Given up smoking

Ok, so i've just put out my last ciggy and am now a non-smoker. I know it's the best thing i'll ever do, but it will also be the hardest and so any words of wisdom much appreciated.

Have tried patches etc in the past, but they're not for me as it just seems as if i'm replacing one dependency with another. Plus it's the mental addiction that's more of a problem for me rather than the physical - so going cold turkey.

What would really help is postive experiences from ex-smokers - how soon did you notice and improvement in your running and how much of an improvement?

And if you're not an ex-smoker then post a joke - i've found from previous attempts that if i can divert myself for 2-3 mins the craving passes - so all diversions welcome.



  • Won't lecture, still miss them sometimes, still slip v occasionally.

    I wanted to run more than I wanted to smoke. 2 didn't go together.

    You have won already, 3 mins craving is the worst it gets, don't hurt no more than that. At first it's 3 mins every 3 mins, 3 years l8er its 3 mins every 6 months.

    Swim at 3 months is like having scuba tanks.

    Still have smokers cough on cold mornings but not as bad.

    Foul cold for first 3 months.

    Went 6 months without then had a couple round a mates night before a 5K race. Added a minute and a half to my time and felt shite.

    U wanted facts, that is as it has been for me. Good luck.

    Races REALLY help coz you want to go faster and will do anything to gat a better time, even pop spots and wipe them away to save weight. Packing up the weed is simply a means to race faster.

    Good luck.

  • 3 mins getting further apart is a good way to look at it - that helps. Knowing that others give up and live to tell the tale helps alot. Foul cold seems to be pretty standard. A minute and a half *off* my 5k pb in 6 months would be worth a lot of feeling sh*te.

    Much appreciated
  • try reading this free E book spooky -will help on the psychological front:O)

    all the best.
  • I gave up 8 years ago (before I started running) and like you, I went 'cold turkey' as I felt this would be the best way to deal with the addiction. I, too, diverted my attention when I got a craving and its true, the cravings get fewer and further between.

    I can't imagine how I would be able to run and smoke too - I have enough trouble being a non-smoker!

    Well done on kicking the weed!!!!!
  • Thanks for that HG - just downloaded it. My sort of stuff. Read allen carr sometime ago when life was just too hectic to make time to go through with it - new attempt to quit + new literature far preferable to re-reading.

    So far so good :-)
  • well done spooky. This fella puts it in a way that really sinks in, I found.
  • Cheers Roobarb. Am giving up because i can't run and smoke - got stuck at 10min miles. All the bad for health stuff makes me *want* to quit, but it's the not being able to run that's turned the wanting into doing. Idea of cravings getting further apart unimaginable right now, so helps to know that it is fact not fiction.

    Am in awe of all who have got through this and quit.

  • I'd love to do 10min miles! lol!

    You obviously have thought about this and got your head in the right place. That'll help as it has to come from yourself.

    Another little piece of advice which may or may not be needed - eat plenty of fruit and veg and suchlike. I found that when I first gave up I got terrible constipation!!!!!!! lol! Really I did!!!!

    Hoose - have passed that link on!
  • I'd forgotten about the constipation! Scuttles off to fruitbowl ...
  • just getta pencil and work it out:O)
  • lol HG! Just had an apple, a carrot and a senakot. Will stick to this tactic for the time being ;-)
  • Congratulations! I quit in January 2005 and didn't use anything but will power and that worked for me. I sing in a band and I noticed the difference at our first practice which was about two weeks after I stubbed the last one out. My vocal range has imroved, my lung capacity for sustaining notes is waaaaaaaay better and I did race for life last year and I'm doing it again in a couple of weeks. Self talk is a good one. "I don't need it." Say that to yourself and repeat it, if ever you feel a bit twitchy. I now take multi vitamins and minerals, a vitamin c and an evening primrose oil supplement every day. My skin has improved and I feel good. My diet has improved nd I eat a more varied diet and regularly make fruit smoothies. I treated myself to leave my NHS dentist and sign up with a private dental practice and my teeth and gums are in great condition. Because it's a lifestyle habit, it takes a while to adjust, but you will. Try taking a holistic approach and look at your hair, skin, nails, diet,exercise and relaxation and you will be too busy to think about anything else :) One day you will find it odd to suddenly remember that you used to be a smoker.

    Keep going and give yourself a pat on the back. It is one of the best things you can do for yourslef.
  • Thanks Karen. Good to read another success story. I'm hanging on by the skin of my teeth at the moment - but at least i'm hanging on. Been spending an awful lot of time in the bath/ in bed - both places that i don't associate with smoking!

    Thanks again
  • I gave up 7 months ago and I also went cold turkey as the patches made me feel positively unwell.

    There is nothing anyone can say that that will make the transition from smoker to non smoker pass more easily, it's tough. All those years of inhaling smoke coupled with the abandonment of rictuals that all smokers adhere to, are hard to break, but it is enormously enpowering when you do overcome them.

    Willpower is a truly wonderful thing and a much underrated strength that we often don't know we possess.

    Change your routine. I like you went to bed earlier, got up a little later, it's amazing how much more time you have when you don't have to build smoking time into your day.

    Good news is, as Karen has already mentioned, you can see the differences physically as well as feeling them, almost from the moment you give up.

    I took up running as soon as I stopped smoking and I am noticing remarkable improvements every week. Apart from any of that, I can honestly say that I get such a buzz from running, a buzz that endures throughout the day, that there is no comparison between that and the few moments of pleasure you get from a cigarette. You can't have both as the cigs will eventually make your running more and more difficult as they take a toll on lung capacity and heart rate.

