Nico Free Me
Nico Free Me

12:16 AM - Jan 23, 2007 #51

I had to take this a step further. A few days into my quit I found a half pack of cigarettes in the nightstand. It was not enough to just throw them away. It would be too easy to dig them out of the trash. I literally had to destroy each cigarette, and throw the tobacco down the garbage disposal (not the filters) so there was no way they could be salvaged. I thought it would feel sad in a way, but it really felt liberating to do it.
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Joel
Joel

11:00 PM - Apr 03, 2007 #52

I saw the suggestion of using a pencil or pen like a mock cigarette. It reminded me of this comment from above:

Ex-smokers should never carry cigarettes--not from day one of a quit. One reason is for the real risk of smoking it, and the second reason is that as long as a person keeps cigarettes he or she is also keeping a mindset that he or she is a smoker trying not to smoke as opposed to being an ex-smoker. Ex-smokers and never smokers never keep cigarettes--why would they? It serves no purpose to them.
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.

If you work on proper frame of mind in the beginning, you can feel this difference a minute into your quit and you will prove yourself right as long as you always remember that you are committed to never take another puff!

Joel
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sintehdarock
sintehdarock

12:50 AM - Aug 31, 2007 #53

O.K. It is a done deal. I just took a leap of blind faith , and trusting in your take on things , I threw out the 3 opened bags of TOP that I have been keeping...emptying them first .
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sandinbetweentoes
sandinbetweentoes

12:16 AM - Nov 10, 2007 #54

I quit on Oct. 15th 2007 while walking a mile or so up to the store after I just had a ciggarette. I knew I needed to quit! I knew that this was killing me internally, externally and it will only get worse. I took the pack of ciggarettes and stated 3 emotional reasons to why I wanted to rid the habit for good this time and threw them down on the ground with all my might and kept on walking. I felt so good about myself and my choice. Although quitting has been difficult when out in social situations involving drinking, the more you do it without smoking the easier it gets. I could never hold onto a pack of cigarettes - those are what you want to get away from! It's weird because in my last quit attempts I felt that life was doomed without cigarettes-no fun, etc... but now I feel that life is really, in fact the same, you just do not smoke. If anything it actually enhances your current experiences by not smoking and going thru withdrawel and also boosts self esteem knowing that you are getting healthier each day, and you are definitely going to have a better future!
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Judykay0
Judykay0

1:42 PM - Jan 07, 2008 #55

When I stopped smoking, I had one new pack. My son drew a face on it with markers. I gave the pack a name. In the first week, I had some "serious" talks with that pack of cigarettes about how horrible it was making my life. I know that seems silly, but i was having a debate with myself. Which seemed to be the case in the second week as well. I planned on throwing that pack away on new years eve, but I still didn't do it. I was playing a "game" with myself, because I still couldn't really believe that I was a NON smoker.
I took those cigarettes and I put them in a bowl, wet them, and threw them away.
It seems so stupid now to have kept that pack of cigarettes. I was doing just as you said. I was telling myself that I was "better" or "stronger" than they were. I was having a "arguement" with those cigarettes.
I am happy to say that I threw them out of my house today.
Such ends the fight.
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John (Gold)
John (Gold)

10:44 PM - Jan 07, 2008 #56

Judy, it's all too common that the rational, thinking mind resorts to games, challenges, tests, personification and bizarre rituals when attempting to arrest a chemical dependency, a dependency that long ago took hostage the priority teaching pathways of the deep inner primitive mind. But such games are like holding a chicken bone too close to a dog's mouth. Why would superior intelligence intentionally tease a brain into experiencing powerful craves that it knew or should have known were coming?

Keeping the instrument of relapse handy may be associated with a host of mind games including a tangible attempt to display self control or raw power, an intentional self-tease, an already defeated mind's access insurance for when challenge becomes significant, or even what sounds like a rational attempt to extinguish, early, one of the biggest conditioned feeding cues of all, being around cigarettes.

