Archive for the ‘Smoking Cessation’ Category

Yesterday was a milestone for me. A whole year without smoking anything whatsoever. On that day last year I never thought I would be this far along a year later. I was only trying to see how long I could go without smoking that first cigarette of the day. I never even thought I would make it through the day much less a whole year. And nothing else as a surrogate either. I had gone long periods without a cigarette before. Including a twenty year period of no cigarettes, but that was just no cigarettes. It did not count the fact that I would smoke cigars and marijuana like it was going out of style. Even a pipe on occasion. I still have a very nice pipe my son made for me out of a deer antler. I have it as well as most of my lighters if I can find them. Plus for some reason I still carry a bic lighter in my pocket. I have used it a few times to light others cigarettes for them as well as a few fires so it has lasted over a year now.
If you are trying to get the nicotine monkey off your back I offer words of encouragement as it can be done without pulling all your hair out. It is best to take it minute by minute day by day. do not look too far into the future with it as nicotine is seriously addictive and hard to kick. It may not work for you but I quit with an open pack in my pocket and a carton in the freezer. The way I feel about it is, if you can only go without a cigarette because you are out, means that as soon as you have the opportunity to get more you will go right back to smoking. You have to be ready to quit and convince yourself that you can do without that cig. I would reach for one then change my mind. I carried them in my pocket for at least a week before I quit carrying them and I still have a pack in my fanny pack where the cell phone would go. If I were to try smoking them I bet they would be rough and dry from being so old. They haven’t been opened and I have no intention of opening them but I found them in a fishing shirt and I hung onto them instead of throwing them out. Another test for me. So far I am holding firm. Even though at times I still get the urge to reach for a smoke. Makes me wonder sometimes why I ever quit, but I feel better and breath better and no longer have that cigarette stink about me. I can smell cigarettes on others and if they get close their breath smells worse than a chimney. Actually some chimneys might smell better as wood smoke has a sweet smell to it for the most part.
So don’t give up and sell yourself short. Cigarettes can be beaten with a little effort. So hold firm and put off reaching for the next smoke. I know you can do it. It is just hard to do is all. But it can be done so do not give up.

Yesterday was the 9th of October and the 9 month anniversary of me quitting smoking. I do not know if any of you are still wrestling with tobacco or not but I know that even now 8 months later I still get the cravings to smoke one from time to time. If you are fighting your cravings and either trying to quit or wanting to, I want to say it can be done but at the same time I recognize how difficult it can be to quit. If you are trying to quit I offer words of encouragement as I feel you can win the fight with tobacco. It is not an easy battle to win, but it can be won. If you have quit you know the cravings that sometimes pop up. Mine pop up most when I am with smokers in a group setting or outdoors. That and first thing in the morning when I feel the need to go outside and listen to the crickets chirping and frogs singing where I see a pack of smokes and a lighter there on the porch waiting to be lit up and smoked.

On the anniversary of my last cigarette I see that the Supreme Court is going to decide the outcome of a lawsuit claiming unfair marketing claiming that Phillip Morris knew that users of light and low tar cigarettes compesatedfor lower levels by smoking more or taking longer puffs. I know these people want to be compesated for injuries from smoking but they knew the risks as it is printed on the side of every pack of cigarettes sold in the United States. We can await the decision but I feel like they knew going in what could happen and smoked anyhow. I grew up in a house full of smoke andfeel like I was almost predestined to smoke. What am I going to do sue my parents for smoking? A little too late for that. At least when I smoked I did not allow a cigarette to be smoked in my house ever. At least I did not start my children on the same path I treaded.

