The Urge Hits!

Subconscious use cue extinguishment

The Urge Hits!

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

23 Aug 2000, 01:56 #1

The urge hits! You have been off cigarettes for a long period of time. You have not thought about cigarettes for days, maybe even weeks. But now, right now, you want a cigarette.

Sound familiar? It should. Your experience is shared by most of the 33,000,000 ex-smokers in today's society. The thought of a cigarette is aroused by some situation, person or surrounding. Often you have no idea why--all you know is that you want one and you want it fast.

There are two ways to get over the urge for that cigarette. First, you can borrow, buy or steal one and smoke it. That will satisfy the urge for that one cigarette. It will also create an urge, a need, a full-fledged addiction for another one plus an additional million (if you live long enough to smoke a million) after that. Considering this, taking a cigarette is not a preferable solution.

The other method of getting over the urge is, simply, don't take one. You don't have to take a pill, a shot, a candy bar or a drink. All you have to do is think of something else. Go back to work, take a walk or just take a deep breath of fresh air. The urge will pass in seconds and once again you will go hours, days, weeks and eventually months before you have another urge. Stay happier, healthier and better looking and smelling.
Last edited by Joel on 01 Apr 2009, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:57

10 Sep 2000, 20:54 #2

For the benefits of newbies wondering if they will ever stop wanting a cigarette, I thought I would elaborate on this one a little. When we say that the urge hits weeks or months or even years after a quit, it is a desire or a thought for a cigarette that is different than the "urge" experienced during initial withdrawal. Those urges are physiological craves, the body demanding nicotine to alleviate a drug withdrawal state.

The thoughts that happed down the road are triggers of fond memories. The thought is often that it seems like a good idea now to smoke a cigarette. Kind of like the urge you get to clean your house on a slow day. Seems like a good idea for a few seconds, but if you find something better to do, so be it. The same concept holds true for the thought of a cigarette.

Other times there will be thoughts of "I used to smoke when I did this." Not a desire for a cigarette or smoking, but a feeling that your timing or ritual is off. Sometimes there may even be a feeling that you are supposed to be doing "something" right now, but do not even realize what it is. All of a sudden you realize you used to smoke at this particular juncture of time or a specific new situation. Again, it is not that you want or need a cigarette in these two cases, just that the routine was a little off.

Years into a quit though, most days ex-smokers will go days, weeks and maybe even months without a thought. Even days which they call "bad" with desires, they may be going 23 hours and 59 minutes and 50 seconds without a thought, but because they think of it once, they think that was a lot. It really does get easier and easier.

The alternative side, smoking, is constantly riddled with thought of quitting. Whenever you are going to a doctor, a non-smoking friends or family home where you want to visit but cannot smoke, getting a new symptoms or aggravated by a chronic problem, read a news headline or hear a news report on television or radio on a new danger from smoking, have to pay another price increase for cigarettes, find another friend who has quit while you do not, stand outside in blizzards or heat waves or torrential downpour for the luxury of getting a quick fix or experience some horrible withdrawal because you can't escape for a cigarette or heaven forbid, you run out of cigarettes.

Yes there were plenty of times smoking made your life totally unmanageable. Not to mention the times that may come where a diagnosis of a horrible condition that require extraordinary measures to save your life that in themselves are almost as terrifying and painful as the disease itself. That unpleasant scenario still provides a chance of survival. There are frequently the cases where the first real symptom of a smoking induced illness is sudden death. Then you don't even have a chance to save your life.

As an ex-smoker, there may be times you want a cigarette. As a smoker, there will be times you want to quit. Neither side is perfect, but the ex-smoker side has clear advantages. It will get easier and easier over time getting to the point of smoking becoming a thing of the past. The smoking side leads to a much more ominous road.

Keep focused, whether it is hours into a quit or decades into a quit. It was a good decision to quit, maybe the most important decision you have made in your life as far as quality and length of your life goes. To keep the decision alive and continue to reap the benefit, always remember, Never Take Another Puff!


Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:01

10 Sep 2000, 22:24 #3


Thank you for another thoughtful message at the right time. Yesterday I faced one of my most feared triggers. For years on Saturday afternoons I have gone to a friends repair shop and had a few beers. There are usually 6-8 people who all by the way smoke sitting around telling stories and jokes. They all know of my history of quit attempts and say here goes Ed again. They of course asked where I had been the last couple weeks and I wanted to be honest and told them and why it was difficult to join them for awhile. They respected my choice but didn't make it easy packs of cigarettes on the table within reach and smoke filling the air. I stayed for 5 hours this is a part of my life I refuse to give up just because I don't smoke. I told them about Freedom and left the questions to them I know how I hated reformed smokers going on and on about the benefits of not smoking. They all agreed they would like to quit but don't think they can. I heard all the excuses I used for years why I could not quit. I let it drop and enjoyed myself everyone asked how I felt and most remaked my cough was gone. When I was leaving two came up and asked me for the website address and said they were sorry for continuing to smoke in front of me. I told them if I could not face people smoking I would never had come out to visit. I was very nervous at first and could feel the strong triggers but now I knew how to handle it and what it was because of Freedom. I hope they come and join us one is going to be a Grandfather soon and mentioned he would like to be around awhile. Every smoker knows the price of the addiction cancer sticks, coffin nails the list goes on. The secret is to quit before you have to quit for health reasons and I know some smokers who didn't quit even then. Thank you Freedom for giving me the information and encouragement to face life as a addict trying to do something about his addiction. I know this is a lifetime job to stay nicotine free and know I can NEVER PUFF AGAIN...Ed

