Cutting down on smoking?

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I’ve been trying to cut down on smoking for a while now. I was using the Juul for some time, and then when it came out that people were like, dying, I went back to cigarettes. For a while I was able to smoke one cigarette a night, but of course it’s escalated. I’ve been smoking to varying degrees for 20 years, and it’s not good. But I don’t think I can quit cold turkey. Any words of wisdom?

surm, Sunday, 8 November 2020 22:32 (two weeks ago) link

I was able to quit on the day my internal monologue switched from “well I can smoke if I want to, it’s MY CHOICE” to “well I don’t HAVE to smoke, if I choose not to”. For a long time I felt like health risks, concerned family etc were intruding on my right to choose. Then one day I realised that dependency and habit had insidiously taken my choice away. That pissed me off.

assert (MatthewK), Sunday, 8 November 2020 22:39 (two weeks ago) link

That was a 14 year habit with a long tail off, by the way.

assert (MatthewK), Sunday, 8 November 2020 22:40 (two weeks ago) link

I quit smoking twice by gradual reduction. It follows that my advice would be not to start smoking again once you've quit. Found it much easier easier to stop smoking 1 or 2 a day than 20+
This summer I bought a few packs for the first time in years and very nearly got sucked in a third time without smoking every single day and never more than 2 in a day. Really not worth it.

Cabo Weibo (卡波微博) (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 8 November 2020 22:49 (two weeks ago) link

When i quit smoking weed I was able to take the occasional hit without getting hooked on it again because my 'tolerance' for it diminished to the point that one hit of weed made me want to crawl in a hole and die. So it wasn't like I couldn't wait to do that again. With cigarettes the inverse is true, the less frequently I smoke the more i tend to enjoy it, which makes the occasional cigarette very dangerous.

Cabo Weibo (卡波微博) (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 8 November 2020 22:56 (two weeks ago) link

The only ways I’ve done it twice:
- four years after starting, quit drinking/doing any drugs completely, stopped hanging out with my friends from restaurants who encouraged these bad habits. It worked but not recommended.

- after a six year gap, then smoking for 11 years: vaping. Not a Juul but actual big battery powered thing and refillable juice. That transition was easy because there was no withdrawal or feeling of loss.

When COVID quit I used that as an excuse to stop vaping too - and that was an easy transition to my surprise. I guess my nicotine levels were lower to start with or something.

Giving myself one cigarette a night or I could smoke when I drank or other bargaining methods never worked worth a damn.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:07 (two weeks ago) link

Easy enough if you switch one vice for another, or as it’s said, switch one seat on the Titanic for another

calstars, Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:14 (two weeks ago) link

I just can’t believe I’m so powerless to it. I’m thinking of trying to read that Allen Carr book. I’ve also just been thinking a lot about how to re-organize my daily points of gratification. It’s honestly just shocking to me that it could be this addictive. I know that sounds ridiculous but there it is. I also have some of the mints, I’m thinking of giving those a go again

surm, Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:19 (two weeks ago) link

Organizing daily points of gratification is not something i ever thought about before i started smoking, and i eventually stopped thinking that way more or less once i quit.
I should add that when i've lapsed it has usually resulted from visiting places where i've always smoked, or places that remind me very strongly of places where i always smoked, especially by myself (having a friend or relative around would probably shame me sufficiently into not smoking). Since late July I've been staying in one such place by myself and it's been much harder to abstain from smoking out here.

Cabo Weibo (卡波微博) (Deflatormouse), Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:32 (two weeks ago) link

It's really fucking hard, I failed several times before succeeding. And the craving went on for years after, it was maybe six years before I could confidently say I had no desire to smoke ever again. Doing lots of exercise is the way I got through the difficult first couple of months.

Zelda Zonk, Sunday, 8 November 2020 23:43 (two weeks ago) link

Fuck, six yearssss though
I feel u on the trigger spots xp
Hanging tough tonight, let’s see how the week goes

surm, Monday, 9 November 2020 04:31 (two weeks ago) link

My dad still had the occasional craving 20 years after he spent a week in the hospital with double pneumonia.

