach one one about quitmeters, just so we are all on the same page for quit times. I'll check back in with you later.
From: Joel.  (Original Message) Sent: 8/19/2002 1:07 PM

I received an email question from a newer member who asked about how to set a quit meter considering she had started using nicotine patches five days before actually joining up at Freedom. She had not smoked 120 cigarettes in that time period and she did not feel she wanted to reset her quit meter for it would not accurately reflect how many cigarettes she had not smoked nor how much money she had saved. She also seemed to feel that because she had suffered so much those first five days that they must have to count for something, or that her whole quit was invalid because we seemed to act as if we felt tha the first five days somehow did not count.

I tried to email her back a reply but her email box was full and the message got kicked back to me. So I am posting the response here for in fact the message is important for other people who may have had a similar experience of finding Freedom after they had already had an NRT quit going.

Here is the response I had written:

A high percentage of people I run through clinics have actually tried NRT products in the past-actually over 85% of people who went through my clinics last year had tried NRT products and have now basically written off the experience as a waste of time. They don't try to hang on to past failures but rather now are focused on maintaining current and future success.

I think most people at Freedom are here now too because they are also of the mindset that the day they quit using nicotine is the day they stopped using nicotine. As far as you thinking now that the first few days of using patches is now making your whole quit invalid-your ten-day quit is perfectly valid. The first five days though you just transferred how you delivered nicotine. I think you are somehow working with the idea that the first five days have to be valid and important to your quit because you suffered so much during them. Suffering is not the benchmark that makes a quit valid-getting off nicotine is what makes breaking the addiction valid. People suffocating with emphysema are suffering plenty from cigarettes but if they are still smoking I don't think you would say that the suffering is a good thing or some kind of great accomplishment.

The money saved issue is pretty much a moot point too-you likely spent more on the patches than cigarettes would have cost you-especially considering you probably spent close to $50 for the box of patches and only used a few. So to say you saved money by that purchase is really misleading too.

As far as cigarettes not smoked in the meters, I think our group mindset is not really cigarettes not smoked as much as it is nicotine not used. Cigarettes are just the unit of measure for nicotine. To most of our members counting the time that a patch was used would be like an alcoholic who used to drink whisky exclusively now saying they successfully gave up drinking because all they have daily now is scotch. Alcohol is alcohol and nicotine is nicotine.

Our board is unique. Almost no other site on the Internet would agree with this stand and will gladly welcome you in and allow you to use whatever numbers you want. But people are here because they are done playing games like trying to make themselves feel better about their past ways of maintaining nicotine addiction and are now trying to make themselves actually get healthier by actually taking control of their addiction. I hope you do the same.

If you can come to grip with the concept of measuring from the day you stopped the patch you will likely be happy and successful here, but if this concept is too much of a stumbling block you will likely find yourself happier elsewhere. While you may be happier elsewhere, I am not so sure you are going to be as successful elsewhere-but the choice of what groups fits you best has got to be yours.

One last point, the 120 cigarettes difference is not going to seem important when the number of cigarettes not smoked read 10,000 or 50,000 or 100,000, and maybe more. Those numbers will be real one day if you always remember from now on that to stay smoke free simply requires always staying committed to never take another puff!


 Message 3 of 7 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameJoeJFree-Gold-Sent: 12/6/2005 10:49 PM
Hey Pat,
The analogy of quitting being a journey, a walk to freedom is commonly used.
The path to Freedom from Tobacco and your smoke free future no doubt has some twists and turns.  Some parts of the path are rocky, but still passable.  There are rough parts and parts that are pretty easy walkin.  Tomorrow will likely be a better day.  The only promise you need to keep right now is No Nicotine Today. 
Pat, if you had a tough time for 10 minutes then you also had a pretty smooth 23 hours and 50 minutes today.  Don't focus on the one that you think you might want but the other 39 that you're sure you don't.
You have the very tuoghest month behind you now.  Still spend some time reading about how living free of nicotine has become the best ting ever for quite a few others as theyve shared their stories about it in My New Life.
....and may the wind be always at your back!

 Message 4 of 7 in Discussion 
From: MSN NicknameBillW-GoldSent: 12/6/2005 11:27 PM
Hi Pat:
      Five weeks is an enormous investment, but depending on how you have been progressing at reprogramming the psychological part of the addiciton, you may not have reached "comfort". 
     You need to get your "inner addict" to the point where he realizes that he can be comfortable without nicotine.  That is done by celebrating each success, each day, each event without the "usual" cigarette.
     There is a string at Freedom,
  • Success stories: before and after
  • that lets you see quitters in their early  healing, and later when they've crossed over the boundary.  

        This is doable..... and while it may be hard at first, it gets progressively easier as you redefine the new ex-smoker person you want to be.

    You can do this!

    BillW  Three years, nine months, four weeks,  41921 cigarettes not smoked, saving $8,279.56. Life saved: 20 weeks, 5 days, 13 hours, 25 minutes.

