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#1 Posted by Wolverine (4281 posts) -

I started to smoking about six months ago, about 4-10 cigarettes a day. Anyway, I smoked a cigarette before work today and afterwards I realized my throat really hurt and I couldn't take a really deep breath.

IT FREAKED THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I need to quit! The thing is I'm sort of addicted. I haven't smoked this morning. I need your help. Should I throw my cigarettes out? I've done this before and bought another pack. Any advice would be great.

Also, since I haven't smoked for that long, my lungs can recover if I quit now right?

#2 Posted by Beforet (2922 posts) -

Quitting now is better than quitting next week. Otherwise, I have no help for you. My parent tried to quit smoking repeatedly, but that was after 20 years of the habit. I would probably ask a doctor if you can, unless someone here has more concrete experience and wisdom.

But just keep at it man. It's a huge strain on the willpower, but you can make it through!

#3 Posted by Xolare (1284 posts) -

Try teetering off. Limit cigarettes a day and about each 2 weeks or so decrease the max.

#4 Posted by MikeGosot (3227 posts) -

I'll wish you the best. Try to smoke less, at least, and see if you can spend a day without smoking. Try not to thing about it, go play some videogames, or whatever.
I never smoked, so i don't know how to deal with that, my grandma(Who used to smoke), says that "she just stopped", but since that's not working for you, i just wish you the best. D:

#5 Edited by Shivoa (625 posts) -

I think it's 5 years to fully recover (and return to previous cancer risk level) but maybe it's 10 (the point where basically your entire body is new cells and any sludge in your lungs is going to have been passed) from what I can remember of the reports on the subject so if you survive that long (and your chances are really good*, especially as you haven't been smoking heavily by the sound of it) then it'll be as if you never smoked. You'll get lung capacity mostly back quickly (anecdotal: a week without smoking is a common figure for how long it takes to get back to previous abilities to breath during some casual footie).

There should be local/national quit smoking support services available to you to give hints at what you can try. Personally, I avoid lingering in places where I smoke a lot (habit areas) and ignore any nicotine substitution products (I don't seem to have a bad reaction to stopping and it seems foolish to continue to be addicted to the drug that has you hooked if you're planning to quit - maybe people who get withdrawal find slowly lessening the dose the only way to do it). Avoid buying more as you'll find it hard to 'only have one or two' when you've got a packet so blag when you have to or use patches/gum if you need to slowly ramp down and really want to buy some smokes. Oh, and do whatever works for you; we're all different so there is no golden answer and you need to find what your right path is. Don't sweat it if you're not following the instructions someone says are golden rules or anything stupid.

Edit: * that sounded way less morbid is a statistical analysis class than on a forum. You're not going to die, young healthy people don't get cancer that often (smoker or not); it's just that your risk vs a non-smoker is relatively higher (but both are low in absolute terms) and integrating over your life that's what gives the bad result of so many lifetime smokers dying of cancer. You're rolling the dice and smokers have worse odds than non-smokers so while you're both really really unlikely to roll cancer the non-smoker's lower odds protect them from that eventual bad roll (so something else kills them first, at whatever age that time comes).

#6 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

I just started smoking. It helps with the stress.

#7 Posted by Xolare (1284 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

I just started smoking. It helps with the stress.

That doesn't help this guy quit smoking no does it?

#8 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

If you are fully addicted you have to quit cold turkey. You can try patches or lozenges, but if you don't force yourself to ween off the nicotine you will end up just popping lozenges. If you are only smoking 4-10 a day, you have better chance. I smoked a pack a day for 4 years before I finally tried to stop.

Patches work really well, but if you forget to put one on before you leave the house, you are in a world of hurt. Also if you leave it on while you sleep, you will probably have crazy dreams about smoking. I did.

I don't recommend limiting the actual number of cigarettes you smoke. That doesn't really work because usually it is the habit you are addicted to as well.

Trying to quit sucks, but I enjoyed every cigarette. hehe

#9 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

I just started smoking. It helps with the stress.

Also allows you to take more breaks at work. =)

Nothing beats having a cigarette on a cold day with a nice glass of whiskey...... hmmm I may have to hit up the gas station tonight.

#10 Edited by cspanick (50 posts) -

Dont quit smoking, just switch what you smoke.;)

#11 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@Xolare said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

I just started smoking. It helps with the stress.

That doesn't help this guy quit smoking no does it?