    Don't just hang in there, attack the weed and stick with it. I used to keep reminding myself that the first cigarette of the day was the one that I enjoyed most and that everyone I had after that was never quite as good and that I was lighting up throughout the day just trying to recapture the moment.

    Keep at it.

  • Chris, thanks for the words of support. Massive change for you, giving up smoking & starting running at the same time - healthwise, you must be a completely different person 7 months in! You're right about the difficulty being overcoming the rituals - and also about the sense of achievement.

    Today, for the first time in 14yrs, I feel like non-smoker - albeit one who wants a cigarette very badly at times - but still a non-smoker - and that feels like a victory.

    Plus, just been for my first post-quit run and knocked 57secs off my PB for my 5k training route. Happy days.
  • well done on your victories spooky - it is only te nicotine monsters work trying to convince you that you need one -don't ever fall for it and you'll be fine. keep reading that ebook:O)

    well done you!!!
  • hello,

    well done spookygiraffe. i gave up on 23rd january this year. i have found it hard and i sometimes miss being a smoker but the cravings have all but disappeared now.

    i used to chew 2 airwaves chewing gum at the same time because the burn in my throat tricked my mind into thinking i'd just nipped into the garden for a quick fag.

    in this time i have gone from 10min miling to 9 min miles so you should be able to see huge improvements almost immediately.

    good luck with everything.
  • Thanks hoose - got pg26 stuck to the front & back door - and clearly working as just made it safely back from the shop having bought nothing more toxic than milk & digestive biscuits :-) Part of me feels like i'm over the worst now - but that sets off big alarm bells as complacency is so very dangerous when the nicotine monster is merely snoozing!

    Cheers orbital & well done. Think i'll give the double airwaves a miss and stick to single dose! 10 min miling down to 9 in 4 months would definitely make all this trauma worthwhile - that is more or less what i wanted out of it and if it comes that quickly i'll be really pleased.
  • I'm on my third day now of being a non-smoker after 15 years on the snouts. I'm using just willpower alone.

    I don't see how taking nicotene (patches or whatever) is going to get rid of an addiction to nicotene - doesn't make sense to me.

    Anyway, so far so good. Not been out running yet as I have a back injury but I can't wait to get out there and try out my 'new' lungs!
  • Colonel, nicotine patches make perfect sense, and I'll explain why.

    There are two elements of addiction to smoking, the physical element of addicition to nicotine and the psychological dependance on smoking. Many people, myself included, find that dealing with both of these at once is too much. The nicotine patch and other forms of NRT, when used as directed, significantly ameliorate the effects of nicotine withdrawal, allowing you to deal with one thing at a time.

    One argument used by those who oppose NRT is that, since all the nicotine has left your body after 48 hours, the addiction is over. Frankly this is total tripe. The point at which all the nicotine is gone is the point at which the symptoms of physical withdrawal approach their maximum.

    All I can add is that I used the patch, for about three weeks, and it made it easy for me.
  • Got carried away Colonel. Forgot to add, congrats on the 3 days. Keep it up.
  • Hi guys

    Thought this question would make a great Reader to Reader so please keep the advice coming...

    Thank you! :o)
  • Well done, its been 8 months for me know and my running has def improved. I can now afford those massages and trips to Chiropracters etc. The one thing that kept me going is that I don't ever want to go through giving up again. U can do it, in fact you have done it. xxxx
  • Without getting into any futile debate regarding patches,IMHO and after many tries to stop with them -they do not help unless the psychological work is done.Anyway if that is done well patches are not needed at all. To find out why take a look at the free ebook link.

    Anyway -I have always been able to run better, the less I smoked. I have been a smoker for 37 years and trying to stop for the past 12 -using evry mehtod possible. In recent months I discoverred I had COPD as a result of my addiction. This time I stopped easily, not because of the COPD but because I used the right method(hilighted in the ebook)and very little willpower.

    . I have had bronchitis, collapsed lung, pneumonia and was still unable to stop-why?- because I saw ciggies a sa crutch and when you are scared, you turn to your crutch don't you? Since stopping my running as expected has improved but because I left it rather late , it will not be as good as it could have been.

    I get annoyed over a few things, the illogic of nicotine patches is one but the biggest one is seeing healthy beautiful runners continue to put that filth down their necks. You may think you are getting away with it but it is like a time bomb and you don't know how long the fuse is. Don't leave it as late as me eh?
  • Skinny Old Geezer; I'm certainly not proclaiming to be an expert on giving up smoking - Certainly not after three days of being 'clean'! If someone thinks that patches would be right for them then they should go for it.

    However, my method of giving up was entirely spontaneous. I just woke up on Sunday and decided that I wasn't going to smoke anymore and so far I haven't. It has been tough and I have been aching for a ciggie at times but it is manageable and I just think about the good its doing me and how I didn't really enjoy it anyway! I suppose my point is that if you are determined I believe that you can give up nicotene without spending more money on the stuff!!!

    Thanks for the encouragement by the way!
  • I mailed you colonel:O)

    well done so far.
  • I suppose my point is that if you are determined I believe that you can give up nicotene without spending more money on the stuff!!!

    Quite so. Or, indeed, on "counsellors" who spout carp.
  • lol SOG -how long now my skinny old adversary?
  • Dunno. Over 8 months.
  • well done!! I am not counting but just over a month I think -not obsessing anymore which does help.

    We both would like to see other get off the damn stuff, that's what really matters eh?
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