Slycat
Slycat

May 1st, 2002, 11:50 pm #26

Hi Joel:

I can still feel that pack of cigarettes in my hand. I use to hold it in my right hand and do everything else I was doing like driving or writing something on a piece of paper or anything. That pack of cigarettes was always in my right hand with the lighter in the pack along with my cigarettes. I would hopefully finish the first couple of cigarettes from that pack fast so I could fit my lighter in the pack. It was one nifty, condensed package that had everything I needed in it to smoke a cigarette. Sometimes I would chew on the bottom of the cigarette box. I never realized what I was doing though. Not until now.

When I first tried to quit I was having a really hard time. I thought that if I brought a pack of cigarettes and lit them up one by one and burned them in the ashtray in front of me so that the smoke would go into my face, I would be o.k. Well that just started me on smoking again besides all the second hand smoke I inhaled that weekend. Even my eyes were tearing.

How stupid. Well when I quit after that I just got rid of everything. I thought I would be looking for something to play with in my right hand but I haven't missed the feeling, although I can still feel the pack in my hand sometimes (strange). I know people that I work with here that quit (a couple of people quit for 10 years). They always kept a pack of cigarettes with them during this time. I mean 10 years is a long time to quit. Well, they both went back to smoking cigarettes after 10 years but never smoked any of the cigarettes in that pack they just held onto. One girl had a scare of thyroid cancer and that made her quit for 10 years and the other one gained too much weight so she went back. Maybe just the reminder of holding onto those cigarettes for that long was too strong for them.

Well I just wanted to get through the first week because once you do that you can keep going. If I quit for 10 years I would hopefully never want to go back. I guess the feeling of that cigarette pack in my right hand will diminish over time. I'm sure all symptons will go away.....

Thanks...Judy
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

June 3rd, 2002, 12:31 am #27

A quitter keeping cigarettes around just to prove they can, is akin to a person on suicide watch carrying a loaded gun. With a triggered crave being less than 3 minutes in duration (be sure and look at a clock as your mind may try to convince you that it's 3 hours instead) one of your best weapons against relapse is delay, delay, delay! Why take it away!

Each crave will end in a very short period of time whether you feed it or not. If you know where "it" or "they" are, then you'd be well advised to flush or crush your hidden stash! Baby steps to glory! This is doable! YQB John
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

August 6th, 2002, 12:26 am #28

A habit triggered crave will last less than three minutes before it begins easing off. Delay is your friend. Get rid of ALL your cigarettes and give yourself a real chance at lasting freedom! You've earned the right to see what it's like go an entire day without ever once WANTING or even THINKING about smoking nicotine. Baby steps, just one hour and day at a time! The next hour is doable for all of us! John
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OBob Gold
OBob Gold

August 15th, 2002, 11:22 am #29

You see those little tubes with a cigarette in them. They say, "In case of emergency, break glass," or something similar. The terrible truth IS that no matter how grim the emergency, it's not so bad that a cigarette cannot make it worse (by adding a forced-suicide addiction to your troubles). These tubes are the equivalent of having a glass full of butane that says, "in case of fire, break glass."

I wonder how many quits they've cost.

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Puh(BRONZE)
Puh(BRONZE)

August 19th, 2002, 9:29 am #30

Its Done !

Ulrike
I have chosen not to smoke for 2 Weeks 3 Days 2 Hours 53 Minutes 50 Seconds. Cigarettes not smoked: 342. Money saved: $68.48.
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Joel
Joel

October 13th, 2002, 12:06 am #31

By the way, this letter should read carrying any nicotine product, meaning cigarettes, cigars, snuff, patches, gum, nicotine inhalers, lozenges, drops, etc. Anyone who is carrying any or all of these products "just in case" is setting him or herself up for a relapse. There should be no distinction drawn in anyone's mind that if he or she "just" takes a NRT product in lieu of a cigarette to survive a disaster that it is a more acceptable or udnerstanding practice. It is a drug relapse clear and simple and no distinction should exist in your mind. The ONLY way to overcome the addiction is by staying NICOTINE free and the ONLY way of staying NICOTINE free is by never administering nicotine via any route--meaning through the skin, nose, mouth, or any other creative route of administration that is ever developed and of course as far as the most common and available route of delivery, to remember to never take another puff!