Today is a milestone in my life. It has been six months since I smoked a cigarette. Everyday that goes by is a record for not smoking also as I am not doing like I have in the past and smoked cigars or a pipe instead. And no, no left hand rolled cigarettes either. I still have urges and I have to fight them when they rear their head up and try to temp me. I get the urge most often while sitting outdoors watching the birds, especially the hummingbirds. No the hummingbirds aren’t the culprit but I enjoy watching them the most. My sister in law still smokes so her cigarettes and lighter are layed on the tables on our porches for me to look at and get the cravings from. But I am fighting off the urges when they come and am dedicated to not smoking in my life ever again. It took quite a lot of will power to make it this far and I am not wanting to fall back into the ranks of the smokers. Not that I have anything against them or ostracize anyone who smokes from my presence. The smoke doesn’t tempt me it only stinks. That is unless it is a sweet blended tobacco like from a pipe or cigar. My niece recently switched to number 9 Camels I think it is and they smell extra good like that but I still fought back the urge to pull one from the pack and break off the filter and lite it up. I didn’t like filters on my cigarettes and always smoked a non filter brand such as Pall Mall. I want to thank all the well wishers who have urged me on in my not smoking as their words of encouragement has helped more than they know. My thoughts to you who maybe trying to fight the monkey on your back that is nicotine and cigarettes is try not to think about them and when you do think of the nasty aspects to them as their is very little good about smoking. It just leaves your mouth smelling like an old dirty ashtray and can lead to serious health problems down the road. So here is wishing you the very best in your personal efforts in quitting smoking and if you have quit already that is great and I applaud you and your willpower.

Today marks a milestone for me. Today is the twelfth week that I have gone without anything to smoke. I know I posted earlier about smoking cessation, and I have not had a cigarette in those twelve weeks. Three whole months it is today that I have smoked nothing at all. I know I told y’all that I had quit once before and went over twenty years without a cigarette and that is true. What I didn’t say was that I was not smoke free during that time. I smoked marijuana and cigars to cover the smell, and a lot of both. I would smoke cigars and chew on them as I worked. I worked outside or was driving to the location most of my adult life so I seldom if ever experienced a place I could not smoke. Now I would respect other peoples homes and never smoke in a customers home. So you see me being smoke free for these 12 weeks is really a milestone for me. I was sneaking my first cigarettes before I hit my teen years and never quit smoking something except for about 8 weeks during boot camp in the Army, and even then I got in trouble for sneaking and smoking so it wasn’t even a complete eight weeks there either. I do still have some trouble not smoking something. It just seems so natural to me to reach for a smoke. The keyboard I use is a natural one so it is too big to fit the little slide out drawer beneath my desk that a normal keyboard would reside in. I had a half pack of cigarettes in there up until yesterday. I was sitting here waiting on my ftp program to work and slid the drawer out and was pulling one out of the pack when I decided to just throw them away. Even after twelve weeks of no smoking the moment my hands were free and I saw them I was ready to light one up. I know several of you have been reading when I wrote of quitting smoking, and struggling with your own demons tugging away at you trying to make you smoke again. Don’t give in. You will not only feel and breath better, but you will have the satisfaction of knowing that you held out against the most insidious and addicting drug in the world. Best of luck with your quitting yourself and if you need someone to talk to drop me a line as I understand how difficult it really is to quit.

??? First off I am apologizing to my regular readers who have grown to expect new material by me daily. As you may know I have fibromyalgia? and it has really been digging its spurs into me these past few days. It is hard to deal with a disease that causes chronic fatigue and pain and there is no cure for it. These past few days have been especially rough on me. With me barely even feeling up to getting out of bed. Plus it is an invisible illness so people will look at you and say there is nothing wrong with you short of laziness.

??? It has now been 9 weeks without smoking for me. This week has been one of the worst since the first days though. With me feeling bad and so sore you barely can stand wearing clothes that you begin to feel sorry for yourself and start to reach for that cigarette. I have weathered the storm so far with the smoking. It was tough though especially with smokers all around me. I have had maintain my will power. I hope that those of you that are also quiting smoking with me are able to maintain and not start back to smoking. I know how hard it is not to fall back into that trap.

