Carrying Cigarettes

Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 16:17

11 Apr 2009, 02:00 #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?

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

06 Nov 2009, 23:50 #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.


Joined: 18 Oct 2009, 08:31

07 Nov 2009, 09:40 #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
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.

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

12 Dec 2009, 15:02 #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)

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

01 Jan 2010, 18:33 #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

Joel Spitzer
Joined: 13 Nov 2008, 14:04

04 Jan 2011, 14:49 #66


Joined: 05 Jan 2011, 00:09

06 Jan 2011, 12:32 #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.

Joined: 08 Mar 2010, 14:50

19 Feb 2013, 21:29 #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 nicotine receptors sucked up that nicotine and I then went to buy a pack....not recommended at all!! I found after that and FINALLY found freedom from nicotine!!