Ummm.. It also makes me smell bad, so I have to spray axe on me and axe smells horrible. My teeth are also turning yellow maybe... that's a thing right? Ummm.... It's also really expensive and a lot of people generally don't want to be around smokers. Uh.... Good Luck :3

#12 Posted by NlGHTCRAWLER (1215 posts) -

@TyCobb said:

@NlGHTCRAWLER said:

I just started smoking. It helps with the stress.

Also allows you to take more breaks at work. =)

Nothing beats having a cigarette on a cold day with a nice glass of whiskey...... hmmm I may have to hit up the gas station tonight.

Whiskey AND smoking?

You dog, you.

#13 Posted by SexyToad (2760 posts) -

Good luck duder, I don't have any advice since I do not know anyone who is a smoker.

#14 Posted by Grillbar (1838 posts) -

@Wolverine said:

I started to smoking about six months ago, about 4-10 cigarettes a day. Anyway, I smoked a cigarette before work today and afterwards I realized my throat really hurt and I couldn't take a really deep breath.

quitter, on the more serious note. the good thing is that you barely just started and your not really smoking that much a day so either start by cuttting down a few a day untill you stop completely. theres are also pills that can help, hypnosis, lazer, and other stuff if you fail at just stopping by your self. wish you the best of luck

#15 Posted by Everyones_A_Critic (6299 posts) -

Nicotine is a bitch to quit, and I'm not even addicted to it. In all honesty man you need to find yourself a new habit to replace the old one. I would suggest e-cigs to ween yourself off of it. As someone who is "psychologically addicted" to weed I've found that these Cannabis Free herbal cigarettes can help replace the harmful smoke with less harmful smoke. No matter what you're puffing on, smoking anything is gonna put tar in your lungs. Those Cannabis Free cigarettes don't have as many carcinogens in them, though, plus no nicotine and deliver a placebo effect that won't rival the real thing but will help replace the habit. I wish you the best of luck, man. The day I pick up a pack of cigs on my own dime is the day I become a life-long smoker. My personality is just that addictive.

#16 Posted by spazmaster666 (1968 posts) -

Going cold turkey is generally not a good idea. If you're looking for over the counter help, nicotine patches are generally superior to gum. Prescription wise, Chantix is a good pick (though expensive) as compared to Zyban.

#17 Posted by laserbolts (5322 posts) -

I smoked a pack a day for like 6 years and quit cold turkey. I have absolute shit willpower as well so you should be able to do it. It's only horrible for the first week then you are in the clear. Best decision I have ever made because smoking is fucking retarded.

#18 Posted by nohthink (1223 posts) -

@Wolverine: I started my quitting journey this year. First three weeks is the toughest. Tell your friends to keep you accountable. You gotta be dedicated otherwise, you're gonna repeat the same mistake. The reason why quitting cigarettes is so hard is because you can just go to any gas station and buy a pack. Don't fall for that.

Go cold turkey, Throw away your cigarettes and start chewing gums/start exercising. Keep counting days. It will motivate you as days add up. Frist 3 weeks is the hardest. Afterwards, you get used to it. It does not get easier. You just learn to handle your urges. Good luck. As a fellow quitter, I fully support you.

#19 Posted by Unmada (68 posts) -

The patches worked for me, but it may take you some time and several attempts to find your cure. If you try a tactic and you don't stop smoking, it only means that you need to adjust your tactics, not that you failed. G'luck to you!

#20 Edited by MyNiceIceLife (622 posts) -

a lot of the problem with quitting something is all mental. understanding why you smoke and what causes you to smoke, and then either eliminating them or finding away to control the urges in those situations is key. an example is people that smoke only when they drink or with certain people. you're body will go through withdrawals whether you quit cold turkey or use a patch. it's just whether you have the actual desire to quit and go through with it that'll determine if you will succeed. health concerns is a great motivator for that and it seems you've had your scare which should help, although it's bad it had to come to that.

i had a similar thing with soda causing me to have acid reflux disease that caused extreme neck pain and burned some holes in my throat. quit cold turkey cause i physically could drink it anymore and caffeine withdrawal was a pain in the ass. if you still have problems with your throat you should see a doctor if possible just in case, and also see what they would recommend to help you quit. better to be safe then sorry.

#21 Edited by LD50 (415 posts) -

@spazmaster666 said:

Going cold turkey is generally not a good idea. If you're looking for over the counter help, nicotine patches are generally superior to gum. Prescription wise, Chantix is a good pick (though expensive) as compared to Zyban.

