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After a few months of not smoking, how do you avoid the urge to smoke?


QuittingGirl
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Hi everyone!  Lots of you know me and I am over 5 months quit, which is a big accomplishment! But, I still get the urge every so often, especially since my mother lives downstairs from me (we have a 2 family house), and she is a smoker!! For the most part I am ok when I go down to visit her.  Its odd because I do smell the smoke, but it doesn't really  bother me which is odd?  Don't you think it's odd as well? I don't get choked up from her smoking (she mainly smokes in her kitchen and at night a little bit in her den/TV room).  But, I go down to visit her many times a day to check on her as she is 97 1/2 years old and is doing great!! *Knock wood, thank God* She is really doing well for a person of her age!!  Sooooo, how do I handle this?? As I said, I don't smell it mostly, but sometimes I do.  Any advice is appreciated.  Thanks!!! 😍

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 @QuittingGirl, even though 5 months SEEMS like forever its just a drop in the bucket in comparison to all the years you smoked right? So its to be expected that you would still have urges. That's why we have the One Year Pledge to stick close to our support. At a year quit you should be through most of the triggers a year brings. That doesn't mean you won't still get cravings here and there but they will be much easier to swat away when you do.

You're doing awesome, especially since you have to smell your mom's smoke! 😊 

 

Edited by jillar
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The only thing I can think of is maybe put some cotton from a cotton ball up your nostrils before you go down there. That may eliminate or at least mask the smell somewhat. Or one of those nose clamps that swimmers use. Of course you would have to explain to Mom why you're wearing it and maybe you don't want to have that conversation?

 

Personally I don't mind the smell of fresh smoke, like when someone is smoking & I get a whiff as I walk by but I can't stand that stale smoke smell on a smoker's clothes or that is present in a car or house where someone smokes. I find that very offensive 🤢

 

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@QuittingGirlWhen I was at your stage in my quit I had cravings regardless of whether I was around smokers or not.  The weird thing was that I seem to remember the cravings being more tolerable when I smelled the smoke of a freshly lit cigarette as opposed to being alone and not having that smell.  If it doesn't bother you then I wouldn't worry to much about it.  If it starts to become a problem then you'll have to take some steps to protect your quit.  I think we all go through all kinds of strange changes as we quit so learn to embrace the novelty of your experience and enjoy the ride.  You are doing great.

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Hi @QuittingGirl. Nice to see your post.
 

Glad your mom is doing so well at her age. It’s great that she has your support! 
 

It’s natural to still have urges at 5 months - doubly so if you are in an environment where you’re often exposed to smoking. Heck, I still have urges at 18 months! I think it has more to do with internal factors (neural pathways built over decades as a smoker) vs external “temptation.”
 

Whatever their source, the urges bug me sometimes, but more often than not they are just irritating…. as if a commercial I don’t like came onto the TV. Tune it out or change the (mental) channel.

 

Because you are around cigarettes a lot, I think that means you need to stay pretty proactive about asserting the strength of your quit inside your own mind. So post a daily NOPE, use affirmations/prayers, and stay busy. Not sure you can prevent urges from arising (I haven’t been able to yet). But you can refuse to imbue them with power. 

 

 

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You are doing exceptionally well @QuittingGirl. Especially for having to expose yourself to someone smoking on a daily basis. Focus on your NOPE and stay vigilant. Don’t allow yourself to romanticize smoking. Don’t become so comfortable around your mom’s home that you find yourself unthinkingly reaching out for a cigarette and lighting it. You did great by reaching out about this issue that concerns you and you got some really great advice from everyone. You talking about your mom reminded me of my Granny. LOL She lived well into her nineties and had smoked since she was a very young girl. She never had any major health issues. She was a tiny thing. She died peacefully in her sleep. She smoked filterless Camels. Grew up smoking home grown and rolled tobacco. She swore up and down that it was the filters that caused so many smokers their health problems. 🤷‍♀️

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Thanks everyone!! 😁 I know 5 months isn't very long at all, especially since I smoked for about 40 years, not counting the 6 years that I quit the first time.  So 5 months is really nothing.  For the most part her smoke doesn't bother me and I still get some cravings even when I'm not around her.  They definitely aren't as bad the first couple of months.  I just hope they get less and less as time goes on.  I am hanging in there! 👍

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You’re doing great @QuittingGirl!! I too still romanticize it and long for it sometimes.  It’s horrible. We wish it could be over and done with mentally when we stop physically doing it, but I guess that’s just not how it works for us addicts. Remember this moment and reflect back in 8 months, 10 months, a year, and see how much better it’s gotten! I bet a whole lot better than these early times it’ll get better. 

