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Found 14 results

  1. Sazerac

    Nine Years

    Hello, my darling Nicotine Free Creatures! In days I will be starting my Tenth Year of freedom from nicotine. I will never smoke again. At times, with smoking friends, I think...I used to smoke. Do I want to smoke again? The answer is always a ferocious, NO ! to the virulence of nicotine. I didn't have an easy quit. It took a full year for some serious craves to abate but, I never lost my Resolve. That was the ribbon of truth weaving through my whole quit, I was completely committed. At first committed to what I thought of as an experiment. I gave it a year, a challenge to myself. If after a year, I didn't like the changes...well, I would reconsider the experiment. During that first year (and continuing today), I educated myself about nicotine addiction. The changes to my brain, the science of addictions. The brutality to my lungs, my body. I knew too much after brief study to use denial as an excuse. Either I would continue to be a slave or rejoice in a profound freedom and allow my body to heal. After that first year, I committed to another and another. It is always a NOPE for me. I am very grateful to all the NOPERS here, so many blazed a trail for me and were there for a laugh or a nudge. Often, a blast of useful information from Joel Spitzer, my hero. I wrote about our addiction in my blog here on QTrain and hope quitters will find that useful on their journey. On QTrain, we all know what quitting feels like, especially the early gnarly days, and I am so proud that I can now tell you what quitting for almost a decade feels like. You know it feels good, you know it feels bloody awesome. Keep your quits and nurture yourselves, your beauty is showing. Love, Sazerac
  2. "Death in the West- The Marlboro Story " "Sex, Lies and Cigarettes" "The Tobacco Conspiracy" "We Love Cigarettes" "Memoirs of a Cigarette" "Children Of Tobacco" "What’s In A Cigarette?" "Indonesian Toddler Smokes 40 Cigarettes Per Day"
  3. "My brother's wife's cousin's girlfriend's second uncle twice removed smoked four packs a day from the time he was seven and died of natural causes in his sleep at 95, right after he ran two back-to back-marathons with a lit cigarette dangling from his lips." "My great-great-great-grandfather smoked all his life and never even got a cold. Not once. In fact, I think he's still alive! Smoke 'em if you got 'em!" "My grandmother's best friend's mother lived to 102; ate only junk food, smoked like a chimney, and went ballroom dancing every Saturday right up until her very last day." The Legend. That mythical, magical smoker who confidently marches through life enveloped by tendrils of deep blue smoke at all times and never, ever feels one single negative effect of it. The one who sucks deeply on those coffin nails and spits them triumphantly in the face of the Grim Reaper, if he ever dares wave his scythe in her direction. A marvel of existence, this smoker's story is told and re-told in hushed reverent tones, wherever other smokers huddle and shiver, pulling the acrid biting fumes deep into the soft fragile folds of their lungs. More than one smoker has bet his life on the existence of The Legend, with the hope of eventually becoming one himself. And I'm here to tell you that The Legend...does in fact exist. Actually, she was my grandmother. But, before you sigh in relief and rush off to light that cancer stick, STOP. Don't be hasty. Make a cup of tea. Get comfy. Hang in with me for a bit. You'll want to hear the rest of this. Born in the early 1920's in Europe, my grandmother was not expected to survive for more than a couple of hours after her birth. Her parents prepared for a funeral, not a christening. Yet, much to the surprise of the learned medical professionals of the time, survive she did. She was left with a weakened heart, but other than strict instructions to never do any vigorous exercise, she needed no other medication. I'm sure the advice would be different today, but at that time, in that place, it was considered a solid treatment plan. In her teens and early 20's, she lived through the brutality of WWII, surviving regular bombings, violence and some of the worst that humanity could offer up, at times at point-blank range. My grandmother, as it turned out, was bullet-proof. In her 30's, she was involved in a spectacular car crash, where she was ejected from the vehicle, pinned underneath it, and dragged through the city streets, past horrified onlookers, until the car mercifully, eventually slid to a protracted stop. The doctors told my grandfather to start making funeral arrangements. Your wife, they said, will not last through the night. Not only did she last through the night, but a few weeks later, sporting the full body cast she was to be imprisoned in for nearly a year, she discharged herself from the hospital and arranged transportation to send her home for the rest of her recovery. She said she didn't care for hospitals. After that, she endured communism. And food shortages. And political strife. Finally, she relocated her family overseas and began a new life. Throughout most of that life, with all of its improbable twists and turns, she smoked. Her husband smoked. Her son smoked. As did her daughter, my mother. Her son-in-law smoked. Her daughter-in-law too. The neighbours. The cousins. The in-laws on all sides. Most of the friends, as well. Everyone except the family dogs! But that was only because they had no opposable thumbs and couldn't work the lighters; they had to make do with all the second-hand smoke instead. Needles to say, most of my family memories were formed through a thick swirling haze. The years went on. My grandmother, the legendary leader of us all, carried on puffing and laughing away, not a care in the world. And so it was until my other grandmother came for a visit from Europe. I was just a child when she showed up at the airport gasping for air, dragging an oxygen tank, and asking where she could light a smoke. She died soon after. COPD. She was in her 60's. And her illness and subsequent death started a chain of events that marked many of the milestones in my life. A few years after that fateful visit, my father's only brother finally put out his last cigarette as he lay dying from throat cancer. In his 40's. Then it was my uncle, my mom's brother - heart attack in his 40's. By an unlikely stroke of luck, he survived. The rest of the family cheered, celebrating the miracle out in the hospital parking lot, hidden from view by thick roiling clouds of