Gransnet forums


quitting smoking

(22 Posts)
elizabethjoan Fri 19-Aug-11 18:08:44

Re-started after having given up for 15 years. Now find it useful prop and know that is bloody stupid. Smoking is a consolation in a difficult marriage to a fairly heavy smoker Am fine in a non smoking environment, except when I need to take a little time out for crowd scenes. Any useful hints and tips esp from ex-smokers? Many thanks.

crimson Fri 19-Aug-11 18:30:38

I used to hide behind cigarettes when my marriage ended..was forced to socialise which I've always found difficult. I was also on my own at night and the cigarettes were like company. Was pleased when they banned them from so many places. Non smoking friends used to say 'you don't need them', but I didn't believe them. I gave up completely when my first grandson was born because I wouldn't go near a baby with cigarette smoke on my clothes or breath, and I haven't smoked since. I found it was more breaking the habit; I think I've got a somewhat addictive personality..I either didn't smoke or chain smoked; as I was smoking one cigarette I was thinking of the next one. Did the Paul McKenna stop smoking cd [in fact I still use it as a relaxation tape], learned how to use a computer [replaced one addiction with another!] because I only smoked in the kitchen and the computer is upstairs. I also nearly lost a tooth and it cost me a fortune saving it; the cigarettes were ruining my teeth and gums. Had a pretend cigarette for a while, which gave me something to do with my hands. I can honestly say that I wouldn't dream of smoking now [although I do think of Old Holborn roll ups with liquorice paper sometimes..sigh]. and I'm embarrassed to think how horrid I must have smelled to non smokers. The Fresh Start courses at the doctors are very good. Can take tablets or have niccotine replacement patches. However, I don't think they understand how difficult it is to stop, because niccotine is more addictive than cocaine, I believe. I think I'd have found it very difficult to stop if I was with someone who smoked, though. I also don't think I admitted to myself that I was addicted for a long time; I still thought of myself as an occasional smoker even though I'd bought a packet a day for two years. Sorry if I'm rambling; I've had a long day at work and I've got to pack for a holiday and I'm somewhat light headed with tiredness! Good luck, anyway. If I can do it anyone can.

Notsogrand Fri 19-Aug-11 18:32:46

I gave up almost 4 years ago. My brother in law has been a heavy smoker for years, has tried a range of patches/gum etc without any success. He's currently using an electronic cigarette and swears by it.

Jacey Fri 19-Aug-11 18:43:36

Not sure I can help really that I wanted/needed to give up smoking ...having breathing problems and could no longer run for buses!!

My doctor was very supportive ...knew that I couldn't cope with nicotine patches, as have sensitive skin ... he said that anything herbal in substitute cigarettes were not the answer wouldn't break the habit of holding/lighting a cigarette.

He said that I needed to identify when I took a cigarette ...either by need ..or by habit ...this would be a first step in breaking the pattern.

I was given a chewing gum substitute ...I hated chewing gum that was a positive. I also kept an un-opened packet of cigarettes in the flat I'd a prop (am aware that others trying to give up, removed all temptation)

Then ...I put all the money I wasn't spending on cigarettes into a pot ...for a future treat.

The gum came in varying strengths able to reduce nicotine intact over a period of time.

But ...nothing will work ...if you whole heartedly want to give up ...any addiction is hard to break.

I trully hope you succeed smile

crimson Fri 19-Aug-11 19:00:10

I went through a phase of buying chewing gum when I went to the garage instead of cigarettes. The long ones that you had to unwrap because I then went through the motions of opening a packet etc. If I'd had a packet in the house they would just call to me; even now they would. In fact thinking about smoking makes me want to start again [I won't].

Anne58 Fri 19-Aug-11 19:29:41

I really really REALLY need to give up! I don't like the fact that I must smell, I don't like feeling short of breath, I don't like the thought of giving the government all that money, and I definitely can't afford to smoke.
I also hate my very "dependence" on the damn things, arriving at Paddington station when meeting with a client in London, checking my watch to see if I can grab enough time to stand outside with all the other addicts before having to go down to get the tube to get to the meeting.