Donald Trump Also Sucks, Of Course (milo z), Monday, 9 November 2020 06:57 (two weeks ago) link

You can do this it's true that the cravings never go away entirely (in my experience at least), they may diminish in frequency if not intensity, but they do pass, and it requires a good amount of deliberation to go buy a pack when you haven't smoked in donkey's yonks vs. pulling one out of your pocket.
the first 4 days or so suck, the first 2 weeks or so suck to a slightly lesser degree, it doesn't get to be as easy as you'd expect after that but it does get to a point that's much more manageable. don't worry about going 6 years without a smoke. just hang tough tonight <3
if you can make it through tonight without a smoke you can probably quit.

Cabo Weibo (卡波微博) (Deflatormouse), Monday, 9 November 2020 07:30 (two weeks ago) link

if you can make it through tonight without a smoke you can probably quit.

Cabo Weibo (卡波微博) (Deflatormouse), Monday, 9 November 2020 07:32 (two weeks ago) link

Although the cravings do go on for years, they definitely fade and lessen in intensity. It's not like after three years you're still constantly thinking about smoking, it just comes on every now and then. It's manageable, after the first few months

Zelda Zonk, Monday, 9 November 2020 07:45 (two weeks ago) link

So true - you just have to get through the evening, or the day, not the rest of your life at once.

assert (MatthewK), Monday, 9 November 2020 08:12 (two weeks ago) link

Is there someone else in your life you care about you could quit in tandem with? I knocked it on the head cold turkey nearly six years ago, and the only way I got through the first few weeks is because my girlfriend was doing it at the same time. It wasn't so much the solidarity as the guilt at the thought that if I caved she would too, and it was the same for her.

Definitely quit, I'm so pleased to be free of it.

chap, Monday, 9 November 2020 11:27 (two weeks ago) link

Good q! I think definitely the hardest thing is being in a social situation where other people are smoking. Like fuck. One of my friends has been trying to ween himself off so worth a conversation at least.
no smokes last night and weirdly this morning zero urge. I know better than to get ahead of myself though. Will preemptively try a mint this evening....

surm, Monday, 9 November 2020 12:21 (two weeks ago) link

Oddly, in the early stages of withdrawl I started taking a lot of baths, up to three a day! I suppose I was trying to replicate the 'time out' element of having a cigarette.

chap, Monday, 9 November 2020 13:29 (two weeks ago) link

Readers of the Carr book were like a little cult group in an office i worked in back in the day; everyone absolutely swore by it.

piscesx, Monday, 9 November 2020 13:36 (two weeks ago) link

It is a good book.

I think one reason it 'works' so well is that once you're at the point where you're reading a book about quitting smoking, you're really ready to quit.

My experiences mirror those above, though after a few months the urges/cravings really went away completely. I do vape weed every so often, but that hasn't led to any desire for nicotine. I guess because they occupy such different parts of my routine.

The little 'gifts' to yourself of a cigarette throughout the day ARE really nice - to suddenly not have them is a kind of bereft feeling. I probably have compensated a little with running and coffee. But I feel pretty good about those habits :)

Li'l Brexit (Tracer Hand), Monday, 9 November 2020 13:57 (two weeks ago) link

These days I only light one up when I'm drinking, which doesn't happen very often anymore, so I figure I can afford to indulge in a bit of rule-bending every now and then. I haven't felt the urge to smoke on a daily basis in years, thankfully – it just makes me feel ill.

pomenitul, Monday, 9 November 2020 14:02 (two weeks ago) link

I am basically a 20 a day smoker, and I really desperately need to cut down. The thing is that I don't particularly want to quit. I enjoy most of the cigarettes I have, I love smoking while wasted and it gives my nervous hands and mouth something to do when talking to people. But I'd like to have a pack of tobacco last over a week. I'd like to be able to go to bed and not start jonesing for a cigarette. I'd like to not lose my breath after walking up a hill.

Vaping was probably better for me, but it didn't help me cut down on my nicotine intake, I just had it constantly next to me. And all resources seem aimed at quitting, not reduction.

emil.y, Friday, 20 November 2020 17:44 (one week ago) link

I lucked out with quitting because I didnt start thinking about it until I realized that I gotten to a point where I actively hated smoking, which made it easier than it would have been otherwise.

My partner smoked more than me, 30 or more a day, and quit using that Chantix prescription pill. I was skeptical but at least for her, it worked like magic, her cravings went away in a matter of weeks, and its been 4 or 5 years now of smooth sailing.

turn the jawhatthefuckever on (One Eye Open), Friday, 20 November 2020 18:22 (one week ago) link


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