smoke. But at least my uncle quit smoking after that health scare. Until he got discharged. That stellar chapter in the family history was followed by my grandfather's unexpected and abrupt end - complications from prostate cancer surgery. Apparently they're not kidding when they say to quit smoking before all those procedures. A few years later, it was my mom's turn to play cancer roulette - cervical cancer. In her 50's, a young, vibrant, full life ended in pain, suffering and despair within a year of diagnosis. She put out her last cigarette right before the ambulance took her away for the last time. Yet my grandmother, by then in her 80's, kept smoking, not a hint of cough in sight. Nary a pill needed. Puffing away, enduring the unending, unrelenting misery of watching her loved ones suffer and die in agony, one after another in short succession, by the hand of an addiction she refused to leave behind. The stale tendrils of smoke next reached out to my father, who, in his late 50's, consumed by grief after losing my mother, his childhood sweetheart, started a new life. One which did not include any part of his old one, save for smoking. We all cope in our own ways, I suppose. My last memory of him, likely the only one I'll have, is of a cigarette firmly clenched between his ruined teeth, wisps of smoke escaping through a crack in the car window, the sounds of a wracking cough slowly dying on the wind as he drove out of my life. A few years later, still unbearably broken of heart over her daughter's (my mother's) early death, my grandmother, at 92, in good health and surrounded by swirls of smoke, caught a cold. And then she was gone. My only comfort was that she was finally released from her grief. As it turned out, I had one other reason to be thankful, if you can call it that, a couple of years later. She didn't have to watch as her only surviving child, now in his 60's, having lived through that early heart attack, smoked his way through to a diagnosis of terminal lung cancer. And then he was gone too. And me? Despite being witness to all of this, I had started smoking in my early 20's, and I kept right on doing it. After all, my grandmother lived to 92 and she had smoked all her life! She was never sick! She was MY legend. That mythical magical excuse I used to keep smoking, even as my family fell around me, one by one. But, you see, my nicotine-addled brain only saw my grandmother - an active, shiny 92 - the blue smoke accenting the ice blue of her eyes. THE LEGEND. It didn't register that every single person I had loved had died, horribly, because of smoking. Smoking was either a strong contributing factor or a direct cause for every illness or ill effect that befell each of them. But I only saw THE LEGEND, so blinded was I by that smoky haze surrounding my brain. By my late 30's, other than a few cousins and distant relatives I had no real contact with, my whole family, the ones I spent Christmas and Easter with, the ones I grew up with, the ones I called with news big and small, the ones I loved, were gone. An only child, I was the only one left standing. And smoking. Yes, you build your own family with your partner, close friends also fill the gaps and life carries on. But it's never quite the same. There is always a sadness and an empty space that you can never fill in. I'm optimistic and happy-go-lucky by nature, but I've spent more nights sobbing into my pillow than I'd care to admit because of all I have lost. There is no one alive now who remembers my first steps, or who it was that got drunk on that trip to the cottage that year and went skinny dipping in the lake. There is no one I can phone if I forget how to bake my grandmother's famous apple cake. It's like a part of my life, of my memories, just disappeared into nothingness. I didn't have enough time to hear all the stories, to collect all the recipes and to share some of mine. And I never will. There have been so many moments that I wanted to pick up the phone and call them. But there will never again be anyone on the other end of those calls. And I know that people die. And the younger generations are left with only memories and they move on, in turn raising younger generations. It's the natural order of things. But not this early. Not yet. I should have had another 30 years, maybe not with my grandparents, but with everyone else. So many memories that will never get made. Instead, where a family had once been, I just had a pack of smokes. Cold comfort, that, especially on those days. You know the ones. Mother's Day, Father's Day, Christmas, Easter, birthdays, Mondays; all are bittersweet. Having somehow survived, mentally and physically intact thus far, into my early 40's, it was finally time for me to make a very important decision. Where am I going to place my bet? Having seen what that one first puff of a cigarette, that each member of my family took at one point in their lives, amounted to, I saw what it meant to be a smoker. The odds of survival there, quite frankly, stunk! But I didn't want to be a Legend either. Because when you hear the stories of THE LEGEND, as told in that smoking huddle, you're not ever getting the full picture. My Legend, my grandmother, was an anomaly. The exception that proves the rule. Yes, she smoked right to the end. Yes, she lived to 92. No, she did not die of cancer or a heart attack or any of the other 100 diseases brought on by smoking. But in the end, legends don't get to escape smoking's wrath either; it just gets them in a different way. My grandmother may have had a long life, but her final chapters were just as touched by smoking's miserable effects as those who die of a smoking-related disease. Mental suffering can be just as much a prison as physical impairment, for those who have to endure it. She paid her smoking dues, my grandmother, with interest. Up close, legends are just sad addicts with nothing left to live for, the gift of time now a curse. How aspirational is that? So, don't envy The Legends. Don't use them as an excuse to keep sucking on those refried butts. Don't romanticize them. And don't bet that you'll be one, either, if you're still so inclined. Legends are considered special and mythical for one main reason; there are so very, very few of them. Placing a bet here would just be foolish. My decision was finally made. I put all my chips on being a free and happy Quitter. There are no guarantees, of course, but I really like my odds here. And now that the smoke has cleared, and you too can see the true story behind THE LEGEND, it's your turn to bet. Choose wisely.