     Message 5 of 7 in Discussion 
    From: JoelSent: 12/7/2005 10:14 AM
    Hello Pat:
    I was in a hurry when I put this up yesterday. As far as for your request for tips...

    Quit Smoking Tip Sheet

    1. Quit cold turkey. In the long run it’s the easiest and most effective technique of smoking cessation.
    2. Do not carry cigarettes.
    3. Quit smoking one day at a time. Do not concern yourself with next year, next month, next week or even tomorrow. Concentrate on not smoking from the time you wake up until you go to sleep.
    4. Work on developing the attitude that you are doing yourself a favor by not smoking. Do not dwell on the idea that you are depriving yourself of a cigarette. You are ridding yourself full fledged smoking because you care enough about yourself to want to.
    5. Be proud that you are not smoking.
    6. Be aware that many routine situations will trigger the urge for a cigarette. Situations which will trigger a response include: drinking coffee, alcohol, sitting in a bar, social events with smoking friends, card games, the end of meals. Try to maintain your normal routine while quitting. If any event seems to tough, leave it and go back to it later. Do not feel you must give up any activity forever. Everything you did as a smoker, you will learn to do at least as well, and maybe better, as an ex-smoker.
    7. Make a list of all the reasons you want to quit smoking. Keep this list with you, preferably where you used to carry your cigarettes. When you find yourself reaching for a cigarette, take out your list and read it.
    8. Drink plenty of fruit juice the first three days. It will help flush nicotine out of your system.
    9. To help avoid weight gain, eat vegetables and fruit instead of candies and pastries. Celery and carrots can be used safely as short-term substitutes for cigarettes.
    10. If you are concerned about weight gain, do some moderate form of regular exercise. If you have not been exercising regularly, consult your physician for a practical exercise program which is safe for you.
    11. If you encounter a crisis, (e.g. a flat tire, flood, blizzard, family illness) while quitting, remember, smoking is no solution. Smoking will just complicate the original situation while creating another crisis, a relapse into the nicotine addiction.
    12. Consider yourself a “smoke-a-holic.?One puff and you can become hooked again. No matter how long you have been off, don’t think you can safely take a puff!
    13. Don’t debate with yourself how much you want a cigarette. Ask yourself how do you feel about going back to your old level of consumption. Smoking is an all or nothing proposition.
    14. Save the money you usually spend on cigarettes and buy yourself something you really want after a week or a month. Save for a year and you can treat yourself to a vacation.
    15. Practice deep breathing exercises when you have a craving.
    16. Go places where you normally can’t smoke, such as movies, libraries and no smoking sections of restaurants.
    17. Tell people around you that you have quit smoking.
    18. Remember that there are only two good reasons to take a puff once you quit. You decide you want to go back to your old level of consumption until smoking cripples and then kills you, or, you decide you really enjoy withdrawal and you want to make it last forever. As long as neither of these options appeal to you—never take another puff!

     Message 6 of 7 in Discussion 
    From: MSN NicknameStarshinegrl-GoldSent: 12/7/2005 12:21 PM
    Wow, Pat ... 5 weeks!!! That is just fantastic.
    Have you already taken WhyQuit’s Quitting Quiz?
    Sorry to read that you had to experience a bit of a rough patch the last few days, which hopefully was not brought on by Fixating on a Cigarette - I think we all have done that at one point or another and it makes the rough patch so much rougher.
    Pat, you can be so proud of yourself and I am so pleased to be able to send another UK-Quitter! all the best for your nicotine free future!
    376 days and a bit

     Message 7 of 7 in Discussion 
    From: MSN Nickname_forza-d-animo_Sent: 12/9/2005 1:32 AM
      You are still doing well as long as you have not put any nicotine into your system.  Many people go through an initial period where they claim that "it was easy" and "now it is hard."  They can't understand why.  Learn to accept it for what it is.  Life has ups and downs, and having quit is part of life.  Sometimes life is difficult, sometimes life is easy.  You must decide, at some point, that you are in this for the long haul.  You can handle it one day at a time and in the long run it will get better.
      You have, at your fingertips, an awesome resource.  The book that your daughter gave to you, I took everywhere with me in the first month of my quit.  I read the anecdotes many times because in the beginning we need constant reinforcement of the idea that what we are doing may be a struggle but the payoff is immense.  What allowed you to smoke for so long despite the ill effects of tobacco smoke was denial.  You were willing to accept that your addiction to nicotine was stealing your life away because you you thought that you could not break free.  There are more than 35 days behind you to prove that you were wrong about that.  BillW raised a good question - Why throw away such an investment?
      Believe it, Pat.  It gets better.  Soon will come a day when you will only think about a cigarette when you see someone else smoking and your reaction will be one of relief that you don't do that anymore and not one of feeling deprived.
      Keep the promise that you made to yourself to never take another puff and you will never regret it.  Reading this may help.
    14 months

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