Joel
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Nana08
Nana08

January 9th, 2003, 11:30 pm #32

Hi!

I quit 12/31/02! Found your website quite by accident & have been "addicted" every since. Just been lurking around absorbing everything I read trying to get up my nerve to start posting.

THANKS FOR BEING THERE,
Carol
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Joel
Joel

March 13th, 2003, 8:47 pm #33

For Millie. I think Lulumae will appreciate this one too. They both knew to get rid of all cigarettes in the house.
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CKay87
CKay87

May 8th, 2003, 1:23 am #34

Agreed - live and learn. At least I had a happy ending to the story.

I have a quitting friend (she's 2.5 months into it) who won't empty her ashtray because she likes the smell. What do you say to something like that???
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DlunyGOLD
DlunyGOLD

December 8th, 2003, 6:12 am #35

The day I quit smoking I put the remaining cigarettes and lighter in on of the drawers of my nightstand. I knew that I should throw them out, had read about how they should be thrown out, but I just put them away in a drawer. I guess at that point I still wasn't certain this quit was going to "take" so wanted to hedge my bets (and besides, the pack was over 1/2 full--that was at least 80 cents I was about to throw away!).

A couple of days later I went in that drawer for something else and did not see the cigs or the lighter so I figured my wife had found them and thrown them away for me or else my stepson had found them and was smoking them himself. This latter thought was not a pretty thought but I wasn't really concerned too much at that point as they appeared to be gone.

Later I was in that drawer again and lo and behold there were the cigs and lighter--they had shifted in the drawer. For a week I left them there. I have had better weeks! Finally, this past week I threw those suckers AWAY and made CERTAIN that the trash man hauled them off! I do feel so much better knowing those things cannot harm me now.

Thanks for giving us the wisdom Joel. Just wish I had followed it a little sooner.

David One month, 8 hours, 12 minutes and 13 seconds. 546 cigarettes not smoked, saving $40.96. Life saved: 1 day, 21 hours, 30 minutes.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

December 31st, 2003, 8:26 am #36

From: Hillbilly(Gold) (Original Message) Sent: 6/17/2002 4:17 PM
"As long as a person feels like a smoker trying not to smoke, he or she is going to have the psychological problems and play the little mind games of a smoker trying not to smoke. When you cross over to the frame of mind that you are not a smoker trying not to smoke but rather you are now an ex-smoker--and that is what you want to be--the psychological benefit can be both powerful and profound."



The above is an excerpt from Message No. 24 in the thread Carrying Cigarettes. I read it for the first time today, and have not seen that teaching concept anywhere else in Freedom. It really got my attention.



For two months now, I have been successful in my quit by telling myself that "I am not going to smoke, just for today. I may smoke tomorrow, but today I'm not going to smoke."



Lately I have not had to argue with myself each morning about this decision, and it has become much less important to me. What I am trying to say is my mindset is changing, and I begin to look more at the long range picture of not smoking for the rest of my life. That idea has been particularly scary to me, but I have to accept that my baby steps are getting bigger.

This post that I quoted above really affected me. I have been thinking of myself as a smoker who is trying to quit. I now begin to realize that is time to begin thinking of myself as an ex-smoker. This is a major step for me and I wonder if anyone else has been through a similar experience.

The one thing I don't need to forget is the fact that I will never be an ex-addict.



Dave

I have chosen not to smoke for 1 Month 4 Weeks 2 Days 18 Hours 12 Minutes 46 Seconds. Somewhere there are 2126 extra cigarettes.



