I'm giving up smoking. Or trying anyway..... (in Off-topic)

QBJohnnywas October 12 2005 9:33 AM EDT

I'm kicking the nicotine as of today. I managed to quit a few years back. That time I just stopped - there was a bet involved that said I couldn't last a year and a nice amount of money was on the table. So I threw away my cigarettes and didn't have another for nearly three years. During that time I also put on a lot of weight - about a quarter of my weight when I gave up.

So this time I'm determined not to put the weight on although some gain is inevitable so they tell me...

Anyway - I'm looking for advice from the land of CB. Some of you are too young to be smoking but not all. If there are any ex-smokers who have any tips to stay off them I would be extremely grateful. And any tips to keep the weight off would be welcome too.......


AdminShade October 12 2005 9:44 AM EDT

Never smoked myself but I do know one thing:

trying isn't enough, you have to really WANT to quit smoking and DO it, otherwise you will fail.

(hope this gets you into a non smoking fighter spirit :) )

QBJohnnywas October 12 2005 9:46 AM EDT

Oh I want to. My most disgusting habit. And dangerous and expensive.

And quite possibly the most ridiculous way to waste time that I've ever indulged in. Without exception...

QBRanger October 12 2005 9:48 AM EDT

Never smoked, never will.

I have seen quite a few people, some as young as 35, with lung cancer from smoking. The 35 year old passed on 15 months after being diagnosed.

Aside from the cancer one gets from smoking, the emphysema can be equally destructive to ones life.

Best to quit right now. Never start up again.

QBJohnnywas October 12 2005 9:51 AM EDT

My grandfather died from emphysema - although he was a non smoker, he had worked in a steel factory and the heated air had done for his lungs. Yes, not a nice way to go.

I would like to avoid all of that if I can. I'm just about in the time of my life where the damage is still repairable, if I'm lucky...

chappy [Soup Ream] October 12 2005 9:51 AM EDT

I've smoked off and on since I was 16 .. Now I'm 26 and I only smoke when I drink .. that's the only time I feel I want a cigarette .. At the rate I drink one pack would last me a week at least .. The last time I smoked outside of when I had a drink it had a horrible taste .. like it doesn't anyway lol .. so anyway I agree that you have to want to quit .. That's the only way you're going to get anywhere with it..

YOU October 12 2005 9:52 AM EDT


AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 12 2005 10:03 AM EDT

Good luck mate. I know people that have gone on the NHS courses. That seems to help! ;)

AdminG Beee October 12 2005 10:07 AM EDT

I'm kinda in denial a lot seeing as I like to call myself a "social smoker", however, I'm a smoker - there, I've said it.
I go days without a smoke and then burn a packet and a half on a night out at the weekend. Lately I've started smoking each day but I get through no more than 3 or 4 and know from experience that I can stop pretty much when I want to (trouble is I like smoking - sad, but true). Stopping at weekends when beer is involved is a different matter all together though.

For me it's all about will power with a slice of genetic luck thrown in.
I don't subscribe to artificial help, e.g. patches. On the two previous occasions when I stopped (5yrs first time, 2yrs second time) I found a simple method that really worked.

The day is divided into 4x6Hr segments.
Choose a 6Hr period where you want to start and promise yourself that's a smoke free session. Sure, it's likely to be Midnight - 6:00am but that's cool. Run with it for a week and don't deviate. If you like a smoke before going to bed you're either gonna miss out on it sometimes or you'll be tucked up fast asleep at 11:59pm every night for a week... that's what I did :)
Once you have your first week under your belt choose your next 6Hr period and add that to your quitting schedule.
Now you're going 12 Hrs every day without a smoke. Give it another week and if you're ready choose another 6 Hr session. If you don't feel ready then give yourself an extra few days before adding the next session. Remember though - you must not smoke at all during any of your 6 hr sessions. This is an unbreakable rule.
You will find yourself looking at your watch waiting on 12 noon or 6pm arriving, but so what - you know you can have a smoke so you will manage.
Eventually you will be down to only one 6hr session left. Choose when you want that to come into play and add it to the other 3 6hr periods... no going back from here, you're now a non-smoker.
I found it necessary to avoid pubs for a couple of weekends after I stopped, eventually I was ready face society again and all was well... at least until I started back on them earlier this year :/

Can't wait for March to come round whereupon smoking will be banned in all public places in this country - that's gonna help me a lot. Meanwhile, I'm heading out for a smoke right now... =~

P.S. As for keeping the weight off. That's simple - As Billy Connelly says "Move more and eat less!"

QBsutekh137 October 12 2005 10:09 AM EDT

Hm, about the weight, as that can be a big thing (ex-wife and friend at work quit at the same time, and both women worry greatly about weight).

