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How to prevent a relapse


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You're doing great, Thyme2B! You are really rocking this quit! 

 

I think that it's perfectly OK to chew nicotine gum when you need to. It's much, MUCH preferable to smoking. Sipping on ice water and/or sucking on hard candy helps a lot to reduce cravings. However, in the long run you're going to want to develop strategies to reduce stress without resorting to the gum.  So before you reach for the gum try some other relaxation exercise first. Try 4-4-4 breathing (breathe in to the count of 4, hold for the count of 4, breathe out to the count of 4, repeat as necessary). Or go for a brisk walk for a few minutes. Listen to you favorite music or practice chair yoga at your desk for a few minutes (here's one https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=barPap-8vnw&index=4&list=TLh0QnMG18cRn8iDlQfaS8V-6o89eCnLxv ).

 

There are LOTS of ways to step back from the tensions of the day and calm yourself down. Try a couple of different ones and see which ones work best for you.

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Subtitle: The Romance Is Dead!     This is the time of year when many people quit smoking. Most especially, people who quit before but relapsed are trying again. I think that is wonderful (that the

Up until recently I thought that I would be quit but wistful about smoking.  For example, the type of quitter who 20 years later mentions that she would smoke again if they came out with a harmless ci

What I like, very much, about this post is that if someone (like me) had read Allen Carr numerous times but still felt the urge it shows you that you're ok and it can be perfectly normal. I wish I'd h

I had strong craves today but just used the nicotine gum. It beats smoking! I want to get off the gum but I need a little more time. Without it I think I could have fallen off the train today. I have a stressful job....not to say most others do not...and I'm tired from sleep deprivation. It will pass. I just do one day at a time but look forward to no cravings :(

 

I'm glad that you're still on the train.  :)

 

If you want to get rid of the cravings, you'll need to get rid of the nicotine gum because it's keeping you addicted and craving it.  You used it to stop puffing on cigarettes but being nicotine free is the only way to stop the cravings.  Nicotine is nicotine is nicotine.  We're all drug addicts and our drug of choice is nicotine.  Only one way to get over it and that is to break the cycle of constant withdrawal and supplying your body with the same drug that you're trying to free yourself from.

 

Here's a couple of videos that are very relevant to what you're going through.

 

30 Years Of Nicotine Gum

Nicotine gum has now been available for over 30 years. Video discusses the dismal success rate of this product as well as introducing materials explaining why all of the aids out there have done little in helping people to successfully stop smoking.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cUtsVIdvaJo

 

Nicotine Is Nicotine Is Nicotine

Video discusses how nicotine delivered by any source via any route of administration has the full potential of causing relapse to any former smoker or user of any nicotine product.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KViTfIfHUv0

 

Keeping NRT In Case Of Emergency

Video addresses the consequences of keeping a supply of any nicotine replacement product in the event of facing major or minor stress.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GMRj1BlDTRw&app=desktop

 

The Law Of Addiction

"Administration of a drug to an addict will cause re-establishment of chemical dependence upon the addictive substance."

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2I0NQVAg4I

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  • 2 weeks later...

Thanks Maryland...I hear you & I am trying to use regular gum now instead of the nicotine gum. Same flavour. And it usually works. I guess I have been quitting smoking the same way I get into cold water....bit by bit instead of just jumping in with both feet all at once....and no question it is sure not as fast to adjust. It has kept me on the train but I know it has to stop & stop soon. You always have great advice

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I used to work at a bakery and this guy would come in lamenting how he could NOT get off the gum.  No matter what he tried he could not stop chewing (and he'd been chewing it for like 5 years or something).  He was literally always chewing it.  Crazy.

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My husband has been chewing nicotine gum since he quit smoking 20 years ago. He's just absolutely miserable without some source of nicotine. At least nicotine has never been shown to cause cancer-- lots of other chemicals in cigarettes cause cancer but not the nicotine itself.

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Subtitle: The Romance Is Dead!

 

 

This is the time of year when many people quit smoking. Most especially, people who quit before but relapsed are trying again. I think that is wonderful (that they're coming back, not that they relapsed).

 

Reading their posts has made me realize that in very many cases, people relapse because they are still romancing the cigarette. That means that they still WANT to smoke even though they know that smoking does nothing good for them. They still remember those quietly satisfying evenings on the deck smoking. They remember that a-a-a-h-h-h! of satisfaction with the first long draw on a cigarette. And they want that again. And so even if they are weeks or months into a quit-- even though the PHYSICAL addiction is long gone-- they essentially choose to go back to smoking because of the pull of these romantic fantasies about how good smoking was.

 

Well, I was the poster child for romancing the cigarette. Throughout this quit and all my previous quits (of which there were several) I always wanted to smoke. I didn't smoke-- I controlled myself-- but I wanted to smoke. All the time. Almost every day. It seemed to me that after 4 or 5 months quit, almost everybody on the board was way done with smoking and happy about it. I still missed it. And that was frustrating because my rational brain KNEW that the "pleasure" of smoking was vastly over rated and mostly imaginary. I KNEW that I was romancing the cigarette and I really did not want to go back to smoking. But the seductive thoughts were there. Maybe not every day, but often enough to be very annoying.