That. Also, Chantix comes with a telephone support system with people to help you through it. Not sure if it's that effective. There's always Wellbuturin which is going to replace the Dopamine, which is what you're addicted to. Replacing the addiction with another habit is generally what I think is a good recipe for quitting any addiction. Exercise, though not as much fun, will produce a high that is a healthy substitute for the nicotine.

The problem with nicotine is it inflames the heart muscles and causes plaque that has collected there to break off and clog arteries, hence a heart attack. Besides the obvious nature of carcinogens, which be definition create cancer and exists in most (all?) forms of ash. I suggest tapering off one cigarette a week, while starting to walk for about 30 to 45 minutes a night. You might take a break on the walking every few days to avoid shin splints. I smoke about a pack a day, and am a weed smoker. I find that times I'm getting high, I'm less stress and smoke fewer cigs. Also, it makes exercising fun if you can believe it. And the U.S. government has some kind of patent of the neuro-protectant capabilites of Marijuana, though I'd be hard pressed to find the evidence again.

Not that I'm telling you to smoke weed, but you should smoke weed. Unless it's illegal where you're at of course. I would never leave evidence on a message board promoting law breaking activities.

#22 Posted by SargeGulp (240 posts) -

Don't be weak. Addiction is a small demonic creature at the back of your brain with an unlimited supply of justifications. Quitting smoking is good for you, smoking is not.

Exercise helps work the nicotine out of your system among other things.

It doesn't take "10 years" to recover.

Don't replace the habit with something else negative. A lot of people gain weight, having diabetes wouldn't be superior to smoking.

@spazmaster666 said:

Going cold turkey is generally not a good idea. If you're looking for over the counter help, nicotine patches are generally superior to gum. Prescription wise, Chantix is a good pick (though expensive) as compared to Zyban.

Because it didn't work for you or is this just your opinion?

#23 Posted by FourWude (2261 posts) -

Der wille zur macht. You must conquer yourself, even if that means you must kill a part of yourself.

#24 Posted by joseffthered (76 posts) -

I was lucky. I had an appendectomy done and was laid up for a week without being able to smoke. I figured that if there was ever a time to quit that was it, so I took advantage of the situation. It took months and months before the cravings actually went away (well, i guess they never really go away completely, but it's manageable) I smoked for 13-14 years before that.

#25 Posted by xaLieNxGrEyx (2605 posts) -

Just sleep a lot

#26 Posted by SarjuTheRapper (279 posts) -

after your second or third week of having no ciggarettes you'll have passed the worst of it. at least thats how it was for my brother.

but it'll feel like a really long 2 weeks haha good luck

#27 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

@xaLieNxGrEyx said:

Just sleep a lot

The first couple of days of quitting will definitely cause this. It's amazing how big of a stimulate a little cigarette is. You don't notice it until it is gone.

#28 Posted by GnaTSoL (793 posts) -

Wow. Smoking is like suicide. Just keep reminding yourself of that when those urges kick in.

#29 Edited by LD50 (415 posts) -

@SargeGulp said:

Don't be weak. Addiction is a small demonic creature at the back of your brain with an unlimited supply of justifications. Quitting smoking is good for you, smoking is not.

Exercise helps work the nicotine out of your system among other things.

It doesn't take "10 years" to recover.

Don't replace the habit with something else negative. A lot of people gain weight, having diabetes wouldn't be superior to smoking.

@spazmaster666 said:

Going cold turkey is generally not a good idea. If you're looking for over the counter help, nicotine patches are generally superior to gum. Prescription wise, Chantix is a good pick (though expensive) as compared to Zyban.

Because it didn't work for you or is this just your opinion?

You're funny. You summarily dismiss others, stating your opinion as fact. Then you accuse someone, that is clearly stating their opinion, of what you're doing. Bravo Sir.

#30 Posted by Shivoa (625 posts) -

@SargeGulp said:

It doesn't take "10 years" to recover.

Hey man, I just look at the data. Last I read 5-10 years was when the tissue of your lungs was not visibly different to a non-smoker (after being a regular smoker, long term packed a day type is probably where that figure came from but I don't have the study to hand). It may take a lot longer to get your statistical risk level down to a non-smoker level. But don't let that put you off, even smoking less is better for your chances. Every day you continue to not smoke is a day closer to having the same cancer risk as a non-smoker and it sounds like the OP hasn't been a heavy smoker or smoked for that long so is going to be at a better place on the curve. Still, lot of burnt stuff inside that tennis court sized lung surface for the moment and it won't magically vanish the second you stop. It's worth keeping that in mind, even if you'll stop running out of breath in a week or so.

