I have to smoke because of all my stress

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Oct 2008, 21:05 #51

I saw where a newer member was admiring another member who was quitting while dealing with a rather stressful time period. It worries me when I see comments like this because it makes me think that the person possibly feels that he or she may not be able to quit or stay off when encountering such stresses, or that it takes some extraordinary effort for people to quit or stay off under stressful times. That is not a philosophy that is really accepted here at Freedom. We feel that people can quit and stay off of smoking no matter what other situations they may encounter over their lifetime.

I am going to kick up a few other posts with this comment that all apply to this concept. It is crucial for all who read here to accept the fact that they will be able to stay off smoking under all times as long as they make and stick to a personal commitment to never take another puff.


JoeJFree Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

28 Nov 2008, 22:06 #52

From a link in the O'Bob classic string

Success Stories: Before and After (broken link)

I pulled this essential (for me) old post by Joel from March 4 of 2001

Hello Jax:

You wrote the following equation:
crisis=cigarett, stress=cigarett,drink=cigarett etc..etc...

I would say it more like this:

crisis=crisis, stress=stress, drink=drink, etc, etc.

Cigarette=relapse=smoking=loss of control=stench=loss of funds=

loss of prestige=illnesses=disabilities=premature death

All I am trying to clarify here is that a crisis, or stress or a drink, or a wedding or a funeral, or an earthquake or a flood, or a winning lottery ticket, or birth, or a promotion or a loss of a job, or a marriage or a divorce, or a big tax refund or an IRS audit, or great excitement or tremendous boredom, or the oridinary or extraordinary events of life can NOT cause a relapse. Only a cigarette can do that, or actually, just a puff. Life is going to proceed with all its unforeseen variables. But life is going to proceed smoke free for everyone who recognizes that they want to stay smoke free and are going to focus and work on staying smoke free, no matter what. The only thing they need to understand to accomplish that goal is to remember to never take another puff!

Last edited by JoeJFree Gold on 02 Mar 2009, 21:36, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Dec 2008, 22:48 #53

While this string is meant to cover all kind of stresses, the original article referred to cabin fever effects that snow, ice, cold and other forms of inclement conditions that many around the Northern hemisphere seem to be encountering this year. Be careful as to not write off all feelings to simply not smoking. Other factors may very well be at play, from weather, to general holiday stresses, to economical pressures that are truly unique to this year.

As it says in the string "Life goes on without smoking"

It is important for all people who quit smoking to recognize that life goes on without smoking. Over time after a person quits smoking there will be changes: medical, psychological, professional, economic, life roles, relationships, etc. What is important to recognize though is that most of these changes would have occurred whether you had quit smoking or not or even whether or not you ever smoked. As many of my friends are now in their mid-forties and fifties, it is amazing how we share stories of new ailments and new medications being introduced into our lives. Some of these people had quit smoking decades ago, some of them never smoked. None of the ex-smokers bring up a new disorder and say or think to themselves that it must be happening now because they quit smoking ten or twenty years ago. It would be like a person who never smoked who finds out they now have high blood pressure and then thinks to him or herself that it must be because he or she stopped using some product twenty years ago. As we age things happen-it is just the way things go.

If a person gets diagnosed with a smoking related ailment like emphysema or lung cancer years or decades after quitting it is likely that their mind is shifted to think about their past smoking. But medical and psychological conditions that are experienced by smokers and non-smokers alike, the concept of smoking or quitting should not be considered a primary focus anymore.

Smoking did not cause everything. It causes a whole lot of things though and many things that it does not cause, it makes worse. On the same token, quitting does not cause everything. Quitting is usually accompanied with many repairs, but there are also some adjustments (see Medication adjustments) that go on that may need a partnership with your physicians to get worked out.

My general rule of advice is whatever happens the first few days of a quit, whether it is physical or psychological reactions, blame it on not smoking. It is probably the cause of most early quit reactions. If it is a symptom to a condition that could be life threatening, such as severe chest pains or signs or symptoms of a stroke-contact your doctor immediately. While it is probably nothing and just a side effect of quitting, in the long shot that it is something else coincidentally happening the week you are quitting, you need to get it checked out.