From Dave's Original Post in ...
Last edited by John (Gold) on February 19th, 2010, 4:32 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Joel
Joel

January 6th, 2004, 8:35 am #37

I think I saw a post earlier from a person who still had NRT's around the house. The concept here of carrying cigarettes applies to keeping NRT products around too.
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Joel
Joel

January 21st, 2004, 2:12 am #38

I am lifting a section out of the thread Be prepared to hear some confusing info that was addressing a recent press release from the makers of numerous NRT products. It is important that the information about this issue be attached in this string too.

Comment 4: (From the pharmaceutical company's press release)
The dreaded relapse

Any ex-smoker knows, quitting is so difficult that many have tried 7 or more times before succeeding. So if you relapse, you're not alone.

But you don't have to feel like a failure. In fact, you can learn from your current quit attempt and more likely stay a non-smoker in the future. And, by keeping a Quit Aids like Nicorette®, NicoDerm® CQ®, or CommitTM handy, you can help fight off the physical cravings
I normally try not to go on an offensive with any industry, as we have written in our Freedom's mission statement:
We are hostile to nobody. Not even to the tobacco industry or pharmaceutical companies who have different agendas than ours. They exist because they want you to use their products. We exist because you want to stop using their products. We are not here to try to make anyone stop using their products either. We are here to help people quit using nicotine because they have already decided to do so.
I feel that I would be being negligent now though if I did not point out a tactic that I have not seen so blatantly used before by the pharmaceutical industry. The idea that you should keep any source of nicotine on hand just in case is absolutely ludicrous. It gives the impression that people have to have some nicotine around in case they have an urge. The fact is ex-smokers don't have physical urges they have psychological . Taking a dose of nicotine to deal with a psychological trigger will basically start the physical process of withdrawal again. If a person does it he or she had better be prepared for three more days of withdrawal. He or she had better have a good supply of his or her quitting aid on hand again to get through the following days for he or she has started up an active need again.

I think the other way that this comment needs to be looked at is the idea that an ex-smoker has to have something on hand "just in case" the ex-smoker finds himself or herself wanting a cigarette. What might happen if a person gets a thought and has no aid? Will he or she stop breathing? Will his or her heart stop? Will he or she burst a blood vessel unless he or she takes nicotine product? None of these things will happen. For the record, most ex-smokers are going to get an occasional thought and if they have a nicotine product in hand and have a feeling that it is better than smoking, or that it is an either they are either going to take this NRT product or they are going to smoke, they are going to take the product. The bottom line is there was and always will be a third option, which is not to take the product and not smoke. The person will get through the event with their quit totally intact.

We are seeing a new level of nonsense now. Every one of our members are living proof that all you need to have with you to keep your quit strong and secure in times of major crisis, minor emergencies, or just plain random thoughts is a personal commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
Last edited by Joel on April 8th, 2009, 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

January 21st, 2004, 5:47 am #39

I haven't read this thread in a long time. It's the first one that really got through (I bet we all have them).
I think this bears repeating as well (pulled from John's post #65 to this thread):
"Why have a gun handy while waiting on the urge to use it?"
It's heartwarming to see so many new members and also to see the same oldbies giving their sage advice and doing so well. I am still here reading tho I don't have the time to post much anymore.


MareBear


---
1 year 7 months nicotine-free, 12,033 cigs not smoked, $2,105.78 saved, 1m 1w 4d 18:45 life saved
Last edited by MareBear GOLD on April 8th, 2009, 11:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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NoMoBacco
NoMoBacco

January 21st, 2004, 7:49 am #40

(This) Ex smoker shouldn't keep unused nicotine gum around, either. While reading this thread it dawned on my that I didn't toss the unused nicotine gum i have. Upon realizing that, I immediately craved (craved some gum). Craving nico-gum = craving nicotine. Ingetsting nicotine in *any form* will lead to a relapse. I can no more afford to chew a pice of that gum than I can afford to take a puff off of a cigarette. That's one of the big lessons I've learned this time and one of the things I have to reinforce to myself to prevent a relapse: never use nicotine, in any form, under any circumstance. If I don't throw away that gum, I'll chew some of it and relapse. So, I'm gonna toss it in a dumpster right now!