??? Well this is my sixth week of being smoke free. It is still a battle though. I went to pick up an antique bedroom set we bought for my daughter and the auctioneer was smoking a cigar and goodness it smelled so good. Made me yearn for one of my own. But I made it through the loading and unloading of the furniture. Pretty heavy stuff and I am paying the price for it as my back, neck and shoulders are killing me even after doubling up on my pain pills. It was worth it though to make my little girl so happy. I call her my little girl even though she is no longer little but a young woman instead. Anyway we loaded the bedroom set onto my brother – in – laws truck and away we went smokeless.

??? It is still a struggle at times with me quitting smoking. Often times I lean back from this keyboard and still try to reach for a cigarette. I haven’t gotten rid of the cigs I smoked. I had a full carton in the freezer still until my brother came and snitched him a pack of mine as he is not making the progress of not smoking as well as I. I do not know how long the taste for a smoke will last in me as this is the first time since I was a teenager that I was totally smoke free. If I wasn’t smoking cigarettes I was smoking cigars or a pipe. Mostly cigars though as they were easier to smoke that a pouch of tobacco and a pipe to carry. Plus I had something to clench in my teeth and chew on when it wasn’t burning.

??? Six weeks in and I can taste my food better and the aroma of cigarettes don’t bother me, except to annoy or disgust me as I do not like the smell of them. I do still love the smell of a cigar or a pipe and that is the hardest thing to ignore. I am glad I was not close to a store when he was smoking near me today, or him offer me one of those as I might have taken him up on the offer. I hope I have the will power to stay smoke free but for some reason that type of tobacco makes me drool for some like it. Cigarette smoke itself I now find disgusting. I did notice something else that comes from no longer smoking. My nicotine stained fingers and nails have cleaned up. My fingers used to be stained with a semi permanent brown from the second joint of my fingers to the tip and nail. My index and middle finger were stained that way and no matter how hard I tried it would not come off even washing them in bleach did nothing. Now I could take a knife and scrape the fingernail semi clean but not the fingers. I am very tickled about that as my hands look clean now. Not like they used to be.

??? If you are trying to quit smoking cigarettes yourself, my advice would be to make up your mind that you are no longer a slave to the cigarette and are going to quit. Not that you are thinking of quitting or may quit. You have to make the decision that strongly says “I QUIT” then stick to it. There is almost half a pack of cigarettes in the old keyboard slide in/out drawer directly below my keyboard but even when I do get the urge I say “NO” and stick to it. In the end that is what it all boils down to- Saying No to Cigarettes.

I am a little behind on this post but the tragic events in neighboring states really touched me and I had to write about them. There has even been a miracle overnight as they found a little baby boy tossed from the wreckage that was his home – with his mother who they found dead – and landing about a hundred yards away buried under the debris that was once his home. Finding him was truly miraculous as they only decided to search once more after they found the wreckage of a baby carriage. Once again the man upstairs is watching out for us.

Ok that out of the way what I was going to talk about was I reached another milestone in my commitment to quit smoking. I believe that is the correct word too, – commitment – you have to be truly ready to commit to breaking the tobacco habit. Wednesday was a full month of me not smoking or actually the last cigarette I smoked was on a Wednesday night a month ago. Every day it gets easier to not smoke though I do still want one even right now as I type away to you my readers. Every time I sit back to gather my thoughts and put them to page I almost unfailingly reach for a cigarette. It takes a lot of determination not to fall back into that trap again and it is a trap. Cigarettes are a seductress who will wrap her cold fingers around you in a vise as if to never let go. I have read where some people claim that marijuana is the gateway drug to other drugs but I beg to differ as I feel it is cigarettes that are the gateway drug. Once you start smoking cigarettes you are, if you are young, either stealing them or getting someone else to buy them for you. and you are sneaking around to do it. Placing yourself amongst others that are sneaking around smoking and maybe doing even more. Such as smoking pot and or drinking. Smoking cigarettes and drinking seem to go hand in hand anyhow. I am not going to go off on a tirade from the top of the biggest box of soap I can find about the ridiculous laws that foster the violence from the drug trades.