We are told that early alcohol use is associated with 50% of all relapses but even louder is the fact that 100% of relapses involve the addict getting their hands on nicotine. Although time distortion may make a less than three minute crave episode feel like three hours, if we have the ability to put a few minutes between us and obtaining nicotine, we afford the rational, thinking mind an opportunity to sense the turmoil begin to subside, and keep healing, freedom and recovery alive.

There will be plenty of time later for all the mind games you then want to play (if any) and they'll each be super easy to win. You'll no longer be in the throws of chemical withdrawal, the vast majority of your nicotine feeding cues will have been extinguished, and your deep inner brain will have been afforded an opportunity to taste the true beauty and flavor of life without nicotine, and sense the inner calm of coming home to you!

Thirty years of my own bondage, and up to 3 packs-a-day, as part of my cessation seminars I'm often handling cigarettes. If you're thinking about quitting or a new quitter, I wish you could peak inside my mind and feel what it's like to go program after program and yet never once want for nicotine. Give yourself time. You'll be amazed at how comfortable and content you'll become, even around smokers.

All we can control are the next few minutes and whether the calmest yet or our greatest challenge of all during this temporary period of re-adjustment called quitting, each will be entirely do-able. You're coming home! Yes you can, yes you have, yes you are!

Breathe deep, hug hard, live long,

John (Gold x8)
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starbirder.ffn
starbirder.ffn

1:42 AM - Mar 25, 2008 #57

A good read to continue our education....

Star After 40+ years, Free and Healing and Choosing Not To Use nicotine for over 8 months.....
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hwc5
hwc5

3:53 AM - Mar 25, 2008 #58

I threw out my cigarettes on day three. Up to that point, I had stopped smoking without really planning to quit. Sick with the flu. Felt horrible to smoke, so I went one day. Then, I tried for a second day. Still, I was just testing the waters. After three days without a cigarette, my mindset completely changed...just as Joel describes. After having made it through three days without nicotine (for the first time in 35+ years), I decided to take advantage of the opportunity to become an ex-smoker.

It was then that I committed to never taking another puff. It was also then that I realized I could live without cigarettes on hand and that those cigarettes would be a very dangerous temptation at some point. Better to have to get in the car and go buy a pack to give into an urge. Build in a little hurdle to a careless relapse.

So I took the two packs I had bought the day before I quit, walked out to the garage, and tossed them in the garbage can. Definitely a point of no return.

I totally understand Joel's advice. I found an (empty) cigarette pack in the center console of my car yesterday (six weeks into my quit). I don't want the temptation.
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Gump19690
Gump19690

8:40 AM - May 02, 2008 #59

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.

Dont underestimate this one...just do it.
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Joel
Joel

2:59 AM - Jun 24, 2008 #60

We put out guidelines that enhance an individual's chance of success. Some people may get by with doing things differently, but they often had put themselves at greater risk than should have been necessary. In clinics I sometimes find out people had kept emergency stashes, some for years, yet got away with it and pulled off the quit. But I encounter many more people who lose their quits early on, and when I ask where they got the first cigarette from it turns out that they had kept an emergency stash "just in case." Well just in case kind of events surfaced and the easy availability ended up costing these people their quits. I have been in this field long enough to witness these people later losing their lives from such actions.

So does everyone have to follow everything we say to guarantee success? No, not really. But do people have a better chance following the advice and life lessons of hundreds or thousands of people as opposed to a few exceptions? I will let each and every one of you be the judge of that.

But one rule has no exceptions-the rule that says to stay smoke free and guarantee that this quit the last quit you will ever have to do requires always remembering to never take another puff!