But I'm scared of putting on weight. When I see my lovely GP, I can always tell if he is on or off the fags by his weight! I have lost about a stone and a half over the last year, I worry that giving up smoking seems to automatically mean a weight gain.

Crimson, would you actually recommend the Paul McKenna thing? I have the Alan Carr book, and am planning to re-read, but all help gratefully received!

Zephrine Fri 19-Aug-11 19:54:40

Phoenix just read your last post on 'I am reading' - for every pack you don't buy you could put the money towards a Kindle or something else that would be a treat smile

Anne58 Fri 19-Aug-11 20:22:24

I take your point! When I left my first husband and was living on my own, I gave up smoking and did indeed use the money saved for other things. I seem to remember being able to go out one weekend and but about 3 cd's in one go, just on what I'd saved that week, then another occasion buying a table and 2 chairs for my tiny little garden.

I am also aware that if I gave up the bloody awful things I would have more money available to sort out the finances, I could probably get a smallish credit card paid off in around 3 to 6 months. (I haven't actually done the maths, but there is no doubt that it would help.)

I suppose I'm asking for the impossible, i.e. an easyish method, hence my question re the Paul McKenna, and not putting on my hard lost weight.

Zephrine Fri 19-Aug-11 20:32:10

Phoenix Your're tackling so many problems on so many fronts, take a little time out now and then just for yourself. Sit by some water or under some trees, relax your shoulders and take some deep breaths. Sending hugs through the ether!!

Anne58 Fri 19-Aug-11 20:39:30

Thank you, funnily enough I have just been doing my shoulder exercises, and will be going out in a minute to water my pots in my tree shaded garden!

(Our small garden ends in an old hedgerow beyond which are just fields, I love to stand at the bottom of the garden and wait for the young bullocks to come and look at me, they do that without fail, curious things that they are!)

harrigran Fri 19-Aug-11 20:41:18

My DH and I gave up smoking 36 years ago because we did not think it was fair to the children. We bought a piano with the money we saved and paid for lessons for DD. We were a lot healthier and DD became an accomplished musician.
I won't pretend it was easy but I just removed myself from situations where I used to smoke and I took piano lessons to keep me busy.

crimson Fri 19-Aug-11 21:18:55

When I first used the Paul McKenna cd I used to put it on in the afternoon when I got in from work, fall asleep for about 15 minutes [it always sends me to sleep, that's why I still use it..the falling asleep cd doesn't]wake up...and have a fag so, I can't say for sure that it works. Perhaps if you listen to it every day for 6 years it works! Or, perhaps it only worked when I WANTED it to work. But it IS very good for sending you to sleep. The piano lessons idea sounds good; again it's substituting the smoking with something healthier.

elizabethjoan Fri 19-Aug-11 23:24:54

Thank you everyone, specially Crimson. I like the Paul Mckenna idea.............his dieting CD v good. Hate chewing gum. Electronic cigarette idea sounds do-able. They prescription or an on-line? I am fit and well and don't get out of breath, smoking about 6 a day. Haven't had one for 3 hours, and the evenings definitely the most difficult time when husband home, smoking, and day's business pretty much done. Treats sound like an idea, esp Kindle! Thing is, I use smoking as company esp when anxious. It is a "gird your loins" thing too. One before tackling something, one before husband comes home, two before dinner with two glasses wine, one to really enjoy last thing at night.
May try the Fresh Start at GP....that means confessing I have started!
Thanks again all

crimson Fri 19-Aug-11 23:41:54

When I did the chewing gum thing to stop smoking I dislocated my jaw from chewing too violently! Had to live on soft food for weeks! Then my dentist told me that chewing gum wasn't good for can't win, can you?!? Don't worry about telling your GP you've started smoking again. They get brownie points for stopping people smoking and it doesn't matter if it's the same person stopping and starting all the time!