I will say this, smoking is a hard habit to break and you need to muster up all the will power you can to beat it. I have a very close friend who is working on her first week of being smoke free. It is going to be harder on her as there is another smoker in the house and it is too cold to banish him to the outdoors. But having a smoke free home really helped me to quit as I would have to go outside or come down to my computer to smoke. Try making as many areas around you as possible, smoke free. Force yourself to get up and go elsewhere to smoke. Going outside is a very good thing if you are smoking as it protects others from breathing your second hand smoke and especially in the winter months will make you want to hurry back in again. Cutting back the amount of the cigarette you smoke will help too but the only true thing that will ever make you quit smoking is yourself and your will power. There are many aids to assist you in your quest but ultimately it is upon your shoulders to quit or not.

??? On Friday the Supreme Court agreed to hear arguments deciding whether smokers may file court challenges, based on state law, to cigarette companies? advertising claims that some brands are ?light? or ?low in tar and nicotine.? The cigarettes case, Altria Group (owns Phillip Morris) v. Good, – [docket number 07-562] – was one of six the court accepted for review Friday. The U. S. Chamber of Commerce is supporting Altria as they believe a loss could extend product liabilities to other industries besides just tobacco.

??? As many of you know I have just recently quit smoking cigarettes myself but never let myself believe that a light cigarette was any healthier for you than a full flavored one. I could taste a big difference between full flavors and milder brands. I never thought they had less tar and nicotine just a lot less flavor. The plaintiffs in this case claim to have smoked Marlboro Lights for 15 years and claim that that Phillip Morris marketed them under false pretenses. They claim that the big tobacco companies know that smokers of light, ultra light, or mild cigarettes simply make up for the lowered nicotine levels by holding the smoke in longer or smoking more cigarettes to compensate for the lowered levels.

??? It sounds to me as if they were doing it to themselves. No one from the tobacco industry came and twisted my arm and forced me to start smoking cigarettes, and I feel fairly confident that they were not forced to smoke either. Heck there is even a warning on the side of each pack that tells you that “smoking causes lung cancer, heart disease, emphysema and may complicate pregnancy.

??? I don’t know the surgeon general personally but I feel pretty confident that he knows what he is talking about, and that if it were not so then the lobbyists for big tobacco would have forced its removal from the packs. I do know they fought hard to keep it off of there and eventually lost

??? The case focuses on the interaction between a federal law that regulates labeling and advertising of cigarettes and a state law ? Maine‘s Unfair Trade Practices Act ? that permits lawsuits based upon deceptive commercial practices. A federal Judge had originally thrown the case out only to have the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston reinstate the case. This case could be decided as early as this spring.

??? If you are trying to quit, more power to you as I know you need all the help and encouragement you can get. Nicotine is a tough habit to kick. Even if you are not trying but especially if you are even considering smoking cessation I have a little challenge for you today. Let’s see how long you can go without a cigarette. An hour, two, maybe three. The longer you prove to yourself you can go without a cigarette the easier it gets. I am a little over two weeks into quitting and I still find myself reaching for a smoke. But I have been able to resist by will power and lying to myself. If you need help there are lots of groups that will help you. Try your local health department they should have a group or know where ones are located. Feel free to message me or leave a remark. A good blog that might help you is Quit Smoking Together. Let me know how it goes.

I am making it official. I am or have quit smoking cigarettes. The last cigarette I had was while watching a Wednesday night basketball game a fortnight ago. Making it official already leaves a gnawing feeling in my gut just thinking about it. My problem is that I actually like smoking but know it is bad for me. And this time I am going to demand of myself that another method of smoking not take its place, like cigars or a pipe. And defiantly not any left hand rolled cigarettes either.