Video version of this string
Title Dialup video Highspeed video MP3 Audio 08:18 09/28/06
Carrying cigarettes 1.85mb 5.70mb 3.02mb 06:39 10/17/06
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hwc
hwc

2:00 AM - Apr 11, 2009 #61

Joel bumped this thread to the top a couple days into my quit when I still had two unsmoked packs of cigarettes in the kitchen cabinet (I had quit totally spur of the moment, in fact, just an hour after a smoke run to buy cigarettes). I kind of pooh-poohed the suggestions that it was a bad idea, after all I was proving I was stronger. Until about day five or so when I found my mind visualizing those cigarettes. I could picture the pack, upper right side of the top shelf of the cabinet to the left of the sink. Right next to the first aid kit, the headache pills, and the eyeglass wipes. After a few minutes of that visualization getting stronger, I knew Joel was right. This was a very, very dangerous situation. I went straight to the kitchen, destroyed both packs, and threw them in the garbage.

------

I have to laugh at the description of unconsiously reaching into a shirt pocket for cigarettes. My funniest "first time trigger" was at the four month mark. I was a totally comfortable ex-smoker at that point. I did back to back seven hour car rides -- one solo -- without a single thought of smoking. Then, one day, I went clothes shopping. After an hour or so in the store, I walked out and, before I had even gotten to the curb, I noticed that my hand, like Dr. Strangelove, had gone to my shirt pocket to get the cigarettes. I burst out laughing. Of course. For my entire adult life, the first thing I did after an hour cooped up in a clothing store was desperately reach for a nicotine fix. This was humorous. I didn't really want to smoke. It was just a trained response. But, what if I had actually had a pack of cigarettes in my shirt pocket?
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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

11:50 PM - Nov 06, 2009 #62

I thought it would be a good time to point out that we really are different than most other boards out there. I am not saying it is better or worse, just different. People come in here that have often been at other boards first where the rule of the day is everyone has good ideas of how to quit. The fact is, many people come with their old techniques and understanding of how to quit. That is why many if them are current smokers. Their old techniques failed them. We on the other hand are trying to share methods ands approaches that are tried and true. Not methods that one person used and it seemed to work for them, but that you can find dozens of people who used the exact same method only to have it basically undercut their quits. We are trying to highlight the methods that enhances the vast majority of members and even ex-smoking non-members overall success.

It is not that we are not against newbies offering support, but just that they should hang around a while first, read all of our philosophies and try to understand what we are doing here and why we have some of our guidelines in place.

If a person has a difference of opinion with our technique, which is basically quit cold turkey, don't carry cigarettes and never take another puff, they should not post about it on the board. If they want to discuss it with management, we can each be emailed and we will explain why we don't advocate a specific piece of advice. Or maybe we will see your point and modify our approach.

But if a new member reads it in their first days of a quit, before we have a chance to point out the pitfalls, they may think that this advice is accepted strategy for enhancing smoking cessation. The fact is for most people, if the advice in contradictory to our basic premise, it is probably going to be counterproductive to the person's quit. People just quitting who are hanging on for dear life will often grasp onto things that are written in our posts and responses. The addiction would love to get some support from a basically bad piece of advice that makes the potential for relapsing seem a bit easier.

Also, we need to keep focused on the real danger of the buddy system. The buddy may have the best advice in the world, and the other buddy may really count on the person to get them through thick and thin. But there is no guarantee that the buddy will be available when needed or worst, there is no guarantee that the buddy won't be a smoker next time contacted. Stranger things have happened.

Count on yourself first. You can count to some degree on the group after that, but there have even been times where due to technical difficulties the whole group disappears all at once. Again, that is where counting on yourself is paramount. Print out your own reasons for having initially quit. Print out materials here that struck a personal chord helping you at a critical moment. Have alternative resources of support established. But don't count on one individual, no matter who they are. The stakes are too high to gamble on one person helping you when he or she may not be able to do this for him or herself.

Joel
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rosy
rosy

9:40 AM - Nov 07, 2009 #63

The first time that I ever thought that stopping smoking was a realistic option, happened two years ago when I found a book at a second hand bookshop on how to stop smoking.

Some of the wisdom found on our site is also in the book - take it one day at time, etc.

However, a key to quitting from the books author's perspective was that it was essential to always keep your usual pack of cigarettes with you.