 

I'm here to tell you that today, more than 9 months after my quit, I realize that I am not desiring a cigarette hardly ever! This is a first for me. And this death of the romance is not just a matter of time-- I quit smoking before for periods of up to a year and still suffered from romancing.

 

I think that the difference this time is that I educated myself about Nicodemon's lies. It's as though my rational brain has told my junkie brain over and over and over again "No, smoking is NOT pleasurable! And such small, brief pleasure as you feel when you smoke comes at way too great a cost! Forget it!" and finally, FINALLY junkie brain is quieting down. What a relief!

 

Now I do admit that during these "romancing episodes" that I'm talking about-- those days when I really, really wanted a cigarette-- I had to remind myself over and over again about why I quit smoking in the first place and remind myself over and over again that I wanted to quit more than I wanted to smoke. I had to FIGHT to keep my quit many, many times over the months. The urge to smoke wasn't constant, but it was frequent. Sometimes it was quite miserable.

 

I'm still jealous of people who seemed to have it easier than I did. I often thought that I was a "special snowflake" and I had it harder than other quitters-- few people admitted that they still wanted to smoke many months after a quit. But whether I had it worse than anyone else or not, I hung in there, reminded myself about why I quit, and that I was DETERMINED not to smoke.

Now, at last, I can look back over the last few weeks and realize that the romance is dead. I finally, finally am at the point where I do think about smoking once in a while but it's like a vague thought that is easily dismissed, not a serious desire. I have heard others describe this "vague thought" phenomenon many months after a quit and I finally understand what they are talking about.

 

So I guess I am writing this to say that if you are many weeks or months into a quit and you still want a cigarette, you are not alone. What you are experiencing is real. It does happen to some people (like me, for example). You are romancing the cigarette and you have to use your rational brain, your smoking education, and your strong desire to quit to fight the urge. And eventually, sooner or later, you will turn around one day and realize that the romance is dead. You really don't have to fight to keep your quit anymore-- you just have to remain vigilant and committed.

 

Hang in there, folks!  You can DO this!

 

 

What an amazing 'writer' you are, Chrys!!! and if I could have "liked" this a 100 times, I would! lol!

 

Strangely, prior to seeing this thread, I read MQ's blog? about being "in love" with a narcissist... so VERY pertinent!!!

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Be careful, Tyme2B. The video/web site that Sharon linked to is about addictions in general, not about nicotine specifically. I can't speak for other drugs (thank heavens!) but you are not free of nicotine addiction within 3 months. At 3 months the symptoms are much, much better than they were after the first 3 weeks. The cravings, such as they are, are very infrequent and much weaker than they were. They are usually triggered by some event (i.e. holiday season or a new job) or a particular emotion (i.e., boredom, loneliness, stress, etc). 

 

I'm not telling you this to discourage you. I believe that if you know what to expect you can be prepared for it and weather it more easily. You're doing great. You have already kept your quit through the worst days and things will gradually get easier and easier for you every day. But don't be surprised if every once in awhile you get hit with a strong desire for a cigarette many months after you quit. It happens to all of us. Don't freak out; it's not permanent. 

 

 

OH SO TRUE!!!!  NONE of us, should misunderstand the "false sense of security" we get!!!! 

Once an addict, ALWAYS an addict!!!! and that's it!!!

 

I STILL kick myself for the 1st 'relapse' after being "clean" for a year and half! (or more.. don't remember exactly!)

There were no 'cravings' that I recall... plus, in those days, I smoked EVERYWHERE!!! (except bed!)

 

Thank God, I'd moved during that glorious time, so at least when I did "start" (mental note to hit myself!!!) it was only on the balcony... but still!!! and for MONTHS I "had it under control"... (reminds me of my little brother GRHS, and his heroine addiction) anyway, it got worse and worse, till I practically LIVED on the balcony at times!

 

Have quit, like you Chrys, MANY times between then and now, but this has lasted the longest (since my 1st, I mean!!!)

but I'm NOT being lulled into that FALSE sense of security!!! oh no!!!  My point being, smoking, heroine, crack, booze, whatever the addiction, it's STILL AN ADDICTION!!!!

 

"My name's Ria and I'm an addict"

 

Love and peace to you ALL!!! xox xox xox

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  • 5 months later...

I have been smoke free for a long time now. I stopped counting after half a year. I have to say that I still get lets call them "memories of smoking". I started when I was a teenager so i smoked through the interesting period of my life. Now that I do something, like travel, l do get a feeling that "yeah, i used to go outside for an arrival cigarette". Nicotine withdrawal is long gone but even in the long run you still will get flash backs from time to time.