Things happening weeks, months, years or decades after your quits though should not ever be assumed to be a quit smoking reaction. It is life going on without smoking. Some of these things may trigger smoking thoughts-especially if they are similar to conditions you did have in the past when you were a smoker. The situation now is a first time experience with a prior feeling where smoking was integrates thus creating smoking thoughts. But even in this case, the condition is creating a smoking thought, it is not that your smoking memories or your smoking past is creating the condition.

Life goes on without smoking. It is likely to go on longer and it is likely that you will be healthier at each and every stage than you would have been if you had continued smoking. Your life will continue to stay better and likely last long longer as long as you always remember to never take another puff!


For people who are off for weeks, months, years or decades and who are cranky, nervous, depressed, angry, have sore throats, heart burn, ear aches, backaches, headaches, eye strains, poor vision, hearing problems, broken bones, have stubbed their toes, have financial concerns, job stresses, or any other extraordinary issues going on in their lives at the moment. Don't blame every feeling, bad or good in your life on the fact that you happened to have quit smoking. Life goes on without smoking and as the closing paragraph in this article states:

Life goes on without smoking. It is likely to go on longer and it is likely that you will be healthier at each and every stage than you would have been if you had continued smoking. Your life will continue to stay better and likely last long longer as long as you always remember to never take another puff!
Last edited by Joel on 18 Sep 2009, 21:10, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 17 Jul 2009, 02:28

27 Jul 2009, 01:26 #54

I would have never thought it was possible to have a very stressful moment and NOT want a cigarette. After only 2 1/2 weeks I had a MAJOR stressful time happen and I DID NOT WANT A CIGARETTE! Like Joel said, life is life, it is full of ups and downs no matter if you smoke or not. After I learned what I learned here on this site, and realized you could handle stress better without the withdrawl that went along with it while being a smoker, I felt I could handle anything, and I have so far, and know I can forever no matter what.

This afternoon I was talking to a smoker friend and she has a 10 year old, 5 year old and 1 year old. I said I was at 3 weeks now and she congratulated me. She said there was no way she oculd stop, every time she tried, by the second day she was ready to kill her kids and she gave up. I told her those feelings do not last forever, it gets better and better.........she did not want to listen as MOST don't! Oh well. One day I'm sure she will be asking me questions and I will be ready to answer. It's sad too, she does not have the money for this expensive addiction.

Joined: 21 Apr 2009, 02:43

27 Oct 2009, 15:44 #56

If you pretend to smoke, your kids will observe and then will probably imitate.

Try alternating nostril breathing. It is a skill you develop and can be very calming.
Last edited by ccathy247 on 27 Oct 2009, 22:43, edited 1 time in total.
The intelligent quitter's strategy combines an understanding of the Law of Addiction
with well-protected core motivations.

Nobody ever graduates from Addiction

Cathy, Gold

[Quit April 10, 2009]

Joined: 06 Dec 2008, 16:58

01 Jan 2010, 17:05 #57

Related videos:

Video Title Dial Up High Speed MP3 Audio Length Added
"I am climbing the walls because I quit smoking" 2.69mb 8.59mb 3.78mb 08:23 10/18/06
"I'll be a nervous wreck forever if I quit smoking" 3.87mb 11.55mb 4.77mb 10:30 11/29/06
Why do smokers smoke? 2.65mb 5.70mb 8.31mb 18:08 11/07/06