After 46 years nicotine free for Three weeks, four days, 10 hours, 22 minutes and 38 seconds. 559 cigarettes not smoked, saving $122.53. Life saved: 1 day, 22 hours, 35 minutes.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:28

10 Sep 2000, 23:09 #4

Congratulations for staying so strong in your resolve to stay smoke-free, Ed. It sounds like you passed a 'trigger test' with flying colors!!! It is great that you were able to prove to yourself that you can still hang out with your friends who smoke-pretty scary the first time! You are a real inspiration, Ed. An inspiration not only to your friends who are probably now realizing that they might have the strength to quit as well, but also to us here at Freedom. Thank You for showing us all the power of a positive attitude!
Last edited by neve on 01 Apr 2009, 23:36, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:31

26 Sep 2000, 11:27 #5

Another great article, Joel. Just wanted you to know that I made it through the evening after our chat and feel pretty good about myself for the moment! Thanks for your help and Linnee's. It's going to get better and better!!!!!


One day, 21 hours, 26 minutes and 52 seconds. 37 cigarettes not smoked, saving $5.21. Life saved: 3 hours, 5 minutes.

R b rt
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:59

26 Sep 2000, 21:07 #6

Good morning my friends ... ... don't get worried - I feel confident enough to say that I WON'T RELAPSE INTO A FOG ... ... ... but I did want to share with you all that I have been going through some really rough days!!! I am posting to this particular thread because I have been in an almost CONSTANT urge to smoke! (It's driving me crazy!) I have been using my humor to help, and it does for a while ... but it only goes so far!

It's like no matter WHAT I do, I feel like smoking! (I THINK - JUST ONCE!) But I know it'll be more than just once, and I am NOT prepared for THAT BATTLE (again)!!! But the NICODEMON tells me: ". . . . . go ahead, smoke ONCE --- you can do it, you're tough!! You know you can STOP after that ONCE!" I push back the thoughts ... but they come back real fast!
I KNOW I WON'T SMOKE .... but jeepers I think it's time to S-T-O-P !!!

SMOKEFREE FOR: one month/three weeks/four days
Last edited by R b rt on 01 Apr 2009, 23:37, edited 1 time in total.

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

26 Sep 2000, 21:40 #7

Dear Robert.....

At almost 2 months into your quit you gotta know that the little guy above is playing with your mind. Try to find out what it is that is fueling the fire.....certainly, at this point, it is not a physical need.

Weather change, job change, an unopened pack of cigarettes hinding out to you, a major challenge heading your way or just a feeling? Lots of things can make you think about your addiction. Whatever you do, remember where you came from and remember too, where you will head if you succucmb to the call. I truly don't think you will, but re-examine you reasons and motivations for Joel's notes on relapse prevention and take a look at yourself in the mirror and tell yourself that the best is yet to come. Read too, about those who have lost long quits only to hit their heads against the wall and wonder how they could have been so careless or let others influence they reason's for quitting.

Send me a great recipe, listen to music, take a walk, write a letter to yourself about how wonderful life is since you quit smoking and take a peek at again. And, Robert......this too, shall pass.

Thinking of you and knowing that you will be ok.....

Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on 01 Apr 2009, 23:38, edited 1 time in total.

GrumpyOMrsS (Gold)
Joined: 19 Dec 2008, 00:00

26 Sep 2000, 21:49 #8

Robert......meant to say that maybe you have a pack of cigarettes or a pipe or some of your old "smoking memorabilia "hidden" somewhere that might be calling out to you in the back of your mind....if you do....dump it all "now" matter how old or expensive the pipe or whatever your must get rid of them....why keep them them if you will never smoke again?

Last edited by GrumpyOMrsS (Gold) on 01 Apr 2009, 23:38, edited 1 time in total.

Joined: 07 Jan 2009, 19:03

26 Sep 2000, 22:13 #9

Robert you are my hero,you can not give up,you always sheer everybody up,and I wondert if you never have urges,like I have ,but I believe we all do.I hade a difficult time in the last 10 days to,but I did not wanted to discourage the new people,who have a much more difficult time with there quit then we do.I know were my triggers come from,I hade lots of changes going on,and I don`t do good with changes.So my friend we need to find out were your triggers come from,and next time you have a difficult time please tell us ,bevor it is to late.I will be thinking and praying for you my friend.

all my love and hugs your friend Roswitha.
Last edited by Roswitha on 01 Apr 2009, 23:40, edited 1 time in total.

Joanne Gold
Joined: 18 Dec 2008, 23:58

26 Sep 2000, 23:03 #10

(((((((((((((Robert))))))))))))) thought you could use a hug. ; ) You already received some great advice here but you need to know that lots of us are praying, keep the faith. You now have learned too much to let your life slip away. Our addiction is powerful, it does take a good amount of time and work to make it to freedom. This unpleasant period will pass...I promise you. With time, no matter what triggers come your way you will not be even questioning your resolve.

It is great that you came here today to vent....I'm afraid that people need help and don't always come and tell it the way it is. We are with you brother....we remember those days and it aint fun...but again, it will pass.

Now is the time to do some reading and look at your old are Freedom's "history man" love digging up old posts...go gettem' Robert. Remember why you quit and go read about it.

I'll be watching for your next better be soon. : )

with love...your concerned quit sis - Joanne
Last edited by Joanne Gold on 01 Apr 2009, 23:41, edited 1 time in total.