Free and Healing for Four Days, 16 Hours and 50 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 15 Hours, by avoiding the use of 188 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $31.32.
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Christy xs
Christy xs

July 7th, 2004, 11:15 pm #41

Relating to this article, I have been amused by the "helpful" insights of the well-intentioned people around me who have offered me advise on my quit.
A few examples of some recent conversations:
At work, coworker who never smoked before:
Coworker: "Well Chris, maybe what you should do is carry around an unopened pack. Then everytime you have an urge and don't smoke, you'll know you're succeeding at quitting."
My Response: "Bill (not real name), do you know how many quit-smoking experts recommend that strategy?"
Coworker: "No. How many?"
Me: "EXACTLY Zilch, zero, nill, none, nolo! Would you recommend a heroine addict carry around a loaded syringe?"
Coworker: "Ohhh. No. So that wasn't good advise huh?"
Me: "No, but I know you meant well."
At work (2days before my quit), 2 coworkers, ex-smokers successful with NRT's:
Cowkr #1: "Wow Chris, I'm so proud of you for quitting. You'll be so glad you did. Are you going to use the patch or the gum?"
Me: "Neither. I'm addicted to nicotine, so I'm just quitting."
Cowkr #2: "Oh but you need something. I quit with the gum, and so did 'cowkr1'."
Cowkr #1: "Yea, we both quit with the gum. You need it. Of course...I was addicted to the gum for over three years. Didn't think I'd ever stop chewing it."
Cowkr #2: "I know I was on the gum for 6 months, and my wife was addicted to the gum for over a year and a half, and now she's smoking again. Geez, the gum was more expensive than cigarettes!"
Me (listening to the conversation turn into their nic gum addictions): "Well, thanks for supporting me in my quit, but I plan to just quit without nicotine substitutes."
Cowkr #1: "Well I think you'll need the gum to quit."
Me: ...just a smile... "We'll see."
Conversation at my neighborhood pub w/2 patrons:
Patron #1: "So you quit smoking, huh? I quit smoking for 13 years once. Know how I did it? I put a full pack of cigarettes in my coat pocket just in case I HAD to have a cigarette, I wouldn't be a bum. I don't like bums. Carried that pack around for years until one day I needed one. That pack was flat as a playing card. That's how I did it."
Me: "Gee, I don't think I would be enjoying these few days of success I've had with not smoking if I were carrying around a pack.
Patron #2: Looks at Patron #1, "So if you quit smoking for 13 years, why are you smoking now?" Doesn't wait for an answer. "Chris, what you need to do is instead of a pack you should only carry around one or two cigarettes."
Me: Shaking my head. "What are you guys nuts? I am addicted to nicotine. I have quit for 9 days without carrying around a cigarette or a pack, or using the gum, or the patch, or anything. My quit strategy is SET. Thank you both for the suggestions, but you are both smoking and I am not." (I am a little bolder after a couple beers. )
Anyway, I have been mostly amused by these and other well-meant "pearls" of wisdom. Thanks again to WhyQuit and Freedom for the "true pearls" of knowledge.
Cheers ,
Christy
I've not smoked 286 death sticks, and saved $33.28.
I've saved 23 hours and 47 minutes of my life.
Free and Healing for Eleven Days, 10 Hours and 5 Minutes
Last edited by Christy xs on April 8th, 2009, 11:39 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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zwan girl3
zwan girl3

August 1st, 2004, 2:44 am #42

I do not have the luxury of ridding my home of smoking material, as I live with a heavy smoker. I will tell anyone, that in my opinion, having cigarettes handy, as a stash, or whatever term you choose to fool yourself with, is just plain stupid. Your "junkie" self can be extremely convincing at times, and having your fix readily available is just like signing your own warrant for failure. I'm fully aware that anyone's next puff can be as close as the neighbor's house, but even a buffer like that may be all you need to overcome the urge. I would recommend to any drug addict to rid their home of drugs. Do I feel stronger than others because I have cigarettes available at all times? Not necessarily, but I do feel I have unnecessary stress of looking at my drug constantly.