#31 Posted by SargeGulp (240 posts) -

@LD50:I admit it is a talent. However all of my facts are facts, not opinions. As I did indeed quit smoking. If you have not, you cannot speak from personal experience.

#32 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

@GnaTSoL said:

Wow. Smoking is like suicide. Just keep reminding yourself of that when those urges kick in.

Why? Because it is possible to get cancer and possibly die? Driving a car is like suicide then because it is possible to unintentionally kill yourself.

Smoking does not equal cancer and cancer does not equal death. You can smoke your entire life and not get cancer. You can also get cancer and beat it.

Everyone who smokes knows the risks, but most really just don't care. Otherwise we wouldn't have started in the first place.

#33 Posted by iam3green (14390 posts) -

i suggest you just start smoking less and less.

#34 Edited by MikkaQ (10294 posts) -

I need a bunch of willpower to not start smoking! All my friends smoke, and often. At the bar I hate having to stay inside while the others go off and smoke to keep an eye on our table and stuff. I imagine I miss out on a good deal of conversation this way too. I usually just chain-shoot drinks while they're smoking out of boredom, which is an awful practice.

When I was like ten I wanted my dad to stop smoking (2 packs a day, at that), so I told him if he quit I'd never start. He went cold turkey right away. I feel like I need to honor that and it's about the last thing that's keeping me from starting.

#35 Posted by LD50 (415 posts) -

@SargeGulp said:

@LD50:I admit it is a talent. However all of my facts are facts, not opinions. As I did indeed quit smoking. If you have not, you cannot speak from personal experience.

My original statement still stands.

#36 Posted by ComradeKhan (687 posts) -

I quit cold turkey after smoking a pack a day for multiple years. I was kind of at a shitty point in my life due to circumstances around me at the time, so I was smoking more and more. The number of cigarettes that I was smoking was escalating each day, so by the time i quite I was smoking more than one pack in a day. The amount of carcinogens I was ingesting were beginning to make me ill to the point that the thought of smoking a cigarette seemed really unappealing (regardless of how much my body needed the nicotine). So one day I woke up and lit a cigarette on my way to class and the taste and everything about it (that i had always loved) suddenly seemed extremely gross. So i threw the cigarette out the window after one drag and quit right then and there - cold turkey - i didn't even throw the pack away to make sure i didn't smoke, i didn't need to. So I was still physically addicted to nicotine for about a month after quitting but it didn't matter because my sudden psychological distaste for cigarettes far outweighed my physical dependency to the nicotine.

#37 Posted by SargeGulp (240 posts) -

@TyCobb:That's preposterous. Driving a car is a necessary part of life for a considerable number of people. Smoking is a lifestyle choice.

Everyone who smokes knows the risks, but most really just don't care. Otherwise we wouldn't have started in the first place.

...

You are your avatar!

#38 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

@SargeGulp said:

@TyCobb:That's preposterous. Driving a car is a necessary part of life for a considerable number of people. Smoking is a lifestyle choice.

Everyone who smokes knows the risks, but most really just don't care. Otherwise we wouldn't have started in the first place.

...

You are your avatar!

Driving a car is also a lifestyle choice. There are plenty of people out there that prefer to ride a bike everywhere instead of driving. Amish are a perfect example of this. They still use stage coaches.

And thanks for the compliment!

#39 Edited by spazmaster666 (1968 posts) -

@SargeGulp said:

Because it didn't work for you or is this just your opinion?

I have never nor will I ever smoke (I like not doubling my chances of getting cardiovascular disease) so it's my opinion based on both my experience with smokers and based on my knowledge of smoking cessation.

#40 Posted by ComradeKhan (687 posts) -
@TyCobb said:

@GnaTSoL said:

Wow. Smoking is like suicide. Just keep reminding yourself of that when those urges kick in.

Why? Because it is possible to get cancer and possibly die? Driving a car is like suicide then because it is possible to unintentionally kill yourself.

Smoking does not equal cancer and cancer does not equal death. You can smoke your entire life and not get cancer. You can also get cancer and beat it.

Everyone who smokes knows the risks, but most really just don't care. Otherwise we wouldn't have started in the first place.