It sounds trite, but eat less and exercise more. The trick is in the implementation. When I want to really cut back calories, I dial way back on the drinking. Doesn't take many pints to put you over your daily burn rate. I also don't eat between meals -- not even a donut or candy. It tends to make me hungrier later and is just calories I don't need. Switching to diet soda works too.

None of these things are "fun" to have to do, but they become tolerable.

On the exercise front, I mainly walk. It is easy to get the motivation going for walking because it is not too arduous and can actually be quite pleasant. I hate running, or any other activity that is higher-impact and repetitive: rowing machines, steppers, blech. Biking is good, and that is what one of my friends has really gotten into (harder to do over the winter, though).

I will say this: I am not a fan of "gitchy" diet plans, and am DEFINITELY not a fan of low-fat. For a lot of food products, low-fat = high sugar. That means it still has the calories, and worse, it spikes your insulin when you eat it. This leaves you hungrier later. Atkins didn't do a thing for me as far as losing weight, but that part was true. Atkins helped me be more aware of all the quick sugars and carbs I had been consuming.

Now it is just about calories. Take in less than you burn, and you will lose weight. Other things to keep in mind so that you don't get discouraged:

- You cannot "point burn" fat. Doing situps won't burn tummy fat any quicker than walking will. Fat will melt away the way it wants to melt away. I will probably die with my belly and love handles unless I _really_ lose a lot of weight or get liposuction.
- You cannot control the shape of your muscles. If you go the lifting weights route, don't worry about forming perfect biceps or a six-pack abdomen. Yes, correct techniques are important, but you cannot really guarantee a certain shape of muscle as it develops (e.g. "pointy" biceps). Just have fun lifting, and the definition will come. (And remember, muscle mass burns more calories at a basal level!)
- Try to keep a positive attitude and try to get a routine going. This can be very hard.

Most of all, good luck!

Tezmac October 12 2005 10:12 AM EDT

My dad quit cold turkey after smoking for about 30 years, but it took him a lot of tries. The key is to keep trying! Since you're worried about putting weight on, maybe trying going to a gym after work everyday and just start riding a bike and lifting some light weights. It'll help work all that gunk out of your lungs, and if you smoke in the meantime and then hit the gym, its guarenteed you'll feel like crap and not want to do it again. :O)

AdminNightStrike October 12 2005 12:22 PM EDT


Where are you that smoking is banned across the country?

QBJohnnywas October 12 2005 12:29 PM EDT

We're in the UK, smoking is to be banned in all public places - ie restaurants and pubs/bars.

IndependenZ October 12 2005 2:18 PM EDT

Same here in the Netherlands. All public places and working areas are non-smoking.

InebriatedArsonist October 12 2005 3:00 PM EDT

I only have one friend who has managed to quit smoking completely, and he simply replaced his cigarettes with food (perk of being a professional cook, I guess). The rest all figure they'll quit later, i.e. after graduate school, after they get married, etc., so perhaps I'm a bit young to give you advice on that.

I'm guessing you don't want to go down the comfort food route, so I'll take Ranger's tack and tell you to try looking up autopsy photos of smoke-addled lungs. If that's not enough, go to a nursing home and find the emphysema patients.

gooey muppet October 12 2005 5:19 PM EDT

Good luck man. I smoke two packs a day and am dreading the day when i finally try to kick the habit.

[Tranquility]-USDForger [Azn Forgesmith] October 12 2005 5:25 PM EDT

I still smoke and enjoying it. When i play poker i bring a whole carton w/ me just in case i have to "blind" my opponent ;P

Unwanted Memories October 12 2005 5:43 PM EDT

I went cold turkey for about 2 months, greatest thing i ever did. Candy works alot as smoking, besides the nicotine, sates people who have oral fetishes. ( as in the need to constantly have somthing in their mouths ). I used to smoke on car rides, working, or just when i was bored. Jolly Ranchers and loli pops cured me for the 2 months i quit... Now cigars are a diffrent matter. Horrible habit still but one cigar will last me all day so in the end its better than a pack of smokes a day imo.

Grim Reaper October 12 2005 6:34 PM EDT

I did a cute thing when I was like 3 or 5 years old I don't remember, but basically I was on a train and I read a no smoking sign. So then I saw 2 guys smoking in the area where it is the entrance to the train cart. Anyways, I walked over there and these 2 guys were smoking so I walked up to them and said, "Can't you read! It says no smoking."

Special J October 12 2005 6:37 PM EDT

And that is when you lost your brain, because those two guys beat you down for being a nosey child.

Case Solved!

Stephen October 12 2005 7:04 PM EDT

Johnny, I've never once smoked in my life but I know plenty who have given up so hang in there. As for the weight gain, now is probably the time to try all those foods that have had no taste, like salad and vegetables. Take some time to try a variety and see how much better they taste after time. Do a little shopping in a small grocery store, maybe even organic, avoiding Sainsburys and Tescos that pump their fruit and veg full of pesticides and over-water them to make them seem juicy, but at the same time diluting their taste.