  4. an informative blog addressing smoking, vaping, second hand-smoke and COVID-19 by Stanton A. Glantz, PhD, Director, Center for Tobacco Research Control & Education Reduce Your Risk of Serious Lung Disease Caused By Coronavirus by Quitting Smoking and Vaping
  5. Smoking leaves lasting marks on DNA, study says By Maureen Salamon | TUESDAY, Sept. 20, 2016 -- Smoking cigarettes can leave a lasting imprint on human DNA, altering more than 7,000 genes in ways that may contribute to the development of smoking-related diseases, a new study says. Reviewing results from blood samples taken from nearly 16,000 people in 16 prior studies, the researchers also found that for those who stopped smoking, most genes "recovered" within five years of quitting. "Although this emphasizes the long-term residual effects of smoking, the good news is the sooner you can stop smoking, the better off you are,"said study author Dr. Stephanie London. She is deputy chief of the epidemiology branch of the U.S. National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. Even so, London's team found that some genetic changes remained, even 30 years after quitting smoking. London and her colleagues zeroed in on a process called DNA methylation -- genetic changes that don't alter genes' underlying code but can change how they're expressed, or turned on. Known to contribute to an array of health problems including cancer, heart disease and stroke, cigarette smoking remains the leading preventable cause of death worldwide, accounting for nearly 6 million deaths each year, according to the study. Even decades after smokers quit, the habit confers the possibility of long-term risk of disease. DNA methylation changes have been proposed as one possible reason for this. London's team compared DNA methylation sites in current and former smokers to those who never smoked. In addition to finding that smoking-related DNA sites were linked with more than 7,000 genes -- about one-third of known human genes -- the researchers learned that some DNA methylation sites persisted even three decades after quitting. Identifying these smoking-related DNA changes may lead to diagnostic tests that can more accurately evaluate a patient's smoking history, London said. "We could use this type of data to estimate people's previous smoking," she said. "No one says they smoke when they don't, but they say they don't smoke when they do, so we could use these signals to find that out." This information could also be useful for better identifying the health effects of a person's smoking history, London said. And it offers the possibility of developing potential new treatments to repair DNA methylation sites, she said. "There's almost no time this information isn't useful," London explained. "Especially with a smoking-related condition, if you have an excellent biomarker of smoking, it allows you to pinpoint the effects of other exposures in a more rigorous way." The study was published Sept. 20 in the journal Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics. Dr. Norman Edelman is senior scientific advisor for the American Lung Association. He said the new research "raises some tantalizing issues" despite not being able to establish a clear cause-and-effect relationship between smoking-related genetic changes and resulting health problems. "Those of us who deal with smoking as a public health problem understand ... that anything you look at seems to be affected by smoking," he said. "Many cancers, bone disease, lung disease, heart disease, [gastrointestinal] problems -- smoking has such a wide array of effects, it's not especially surprising to hear its epigenetic effects. "The message here is that smoking has an enormous, widespread impact on your genes," Edelman added. "Most of it is reversible, but some is not. So if you smoke, you're going to alter your genetic makeup in a way that's not totally reversible." More information The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offers information on the health effects of cigarette smoking. Copyright © 2016 HealthDay. All rights reserved. Here is more information from Science Daily, June 2017 Where Cigarette Smoking's Damage Is Done -- Down To Your DNA
  6. A very reflective weekend this one, on the back of a semi-hectic week at work. On Saturday, watched a play related to the 26th November 2008 attacks on Mumbai (today is the 10th anniversary of those horrific attacks). The play was a monologue of the man behind the attacks - David Coleman Headley, an American Pakistani who orchestrated these attacks and conducted the recce which was used to plan and map out where they would take place. The actor (someone I know personally) potrayed that part so well that I wanted to hit him at one point in time during the play. But more than anger, it left me in a very reflective state of mind. I started thinking about how each and every action we do has a reaction, has an effect, even though at times we may not see it or even be a party to it. Our actions have far reaching consequences that we don't think about. Relating this to smoking, I was wondering how many of those cigarette butts I threw are currently polluting the ocean...they are the biggest polluters of our oceans and planet today. Sunday, I went for my first drive with an organisation I work with here in Mumbai, an NGO which collects leftover food from events, marriages, restaurants and distributes it among the less fortunate. This was a drive where we also taught the kids alphabets and numbers. Sitting at home, being able to order food from an app or cook whatever we want, makes us forget what hunger is, and what appreciation for what we have on our table is. This Sunday morning reminded me of that, and I was more thankful for what I have than crib about what I don't. I'm still thinking, today, of how much money I blew up in "smoke" which could have been put to better use. How a troubled childhood caused a man to grow up and be responsible for 170 deaths, how hunger can make people do things they normally wouldn't. Sorry if this is sobering or pensive, but just wanted to share.