Joan Fri 19-Aug-11 23:42:41

My husband gave up at 60, having smoked since he was 15, quite heavily.


His health suffered drastically, arthritis, irritable bowel and other stuff. He looked up nicotine withdrawal and found that this was the cause, especially for an older, life-long smoker. Young 'uns can give up without any side effect apart from the obvious addiction withdrawal problems. But not us.

In the end he went back on the patches and is on level one patches, half a day, permanently.

If you are older, and give up, stay on the patches. Elisabethjoan, this is what you could do too, if you don't want to actually smoke.

GrannyTunnocks Sat 20-Aug-11 03:18:43

My husband was also a life long smoker and after several attempts to give up went to a smoke cessation clinic and finally managed. He was stopped for over 2 years and started again when his brother was dying of lung cancer. He went back to the clinic and managed to stop again. He has copd and smoking makes it worse. It has not been easy as sometimes he is very irritable but I would rather have that than him smoking. I am fit and healthy and it annoys me that if if had quit smoking when he was younger he would not have the health problems he has now. I would say to anyone who smokes to give up in order to stay healthy and fit and be able to do all the things you enjoy for as long as you can.

harrigran Sat 20-Aug-11 16:48:15

We begged my father to stop smoking because he always seemed to have a cough, even though he was not a heavy smoker. Three years after he stopped smoking he died of lung cancer. Those last three years of his life were miserable, I wish I had left him in peace because ultimately it did not make any difference to the outcome.

ElseG Sat 20-Aug-11 17:04:26

I did the same thing as you elizabetjoan when my mother died I went back on the old weed. I promised my youngest daughter that when we moved to a smaller house I would try again if she didn't nag. She was very good and didn't nag so I tried again. I was sensitive to patches but tried the nicotine inhalator and it was brilliant, I was able to reduce at my own speed, no-one else suffered from the fumes and it was quite a talking point in the pub - me and my 'dummy!'. Not touched a cigarette now for 15 years and this time it wasn't difficult.

Anne58 Sat 20-Aug-11 19:07:34

I kow several people who swear by the Alan Carr book. I got the "Easy Way for women to stop smoking", but some parts of it really irritated me, because of the way it was written. ( Yes, I'm a pedant, which is a bit cheeky of me when I look back at some of my posts and spot the typos, but in my own defence this damn laptop has some dodgy keys, dh finds the same problem with it.)

A couple of years ago the company I work for was asked to carry out a mystery shop assessment of the Alan Carr seminars, in that we had to send people to them and then ask them to report back at monthly intervals for 3 months. The success rate was actually rather high.

Grumpyoldwoman Sat 20-Aug-11 19:34:53

My OG had smoked for 50 yrs..NOTHING would make him give up ..even when his Mother died from lung cancer (she was a non smoker but the cancer had spread from her breast)

Last September DH went to have a minor op on his eyes under GA. During the Op he had respiratory arrest and collapsed lung and ended up in Intensive Care.

This had nothing to do with smoking ..but they discovered he has a paralysed diagphram and now only breathes with a third of one lung ( the other lung doesn't work at all) and he is now on oxygen 24/7, a Bipap machine at night and cannot walk more than a few steps.

He has never smoked or even thought about smoking since !!!

silver60 Mon 22-Aug-11 20:49:15

I gave up for the 3rd and hopefully last time in March this year, its been really hard, but my Partner has gave up as well so we have a smoke free home at last even though we only smoked in the kitchen!..

I must say I've felt more stressed this time around, but lots of walks have helped and changing out routines at home!..I have missed my morning stints of crosswords-cuppa's and ciggys though!....

Naboo Mon 22-Aug-11 21:56:08

I would advise contacting your local Stop Smoking Service, they can let you know about all the options to help you quit. They will support you through the process and you will also be able to get Nicotine Replacement or Champix on prescription.