Good luck matey.

Nixon Jibfest October 12 2005 7:26 PM EDT

Never smoked myself but as a PhD candidate in public health, I can tell you that smoking cessation programs based on the Transtheoretical Model (stages of change) seem to work best.

Go to QuitNow.com.

exercise is a good thing.

Special J October 12 2005 7:30 PM EDT

Levels of quitting are grand, but the levels of Nicoderm CQ (or whatever it is called) do not work.

They tend to cost more as you feel the need to continue using them over a long period of time.

I have tried them, I have tried the gum as well.

Now I am trying cold turkey, working well, minus being a complete jerk.

Undertow October 12 2005 11:37 PM EDT

I can't tell you anything about quiting smoking, having never started.

However, I can right you a friggin book on losing weight. Here's what I did:

There is a good method and a better method. My favorite is the good method.

Don't change your diet. Just excersize. If your anything like me, the food wasn't most of the problem, spending 12 hour spurts in front of the comp was the problem. I lost weight without chaning my diet at all.

Don't OVER push yourself. Your not gonna go out tomorrow and do 2 hours at the gym. Ease into it. First, just try and make it OUT every day. Somewhere. Then, just go TO the gym every day. Even if it's just 10 minutes on a tread mill, you went. When I was at my best I was doing 2 20 minute bike sessions and a round of weights every day.

TALK to the gym people. Most of the gyms around here offer free meetings with a personal trainer if you sign up for a membership. Even if you have to pay, it's worth it.

Challenge yourself. Because there's nothing like feeling you could go 5 more minutes on the bike when you've gone your 20, especially when you remember when 15 was hell.


Diet. It sucks, but it's easier than you think.

In my opinion, our generation knows nothing more evil than Soda. I totally blame the fact that I'm diabetic on Sprite Remix. When I was undiagnosed and at my worst I'd go through 2 2 litres in a 6 hour D&D game. There is 36 grams of sugar in one serving of soda. I dare you to find something else with that much sugar. It's hard.

Just start looking at the nutrition labels on things. See just what's in your food. Did you know there are 4 grams of sugar in 2 tbsp's of ketchup? IT'S FRIGGIN KETCHUP! WHY GOD WHY!?!?

Over eating isn't nearly as bad as eating the wrong things. Instead of a candy bar, try and apple. Apples ARE diabetic candy.

Keep a lot of lettice, and if you want a snack have a salad. Don't use light dressing, the fact that your replacing whatever you ate as a snack before with a salad should be enough.

Americans: Stop eating out. Just stop. You can't do it and be healthy. Not with Subway, not with Ruby Tuesdays, not with wraps. Nothing. Fast Food will kill you, I swear to god it will. Pizza is not healthy just because it has all 5 food groups. Pasta isn't good for you if all you do is sit on your rear. Your eating pure energy, and then not using it. It all gets stored as fat.

Start slow. I'd work on the smoking thing, THEN the weight loss. Just don't stop. If you stop working out you just wasted all that gym time, because the weight WILL come back. You might as well not even start if your going to stop.

Man, don't I have BA to burn or something?

LumpBot October 12 2005 11:52 PM EDT

Never smoked, never will, as for losing weight I can give you a simple method that I know works for many. Don't sit down. Do something, anything to keep moving. I never sit down for more than an hour at a time with exceptions of long meals and good movies. sports doesnt' cut it unless you still move a lot. Also, try a routine, people who eat because they are bored or have no order to their day get chubby quick. I eat 4 meals on time everyday and I have 11% body fat. I really don't work out to hard, but I always work out, the little things help.

QBJohnnywas October 13 2005 8:09 AM EDT


Glad I got that out of my system. I feel much better now. Thank you.

Thanks for all the advice, especially diet advice. My wife doesn't mind the mood swings but mention that I might put on weight and she mentions divorce.....lol.....

AdminQBGentlemanLoser [{END}] October 13 2005 8:41 AM EDT

We're got it easier than you Americans for eating out.


Charcoal grilled chicken. Don't eat the skin and it's very good for you!


QBJohnnywas October 13 2005 8:49 AM EDT

ah Nandos....love their sauce....three bottles of it in the cupboard....

chelon October 14 2005 7:55 AM EDT

well maybe i am abit late to respond but my advice is find a habbit that u can spend hrs and hrs on. Thats the only time i can get my mind out of smoking. Keep yourself busy all the time till its out of the system. And for diet i got nothing....
i been 135 pounds since i smoke(been 8 yrs), no matter what i eat i just wont gain.
If wasnt for health problem smokeing will be 1 of top3 things you can enjoy in the world.
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