Cancer is just one of the many ways that smoking cigarettes will kill you. I'm assuming you already know this and are just playing dumb (as apposed to actually being dumb).
#41 Posted by LD50 (415 posts) -

: This is not in reference to anything, I just thought it was funny.

#42 Posted by ReyGitano (2467 posts) -

@Wolverine: All I can tell you is that my friend was in a similar situation where he would try to quit cold turkey but would eventually just buy another pack a few days to a few weeks later. He eventually did quit cold turkey, but there was no rhyme or reason to it from what he told me. It's just a fight of willpower according to him.

#43 Posted by TyCobb (1972 posts) -

@LD50: I don't roll on Shabbos!

@ComradeKhan: I know this. My point was the fact that smoking does not always equate to death whereas suicide does. If anything, it would have been better for him/her to say that smoking is like intentionally poisoning yourself because it is. Be right back... I am going to poison myself for a couple of minutes. ;)

#44 Posted by SargeGulp (240 posts) -

@spazmaster666 said:

@SargeGulp said:

Because it didn't work for you or is this just your opinion?

I have never nor will I ever smoke (I like not doubling my chances of getting cardiovascular disease) so it's my opinion based on both my experience with smokers and based on my knowledge of smoking cessation.

Definitely the right choice. Cold turkey however is the only reason I was personally able to quit. Dragging it on did not lessen the cravings nor did it make the transition smoother. @TyCobb said:

@SargeGulp said:

@TyCobb:That's preposterous. Driving a car is a necessary part of life for a considerable number of people. Smoking is a lifestyle choice.

Everyone who smokes knows the risks, but most really just don't care. Otherwise we wouldn't have started in the first place.

...

You are your avatar!

Driving a car is also a lifestyle choice. There are plenty of people out there that prefer to ride a bike everywhere instead of driving. Amish are a perfect example of this. They still use stage coaches.

And thanks for the compliment!

They probably get excommunicated for driving cars.

#45 Posted by Stonyman65 (2711 posts) -

I know some people who have had great success with those E-cigarettes. Apparently they have ones that have small amounts of nicotine that get progressively smaller and smaller as you progress over time to help lean you off of them. Kind of like a 3-step program.

#46 Posted by JasonR86 (9710 posts) -

@Wolverine:

I feel you pain man. I'm trying to quit drinking. I'm about five weeks clean. I was four weeks clean and then I lapsed when I had some time off, hung out with some friends, and my willpower failed me. What I realized after that relapse was that I needed to find an alternative behavior that would take my focus away from alcohol. So I've decided to pick up exercising again and have since made huge physical strides while staying away from alcohol. The point being relying on willpower alone to stop using is really hard because at some point you'll come to a time when you'll have a craving, nothing to do, or something else that will bring you right back to that drug. So one of the best things to do is to stay busy and focus on something else while the physical addiction and psychological dependence dies down.

I hope that was some help. Best of luck.

#47 Posted by SinGulaR (2312 posts) -

I'm on my 220th smoke free day. If you want to quit, you have t just quit. There is no easy receipe around the withdrawal symptoms. Which shouldn't be so bad in your case anyway, considering you have only started to smoke regularly 6 months ago.

#48 Posted by kindgineer (2730 posts) -

@Wolverine said:

I started to smoking about six months ago, about 4-10 cigarettes a day. Anyway, I smoked a cigarette before work today and afterwards I realized my throat really hurt and I couldn't take a really deep breath.

IT FREAKED THE SHIT OUT OF ME. I need to quit! The thing is I'm sort of addicted. I haven't smoked this morning. I need your help. Should I throw my cigarettes out? I've done this before and bought another pack. Any advice would be great.

Also, since I haven't smoked for that long, my lungs can recover if I quit now right?

You are not at the addiction level where quitting cold turkey will actually harm you, so that's probably the best course. If you feel that you have the long-term patience to accomplish weaning off cigarettes, that's a great way as well. However, you're best bet is to quit now before real harm can happen to your body. We only live once, don't fuck it up for something so silly.

#49 Posted by TheDudeOfGaming (6078 posts) -

Quitting cold turkey isn't possible.

#50 Posted by Joeyoe31 (820 posts) -

My personal experience with anything I want to quit is to just quit it cold turkey. Though that really comes down to how much you want to quit. Plenty of my friends have quit smoking by just lowering the amount of cigarettes a day. It's really up to you. Best of luck either way.