Posted by: Osmyn | May 29, 2008

Quit Smoking

<Disclaimer>If you are considering quitting smoking, talk to your doctor.  Don’t take the advice of anyone from the Internet, including myself.  The following relates my own experience, and I have no medical background or other authority to be giving advice.</Disclaimer>

I was never a heavy smoker.  In fact, there’s a term for the type of smoker like I was who smoked fewer than 5 cigarettes a day, a chipper.  I still smoke a pipe; sometimes daily, sometimes going without for weeks at a time.  Smoking a pipe can lead to cancer just as using any form of tobacco can, but I find it less addictive than cigarettes. 

During the decade that I smoked cigarettes, I tried a few techniques to kick the habit.  I had some success with each of these:

Rule 1:  My best and only rule for quitting smoking is to never smoke indoors, including inside a car.   I forced myself to smoke outside, which immediately cut down on the amount I smoked, not to mention improving the air quality indoors and eliminating second-hand smoke.

Technique 1:  Smoke partial cigarettes.

I rarely really needed the whole cigarette, just a few puffs.  I found that relighting a cigarette tasted bad though, until I learned this trick: If you do smoke half a cigarette and put it out for later, make sure to blow back through the filter after the cigarette is extinguished to get the smoke out of it, otherwise the smoke will get stale and make the cigarette taste terrible.

Technique 2: Switch to another form of tobacco to break the physical habit. 

I learned from some football players in high school that you can put chewing tobacco between your big toe and second toe and absorb the nicotine through your feet (they would then tape their toes together).  Your feet are really good at absorbing chemicals, and you have to be careful because you can get nauseous from the nicotine.  (On a side note, if you ever get your boots or shoes immersed into a chemical like fertilizer, throw them out – I’ve known of farmers who died of cancer for wearing their old fertilizer-dipped boots.  This also suggests one can get cancer from putting tobacco between one’s toes, much like any chewing tobacco cancer of the mouth.)  This technique worked pretty well for me; I didn’t like putting the stuff in my mouth and spitting constantly, and it gave me the nicotine I craved without the habit of smoking.  This was all before nicotine patches and gums, which I’ve never tried.

I made the switch from cigarettes to pipe tobacco and found that it was so much cheaper to smoke pipe tobacco than cigarettes; I think partly because it isn’t as heavily taxed (?).  For example, 2 ounces of pipe tobacco costs me around $4 and lasts me two months.  Pipe tobacco doesn’t have any chemicals in it to keep it burning like a cigarette does.  While I still inhale some pipe tobacco smoke, I inhale less and often just blow it back out.  When I smoke a pipe, I usually just put a pinch of tobacco in and smoke a few puffs then set it back down; relighting it later works fine without giving hardly any stale smoke flavor.  I’ve used traditional pipes and water pipes, but I like the traditional pipes more because a water pipe forces one to inhale the smoke.

Technique 3:  Learn to satisfy a craving with something other than nicotene

When I was most addicted to nicotene, I noticed a strange mix-up of signals in my body.  For instance, if I was actually thirsty I would crave a cigarette.  If I was anxious, I would crave a cigarette.  So, I learned to feel a craving and then ask myself if my body was actually trying to tell me something else.  I found that drinking ice water would satiate the craving a lot of times.  Other times I’d notice that I had an excess of energy, so I’d go for a jog or do some push-ups.  I think this same reaction is why some people gain weight after quitting smoking; their body is telling them it needs something, and eating probably does quiet that signal, but so would a glass of ice water or some exercise, most likely.

Technique 4:  Never smoke your last cigarette

There was nothing more challenging to my cessation than telling myself that I had quit forever.  The more you are told you can’t do something, the more your inner child, your Id, wants to do it!  I still will bum a cigarette from people occasionally, and even buy a pack about once a year.  And when it comes up, I say I don’t smoke because although it may not be precicesly true, the impression left anwsering yes to that question would be even less true.

I swear right now after writing this, I am going to have to go smoke my pipe!  It was worth it though to get my story out so that it gets other folks to see what it’s like to quit and maybe inspires some who would like to quit to try some new techniques.

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Responses

  1. #1 reason not to smoke ….

    So, a long time a go in a galaxy far, far away…

    There was this beautiful, kind, intellegent young woman from Evansville, Indiana who I met through my church youth group. She even liked me a LOT. I liked her a LOT.

    She smoked. Kissing her was like licking an ashtray. End of story.

  2. Smoking any form of tobacco will deliver nictoine to the brain regardless of whether it is through a pipe or a cigarette. Continuing to use nicotine will continue to cause your brain to crave nicotine but that’s not waht does the harm, it’s to combustion of smoke that releases most of the deadly compenents into your system. I think a better question is why do you need nicotine at all? Wheat is the underlying need? You are getting something from nicotine that yhou’re not getting somewhere else. When you answer that questiont hen you will be free from that tempting seductress Lady nicotine. VJ Sleight, http://www.StopSmoking,StayQuit.blogspot.com


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