zwan_girl3
Too educated to take another puff, since July 7, 2004!
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

January 2nd, 2005, 3:55 pm #43

If recovery time distortion is an almost universial recovery symptom and what can feel like a three hour crave episode is never longer than three minutes then why not build in as much delay as your situation will allow?

We understand that many members have family and loved ones who smoke and who'll at times be less than supportive of this wonderful opportunity to substantially improve your health while likely substantially lengthening your life.

But for a recovering nicotine addict to intentionally keep nicotine handy is like someone on suicide-watch intentionally carrying a fully loaded gun, just to prove they can. This isn't time for more head-games but for reason, logic and to replace junkie thinking with the common sense that once filled your mind.
Last edited by John (Gold) on April 8th, 2009, 11:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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MareBear GOLD
MareBear GOLD

March 10th, 2005, 5:45 am #44

For MistyEyed...for the record, I did this one myself and ended up smoking again for another 4 years before finding this site.

MareBear
aka Mary who told you to CYE...I'm rootin' for ya! Also for the record...I've been free from nicotine for: 2 Years 9 Months 1 Week 4 Days 19 Hours. Not smoked: 20316. Money saved: $3,555.30. Life Saved: 2 Months 1 Week 2 Days 13 Hours.
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Joel
Joel

June 6th, 2005, 12:39 am #45

Finding cigarettes

I wrote the below commentary specifically about people offering you cigarettes after you quit. Another similar issue is for people who repeatedly "accidentally" leave their cigarettes in your home, office or car. If this ever happens it is best to destroy the person's cigarettes. Again, the same concept applies--whether you smoke them or destroy them, the cigarettes are no longer going to be available for the person who has carelessly left them behind. The first time if you really feel bad you can reimburse the person the cost of the cigarettes. After that though the person should clearly know not to be so careless with his or her cigarettes.

If ever you have a family member, friend, co-worker or any other acquaintance offer you a cigarette it is best to politely say no and just let the person know that you do not smoke any more nor do you even want to smoke any more. Basically say you have no interest or desire for one. That should be the end of the offers if it is from any person who was just making what he or she thought was a friendly gesture.

If the person pursues asking you about how you quit and why you feel as you do, you may want to take the opportunity to share some of what you learned here about how important quitting smoking is and how much better you feel about yourself since you have quit smoking.

If on the other hand the person continues to offer you a cigarette or is obviously actually pushing you to take one it is best to give it one or two more tries to politely say no and ask the person not to offer any more for you truly have no intention of smoking one. If this doesn't end the pressure being put on you to take a cigarette it is time to change your tactics. Look at the person, maybe even with a little bit of sadness and defeat in your eyes, and say to him or her that you can't take the pressure anymore and sure give me a cigarette if you must. When he or she hands you the cigarette, walk over to the nearest garbage can, crumble it up and throw it out.

Now you have an option of how you want to proceed. You can either wait for the next offer to come or you can say, "Thank you, that felt great. Would you like to give me another one." If the person is gullible enough to offer you another take that one too and repeat the destruction and disposal. Keep it up for as long as the person keeps offering. At some point you may want to say that this could go a whole lot faster if you would like to give me your pack. You can destroy all of the cigarettes that way in one fell swoop.

I can assure you that if you stick to this game plan the person is eventually going to stop offering you cigarettes. Cigarettes are just to expensive to keep up this kind of routine over a long time period. By the way, you should not feel any guilt for destroying the cigarettes of another person. Once a person is offering you a cigarette he or she should not be expecting to get it back. If you smoke the cigarette it is no longer available for the person or if you destroy the cigarette it is no longer available either. If the person is indeed making the offer to somehow give you some sort of pleasure the odds are you will get some sort of pleasure out of destroying them. If not pleasure you should get a little amusement out of the reaction from the person as they see their hard fought efforts to get you to smoke get instantly trashed.