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You've gotten some awesome advice, QG.  The only thing I'd add is to consider adopting other healthy activities or interests, so that this healthy persona can serve as additional support for you during vulnerable moments.  I did something like that when I quit, and it seemed to help (a bit):  when I was feeling especially crappy or cravey, I'd imagine the act of actually smoking and it would seem completely antithetical to this new version of myself that I was creating.  It's also true that it gave me positive, proactive things on which to focus (going to the gym, shopping at health food stores, etc.) instead the thing I was ostensibly denying myself.

 

Keep up the incredible work, friend--

 

Christian99

Nearing 22 Years Quit  

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OK, I have a question folks....when do the urges Stop? I know everyone is different and, I know it hasn't been that long for me, only 5 1/2 months, but I am still getting cravings at least once a day.  Is that normal? Not all day cravings, but it happens once to twice a day, for maybe for a couple/few minutes, and frankly, it's very annoying!!!  I don't want these cravings at all!! I want to be done with them and cigarettes!!!!  For those of you, who have been quit for say at least 2-5 years, do you still get these cravings every day?? If you do, how do you deal with it? These cravings, even though they aren't lasting long, are really getting on my nerves!!! 😬 I WANT THEM GONE!!!!😬 GO AWAY!!!!

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Hi @QuittingGirl, I very rarely get a crave if you can even call it that. Smoking may pop into my head and then it's gone just as quickly as it came on. The key is to dont dwell on it, it loses its power and turns into a pesky fly to be swatted away.

PLEASE give yourself a break and realize you have a whole year of triggers you've never done smoke free. Once you pass these the cravings lessen. Hang in there you really are doing great and are already reaping the rewards by having only one or two a day. 😊 

 

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Be patient 5 months is still very 

Early in your quit

One day the magic will happen 

I still get ..a thought..not a crave ..

Always look at the positives..

Not the negative ..keep reminding

Yourself how flippin amazing you are..

Quitting is a journey ..

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Agree with what's already been said @QuittingGirl!

 

I think these craving issues is another one of those things that's tough to measure in terms of how bad they are today vs last month vs your first week of quitting. The progression of these becoming mere brief thoughts is a long one and it's hard to even realize when it's becoming less intense but it does become less over time.

 

As Jillar mentioned, don't dwell on those craves. Use your tool of distraction that you developed when you started your quit. Force your thinking to move on right away. All this will become a lot better after your first year when you've gone through all the seasonal triggers successfully. You have both Thanksgiving then Christmas coming up soon so expect to be triggered more frequently than you might like as you move through these times. The good news is once you have done that once, next time will not be an issue. As Doreen said; think of the positives you've gained not the negatives you might temporarily feel.

 

Just keep kicking those thoughts to the curb and you'll be fine in the end. I think you'll feel a lot fewer of those cravings after you pass your one year Anni!

Edited by Reciprocity
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I don't get a craving everyday anymore and usually the ones I do are pretty mild now. But last week had a BIG one, I almost wonder if I had some smokes with me if I would have lit up .... it was really weird and strong. 

 

So consider being prepared for anything at anytime as best you can, that's what I am still doing. 

Edited by overcome
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45 minutes ago, overcome said:

I don't get a craving everyday anymore and usually the ones I do are pretty mild now. But last week had a BIG one, I almost wonder if I had some smokes with me if I would have lit up .... it was really a weird and strong. 

 

So consider be prepared for anything at anytime as best you can, that's what I am still doing. 

You know what? I still get a very occasional thought that just enters my head for no apparent reason at a completely random time that makes me think ... "you should have a smoke!" 

 

Almost as soon as that thought occurs to me I laugh internally and just blow it off with absolutely NO effort. This maybe happens a couple times a year now? Just goes to show though that although we are confirmed quitters, we can never completely erase all memories of those addictive years.

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i think craving is just a part of life.  if it wasn't cigarettes you'd be craving something else so just relax and know that you are getting stronger everytime you beat the desire to cheat.  after a time that crave will come and go and you will hardly notice it.  For me that took about 10 months, but I was hating the world and everyone in it until that time had passed.

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For me, what has kept me quit is my "Why?"  Doing it for my kids or my general health wasn't enough. It took Covid's arrival to give me solid resolve.

But my Why has changed. Covid is no longer the threat it was in the first year.

Now, I see the positive results of almost fours of being quit, and there is no way I'd go back. 

The thousands of dollars I've saved is a motivator. I love seeing the dollars mount in my ticker when I post.

My Why has also become not wanting any more health problems that I already have from smoking. 

 

"Why?" may change, but there has to be a big one in the beginning.  It is important to remember that who we were - smokers - does not define who we can be now.

 

 

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