 

That's why motivation is so important. I quit many times, before I realized that i need some foundation.

 

Now I always say, that relapse is not a big problem but before resuming smoke free life you have to think hard on why you relapsed. I used to relapse because "i had a stressful day", I thought that smoking calms me. Only by truly understanding that smoking does not calm me that I was able to stop smoking - once realization came I didn't need to quit, I just stopped. 

 

I am repeating myself because that "It calms me" was what I believed and a lot of smokers do believe. The moment you stop smoking withdrawal begins and by smoking again you are just temporarily eliminating withdrawal symptoms thus perpetuating this circle of misery.

 

By the way, for me last symptom was high energy. Weather permitting I was on a bicycle every day burning that extra energy and aggressiveness :D

 

_______________________________

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  • 4 weeks later...

The contents of my last ashtray went into a jar that I half-filled with water.  I keep it screwed tightly shut for obvious reasons.

 

A couple of times when I have had "cravings" for a smoke that tested my resolution, I unscrewed the lid and took a good long sniff of what I've been missing.

 

That subtle and complex bouquet of fragrance that I might otherwise refer to as Satan's kimchi.    

 

This is the "ROMANCE" of smoking.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Yes, nicotine is out of system very quickly and withdrawal symptoms are actually are a great and wonderful things. 

 

That is your body adjusting itself to run on higher grade fuel in front of your eyes. You can feel yourself improving and if you understand what it is it stops being negative and becomes a very positive thing. 

 

Staying the course is a question of did you "quit" or did you "stop smoking". If you feel that not smoking is a struggle - you have to look at the reason why you feel this way. 

 

I am guessing you are quitting for a reason so now look at why you feel that being smoke free is something you have to work on. What is it that you think smoking was giving you positive. Smoking is a self sustaining purely negative habit. All other habits have at least one "positive"feature. Smoking has none. 

 

So to stay the course you need to explore what you think you would gain from smoking and clearly understanding that you will NOT get this from a cigarette.

Edited by MarylandQuitter
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  • 7 months later...
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The romance also died for me. For the past month or so tobacco means nothing to me and i can see people smoking without the ohhh feeling. Finally! Im free. Now, dear Stewie, do not screw it up. Thanks Stewie.

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The romance also died for me. For the past month or so tobacco means nothing to me and i can see people smoking without the ohhh feeling. Finally! Im free. Now, dear Stewie, do not screw it up. Thanks Stewie.

Faaabuuuluuuusssss.... High five !!!

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Faaabuuuluuuusssss.... High five !!!

 

Indead. When i joined the forum 3 months ago the smokes where a crucial part of my fantasies. Now, i barely care. Im winning! High five mommy!

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  • 1 month later...

Someone mentioned three months can be tricky and unfortunately I must agree..... figured hey instead of cigarette I will smoke a cigar ok well that was still stupid. I need to remind myself NO I WILL NOT SMOKE A CIGAR that is no better.... I don't want throat cancer. 

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Don't over think..3 months...it's no different to the months passed..if you want to it to be bad..it will be..

Think nice positive thoughts ..eg..three months fabulous...

Smoke a cigar???..oh wow..what a stink that would be..read more here..

Smoking will kill you...

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  • 3 months later...

I re-read Allan Carr's Easyway this past week, as I've been struggling with smoking/not smoking and just want to be free. I still felt like I needed that cigarette to fulfill something. I also find it difficult to stick to my word of "nope" when I still fantasize about wanting a cigarette. So this post is the beginning of my journey (again)! I can say all I want that I am going to happily be a non-smoker for the rest of my life - but I actually have to believe it. I do believe it this time. However, I am still a little skeptical that the easyway can work for me... I have bookmarked several pages of the book to help me stay committed this time. I have so much to look forward to as a non-smoker. 

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hford - good for you to search deep inside yourself and ask the tough question; "how badly do I want this?".

 

Once you answer that and you decide you want a smoke free life badly enough, all you need then is personal commitment. You know the drill by now. You know what you're facing. It's the same thing all of us face when we quit. Educating yourself about the addiction, keeping a positive mindset throughout your quit and sheer determination through the initial days will get you there. It may not be pleasant but it will work and it will be worth it. You, like us, will see that those difficult days won't last that long. Take it in small bits at first. Hours turn into days, days to weeks etc. YOU can do it :)

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  • 3 weeks later...

What are thoughts on herbal tobacco??

Logic tells me its not a good idea...the action of smoking, inhaling smoke and possibly nicotine in herbal tobacco as well??

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Herbal cigarettes...

It's still putting something in your mouth ,and setting fire to it...

Your lungs are still taking in smoke.. Some of those herbs are just as deadly when set on fire..

Much safer to cut a straw ,the same size as a cigarette and puff on this...

Good clean fresh air...I'm sure our lungs will be very grateful..

Although ..I didn't do either !!!!!

I wanted to rid myself of the whole ...hand to mouth..addiction...

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