What started out as a feel bad day where I did not even go outside until nearly three in the afternoon and deciding upon a lark that I was going to try to make it through the end of the day without smoking. Well I made it though that day without a lot of problems as I spent very little time out of the house and even though I was smoking I forbid it in the house. It did create a good bit of friction between myself and my son when he was still living at home cause he would sneak and smoke and think I wouldn’t know it. I grew up in a house that always had smoke in it and had that ashtray smell. Its funny cause I tried my best to talk my momma out of smoking to no avail as she smoked her Winstons from the time I was a child until the day she passed on to the hands of the Lord. I hated them back then and the way they smelled and the acrid smoke burning at my eyes and nose. But by time I was a teenager I was smoking them myself. First off we would steal a few out of mom or pops pack and sneak out back or into the woods for our smoke. About that time we also would smoke rabbit tobacco from a corn cob pipe. Then onto Prince Albert or Velvet tobacco either hand rolled or in the pipe.

By that time we had already been caught a couple of times and punished to no avail. Pop tried to wipe out the urge to smoke by forcing us to smoke a cigar each. Only problem with his reasoning there was that we had been smoking harsher smokes than that so it did not have the desired effect of getting us sick. I always had some money because I would work doing anything I could such as grass cutting or onto the fields where I picked beans, squash, tomatoes etc to pay for my habit and they were cheap back then. When I started smoking cigarettes were 3 packs for a dollar here in South Carolina and even cheaper in North Carolina which is only a short ride for us. Mom and Pop would stock up by spending twenty bucks and getting 8 cartons of cigarettes. And they both smoked the same brand so there wasn’t the problem of one smoking more that the other and running out before the other did.

Well enough of that as it is long past and nothing can be changed. The only things we can change are what lies in the present and the future. I wasn’t actually planning on quitting at all. As a matter of fact I have a full carton of my full flavor non filter cigarettes in the freezer. I quit with two open packs in my pockets. Even carried two lighters, a zippo and a bic. I kept lying to myself that I would allow myself a smoke after a certain length of time or after a task was completed. Then I would lie some more. My wife brought me a few handfuls of after dinner mints from her job and they helped me some. I did see exactly how much smoking is just a useless habit and how I would reach for one after ever little task or while waiting on something. I would open up a program and light a cigarette – take a few puffs off of it and lie it in the ashtray – Next thing I would do was pick it up to see it had burned nearly to the end wasting most of it while I was busy.

There are lots of methods of smoking cessation and they are proven effective but for me it was easiest to quit cold turkey. As long as I smoked any I was going to smoke a pack or two a day, or at least burn that many up as I am not sure how many I would waste while working on a web page or other task on the computer. I have my computer in my own private out building so I could smoke all I wanted to down here.

My advise if you want to quit would be to first thing make up your mind that you really want to quit. Then forbid smoking inside your house force yourself to go to a garage or outbuilding to smoke and especially in the winter time you are more likely to hurry back into the house where it is warm. That one by itself will force you to cut down on the amount you smoke. Plus if you share the home with anyone else you will be doing them a favor as second hand smoke is deadly too.

Maybe looking at what it is doing to your lungs will help you. It helped me once before as I had a relapse of smoking after going 20 years cigarette free though not entirely tobacco free. I found some pictures online at QuitSmokingSupport. I had a pair of pictures showing a healthy lung compared to a diseased smokers lung and every time I would reach for my smokes (I had them next to the pics) I would see the pictures and not light up. Another thing is not to worry that if you quit you will gain weight. Which would you rather do gain 10 or 12 pounds or have smokers lungs shortening your breath and life.

I would be glad to talk to you and try and help you get your mind right for quitting cigarettes at almost any time. I would also love to hear your stories and experiences quitting smoking. If you want to talk just leave a comment and tell me so and I will get back to you. I did it and it wasn’t too bad just hard at points when you automatically reach for them like after eating. You can do it and you will feel better for it also. I can already tell my breathing is better. And thats just 2 weeks into a lifetime of no longer smoking.