This action will likely result in the other person feeling a whole lot more irritated by the altercation than you will. More importantly though, you will by example be proving to the person and to yourself that your quit is strong and your resolve is totally intact to stick to your personal commitment to never take another puff.

Joel
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Sparky10191
Sparky10191

January 14th, 2006, 12:02 am #46

I can sort of relate. I had been sitting on the side line waiting to start my current quit for the past couple of months. In fact I started my quit quite unexpectedly. I woke up last Sunday morning and told my wife that today was the day. Unfortunately I had a full pack of cigs in my pocket from the night before. I went all Sunday without touching them, and Monday morning before work I put them in the kitchen drawer. Within minutes of getting home from work that evening I yelled to my wife while changing that there was a pack of smokes in the drawer and to hide them from me that night and throw them out the next day. We haven't talked about it since.
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Joined: January 16th, 2003, 8:00 am

March 17th, 2006, 11:35 pm #47



From above:
Don't ever forget how cigarettes once controlled your behaviors and beliefs.
When you quit smoking you admitted cigarettes controlled you. You were literally afraid that one puff could put you back. That was not an irrational fear.
One puff today will lead to the same tragic results as it would have the day you quit.
Cigarettes were stronger than you before, and, if given the chance, will be stronger than you again. If you want to show you are now in control, do it by admitting you can function without having cigarettes as a worthless and dangerous crutch.
To permanently stay free from cigarettes, all that needs to be done is to NEVER TAKE ANOTHER PUFF!
Last edited by Sal GOLD.ffn on April 9th, 2009, 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Giddy74
Giddy74

May 27th, 2006, 10:40 am #48

Hello all...I am at three weeks today! The thought of carrying, frightens me...I felt so fragile the first couple of weeks (and still do at times). I was cleaning my car and found a pack that had fallen under my seat during my first week. You would have thought I found an illegal substance the way I snatched it up and threw it away so quickly!!!! I was terrified! You know, the "fits" that occur when you go through withdraw? They are intense and it isn't always easy to use your head! My Point in all of this rambling: I cannot imagine thinking I could carry that pack and NOT fail.
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bamagirl1962
bamagirl1962

November 29th, 2006, 2:31 am #49

I must admit...there are still cigarettes in my house. I quit coming back from the Doctor that day (10/30/06) and there is still a pack in the cabinet above my fridge. I know that it's there and sometimes over the past three weekends I have been sorely tempted to open that cabinet. But I haven't.

At this point in my quit, I'm still afraid to open the cabinet, get the pack in my hands and throw them away. I've often thought of asking my boyfriend to do it for me, but I NEED to be able to throw them out myself. To show myself that I am indeed strong enough to touch them and let them go.

I need to do this soon (although I usually forget they are there during the week). I just want to make sure that I'm not alone when I do it...just need the support.

Rhonda - Nicotine free for 4 weeks, 1 days, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 12 Hours, by avoiding the use of 723 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $123.13. Quit Date: 10/30/06
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bamagirl1962
bamagirl1962

November 29th, 2006, 9:44 pm #50

Well....I did it! I opened the cabinet, took out my cigarette case, got out the change that was in the front pocket, saw those cigarettes, picked up the unopened pack and took the case and the pack and threw them in the garbage.

It's trash pick up day so they are gone. I feel stronger by the fact that I was able to touch them and not feel like I wanted to smoke. I think I was most afraid of the opened pack, they were just sitting there....but I didn't even consider taking one out.

I'm pretty proud of myself this morning

Rhonda - Nicotine free for 4 weeks, 2 days, while extending my life expectancy 2 Days and 13 Hours, by avoiding the use of 743 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $126.55. Quit Date: 10/30/06
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