In the illustration above you can see on the left how a non-smokers reacts to stress. Without it they are happy and comfortable, when encountering stress they lose this comfort and depending on its severity they can get either mildly annoyed or really upset. The resolution of the stress will normally bring the non-smoker back to the original state of comfort, after a little time of cooling down of course.
Smokers are much more complex. Stress has an affect on all people--it makes the urine acidic. Both smokers and non-smokers experience this phenomena. In non-smoker smokers, the urine acidity has no real visible or perceivable effects--smokers are much more complicated. After the initial stress a smoker will feel like a non-smoker encountering stress, for a few seconds. But then the delineation occurs, the smoker's nicotine level depletes because of the urine acidity induced by the stress, and the smoker is kicked into a drug withdrawal state. The smoker has four ways to deal with the situation now.
First, the smoker can just smoke a cigarette. Well low and behold if the smoker does this he or she will feel "better." He or she will not feel good; he or she just won't be feeling withdrawal for the moment but still be feeling the initial stress. In essence, he or she will feel like a non-smoker under stress, not great, but not in withdrawal either.
The second way a smoker can handle the stress is to solve it and also smoke a cigarette. This results in one happy smoker. No stress now and no withdrawal, life is good at the moment. The feeling of bliss is basically the same feeling a non-smoker has who resolves his or her stress.
But then there are the other two scenarios. The smoker can solve the problem but not smoke. Here is the kicker here, the problem is resolved but the smoker is still in withdrawal, the nicotine level has dropped and problem resolution has no way to stop the nicotine depletion, only a cigarette can do that.
The worst of all situations is the smoker who cannot solve the problem and also cannot smoke a cigarette. This is a miserable situation to ever be in. You normally don't want to be around a smoker in this situation let alone being one yourself. Many smokers find themselves facing this dilemma daily since many jobs and social settings do not allow smoking yet constantly force the smoker to face stresses.
When you quit smoking these last four reactions to stress become a thing of the past. You still face stress, but you no longer have to face drug withdrawals induced by it. In essence you deal with stress in a totally different way when you don't have chronic drug withdrawals exaggerating it.
To stay in the position of being able to handle stresses with greater clarity and minimal discomfort always know that no matter what the stress, to avoid it having any long lasting and life threatening complications always remember to never take another puff!

Joined: 11 Nov 2008, 19:22

02 Mar 2010, 15:16 #58

Acute Negative Affect Relief
from Smoking Depends on the
Affect Situation and Measure
but Not on Nicotine

Biological Psychiatry, February 2, 2010   [Epub ahead of print]
Perkins KA, Karelitz JL, Conklin CA, Sayette MA, Giedgowd GE.


BACKGROUND: Smoking acutely relieves negative affect (NA) due to smoking abstinence but may not relieve NA from other sources, such as stressors.

METHODS: Dependent smokers (n = 104) randomly assigned to one of three smoking conditions (nicotine or denicotinized cigarettes, or no smoking) completed four negative mood induction procedures (one per session): 1) overnight smoking abstinence, 2) challenging computer task, 3) public speech preparation, and 4) watching negative mood slides. A fifth session involved a neutral mood control. The two smoking groups took four puffs on their assigned cigarette and then smoked those same cigarettes ad libitum during continued mood induction. All subjects rated their level of NA and positive affect on several measures (Mood Form, Positive and Negative Affect Scale, Stress-Arousal Checklist, and State-Trait Anxiety Inventory-state). They also rated craving and withdrawal.

RESULTS: Negative affect relief from smoking depended on the NA source (i.e., mood induction procedure) and the affect measure. Smoking robustly relieved NA due to abstinence on all four measures but only modestly relieved NA due to the other sources and typically on only some measures. Smoking's effects on positive affect and withdrawal were similar to effects on NA, but relief of craving depended less on NA source. Smoking reinforcement only partly matched the pattern of NA relief. Few responses differed between the nicotine and denicotinized smoking groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Acute NA relief from smoking depends on the situation and the affect measure used but may not depend on nicotine intake. These results challenge the common assumption that smoking, and nicotine in particular, broadly alleviates NA.


Joined: 30 Mar 2010, 18:30

03 Apr 2010, 19:10 #59

I quit 10 days ago - after smoking for almost 30 years.  I seem to be experiencing some of the worst kinds of stress on every level since quitting (although I do appreciate that things can always get worse and that smoking will not alleviate the situation).  I desperately want to smoke again.  I keep reading this site (which I have found to be invaluable by the way) and I recite the mantra 'never take another puff' at least on an hourly basis.  I am finding it so hard and feel very emotional at the moment.

Joe J free
Joined: 18 Jan 2009, 06:57

03 Apr 2010, 22:27 #60

ImageWhy do people smoke?
Education uncovers the keys to break the False Association of stress being relieved by nicotine.

Nicotine does not relieve stress, it relieves its own absence.

While we were still active users stress depleted our nicotine reserves and led us to the false conclusion that more nicotine (another cigarettes smoked) would reduce our stress.
  Nicotine never did anything of the kind.

The stressor (an acidic producing event) was still present and still depleting the alkaloyd chemical nicotine.
=====>>>Nicotine never relieved your stress, it added to it by increasing anxiety levels due to withdrawal pressure.

Break the cycle - Break Free - Permanently!