So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?

So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?

Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

01 Jan 2004, 23:52 #1

Joel's Reinforcement Library

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So how did most successful ex-smokers actually quit?


If you look around the Internet or even request information from professional health organizations on how to quit smoking you are likely to find that the standard advice that will be given is to use a pharmacological approach, i.e., nicotine replacement products and or Zyban. Every time you see this advice you will constantly hear that these approaches double your chances of quitting. Some sites and groups come out and almost say point blank do not go cold turkey--basically leaving the reader with the impression that nobody could possibly quit this way.

In the 2003 American Cancer Society's Facts and figures there is a chart that shows the percentage of current smokers who have tried different routes at quitting smoking and also showed what percentage of current ex-smokers who quit by different techniques.

The numbers that were very telling were the percentages that broke down how former smokers had actually quit. Keep in mind this chart is limited, it does not tell us how long they have quit or some other key pieces of information--like did the people who are using quitting aids such as NRT ever actually got off the NRT. But I am not concerned about that at this moment.

So how did former smokers actually quit according to the American Cancer Society report? Those using drug therapies and counseling, 6.8%. Those using other methods, 2.1%. That leaves those who either went cold-turkey or cut down. It seems that the study authors didn't feel a need to separate these two unimportant methods, but since even they generally admit cutting down techniques do not really work, I think we can safely assume that they didn't really have any major impact on the overall number. So basically 91.4% of the people who are successfully classified as former smokers quit cold turkey. On that same page is the following recommendation:
"All patients attempting to quit should be encouraged to use effective pharmacotherapies except in the presence of specific contraindications."
You have to ask yourself how many of the successful ex-smokers in the world today would have actually succeeded if the sought out and listened to professional advice.

So for anyone looking in trying to determine what is the best way to quit, you have a choice. You can go with the experts or you can go with what over 90% of successful quitters have done. If you decide to go with the quitters all you need to do is to never take another puff!
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Nora (Gold)
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

02 Jan 2004, 06:48 #2

Hi Joel,
This successful ex-smoker can testify that COLD TURKEY quitting was the only thing that worked for me. I tried the patches a few times, even smoked with them on. I couldn't stand the gum, I tried quitting a few times cold turkey without the education to go with it. This is my 4th New Years free from nicotine.

I was 66 years old when I quit and I sure can say it is no easier for an older person to quit than it is for a younger one. ATTITUDE is so important, we each have it in us to go the next few minutes without nicotine, then stretch it out a little longer. Before you hardly know it, you will have reached the GREEN milestone, etc.

To all you looking in out there, this is so doable. It is so simple, just never take another puff like Joel says. IT WORKS!

Here is a link that I would like for you to read. Crutches to Quit Smoking.

Nora
Three years, four months, three weeks, six days, 6 hours, 43 minutes and 43 seconds. 37328 cigarettes not smoked, saving $4,311.57. Life saved: 18 weeks, 3 days, 14 hours, 40 minutes.
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Shinelady Gold3282003
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

02 Jan 2004, 09:03 #3

Joel,
Why is it that the obvious and the simple approach doesn't work? What is it about society that they think it's better if they spend money to cure what ails them? Perhaps if you put a high price on the admission to Why Quit and Freedom there would be a greater interest. Because you don't have a cure with an inflated price, you are classified as not worth while? I'm just trying to figure this out.... One thing I would like to say is that due to the influence of this site, I have quit and my 23 year old son has quit now (for 3 months). My son was waiting for the next, promised, miracle on the market for NRT. I asked him one day if he would buy an alcoholic friend an alcohol patch? Well, you know where this conversation went and I think the logic sunk in. Thanks Joel.... Sorry to be long winded, but knowing what I know now, I get so angry to see people being taken advantage of. Common sense tells us that if something is harming us , don't do it!!!! It doesn't mean stop it a little bit... I just want to say that cold turkey quitting is in no way painful and it is the most merciful way to quit of all. It is the only way that makes any sense. I am so thankful that I learned this for myself before getting involved in the expense and the prolonged agony of quitting with NRT. All I needed to do was never take another puff.
sue (thankful for every day of my freedom after smoking for 38 years)
Nine months, four days, 2 hours, 9 minutes and 11 seconds. 11163 cigarettes not smoked, saving $1,613.14. Life saved: 5 weeks, 3 days, 18 hours, 15 minutes.
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VoluntaryDebraSilver
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:57

02 Jan 2004, 09:13 #4

I didn't look at this posting right away because I thought it was a joke and I'd save it for a laugh in a bit....then I opened it and what a shock I got when I saw it was more than one line long. I was sure the answer was going to be:

DUH! They never took another puff.