The logic was that by not having it available, it brings on a sense of deprivation (and even a sense of rebellion and we smokers are experts at being rebellious!) - and when one cant have something, you want it even more. So differently to the macho arguments of being "stronger than the cigarette" this was saying accept the addiction, keep the cig with you.

Needless to say I didn't manage one day quit - instead this method saved me the hassle of having to bum a cigarette!


I am thankful to this book as it was the start of giving me hope that perhaps I too can find a way to stop smoking. From there I explored other alternatives until I came home to Freedom.

I was beginning to despair that I would be the last smoker on earth still smoking to the bitter end.

Free & Healing
Rosy
Stopped Smoking for Twenty Eight Days, 17 Hours and 38 Minutes, by avoiding the use of 948 nicotine delivery devices. Quit Day : 09/10/2009.
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Joined: 7:22 PM - Nov 11, 2008

3:02 PM - Dec 12, 2009 #64

Joel's carrying cigarettes article teaches that commencing recovery with the belief that we are stronger than our addiction or that we need cigarettes present to cope is self defeating and a recipe for relapse. Now there's new study evidence that having cigarettes available may actually make cravings more intense. The study concluded that:
"The data suggest that, even under conditions of immediate cigarette availability, deprivation and cue presentations have independent, additive effects on self-reported craving levels in smokers."

The impact of cigarette deprivation and cigarette availability on cue-reactivity in smokers
Addiction. November 17, 2009 Nov 17.
Bailey SR, Goedeker KC, Tiffany ST.
According to the study, "As has been found in previous studies, 24 hours of cigarette deprivation produced generalized increases in craving, and immediate cigarette availability boosted craving reactivity to smoking-related cues."
"Our data are consistent with the hypothesis that deprivation and smoking cue presentations have independent, additive effects on craving levels in smokers."

Like dangling candy in front of a child, why intentionally intensify desire anxieties? Physical withdrawal can be accompanied by an underlying current of anxities.

Still just one rule ... no nicotine today!

John (Gold x10)
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FreedomNicotine
FreedomNicotine

6:33 PM - Jan 01, 2010 #65

We put out guidelines that enhance an individual's chance of success. Some people may get by with doing things differently, but they often had put themselves at greater risk than should have been necessary. In clinics I sometimes find out people had kept emergency stashes, some for years, yet got away with it and pulled off the quit. But I encounter many more people who lose their quits early on, and when I ask where they got the first cigarette from it turns out that they had kept an emergency stash "just in case." Well just in case kind of events surfaced and the easy availability ended up costing these people their quits. I have been in this field long enough to witness these people later losing their lives from such actions.

So does everyone have to follow everything we say to guarantee success? No, not really. But do people have a better chance following the advice and life lessons of hundreds or thousands of people as opposed to a few exceptions? I will let each and every one of you be the judge of that.

But one rule has no exceptions-the rule that says to stay smoke free and guarantee that this quit the last quit you will ever have to do requires always remembering to never take another puff!


Video version of this string

Title Dialup video Highspeed video MP3 Audio 08:18 09/28/06
Carrying cigarettes 1.85mb 5.70mb 3.02mb 06:39 10/17/06
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Joined: 2:04 PM - Nov 13, 2008

2:49 PM - Jan 04, 2011 #66

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Mandevilla
Mandevilla

12:32 PM - Jan 06, 2011 #67

"You won't win this battle by being stronger than nicotine, you will win it by being smarter than nicotine. "

Thank you for saying that.  It will be my mantra for today.
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KathleenGD
KathleenGD

9:29 PM - Feb 19, 2013 #68

I quit one time and carried 1 cigarette in a lipstick case just in case I thought I would need it....when I smoked it, I was back to 2 more years of smoking cigarettes....my nicotine receptors sucked up that nicotine and I then went to buy a pack....not recommended at all!! I found whyquit.com after that and FINALLY found freedom from nicotine!!
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