  7. Hello everyone my name is mark i am new yo trying this online support thing while quitting. I am not sure the views of people on this forum but I chose to use NRT patches on this quit. I know that means im still addicted to nicotene but i want to give myself ample time away from the habit of smoking before the end of the patches to reprogram my thought pattern!! So far I just reached 30days without a cigarette or vape etc. Using the 21mg 24hour patches! Hopefully this is acceptable in this forum
  8. Hi Everyone, This is Tammy from Mumbai, India. This will be my third attempt to quit. The longest I had quit and stayed quit was 3 months around a year ago. Since then been on and off, though my number of smokes reduced significantly. Just before deciding to kick the stick yesterday i.e. 20th Jun 2018, I was having maybe 3-4 a day. Yes I know, nothing to gloat about. So this time around I am intending to stick to this, and hoping this forum will help me stay focused. Good luck to everyone on their quit journey.
  9. How can quitting be so simple - DO NOT SMOKE - and so fragile at the same time - JUST ONE can set you back, destroy your quit, make you start all over. The paradox of addiction?
  10. Hey everyone! I have a sad and funny story. On the weekend I went out with a few friends and, admittedly, I drank too much. It happens sometimes. I didn't have enough for dinner and there were interesting things happening. My little stack of snapshots from the night include having a wonderful time dancing, flirting, and popping outside from time to time for chats with new friends. Then when we left the bar around 2am and started walking up the street, I looked around and there were people everywhere, lining up at the food joints or making their way home, and it was like EVERYONE was smoking. All three girls I was with don't hesitate to smoke when they drink, and walking behind them as they acquired cigarettes from people and lit them, I burst into tears! I was very drunk, yes, but it felt like I was being ripped between wanting to have one so badly and NOT wanting to have another one, ever, SO SO badly at the same time. Anyway, my ladies took care of me and threw their smokes away and brought me fries to eat and we sat on this little wall. And then I just felt embarrassed. BUT I ALSO DON'T CARE BECAUSE I DIDN'T SMOKE! And if it took crying about it then I don't care if I acted a bit foolish. Oh dear. 30 Days Today, Ya'll!
  11. I've seen this mentioned in a few other posts, but I keep smoking in my dreams. It's so real that when I remember the next day I panic for a second before I remind myself that I did not, in fact, smoke yesterday. In the dream I am conscious that I haven't smoked in a long time and I take the cigarette knowing full well that I'm ruining my quit. And then I enjoy the shit out of it. I also have a recurring dream problem...I'll have the same (or very similar) dream for weeks on end. Has anyone had this problem and possibly find anything that helps? I hate feeling like my last smoke was yesterday, every day. I guess this is just part of being addicted to nicotine.
  12. I happened to do this 6 days workshop 3 months back. Guess what i am smoke free now. And also I am happier these days because of better health. I able to go for jogs also. They teach very simple practical techniques. I was surprised to the core. So thought i should share it with people. Apparently they have a film about the workshop... Chk it out...and check their website too !! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAsk5NWnCI4
  13. I happened to do this 6 days workshop 3 months back. Guess what i am smoke free now. And also I am happier these days because of better health. I able to go for jogs also. They teach very simple practical techniques. I was surprised to the core. So thought i should share it with people. Apparently they have a film about the workshop... Chk it out...and check their website too !! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAsk5NWnCI4
  14. I happened to do this 6 days workshop 3 months back. Guess what i am smoke free now. And also I am happier these days because of better health. I able to go for jogs also. They teach very simple practical techniques. I was surprised to the core. So thought i should share it with people. Apparently they have a film about the workshop... Chk it out...and check their website too !! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lAsk5NWnCI4

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