Thanks for the info,

Debra Flower - Free and Healing for One Month, Four Days, 18 Hours and 37 Minutes, while extending my life expectancy 3 Days and 14 Hours, by avoiding the use of 1043 nicotine delivery devices that would have cost me $161.94.
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DlunyGOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

02 Jan 2004, 09:57 #5

Debra that is funny. I had not thought that it would be like that at all (probably because I have seen a similar thread elsewhere or in the Library).

Sue it is funny you should mention an Alcohol Patch as I was just thinking about that this morning! Since NRT has been "so" successful Image why DON'T they have ART for Alcoholics? We all know the answer. I was looking for "the easy way out" myself when I got here so I have little room to talk.

Today I know that for me my quit has to be cold turkey and has to take precedent in my life. If I want to stay quit and happy I have to remember to never take another puff one day at a time MYSELF and then I can share my experience strength and hope with the others here.

Happy New Year!

yqb, David One month, three weeks, four days, 11 hours, 56 minutes and 1 second. 998 cigarettes not smoked, saving $74.92. Life saved: 3 days, 11 hours, 10 minutes.
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VoluntaryDebraSilver
Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 18:57

02 Jan 2004, 12:37 #6

Hi David,

How did you buy 5 cartons of cigarettes for $75.00? Am I right? Are there 200 cigs in a carton? And it does say appoximately $75.00. Maybe your meter is off a bit.
Debra
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DlunyGOLD
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

02 Jan 2004, 21:31 #7

You are correct about there being 200 cigarettes in a carton. I paid approximately $1.50 per pack for generic store brand cigarettes when I was smoking. The "name brands" all sell for about $3.25 a pack here in Metro Atlanta and the "value brands" sell for about $2.25.

Actually, the $1.50 figure may be a little high because the actual price was $1.39 plus 5-7% sales tax. I could buy 3 packs for $4.41 in one county but in a different county the same 3 packs were about $4.50 because of the sales tax difference so my meter may be a little off, but not in the way you were thinking.

Thank you for your concern. Today I know it is more important to stay focused on not taking another puff than worrying about the money not spent. For me it will be quit some time before I have the kind of dollar figures that are worth posting.

yqb, David One month, three weeks, four days, 23 hours, 30 minutes and 51 seconds. 1007 cigarettes not smoked, saving $75.57. Life saved: 3 days, 11 hours, 55 minutes.
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

02 Jan 2004, 22:05 #8

I always get a kick out of people who think they are shrewd business people because they have figured out how to slowly kill themselves at bargain basement prices. It comes down to the issue that cigarettes would not be worth the cost even if they were free or even if you were somehow paid to smoke them. For the ultimate costs of cigarettes was never the economic toll of paying for them but rather the toll they were taking on your health and on your life. On the same token, getting off smoking is worth a fortune which is ironic since basically most people who successfully quit will ultimately do it for free by simply deciding to quit and then to stick to their commitment to never take another puff!

Joel
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TaranieriWag
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

24 Jan 2004, 14:35 #9

I quit by reducing the number of cigs a day. Also by not smoking in the usual situations, such as when I got in the car, on the phone. I didn't take them with me when I went somewhere. I left them home. I slowly changed my habits of when I smoked. Then I only smoked a 3 or four a day, I stopped buying them and only bummed once in a while.(which was embarrasing) Then the last thing to stop doing was the after dinner smoke. Once I kicked that habit of repetition I could stop pretty easy. Smoking is an addiction, the times I smoked were a habit. I have learned to cope in stressful situations without a smoke. After seven months now, I can say I am so happy to be "free" of the disgusting and stinking gross addiction! Image Teresa
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Joel
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

24 Jan 2004, 20:03 #10

Teresa, you will notice that the title of this post is "So how did most successful smokers actually quit." It did not read, "So how did "ALL" successful ex-smokers actually quit." This was by no means an accident. Teresa, make sure to read the strings Is cold turkey the only way to quit? and Quitting by gradual withdrawal. You may think that because you were able to quit this way that you should share these thoughts with others looking to quit. Truthfully, your comments do not pose much of a risk to most of the readers here at Freedom. They have seen these articles and others like them. Also it is more than likely they have already recognized from their own observations from watching others trying to quit that what worked for you does not end up working for most. Most importantly, most of our members tried to cut down and one time or another as you described and learned from their own personal experiences that what worked for you did not work for them.

Where you may truly find yourself hurting others though is the people in your real life who may look to you for guidance on how they should stop. If you share your experience with them and do not point out how very few people pull off successful quits this way you may be undercutting their chances for success. You may influence a person you care for who is truly wanting to quit to use a technique that in all probability will fail. The implications of this should not be dismissed. People who are quitting are fighting for their health and for their lives. Their best chance of winning this fight is to simply quit smoking and then to recognize that to stay off they must never take another puff!

Joel
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